Abt Associates

  www.abtassociates.com
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Abt Associates Reviews

Updated Jul 16, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.3 81 reviews

83% Approve of the CEO

Abt Associates President and CEO Kathleen L. Flanagan

Kathleen L. Flanagan

(46 ratings)

74% of employees recommend this company to a friend

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Work life balance can become imbalanced at certain project cycle times(in 22 reviews)

  • work life balance, some very smart people, decent salaries and good benefits(in 7 reviews)


Cons
  • Likes to push how great its work/life balance is - don't buy it, they don't really care(in 4 reviews)

  • Many staff, especially junior staff, have challenges finding adequate coverage when the projects they are hired for end(in 4 reviews)

81 Employee Reviews
Relevance Date Rating
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    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    A company attempting to make the changes that it needs to.

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) Bethesda, MD

    ProsThe breath and scope of many of the jobs is impressive; a range of skills is often called upon (which is good) and a very diverse, smart group of people are there to work with.

    Opportunities for technical inputs and travel are also valuable and a fabulous part of working at Abt Associates. Work life balance can become imbalanced at certain project cycle times!

    ConsThere is some fragmentation between the Depts. and thus communication can be less than ideal. The split between international and domestic work is pronounced and a real shame as these two division have more in common than they seem to realize.

    HR has made some solid improvements in recent years, with the exception of the leadership in Recruitment, which is poor, naive and lacking in any knowledge of development - the firm's bread and butter!

    But overall I believe Abt is, or will make, the necessary changes to thrive.

    Advice to Senior ManagementImprove the staff appraisal system and performance related pay (always an issue). Change the Recruitment leadership to be more in line with client needs. Continue to diversify the portfolio to ensure a variety of donors are lured, not just the US government.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
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    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Variety of interesting and important work; good work/life balance; very frustrating bureaucracy and poor HR department

    Senior Analyst (Current Employee) Bethesda, MD

    ProsAbt has very smart people working on interesting projects in important areas. The benefits are pretty good, as is the work-life balance. The 401k matching contribution of up to 5% of salary is very nice.

    ConsFrustrating bureaucracy and HR department. For example, after interviewing I waited more than a month before I heard anything back, and had limited responsiveness after that. I don't always have the sense that I am a valued individual.

    Advice to Senior ManagementFix the HR department, particularly to ensure responsiveness to potential and current employees.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
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    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
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    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Great, if you are in the right position at the right time

    Associate (Current Employee) Bethesda, MD

    Proswork life balance, some very smart people, decent salaries and good benefits. If you are a very technical person, you can be involved in interesting technical work.

    ConsMany overqualified individuals stuck pushing papers; "dry periods" where it seems like there is not enough work to go around to the mid-level folks.

    Advice to Senior ManagementCommunication is haphazard and management in some divisions is not very strong.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Serious work, smart people

    Intern (Former Employee) Bethesda, MD

    ProsAbt has lots of very smart, talented people working very hard to make a difference in the world. That's inspiring.

    ConsLargely because of who its clients are, the company is fairly bureaucratic and seems slow to adopt innovation. The divisions, and projects, are segregated from one another, so there isn't much of a company identity.

    Advice to Senior ManagementDo more to encourage interaction between staff and different divisions and projects.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
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    • Senior Management
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    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

    2 people found this helpful  

    Great colleagues, interesting work, but very tied to political environment.

    Analyst (Former Employee) Cambridge, MA

    ProsI got tons of opportunities to try my hand at new things, learned about econometrics and policy issues, the work-life balance was great, and my coworkers were awesome people who I am still friends with years later.

    ConsEconomists and policy wonks don't make the best managers. Also the salaries are low. If the administration steers contracts to small businesses, it makes it tough to win contracts.

    Advice to Senior ManagementKeep the good work-life balance. This is a great place to work for parents who need flexibility in their work schedules.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    A changing atmosphere - in a good way

    Portfolio Manager (Current Employee) Bethesda, MD

    ProsChange management seems to be a theme -- office space changes, leadership changes, department changes but they all seem to be on the same upward trajectory, being financially sound, becoming more agile and diversified. Leadership changes in departments like HR have been good. New team in place has made great strides in partnering with divisions and departments and are accessible. Very nice culture of people connected to the mission and value of diverse perspectives and critical thinking. CEO has great entrepreneurial attitude and brings competiveness and impactful strategy to the forefront.

    ConsSome colleagues are not willing to consider fresh perspectives - often refer to "that is not how we have always done it."

    Advice to Senior ManagementContinue to make positive changes, even if the naysayers are not on board.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Cultural crisis

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee) Cambridge, MA

    ProsA few dedicated and congenial coworkers.

    ConsLeadership is non-existent. Cronyism prevails. Some managers are back-stabbing liars. Bad behavior from some tyrannical employees is sanctioned, creating a hostile work environment in some cases; not sure what you have to do to get fired from Abt. Low-level employees are not respected (I was a more experienced employee who watched RAs taken for granted, treated as personal assistants, and given menial tasks).

    Advice to Senior ManagementGet real. Clean house on the liars and backstabbers. Don't sanction bad behavior; it is demoralizing to those who are trying to do the right thing.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
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    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

     

    Good place to work.

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsInteresting projects that make a meaningful difference.
    Decent office space.
    Flexible work schedule, but largely based on your situation and supervisor.
    Yearly merit increases based on your performance and company performance.

    ConsSiloed organization and difficult to work across divisions.
    Salary is average. Nothing great, but not terrible.
    Health plan is expensive.

    Advice to Senior ManagementManagement tries to foster "One Global Abt" across the company, but it doesn't really work. More cross-cutting activities need to take place.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    A great place for mid to high-level employees

    Senior Analyst (Current Employee) Bethesda, MD

    ProsThis is a very smart (sometimes too smart) firm. It's a place where you get exposure to some of the best economists and evaluation experts in the US. There are a lot of opportunities to get published in top journals and to get the mentoring you need to build a great career in health or economics.

    ConsIt can be very nerdy. Sometimes the discussions get bogged down into very boring detail. The firm has a lot of PhDs, and while they are awesome at their jobs, they sometimes tend to think like academics and not focus on practical issues.

    Advice to Senior ManagementMaybe give some awards to younger people. All the prizes go to very senior economists, and that's okay, but often the younger folks feel a bit left out of the picture.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

     

    Great experience working with Abt Associates, Inc., for 18 yrs starting as Accounting Clerk and became Sr. Payroll clerk

    Senior Payroll Clerk (Current Employee) Cambridge, MA

    ProsBecame more efficient and professional work environment.

    ConsDevelopment knowledge in ADP Payroll staff professionally.

    Advice to Senior ManagementAlways give the opportunity to others to became more efficient on work relate professionally.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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