Ashoka

www.ashoka.org

Ashoka Reviews

Updated January 7, 2015
Updated January 7, 2015
54 Reviews
3.3
54 Reviews
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Ashoka CEO & Founder Bill Drayton
Bill Drayton
34 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • amazing people, global reach, finger on the pulse of innovation around the world (in 7 reviews)

  • Great mission & brilliant people (in 6 reviews)


Cons
  • There are a few niches within the organization in which you can become pigeon-holed and in effect be in a dead-end (in 3 reviews)

  • No internal advancement/career path (in 4 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Summer Internship with Ashoka U was a wonderful, transformative learning experience.

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

    I worked at Ashoka full-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    The team dynamic is open and welcoming
    Office culture is innovative and ful

    Cons

    Unpaid position, so compensation was lacking

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    At least a small stipend would be beneficial.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    It is an enriching experience but at the same time the organization lacks structure.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Intern in Arlington, VA
    Current Employee - Intern in Arlington, VA

    I have been working at Ashoka as an intern (less than a year)

    Pros

    1. Great people to work with
    2. Everyone is passionate about a cause
    3. The organization is successful in reaching out to different places in the world

    Cons

    1. There is a lack of structure between departments in the organization
    2. Recruiting for interns is a little difficult

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    Great mission, purpose, and high-level vision, but execution and management poor

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

    I worked at Ashoka

    Pros

    a lot of freedom to pursue areas of genuine professional interest, especially as it relates to social entrepreneurship goals. will meet plenty of driven, successful entrepreneurs in course of work. work life balance is excellent-- flexible hours and co-workers embody the "live to work" mantra instead of "working to live,"

    Cons

    high employee turnover leads to lack of knowledge retention, needs better knowledge management systems. limiting staff onboarding, highly inefficient management. employee needs to be extremely independent, assured, and a self-starter in order to succeed.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    should hire staff with experience in actually growing social enterprise startups, helping startups move through growth phase, instead of hiring staff whose job is to connect social entrepreneurs with growth specialists.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    Youthful core; however, not strong in management

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Intern in Arlington, VA
    Current Employee - Intern in Arlington, VA

    I have been working at Ashoka as an intern (less than a year)

    Pros

    People here can be bright and passionate about international development and social entrepreneurship. I also really enjoyed and believed in the projects I was working on.

    Cons

    My supervisor lacked any management skills, was condescending, and marginalized any ideas I had about making the project better. I was miserable by the end of my internship, and just wanted to get out.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    Finance group falling apart

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

    I have been working at Ashoka full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Seriously none. Unless there is a serious restructuring, the group is going to collapse

    Cons

    The finance team is falling apart

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take immediate action.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7.  

    Great experience, but can be frustrating

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

    I worked at Ashoka as an intern (less than a year)

    Pros

    brilliant people, great deal of responsibility and control over your projects. Amazing mission and a very interesting sector to be working in

    Cons

    completely inefficient and you get overworked and undercompensated, but that is a vary common problem in the non profit world

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Complete founder syndrome. Bill Drayton is a visionary, but does not know how to adapt. His organizational structure depends upon extremely competent and self-sufficient people, which they have, but everyone has to reinvent the wheel for everything they do. Absolutely zero institutional knowledge

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8.  

    Good organization, organized poorly

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

    I worked at Ashoka

    Pros

    Freedom/flexibility to pursue interests, great and enthusiastic people from diverse backgrounds, exposure to entrepreneurs and their work in various sectors

    Cons

    Poor and inefficient management, no clear career path for employees, little opportunity for formalized skill and/or professional development, lots of overlap in work, no streamlined form of communication, insufficient salary

    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Fascinating people, ambitious organization, management issues

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

    I have been working at Ashoka as an intern

    Pros

    Really love the people who work at Ashoka, the average person has a fascinating travel history, went to a great school, and is entrepreneurial and outgoing. The work they do is important, and the 3000 Fellows (social entrepreneurs) are working to address some of the most pressing problems around the world.

    Cons

    Due to the top-down nature of administration, employees sometimes seem hesitant to make firm decisions on their own. As a result it can be very inefficient, and various departments often are working on the same/similar projects without communication.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The management seems to be working to address the in-office problems, but I worry they are too focused on ambitious world-changing ideas to truly fix issues closer to home.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 2 people found this helpful  

    Miserable place for any entrepreneur

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Leadership Level in Arlington, VA
    Former Employee - Leadership Level in Arlington, VA

    I worked at Ashoka full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Metro Convenient
    Filled with deeply dedicated people who want to make the world a better place, even if the organization makes it nearly impossible to achieve.

    Cons

    They will only hire 'entrepreneurs', but the organization does not have entrepreneurial jobs. It only has tasks and poorly articulated hopes and dreams. No advancement opportunity at any level.
    Poor leadership and decision making, no clarity on strategy
    Led by a deeply controlling founder who won't let go

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Replace leadership. Create an independent, professional Board that will stop the wasted spending and poorly conceived programs.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11.  

    Great people, high burnout

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Program Coordinator in Arlington, VA
    Former Employee - Program Coordinator in Arlington, VA

    I worked at Ashoka full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    People are smart, ambitious, and super supportive. You can learn a ton from some of the top people in the field and get a lot of international experience. You'll never forget the high moments you have here, and not many other places can match the type of work you'll do here.

    Cons

    The hours can be long an unpredictable. Very inefficient, almost prideful of their inefficiency. As with most citizen sector orgs (non-profits), resources are limited. This means pay is very little and it can take days to get something done that's completed in seconds at organizations with resources. New grads tend to get stuck with a lot of grunt work.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Improve salary. I know you want to keep this low because keeping overhead low looks better in budgeting, but most people can't last on such limited means for long.
    Make year long plans and stick to them. Lots of great ideas come out of this organization and there seemed to be a fear to not chase all of them. Strong focus on a few could help get you further faster and set clearer expectations with your staff, which will keep everyone happier.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO

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