Advisory Board Reviews in Washington, DC

Updated September 14, 2014
Updated September 14, 2014
250 Reviews
3.5
250 Reviews
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Advisory Board CEO and Director Robert W. Musslewhite
Robert W. Musslewhite
165 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Promotes a health work-life balance (in 23 reviews)

  • Happy Hours, incentive trips, community service projects, etc (in 22 reviews)


Cons
  • Work-life balance is definitely skewed towards work rather than life (in 25 reviews)

  • Horrible work-life balance and long hours (in 13 reviews)

More Highlights

140 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1.  

    Overall experience was decent loved the company .

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Sales  in  Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Sales in Washington, DC

    I worked at Advisory Board full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    good company to work for if you're right out of college

    Cons

    The company work life balance doesn't have much balance .

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep up the good work

    Recommends
  2. 5 people found this helpful  

    Research is fantastic, but refuses to pay you fairly...and they're well aware.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Consultant  in  Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Consultant in Washington, DC

    I have been working at Advisory Board full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    These comments apply to the Research division. The Analyst and Consultant roles are excellent. The company offers lots of responsibility and intellectually stimulating work for relatively young professionals. The promotion track is quick assuming you are a high performer and the company does a good job of matching individuals to roles that make use of their potential. A major value add is how much you learn about health care as your research and work.

    Cons

    If it wasn't already clear that the Advisory Board under-compensates its staff, now there is data. Engagement down over the last two years, and only 1/4 of staff feel they are paid competitively. Base salaries have not changed in years and the executives who report back about engagement admit the firm isn't doing anything about it. When some staff threaten to leave, they offer a retention bonus that they claim is tailored to you, but it's the same for everyone.

    What makes this especially bad is how successful the company has been in the last 3-4 years. The company has grown immensely, but only the executive staff, who own large stock packages, reap the benefits of it. Why should staff feel motivated to stick with the company if all the benefits of success go to the executives?

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get real about compensation. Quit all the rhetoric about "value proposition" as a way to dodge the dollar compensation failings. You have so much to offer as an employer it's sad to see talented people walk as other jobs recognize the rising costs people face in today's world.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3. 2 people found this helpful  

    Good experience, but awful pay

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC

    I have been working at Advisory Board full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Great people, updated offices make for a creative and enjoyable day, and fantastic benefits (4 weeks PTO, flex time, etc.)

    Cons

    There is heavy favoritism and perks shown to those who bring in the money (marketers, marketing associates). There continues to be the stance that ABC salaries are competitive with the industry, but the fact is that if one person is hired in out of college as a marketing associate and another is hired as an internal-facing role, the MA is guaranteed to make $10K more a year and have the opportunities to win vacations. For both positions, especially internal, you don't make enough to live in the metro area on your own, barely with roommates.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Start focusing on your internal employees and employee retention. If you have a great employee who is about to leave, work with them. Find a solution to keep them on board. If that solution doesn't fall within policy, change it. Pay your employees equally. All entry-level positions should be paid equally (or at least similarly), and you should start showing appreciation for those who keep the business running smoothly, not just those who get you more money.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Strong culture; lead by a passion to sell

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Associate Director  in  Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Associate Director in Washington, DC

    I have been working at Advisory Board full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Incredible learning experience. This is a company that's driven by it's sales division (as opposed to product, or finance, both of which are pretty reactionary/ impotent here) and any employee here learns to "script" really good talking points to walk the firm out of any tough situation. I hear people talk years later about the incredible people- and sales- skills they developed at ABC.

    Cons

    While management says (and often believes) that promotions and bonuses are merit based, the reality is that this is an intensely political culture. In addition to your work you need to be very politically savvy to thrive here. If that's your thing, you'll love it.

    Don't expect work-life balance, especially if you want to be on the fast track to promotion, and don't expect pay raises without fighting for them.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Bring back the culture of meritocracy you talk so much about (if it ever truly existed); make management more flat. Not everyone needs to be a manager (and indeed, not every high performer is capable of being a manager).

    Also, at some point some financial analyst is going to call you out on the excessive stock-based compensation along with share repurchases, so you should probably stop parading stock-based compensation as evidence of meritocracy when the share price is so heavily influenced by the repurchase program.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6.  

    It's a good place to get your feet wet in the DC area if you're fresh out of college. I'd work there again.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Communications  in  Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Communications in Washington, DC

    I worked at Advisory Board full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    The staff is highly educated, driven, etc.

    Cons

    There isn't much diversity in the staff. Everyone pretty much has the same background. ABC focuses on their bottom line before focusing on their employees.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  7. 3 people found this helpful  

    Great company to start your career with

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Marketing Associate  in  Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Marketing Associate in Washington, DC

    I worked at Advisory Board full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Great benefits
    Lots of opportunities for growth--and training to help you along the way
    Wonderful people to work with
    Promotes a health work-life balance
    Good incentives (trips & cash)
    Volunteer opportunities

    Cons

    The starting salary is barely enough to survive on in DC.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Associate Director

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Associate Director  in  Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Associate Director in Washington, DC

    I have been working at Advisory Board full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Lots of smart people, great culture, emphasis on community impact

    Cons

    Wish I could get a better work life balance- short staffing is hard

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. 7 people found this helpful  

    Looking for poor management and low pay? Perfect place for you

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC

    I have been working at Advisory Board full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    -Hired right from undergrad to work in 'marketing'
    -Great to be around people who are in the same age range as you (23-26)
    -Office is located in a great area of DC

    Cons

    -Terribly low pay (35k as a marketing associate with bonuses equating to very little). Chiefs of Staff make under 43k, dedicated advisers are less than 50k
    -HIGH turnover. Cannot be emphasized enough. If ABC is one of the best places to work in healthcare, why do people leave so frequently? Why are orientation groups packed full of new associates? Probably because there is something wrong but more importantly, associates are cheap.
    -Incentive trips they emphasize that happen twice a year (the trips cost $500 per person, I would rather have the cash than spend a weekend in the Outer Banks in May)
    -Management is dismal. This is one of the more confusing things about the company. They offer training to hospitals management under the belief that a great doctor/nurse doesn't equate to a great manager. Yet at ABC, great associates are promoted to management with no experience or training because they were great associates. I remember one director walking around the associates with a clipboard taking attendance of who was at their desk cold calling.
    -The culture is dead. I might have lost it if I had to go to one more presentation about the culture of the firm and David Bradley's pillars. David Bradley (the founder) left the company more than a decade ago before the company went public and since then, only the execs ever see the culture that they preach (the exec team also gets retreats to Costa Rica, Turkey, and Japan)

    The story that surmises ABC is one associate who was cold calling for a failing product (the technology being sold was flakey at best and went offline for a month. This associate was put on a 'development plan' to help work out the kinks as to why THEY were failing. A month later when they did not meet the goals of the development plan, they were put on a 'focus plan' which essentially means that you have to meet your goals or get fired (BTW, when you get a focus plan, it's a document you have to sign with HR basically forfeiting your right to unemployment when you are fired because you state that it's a mutual decision to leave). Before this associate could be fired, the program was scrapped and the associate kept their job. This 'under performing associate was later promoted to a director level position where they would do the on site meetings with clients. Ultimately, they under performed again in that position and were threatened with another development plan. Morale of the story: they love to play mind games and threaten to fire people. This person was told they were under performing, then their crappy program was scrapped, and then they were promoted to a higher sales position. What?

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop. Just stop. No more preaching about the culture. No more embellishing incentive trips and bonuses and promotions. No more town halls to connect employees to the execs. People are going to scrape by, get the experience they need to go to a reputable firm like EY or Deloitte. The company knows that if an associate quits or is fired, a new applicant will be hired, receive 3 weeks worth of training, and then will be on the phones cold calling again. So my advice to you is to stop be deceitful in all aspects, from hiring to the actual products you sell. Employees aren't valued, there are no good managers, and regardless of how high up you are, it's all about grinding it out until something better comes up (which it always does).

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10.  

    research analyst

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Research Analyst  in  Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Research Analyst in Washington, DC

    I have been working at Advisory Board full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    I learned a lot from my experiences

    Cons

    The pay is a bit low.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 5 people found this helpful  

    Terrible work environment with a 50/50 shot of having success

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Marketing Associate  in  Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Marketing Associate in Washington, DC

    I worked at Advisory Board full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    - Young Work Environment
    - In Downtown DC

    Cons

    - Management is comprised of people who have no industry experience or job experience that are telling subordinates how to work. No freedom, everything is scripted. If you have a good territory you will succeed and make just enough money to live in another state and commute an hour every day for terrible pay. The Marketing Associate role has absolutely nothing to do with Marketing and is strictly Cold Calling.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Let people develop their skills and create an identity through positive reinforcement. Eliminate the COS position because they don't do anything except nitpick without any business experience.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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