Chemonics International Reviews

Updated August 21, 2014
Updated August 21, 2014
91 Reviews

3.5
91 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
(no image)
Susanna Mudge
28 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Excellent training, professional development opportunities, and opportunities for travel and overseas assignments (in 11 reviews)

  • Lots of opportunities if you are willing to put in the time and balance what is important for you (in 9 reviews)


Cons
  • Work life balance is an issue at Chemonics (in 17 reviews)

  • Long hours, low compensation compared to private sector contracting/consulting, D (in 12 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. 2 people found this helpful  

    Fair, you need to stand up for yourself there are a lot of people who will throw you under the bus for their own agenda

    • 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 for more than a year

    Pros

    If you want to be in development it is a good stepping stone

    Cons

    Lots of opportunity you just need to create your own path and find the people who you can trust

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to all sides of the story from all employees and make decisions based on the entire truth. Do not make knee jerking assumptions

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

    Hopefully Chemonics can get back to what it once was.

    • 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 for more than 5 years

    Pros

    -Staff are generally young, creative, motivated, excited to dive in to development work
    -Collaborative environment
    -opportunity to travel and see the world.
    -Relationships with field staff are ones that I will not forget

    Cons

    Worked for Chemonics well over 5 years and what it was when I started is nothing like it is today...which is sad. I loved what is stood for, the impact it made and the work it did. Now its all about paying off the ESOP loan and standardizing everything to a point people cant think for themselves and can't come up with amazing proposals to save their life because its not on a work instruction.

    Environment is so negative and people are annoyed with the executive team (especially SVPs) and it shows in their work and day to day interactions. People only focus on the negative and not acknowledge success or hard work.

    People will throw you under the bus in a second to make themselves look good to their SVP because SVPs only care about those who make THEM look good, not the actual work or success of their region.

    Some SVPs actively pick favorites and are rude to their employees. It is surprising that they don't want to create a collaborative work environment since Chemonics is designed that way.Feels very high school.

    New crop of those employed are older and more qualified than the Entry Level program is designed for. They come in underpaid to start and get annoyed very quickly that people don't appreciate their talents right off the bat. They are inpatient to learn the Chemonics process and project management. This becomes frustrating for managers. This is a mix of a the attitude of 20 somethings in DC lately and Chemonics hiring over qualified people in entry level positions. In one instance my director was younger than me and my associate was my age but more of an education than myself or boss.

    Chemonics downsized through attrition, but everyone refers to it as forced attrition. All of the senior talent in the manager and director levels left the company and were replaced with the less qualified people but the executive office was happy because they are cheaper and have less personal demands.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    If you want to have cost savings in your company, start with your SVPs. Just because they have been there for 10 to 15 years doesn't mean they can lead a region.

    Listen to your staff. The frustration is real and the working environment is unhealthy

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Opportunities for motivated people

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

    I have been working at Chemonics International full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Great people and hard working colleagues.

    Cons

    Competitive environment. Sometimes can seem cliquish and favoritism is prominent.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  4. We want your feedback – Are these company reviews helpful to you?  Yes | No
  5.  

    Great place to cut your teeth in international development contracting.

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

    I worked at Chemonics International

    Pros

    Incredible professional development opportunities, extensive training, frequent international travel once established in company, ongoing investments in management systems.

    Cons

    Long hours, low compensation compared to private sector contracting/consulting, D.C. based work can be heavily administrative, management believes in ongoing change and innovation which is great but can be burdensome/challenging to implement.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Great experience, with great opportunities for young professionals.

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

    I have been working at Chemonics International

    Pros

    Amazing, smart people. The environment is definitely a work hard/play hard environment. A great place to get professional development experience.

    Cons

    Low salaries, and a fast turnover.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Need to make more long term, strategic and realistic decisions.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Good prospect for international development interests

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

    I worked at Chemonics International full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Wide reach and great systems

    Cons

    Insular and focussed too much on USAID

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Broaden your client base and put more value in innovation

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Chemomics is a great place to start a career in development... and then return after leaving...

    • 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 for more than 3 years

    Pros

    A ton of opportunities (new business travel, project management experience), good training programs and room to move between regions and projects. Great people and interesting work.

    Cons

    Eventually the lower level work becomes too basic. You can feel discounted from actual development and instead feel like an accountant or a editor. But there are always field opportunities.
    Difficult once you've been there a few years and made manager to move to director.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Find a way to keep talented managers. Better pay for associates means better quality of project management.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 3 people found this helpful  

    Very long hours, little pay, and company senior leadership unwilling to change approaches

    • 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 full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    You can learn great project management skills and there are lots of opportunities to travel. Associates and managers are pretty young and fun to hang out with, people generally are very hard-working and smart.

    Cons

    Even employees with a master's and several years of work experience need to start at the bottom of the totem pole unless they have direct experience in international development. I had come to Chemonics with a master's and seven years of work experience (including experience related to program management and coordination), but because it wasn't at an international development firm, I had to start as an entry-level associate at a starting salary of $40,000. I took the job, though, because I really wanted to work in international development and had been job-searching for about 8 months at this point. I rarely to never worked less than 9 hours per day, but many times as much as 12 hours, and sometimes up to 15 hours a day when working on a live proposal or when a project was in crisis mode. I think one of the most frustrating things is the way senior leadership decides to invest its employees' time with a "bid on everything" approach while not taking into account the company's actual chances of winning. This approach requires employees to pour an extremely large amount of time into something that is not likely to materialize. It burns people out. Also, the company went through a complete restructuring in late 2011, which ended up hurting the company. If the executive leadership had only consulted with associates, managers, and even directors about this poor choice, the company could be doing better. It seemed very hypocritical that an international development firm espousing the idea of bottom-up development failed to involve its members in such a big decision.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Value employees' opinions more instead of brushing them under the rug.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Rules and regs, not development

    • 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 Chemonics International full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Good place for an ambitious, go-getter, generalist to start their career in USAID contract management. Lots of opportunities for learning-on-your feet and taking on new tasks.

    Cons

    Bad place to hone specific skills, advance technical knowledge, or apply gain quality experience of what its like to carry out good development in the field. If you don't fit in to a certain personality type to succeed, you'll most likely get chewed up and spit out in a couple years.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Invest in building technical expertise and research at all levels of the company.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 2 people found this helpful  

    Provides good project management experience, but extremely heavy on the administrative tasks

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

    I have been working at Chemonics International full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    The staff is friendly, outgoing, dedicated and helpful. Professionalism is held to a high standard and there is an excellent set of process maps in place to help guide daily tasks. This is a good place to learn the ins and outs of project management. There is the ability to move around the company (though more laterally than vertically) and change positions. The physical office is designed well with large work spaces. There can be exciting and unique opportunities to work abroad in development.

    Cons

    Daily project management tasks are highly administrative for both associates and managers alike with little or no opportunity for technical work. With budget cuts and the current USAID funding, there are fewer opportunities for associates and managers to be sent to the field on assignment. The job can be highly demanding and stressful, especially when adding new business proposal work to an already full schedule. The primary focus is on profits and backlog, and little time is spent on monitoring and evaluation and focusing on technical excellence. With the company continuing to downsize and yearly salary increases frozen, the general work atmosphere isn't too optimistic.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Bring more technical focus back to the company so Chemonics can retain technical experts rather than constantly relying on consultants. Be more selective with proposal applications rather than applying to 95% of RFPs so the company can be even more strategic about managing resources.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

Worked for Chemonics International? Contribute to the Community!

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.