Chemonics International Reviews

Updated June 27, 2015
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104 Employee Reviews

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  1. Project Manager

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

    I worked at Chemonics International full-time

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Lots of opportunities if you are willing to put in the time and balance what is important for you. Great people to work with, mission driven, requires a lot of energy.

    Cons

    It is what you put into it and what you let yourself get caught up in. It can be competitive, but it can also be very nurturing if want it to be.


  2. Helpful (1)

    Strong training base for USAID project management

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

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

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Chemonics offers a strong training program for USAID project management, regulations, proposals. There is a fairly young workforce which translates to many social events, new people to meet, and a pretty dynamic atmosphere. There are travel opportunities at all levels, which is not true for many of the same companies in D.C.

    Cons

    Compensation and salary increases are hard to get and arbitrary. Competitive environment and frustrating when opportunities are not equitably given based on technical or regional expertise, but rather, tenure and favoritism. There is a lot of talk about work/ilfe balance but it does not really exist.


  3. Helpful (4)

    Surprised that they still win contracts from USAID

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

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    If you are a director or senior manager, you can make a lot money off USAID 's ignorance.

    Cons

    The most unethical company in DC. Lives by cheating its main client, USAID. If you google Chemonics + Finance/audit you see SIGAR audits and articles in the Atlantic showing how Chemonics take USAID's money while providing really poor services. Senior management makes sure that they are held blameless by making Associates and Managers do all the dirty work. If you are an Associate, your Director will never tell you to falsify your timesheet, they will simply mention that the project need to "spend money" and if you are ethical you will not get promoted.

    Advice to Management

    At some point the game will be up. The company can't keep getting away with cheating USAID without them catching on. This is probably why senior management is paying undisclosed bonus to itself in order to get as much money as it can before the company goes bankrupt.


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  5. Helpful (1)

    Grow professionally while doing good in the world

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

    I have been working at Chemonics International full-time (More than 10 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Chemonics offers the chance to do mission-driven work in a business environment. Opportunities for professional growth, training, and travel are outstanding. The organization is large enough to offer many different paths according to your interests, and really encourages people to push themselves and try new things. Leadership really cares about international development and takes integrity and doing things the right way seriously. A few years ago, the company became 100% owned by the ESOP, so all company profits are distributed to employee retirement accounts. Vacation time is fairly generous, and the health insurance plan is quite good and very inexpensive. Everyone works really hard, but you go home knowing you helped make the world a little bit better.

    Cons

    There's no getting around it, people work really hard which seems to be epidemic in DC. A great deal of the work in headquarters is about complying with US government regulations, so it is highly administrative especially in your first few years. In order to advance to senior level positions you need to be willing to move overseas to developing countries for several years which is a tremendous experience but can be a sacrifice for family and personal life.

    Advice to Management

    The company's culture and values are what makes it special, don't lose that. Remember that it takes everyone throughout the organization, in DC and abroad, regions and support units to keep the company successful and making a difference.


  6. Helpful (2)

    Live to work.

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Chemonics International

    Pros

    People are friendly to work with, Learning experience.

    Cons

    Poor Upper Management, No room for growth, Salary under paid


  7. Helpful (1)

    great opportunities

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

    I worked at Chemonics International full-time (More than 5 years)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    The work is fulfilling and meaninful. There are many opportunities for even the most junior staff to get involved in exciting and challenging assignments.

    Cons

    Work life balance is an issue at Chemonics. People work long hours and almost try to compete with one another who stayed in the office longer the previous night. Also, they expect everyone to do everything (project management, new business, technical work, budgets etc) - that's the Chemonics professional model. However, sometimes people find a niche and would prefer to stick to an area they excel in. Unfortunately that's very difficult at Chemonics.


  8. Helpful (1)

    Love the energy and learning environment, but burnout happens fast.

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

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

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    I agree with many other reviewers:
    Excellent training, professional development opportunities, and opportunities for travel and overseas assignments. Working with so many smart, talented, and interesting people made it a wonderful place to learn from colleagues and mentors. Outstanding systems and procedures, allowing for really efficient and high quality outputs.

    Cons

    Long hours and high stress for low pay and benefits, compared to competitors. Very cliquey (in some divisions more than others), type-A, competitive environment.

    Advice to Management

    Chemonics has the best training in the industry, hands down, which is what makes it so great. If you are willing to invest so much in developing and training employees - why not invest in keeping them around? It makes no sense. Better benefits (401k match, annual raises, etc.) and more competitive salaries will go a long way in improving employee retention and morale.


  9. Manager

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

    I worked at Chemonics International full-time (More than 5 years)

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great place to start a career in international development. The company offers a lot of training and has good systems in place for effective project management.

    Cons

    They need to refine their new business strategy to be a bit more selective.

    Advice to Management

    Try to retain your talented employees.


  10. Helpful (2)

    Mission driven organization, poor work/life balance.

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

    I worked at Chemonics International

    Approves of CEO
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Mission driven organization full of smart people, interesting projects to work on.

    Cons

    There's an expectation that staff will come in early and stay late, every day, and that you will take on significant extra responsibility without additional compensation. Poor work/life balance as a result.

    Advice to Management

    Take some time to learn the skills and interests of the people under you and make sure that you're fostering their potential, not just extracting their usable skills.


  11. great place to start your career in international development

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

    I have been working at Chemonics International full-time (More than 5 years)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Lots of opportunities in project management, proposal development short- and long-term field assignments for people at all levels. If you demonstrate an understanding of the fundamentals of project management and new business, you will have endless opportunities to take on challenging work. Smart, interesting colleagues with good intentions.

    Cons

    Workload can be overwhelming at times. The fact that Chemonics tries to do everything and be everywhere can be frustrating if you want to specialize in a specific technical area (since you will often be pulled in various directions). Senior management is mostly home-grown, they could use an injection of fresh perspective from someone who hasn't been with the company for as long and has worked at other organizations to see how they do business.

    My biggest frustration is that we don't have a deep bench of technical experts. We have a few who are absolutely stellar (and some in the field, which is great) but it would be good if we could retain more in the home office.

    Advice to Management

    Please hire and retain more technical experts, esp. in global health, food security, and agriculture.



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