Client Solution Architects

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Client Solution Architects Reviews

Updated May 22, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

4.4 14 reviews

100% Approve of the CEO

Client Solution Architects CEO Brian K. Lebeau, Sr.

Brian K. Lebeau, Sr.

(9 ratings)

93% of employees recommend this company to a friend
14 Employee Reviews
Relevance Date Rating
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    • Culture & Values
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    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
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    • Approves of CEO

     

    Enjoyed my time there.

    Analyst (Former Employee) San Diego, CA

    ProsCSA was very small when I was there. Truly wonderful people to work with and management was fully involved. I learned a lot from the experience that I took to another job in a different industry.

    ConsI keep in touch with a few folks that are still at CSA. There are quite a few that have been there many years now. It seems to be much bigger now and some of the quaintness of the micro firm may be, or have, passed. It sounds as though my friends are actually enjoying the growth though.

    Advice to Senior ManagementStay hands-on. Reach out to the people and continue to get them involved.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

     

    Industry differentiator with serious growth potential

    Senior Consultant (Current Employee) San Diego, CA

    ProsCSA is like a small, hyper Ivy League college. My experience is that the company values workforce development and gives back to its own employees on a level that is truly unique. It makes sense, too - CSA's upward growth trajectory means opportunities for new leaders are rife, and they promote from within. Never before have I worked for a company for so short of a time and yet received the type of investment, both consultative and monetary, in my own professional development. If you have the desire to grow, and the willingness to put in the work on your own behalf, CSA will support you.

    ConsCSA can be a bit cliquey - there are those who've been there from the beginning (5-10 year employees) and there can be a bit of an "in crowd." I've felt that some (definitely not most) will take a newcomer as a threat and circle the wagons. This is the exception, however. There are so many opportunities to get engaged from community volunteering, to social hours, to industry events, that if you want to feel engaged all you have to do is get out there and participate. CSA welcomes and rewards outgoing personalities, so that can be a challenge if you are not naturally extroverted.

    Advice to Senior ManagementVery intelligent senior management with vision; doing a bang-up job.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
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    • Approves of CEO

     

    Awesome Company. Great Career Opportunities.

    Consultant (Current Employee) San Diego, CA

    ProsConstant engagement of leadership team for those that seek career progression and increased impact. Clear management structure and any information one could want about the company, including business plan information, is readily available on the company's internal portal. Annual meetings keep the entire company informed. While still growing and having to deal with those challenges, information and communication has been steadily improving. Diligent in hiring process to ensure great people and works to weed out lesser employees. Benefits are awesome. People are outstanding.

    ConsThe company tries to continually engage the workforce and actively works to find those things that might engage them. It can be difficult to keep up with all the change and opportunities to get involved.

    Advice to Senior ManagementKeep reaching out to the workforce, even though it may become more difficult as we grow. Look further down the organization to create opportunities for some of your most ardent supporters and capable people with the greatest upside. Overall, the management team is awesome and keeps working hard for the everyone in the company.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    • Culture & Values
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    • Senior Management
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    • Approves of CEO

     

    Growing Fast!!!

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsA lot of companies hold the mantra that “it’s all about the people” but this company means it (and backs it up with action).

    How many companies in today’s economy and constantly rising healthcare costs provide 100% healthcare? Not just for the employee but their family as well. CSA brags about this and they should. Few companies put their money where their mouth is. They do.

    If you’re roll up your sleeves and get the job done kind of a person who is willing to put in the hard work it takes to make a place a great place to work you’ll fit in at CSA well. However, if you want promotions and money for just sticking around this isn’t the place for you. Hard work and positive attitude is absolutely rewarded at CSA.

    Just because you think your idea is good doesn’t mean it’s actually good or cost effective. However, all ideas are heard. Just be ready to hear constructive feedback. That doesn’t sit well with everyone but personally I see it as a huge positive.

    CSA gives people the change to prove they have what it takes and helps new leaders lead. Learning to manage people isn’t always easy and not all companies give you the chance to prove you can do it. They’d rather hire a proven leader from the open market. CSA prefers to promote from within, giving people a shot to prove they can do it. And even if you make mistakes they help you through it so you can learn from the experience.

    Don’t take my word... CSA has been named as one of San Diego’s great places to work by the Union Tribune and one of the best places to work in Pennsylvania for 4 years running. It was also recognized as an Inc 5000 fastest growing company for two years running with 3-year growth of 111%. Google it and check for yourself.

    ConsI think all rapidly growing companies have issues they work through. They screw things up, irritate the employees, learn from it, fix it, and do it better the next time.

    Communication to the entire company isn't always as effective as it could be (although I think this has been an issue at every place I've ever worked, big and small). In most cases communication is left up to the Managers on the floor and they don't always do it consistently.

    All organizations have a personality (most people call it culture). CSA has the right steps in place to make sure people they hire are a good fit but they don't stick to it 100% of the time when the pressure is on to make a hire. Hiring someone just to fill a spot is bad news because if they don't fit they're going to be miserable (as a few reviews here indicate). CSA is entrepreneurial and growing. They expect you to be flexible and understand that small growing companies want people to pitch in and help and roll with the changes. If you don't buy into that then you'll hate it.

    The defense industry tends to be very personality driven and focuses more on "perception of value" vice actual value. Being a nice guy/gal that people get along with is sometimes more important than actually doing a good job. Although this isn't really a CSA issue it is an industry issue they face just like all of the others in this space.

    Advice to Senior ManagementKeep working on improving company wide communications. That will be a never ending process improvement effort.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

     

    Not your typical defence contractor

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsI have, and will continue to,highly recommend employment at CSA to my colleagues.

    1. Best fringe benefits package I've seen. Period.
    2. Familial environment (could also be seen as a con by some, but it is a pro to me)
    3. Willing to hire someone with little or no relevant experience and train them.
    4. Reasonably flexible in trying to match your professional growth goals with your assignments. The size of the company somewhat limits this, but management seems to make an honest effort.
    5. Easy access to management, new ideas/complaints will at least be listened to at all levels, even up to executive. That doesn't mean they will all be implemented, but at least you will be given the opportunity to bring them up.
    6. A culture of trust and encouragement. I've witnessed (and personally received) multiple instances where management has built-up and encouraged a consultant that took a risk that "bombed". Letting people learn from their mistakes without the fear of getting fired is a rare thing in the current defense environment.
    7. Great IT support (no, I'm not the IT guy/gal). Getting new computers, most current software, and freedom to download tools that you think will help you do your job (along with quick support if those tools mess up your machine) is a great benefit that I didn't know was important until I joined CSA.

    Cons1. Raise and bonus criteria is not objective at all, high performance reviews have no impact on your compensation. Asking for a raise is seen as disrespectful and ungrateful.
    2. Promotion into management is very difficult unless you are in the "circle of trust".
    3. Many of the "cool" benefits like all expenses paid golf tournaments, annual hotel stays for the family, extravagent Christmas parties and hosted happy hours seem to be gone for good.
    4. Things get more political the higher you get in the company. This may be true of any company, so not sure if that helps anyone reading this.

    Advice to Senior Management1. Beef up the HR department. HR is one of those things that is hard to quantify, but can make or break a large company. HR professionals can also help with the seemingly constant churn of organizational/management structure.
    2. Find some cheaper alternatives to the "cool" CSA activities that have had to be dropped due to cost. There are tons of creative examples out there.
    3. Focus more on investing in your mid-level employees instead of the same senior people over and over again. Build a career path that leads into Management instead of stopping at a senior non-managment level.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Tight Knit, Rapidly Growing Company

    Manager (Current Employee) San Diego, CA

    ProsExcellent Benefits Package -- $0 Premium for top of the line health and dental care. Great 401K, lots of time off (if you can take it).

    Tight-knit, family style teams -- Teams frequently work closely together and often develop sub-cultures and long lasting friendships.

    Lots of opportunity for social interaction -- There is a CSA extra-curricular every week. whether it's volunteer work, triathlons, happy hours or camping trips...something is happening on the team.

    Caring leaders -- Leadership team gets to know everyone and cares about them and their family. It is very common to see this type of relationship all the way up to the CEO and COO.

    Growth potential -- The company is growing and people are growing with it. On my team we promoted 4 four individuals last year. Great people + Growing Company = High Growth Potential.

    ConsCompany has a work hard, play hard mentality -- Everyone is expected to pitch in when needed. Some people only want to work from 9 - 5, and that is fine...they are just missing out on good experiences in the process.

    Sometimes the tight teams get cliquey -- But ultimately everyone is always included in everything. People turn down more invitations than they accept.

    Growing pains -- Sometimes the company experiences growing pains, which is to be expected as a small business climbs the ranks into the mid/large business world. If I have ever had a concern in this area, I've brought it up to my boss and it was handled appropriately.

    Advice to Senior ManagementTrust junior employees the first day they come on board, you might be surprised at what you find. Not all discussions are academic, sometimes common sense is the best compass.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    I'll probably be here for the next twenty years

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsI've been at CSA for years (somewhere between 1 and 10), and to be honest there have been some bumpy areas in the road. However, those "bumps" helped to teach me lessons along the way. Lessons I needed. CSA has a terrific group of employees in leadership roles. They don't always see eye-to-eye, but some great things have occurred during my tenure. CSA employs great people, provides great benefits, and experiences the same growing pains as any other company. I have worked hard at excelling within CSA, and I have.

    ConsGossipers and rumormongers hurt CSA and what we're trying to accomplish. Fighting amongst leaders isn't as well concealed as it should be.

    Advice to Senior ManagementKeep the fights behind closed doors and stop complaining about each other. CSA is growing and we need everyone focused on the road ahead of us.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    A company working hard to be different while making a difference

    Director (Current Employee) San Diego, CA

    ProsUnique culture, especially in the Defense Industry
    Original owners still heavily involved in corporate strategy
    COO that genuinely cares about even the newest, most junior employee
    Growth - upward mobility easy to come by for solid performers

    ConsGrowth - CSA is adapting to growth which is a challenge for any company. If you are frustrated by change then I recommend going to a larger, more established company. If you thrive off of the entreprenurial spirit and enjoy getting involved at a deeper level then CSA is for you.

    Advice to Senior ManagementEmbrace change and make it a mantra. Accept that we don't have it all figured out, but we'll have a hell of a good time while we figure it out.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

    5 people found this helpful  

    It was okay

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsMedical is fully paid for. They include a AAA membership and reimburse a small amount for cell phone usage, more than is actually spent by the employee.

    ConsThey don't keep close track of time used, which is important in a company that contracts to the government. When there's bad news they're not as proactive as they could be on informing the employees.

    Advice to Senior ManagementBe more proactive with sharing bad news with employees, and giving more interim information every couple of months, even if it's to say that there isn't anything new.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
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    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    6 people found this helpful  

    Missing Quality Leaders

    (Current Employee) San Diego, CA

    ProsLocated in San Diego
    Benchmarks strongly in benefits against competitors in industry
    Growing

    ConsRegularly incompetent and self serving middle management, double standards for individuals who were brought on-board when the company was small
    Rewards loyalty over productive value and results
    No clearly articulated values; questionable work ethics of back office employees
    Nepotism is prevalent
    Bitter managers who fight for control over meaningless "territory"

    Advice to Senior ManagementInstitute 360 evals on managers
    Hold each other accountable for mediocrity and quit hiding behind tenure
    Create real values and ethical standards that promote a cohesive culture
    Build-in flex-time for working household families
    Figure out the truth, even if it's not what you want to hear
    Follow ethical standards, it just makes for good business

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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