Chemonics International Reviews

Updated April 3, 2015
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3.2
105 Reviews
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Susanna Mudge
30 Ratings

Pros
  • Excellent training, professional development opportunities, and opportunities for travel and overseas assignments (in 12 reviews)

  • You can learn great project management skills and there are lots of opportunities to travel (in 11 reviews)

Cons
  • Work life balance is an issue at Chemonics (in 20 reviews)

  • long hours, more consideration of work/life balance (in 13 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (2)

    Good for entry-level jobs; then leave

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

    I worked at Chemonics International

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

    Pros

    You get to travel to some fantastic places, but only if you work in a regional--rather than a support--unit. It's a great way to see the world and travel, but do not fall in love with project management, new business, or support position rolls. Instead, use this organization to go someplace else.

    Cons

    Chemonics is one of those companies that keeps falling but never hits rock bottom. The management--especially the executive management--is white male dominated even though the rank-and-file is not. The company doesn't manage itself well: financial management is terrible, innovation is nil, and HR is a joke. Also the pay is terrible. This is a company that hires people with top-level grad degrees and has them process expense reports or timesheets. Let me be clear: you aren't actually doing development; you're just supporting the people who do. So don't get fooled into believing that you'll use your MPH to fight AIDS or your M.Ed to teach children in Ghana what to do. Take your degree elsewhere.

    Advice to Management

    You really need to find a better way to top into your employees' intelligence. Someone with Peace Corps experience and a masters shouldn't be a PMU manager: you should reserve those positions for folks without ambition or the interest in development.

  2. Alright.

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Chemonics International

    Pros

    Fun atmosphere and youthful employees

    Cons

    Compensation is low and management keeps you down.

  3. Helpful (2)

    Great development projects but limited opportunity to grow and excel from a culture of negative competition and politics

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Manager in Nairobi (Kenya)
    Former Employee - Senior Manager in Nairobi (Kenya)

    I worked at Chemonics International

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

    Pros

    Working at Chemonics was an eye opener. Worked with many interesting staff well qualified and experienced. It was a challenging job, with lots of potential to grow Chemonics brand in Africa. Good learning opportunities with the level of challenge and with lots of dedicated investment of self.

    Cons

    A very highly competitive company and staff made it difficult to isolate oneself to achieve the true value of ones capability. Infighting, excessive gossip, favouritism of some staff over others based on non-work related issues such as background tended to make the place uncomfortable for people of colour. If you have potential or are highly ambitious or intelligent and want to make a positive difference, someone at Chemonics will ensure you don't. And it could be your boss. Poor pay, benefits and work conditions made it a rather unfavourable place to work compared to other companies.

    Advice to Management

    Learn to appreciate your staff. Offer an ombudsman to resolve conflicts. Ensure staff enjoy family work life balance otherwise many will leave if forced to choose between their children and spouses and their work. Ensure fair employment and compensation practices as well as market value rates. Reward hard work and retain good staff for maximized productivity and profit to your company. High staff turnover reveal poor HR policies.

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  5. Helpful (1)

    One size does not fit all, and it's entirely up to you to adapt and conform.

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

    I have been working at Chemonics International full-time (less than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    All kinds of different people, from different backgrounds. A decent amount of diversity.
    By getting involved in Practices, able to learn about different areas of interest, and meet experts from those fields.

    Cons

    One of the largest problems is communication: how, when, to and from whom is information communicated.
    On-boarding process was not smooth - including not explaining definition of roles, responsibilities, managers and supervisors. First few weeks seemed frenetic, chaotic, and disorganized - and that's par for the course.
    Timelines regarding expectations (both from the manager and subordinate) are not clearly set - including how long it should take to reach a certain level of independence or ownership on tasks.

    PMU work is highly administrative. This is discussed at length prior to joining the company, but opportunities for technical engagement are few and far between. Engagement in technical areas requires participation in New Business opportunities in addition to existing tasks, which lends to little work/life balance.

    Advice to Management

    The sense of transparency and open-doors sometimes seems like a facade. If a lower-level person has a real concern to voice, the right structures are not necessarily in place to enable communication and protect that person.

  6. Great company for entry-level professionals

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

    I worked at Chemonics International

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Best training in the business; great networking opportunities

    Cons

    Sometimes can feel like a small overworked cog in the great machine that is Chemonics

  7. Small salary in field office

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

    I worked at Chemonics International

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Good experience for understanding about how the organization operates its projects.

    Cons

    Except for the low salary, nothing special to add.

  8. Great company

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

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

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Great intl development training/entry level organization. Good opportunities to travel

    Cons

    High pressure, long hours. Lots of mundane work early on.

  9. growing with the company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Sales Executive in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia)
    Former Employee - Sales Executive in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia)

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    good corporate citizen, diversified enough to mitigate market risk by having mixture of star and cash cow portfolios

    Cons

    slow in tackle market changes, lack of business development element

    Advice to Management

    make every employees as your VIP customer then you will see the company fly

  10. Great place to start a career

    • 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 Chemonics International full-time (more than 5 years)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Passionate people, great systems, exciting work that challenges you to grow

    Cons

    Work/life balance can be tough, c-suite is not always transparent, bottom line sometimes compromises the work

    Advice to Management

    Keep giving your staff the right incentives to continue their outstanding work

  11. Helpful (2)

    Good place to learn and great people

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

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

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Chemonics has excellent project management systems in place which are helpful on the job and useful to be exposed to whether you stay in government contracting or go on into something else. On top of that the company has fantastic employees and it's generally easy to get along with your colleagues. While not immune by any stretch to the standard drive of the contracting world to spend out the budget, nearly all the staff are genuinely motivated to ensure the projects are both successful and impactful,

    Cons

    A lot of the younger employees have a tendency to get blindsided here. Chemonics will routinely throw new and relatively unqualified people into roles that require some level of sophistication and experience with the company, and it is important to remember that even if you are not set up for success your reputation will suffer if you don't end up doing well.

    This company has its problems. If you work here you will hear about and/or discuss them endlessly, but if you know what you want to get out of the experience and are able to take ownership of any tasks you take on, it's as good a launching platform as there is in this industry.

    Advice to Management

    Promoting from within is great but relying on it exclusively seems to be preventing the company from making a lot of the same mistakes.

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