American Chemical Society Reviews

Updated February 17, 2015
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3.4
38 Reviews
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Madeleine Jacobs
21 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1. Good place for a long career

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

    I have been working at American Chemical Society full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    ACS has really good employee benefits, training opportunities and a pretty good work life balance, even if travel is involved.

    Cons

    There isn't as much inter-departmental collaboration as there should be, and separate business units seem to have very little to do with one another, even though it could often be much easier if there was more open channels between groups. A lot of the group organizations are also antiquated and should be restructured to compliment the real-world way the teams function rather than by old-school ideas about seniority.
    They also don't seem to have many ways to deal with people when they aren't doing a good job. The culture seems to be once you're in, its pretty hard for someone to get you out, which while good in most cases, doesn't leave room for cutting back when people just aren't working out.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Generally, keep up the good work, but listen to the people on the ground regarding ways to make teams more efficient, collaborative and realistic.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. Super stable, great benefits, work/life balance

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

    I worked at American Chemical Society full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    ACS is a great place and people stay on average many years. The work is interesting, chemistry and all its many applications, and ACS is well-regarded in the world of science professionals, public policy leaders, and STEM educators. Benefits are very good, regular raises, and bonuses if you work hard. This is a solid, moderate place amid a world of extremes.

    Cons

    Because it is so stable and people stay, there is not as much upward movement as you might hope for.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    More opportunities to collaborate among divisions.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  3. A solid if conservative place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at American Chemical Society

    Pros

    ACS is a solid, professional, stable place for the most part. Overall, employees seem content to be there, if not excited. Perhaps one of the biggest pluses for me is that they place a high value on flexibility and work-family balance. Salaries are decent for the nonprofit sector.

    Cons

    The downside is that comfort seems to breed complacency. If you're looking for an energetic, dynamic place, this is not it.

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  5. Great place to springboard into a long-lasting career!

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

    I have been working at American Chemical Society

    Pros

    Training, Telework options, and Job Security

    Cons

    Too quite and disconnect between staff and management.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 2 people found this helpful

    This is a huge, somewhat unwieldy organization with tons of revenue, multiple silos, and little synergy.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Contractor - Anonymous Contractor
    Former Contractor - Anonymous Contractor

    I worked at American Chemical Society as a contractor (less than a year)

    Pros

    I liked working with most of my colleagues.

    Cons

    My boss did not provide oversight. I exceeded my goals, but my success was not acknowledged. I made two small mistakes, and I was let go. Within two weeks after I left, my boss and his sales staff were fired.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You need to do more than throw money at problems. The staff doesn't even know that they are working on similar, almost identical projects in the Events and Publications department. Focus on nurturing connections, and make sure business development is a team project.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 2 people found this helpful

    Real commitment to chemistry, overly bureaucratic and siloed structure

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

    I have been working at American Chemical Society full-time

    Pros

    This is a mission-driven organization where people generally feel good about "improving people's lives through the transforming power of chemistry." It has a clear and exciting strategic plan and a culture that embraces member service, volunteerism, and professional development. There are literally thousands of members who volunteer substantial time for the organization at the local, technical division, and national levels. The benefits are very good, including a substantial contribution from the employer to retirement, life insurance, and ample vacation and sick leave. There is a vibrant program of activities to build community among staff sponsored by staff council.

    Cons

    The organization struggles to be sufficiently agile in today's changing environment. While the establishment of an office of innovation & collaboration is a good step, and they are working hard to break down barriers, much remains to be done. Front line employees still face challenges in developing creative ideas, and divisional management often operates as if they are running independent organizations. Some long-time managers have questionable competency, and backroom politics plays too much of a role. It is a shame, but many of us have learned to keep our mouths shut about problems that we see and opportunities to make a positive difference.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Management should work with governance leaders to develop a single set of priorities, and then work collaboratively to accomplish them across divisional lines. Those managers who don't support the new collaborative culture should be ushered out, including those in senior positions. Internal customer service should be a priority across the organization.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful

    Stellar Mission and resources to affect real change- need for upper management overhaul

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

    I worked at American Chemical Society full-time

    Pros

    Excellent benefits plan and opportunities to participate in internal and external professional development. Salaries are competitive and many of the middle management team members are SME's on the rise in non profit industry- great place to hone your craft.

    Cons

    Culture of upper management focused on steering members into silos and moving unprofitable agendas. Preference for employing chemists, without the real ability to perform in strategic management roles, hinders programmatic success and will frustrate those looking to really working with members to move strategic plans forward. "Mean girl/woman Syndrome" rampant and men are often mistreated.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Consider enforcing accountability measures in how upper management speaks to, treats and develops employees. Understand that your culture is very personality driven and this impedes your ability to develop mid level staff into strategic leaders. Pay attention to top performers who have witnessed unfair treatment by management team and members and who ultimately ruin the reputation of the organization. Ramp up training on behavioral and ethical behavioral expectations and empower Human Resources to enforce penalties. You have a stellar volunteer base and middle management team, that is being consistently ruined by long time upper management and long time employees afraid to adapt and treat employees equitably. Organization is very well positioned to do much better with just a little more attention being paid to how you treat long term employees and mid level managers.

    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful

    OK place to work..but don't look for much excitement here

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at American Chemical Society full-time

    Pros

    Good location and great benefits. You can make some friends here.

    Cons

    Employees pampered and provided excellent benefits, but very "office space"-like setting. Often creative, bold ideas are squashed by regulations in ACS Constitution and/or stubborn individuals in leadership. Poor professional habits (manipulation, bargaining, etc.) is practiced and encouraged between internal offices.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The workplace is changing. Change with it.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. Flexible work arrangements, nice workers. Slow to change.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at American Chemical Society full-time

    Pros

    The work and hours are often flexible, which accommodates many living styles and schedules. The benefits are excellent.

    Cons

    ACS can be slow to adopt change. Steers very slowly, and is slow to implement new programs and adapt.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Create more avenues to advance to management.

  11. Satisfying and Good!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Lab Technician
    Former Employee - Lab Technician

    I worked at American Chemical Society full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    To be a chemist., it is awesome to work in A.C.S.

    Cons

    ACS is worldwide recognized and is a leading professional institute

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