Arc Aspicio Reviews

Updated June 17, 2015
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2.4
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Lynn Ann Casey
24 Ratings

25 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (3)

    Arc Aspicio is 100% you get what you put into the company.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Associate in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Arc Aspicio full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Arc Aspicio has a start-up feel, and you get what you put in to it. If you are willing to put in the hours, contribute to the company, and are not afraid to be invested, then you will love it here. For example, after years of working at a big name consulting firm, I love it here! Lazy people won't last here which to me is a pro because I want to work with energetic and passionate people. I feel very empowered at Arc Aspicio. You have the opportunity to get promoted, get amazing experience, manage staff early on, and you are 100% in charge of your career. Most of the staff are young and energetic. We are willing to come up with innovative ideas and work hard to get them implemented. Once again, you get what you put into the company, which can be great or terrible depending on you. I worked at other government contracting companies, even a brand name company, and I like Arc Aspicio a lot more.

    Cons

    If you want to be overpaid to sit around and do the minimum, then Arc Aspicio is not for you. A lot of people have this idea that government consulting means working from home, doing very little, and getting paid 6 figures, well then I am very sorry to burst that bubble. If you want to get paid to do nothing, then go apply to be a federal employee! At Arc Aspicio, you are expected to work.... a lot. I'm juggling client work, company work, mentoring, my own outside activities like volunteering and church groups, and I love all of it. If you want to watch the clock, do your 40 hours, and head home, then go somewhere else. Otherwise you will end up writing a negative review similar to other reviews below.

    Advice to Management

    I would focus on coming up with better benefits, especially something for travel. Going back and forth to client site can be expensive!


  2. Helpful (3)

    Interesting work and great people

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Arc Aspicio full-time

    Pros

    I work with really great people on my projects. My team members are so nice and supportive - we recognize each other regularly and they always offer to help out. My team is so smart and they like the work we do -as a company, we work in transportation security, emergency management, law enforcement, information sharing, immigration, and more. Interesting work and good people! Leadership seems to value it's people - i know I value my team. Lots of great things about this company.

    Cons

    A growing company - but open to learning! It's unfortunate that there are so many happy team members in the company, but I don't think they go on this and write.


  3. Helpful (3)

    Bad, but not exceptionally

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

    I worked at Arc Aspicio full-time

    Pros

    Their office isn't in the suburbs. They always make payroll. They have a pretty low bar for whom they'll hire, which I assume is only lowering as the negative reviews stack up.

    Cons

    Government staffing and contracting are a complete mess. Taxpayers are funding a stagnant pool of filthy profiteering and the industry needs to be stripped down and rebuilt if our country's going to succeed in the face of our forthcoming challenges. This company is pretty indicative of everything wrong with the industry, to the letter.

    Advice to Management

    Sell off the company and retire. Pat yourself on the back for a job well done. Tell yourself you didn't really have a choice given the state of the industry. Who leaves money on the table, right?


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  5. Helpful (3)

    Expect Little

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Arc Aspicio full-time

    Pros

    There are a lot of great, talented, young people at Arc. The company develops and maintains good relationships with the Federal Government and they consistently win contract proposals, so there will always be opportunities for employment.

    Cons

    The reason they consistently win contract proposals is because they dramatically underbid other consulting firms. The difference comes out of the salaries of Associates and Junior Associates below the management level. Management is very poor at managing lower level employees. Program managers regularly refuse to answer questions or listen to concerns out of fear of feeling uncomfortable. My advice: if you're going to accept a job with Arc Aspicio, continue looking elsewhere even after you've started. Not only is the grass greener on the other side, the grass on their side is slowly dying as they drive off all young talent who could be the future of their company.

    Advice to Management

    Relax. Take a deep breath. Listen to your employees.


  6. Helpful (3)

    Job Seekers Beware

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Consultant
    Current Employee - Consultant
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Arc Aspicio full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Arc Aspicio offers a place to learn a lot and quickly if you are new to the workforce and consulting.

    Cons

    The downsides to working for Arc Aspicio are low pay and long hours. They require that employees work a minimum of 45 hours and working more than this is pretty much the only way to get promoted. You also have to be involved in a lot of after work events and activities even after working such long hours. The professional development is a joke and if you're favored by the CEO you'll get to take training and get certifications but if not, you'll be stuck reading a book. The CEO and her pets in upper management have a distorted view of how unhappy most employee are. About 3-4 people quit each month in a company that has roughly 50 people.

    Advice to Management

    I would advise management to start standing up the the CEO because most of us on projects are very unhappy. The work-life balance is virtually nonexistent.


  7. Helpful (5)

    HORRIBLE place to work

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Consultant in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Consultant in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Arc Aspicio full-time

    Pros

    Some of the employees here are truly talented. Too bad they work for this dictatorship.

    Cons

    Leadership threatens employees about: Glassdoor reviews, violating non-compete agreements (in bully ways -- you can not get a federal job with the agency that this company pretends to support? even if it is not in the shop you contracted to? insane). Arc Aspicio is thew new DC Madame -- they prey on young, inexpensive talent, then pimp them out to any of the many contracts that they regularly win (geniuses of acquisition), not rewarding their true talent (mostly in the "middle management" layer). The CEO and CTO think they work on every contract, and instead of hiring stable management, moonlight on contracts like compulsive micromanagers. The BD demands of the job are huge. The salaries are not. The work is boring program management, despite their website's claims. Employees are asked to contribute in cultish ways -- drum up subscribers for monthly newsletter, contribute blogs that are then watered down until they could not criticize or illuminate ANY kind of problem by the CEO. This company can wink work, but they are a cold, unfeeling body shop, totally uninterested in the growth or benefits of their employees.

    Advice to Management

    In times of turmoil, make more concessions to employees, not less. Tightening your grasp on employees is very Soviet -- look how that turned out. You have unhappy people and you need to listen to them.


  8. Helpful (6)

    Great company to join if you have run out of other options.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Consultant
    Current Employee - Consultant
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Arc Aspicio full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    - CEO cares about her company’s success (just not her employees or business ethics) - Last resort for a recent college graduate looking for experience working on federal programs. - Great at having HR submit 5 star reviews in a sea of 1-2 star reviews on Glassdoor. - Strong company-first culture - Win new business by bidding lowest (and subsequently paying employees less)

    Cons

    - Extremely large divide between management and mid-low level employees. Management largely ignores mid-low level employee questions and concerns. - Employees at all levels are divided into two groups when they are first hired. One group is strongly favored over the other, and it is obvious in the daily interaction with management. Be in the right group or have an even more stunted career path (see next point) - Advancement is through cronyism. Either the CEO/management likes you or they don’t. Company does have a standardized process for promotion that all employees must go through, but it is merely a façade. - Below-market rate salaries. - Unethical business practices with regards to client-side projects. Lying, playing ignorant, and ignoring new information that alters a deliverable is not uncommon. - Poor investment in employee development. Advertise training opportunities but rarely follow through. Senior management gets the majority of the training. - Less than 75 employees, however only a select few have any input in the direction of the company. Constructive criticisms of company policies are unwelcome and ignored. - Work/life balance is very off-balanced. Be prepared to work on writing blog posts, proposals, and other company work that may or may not have anything to do with your interests.

    Advice to Management

    Unfortunately, one of Arc Aspicio's most debilitating features is the stubbornness of senior management. The CEO/Management is rarely willing to listen to advice or comments that address serious drawbacks in policies or procedures. The only advice I can give is to pay attention and actually listen to your employees. But as I said, "advice" like this falls on deaf ears.


  9. Helpful (10)

    Had hoped these reviews were from disgruntled employees, was wrong

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Former Employee
    Former Employee - Former Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Arc Aspicio full-time

    Pros

    -Connected with important homeland security agencies -Company aims to embody a great culture -Some employees are genuinely wonderful and capable people -The company will survive a few more years at least

    Cons

    -Projects offer little opportunity with the more interesting and impactful areas of homeland security -Company culture on website does not match the reality internally -Lots of turnover -Unhappy executive team, and junior staff, steamrolled by a largely unpleasant CEO -Extremely shady company agreements and unsatisfactory benefits

    Advice to Management

    -Treat your employees like people -Good input yields good output -Address the culture of sycophantic behavior as an unspoken prerequisite for one's job growth


  10. Helpful (13)

    Ethical concerns, and not for those who value themselves or their personal time!

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Arc Aspicio full-time

    Pros

    Arc Aspicio is a good place for recent graduates and employees looking to break into government consulting/homeland security—basically, if you need to get your feet wet, and you don’t have the best resume, Arc is likely to take give you a try! Management seems to take chances on hiring green employees, and to this end, these new hires have the chance to grow their knowledge, skills, and abilities both in serving the client and in learning about business development and proposal writing/proposal processes (most of these activities are mandatory, not optional)!

    Cons

    1) Because the company tends to hire neophytes, salaries are relatively low, especially in terms of required overtime. So, a low salary becomes even lower when dispersed over routinely long days. CEO is admittedly concerned with making money rather than compensating an employee more appropriately. 2) Per our offer contracts with Arc, we are required to work over 5 weeks of overtime per annum, which is way beyond industry standards for non-managerial staff! 3) I subscribe to a work-hard-play-hard philosophy and understand that fire drills occur, and I’ve experienced such events in my 12 years of client-facing consulting; however, the management here is preposterously delusional in how much employees should live, breath, and bleed Arc Aspicio! For those who wish to have a work-life balance, I testify that this place is not for you, as employees are persistently “voluntold” for company-centric, internal tasks (it doesn’t matter if it’s in the evening or over the weekend). 4) The owner has her claws in everything (which is fine; whatever floats her boat), but ultimately her involvement adds another dense layer to work that is already micromanaged. I’ve never had to explain artifacts and project outputs to so many “supervisors” before (it’s actually a bit comical how the term and title “supervisor” is thrown around so emptily and superfluously)! And, ultimately, I learned that regardless of my input or advice, a decision was always to execute a task precisely how management requires—even if it’s obviously redundant, non-value-add, or a waste of resources (which leads me to #4). 5) Transactional leadership versus transformative leadership: The atmosphere is all about transactional leadership (basically, “do what I said because I said it”) rather than empowering pupils via transformation. Management will search for a million reasons to deny a special request rather than empower employees through simple (and free) morale boosters! 6) Cronyism: If you don’t believe 100% that Arc Aspicio is the cat’s meow, then don’t expect to be “promoted.” The owner can get quite vicious if you act in a way or say anything that might contest the greatness of the company. I’ve heard her belittle “nonconformists” within the group, which was uncomfortable for everyone in the conversation. 7) With Arc Aspicio, the owner and management indoctrinate employees with the gobbledygook that titles are not important—all the while building and existing within a workspace that is consumed and infiltrated with titles. First, this is Washington D.C. and people care about titles. Secondly, maybe Arc Aspicio truly believes that titles do not matter… unfortunately, the company’s rhetoric doesn’t align, then, with its practices, thus birthing a sense of intentional misdirection and manipulation. All of this to say, to Arc, titles matter! 8) Everything taken into consideration, I have major concerns with the ethics of the owner--and by association the company--given my observations and experiences! I wish I had heeded the reviews on this website prior to joining years ago! I fell for dangling carrots that were nonexistent!

    Advice to Management

    I’m glad to be leaving, but for what it is worth, here is my advice: It is obvious that some employees are content working here; however many of your employees are unhappy and don’t trust that they can express their concerns without disciplinary recourse or derogatory retaliation. I’m not sure how to remedy this plight, but perhaps the owner can let “HR” be more “HR-y” which will allow for anonymity with concerns. Lastly, to the owner, Lynn Ann: Arc Aspicio is a moderately successful company, and you have the authority to run your company however you’d like. You’ve obviously done something right to get this far; however, your benefits and management are not as good as you think they are!! Nothing about my experience—when compared to industry standards—screams superior or stellar! If people are perpetually writing scathing reviews, then I suggest you take the time to investigate the validity of and epicenter for these concerns; otherwise, the turnover will continue to be high, and Arc Aspicio’s reputation will precede itself in the industry—but in a very negative light!


  11. Helpful (9)

    Excrutiating growing pains

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Arc Aspicio full-time

    Pros

    Very mission focused - the company seeks to bring on people who are passionate about Homeland Security and have a desire to make the DHS community a better place. Many government contracts are going the small-business route, which is beneficial to the company.

    Cons

    Extremely high turnover/burn-out rate, probably due to the fact that the pay scale is significantly below market value and because of the iron fist of the owner. She works 24/7, and expects everyone else has the same schedule. Employees have no choice whether or not to be involved in business development or company matters. They are forced to own business opportunities, write proposals, conduct interviews and participate in other company (non-billable) work while maintaining a high billable hour threshold, effectively putting in well over 60 hours/week. Employee feedback is often sought, but rarely applied. Results of employee surveys seemed to be products of fuzzy math and data skewing. Employee skillsets are often not aligned with roles and responsibilities, or taken into account when staffing projects. A competent, senior level employee might be placed into a lower-grade role to fill a gap, but may be left there until s/he gets frustrated and leaves. Meanwhile a new, more junior employee who reassigns all tasks assigned because the employee does not know, and does not care to learn, how to complete them, is considered to be "delegating" and is promoted without any experience or management understanding. Also, an employee with a strong business development background may be placed on a project where s/he is required to conduct menial tasks in an unknown business area. Favoritism is obvious and often very manic - you could be at the top of the heap one day, and at the bottom the next for no apparent reason. Performance reviews are a moving target. Leadership changes the rules as it goes along, especially as it pertains to salary evaluations and bonus/promotion opportunities.

    Advice to Management

    Invest in your home base. Client-facing employees will appreciate having staff at the home office who are dedicated to business development, proposal writing and other operations. Calling on client-site employees as SMEs is ok. Requiring them to participate in business development when they are trying to prove value at a client site is not. Place employees in positions that are appropriate to their skill set, expertise and interests. If they tell you that something is a right fit, do not dismiss them as complainers or non-team players, especially if they have not show themselves to be as such in their tenure. If you want to continue to hire and retain high-performing individuals, do not place them in positions that have no future or opportunity.



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