Conservation International

  www.conservation.org
  www.conservation.org

Conservation International Reviews

Updated September 30, 2014
Updated September 30, 2014
27 Reviews
3.6
27 Reviews
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Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Conservation International Chairman and CEO Peter A. Seligmann
Peter A. Seligmann
20 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great Company

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

    I worked at Conservation International full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    They definitely live what they believe. I was provided with plenty of training opportunities.

    Cons

    Sometimes people can be a bit judgmental if you don't exactly share all of their beliefs (i.e. vegans)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 2 people found this helpful  

    Great experience

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

    I have been working at Conservation International

    Pros

    Flexible work schedules are a major plus for those with busy schedules or a long commute. This makes Conservation International an attractive employer if your are looking to have a life outside of work.

    Cons

    Making a difference is a marathon not a sprint. Many people go into non-profits to get that much-desired balance of bringing home a nice paycheck, getting great benefits, and having the chance to make a difference. Choosing this path can be tough if you are the kind of person who needs to see immediate results in order to be fulfilled.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  3. 2 people found this helpful  

    Great Place to Work

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

    I have been working at Conservation International as an intern

    Pros

    Medium sized office easy to know and get along with everyone. The culture of the company is very motivating. You won't regret working here.

    Cons

    Some days you can find yourself running into that awkward situation where it is 2 o'clock and you don't have anything left to do.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I felt that management is great the way it is. No need to fix it if it's not broken. Good job!!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 2 people found this helpful  

    Absentee narcissistic CEO

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

    I have been working at Conservation International full-time

    Pros

    Great Mission. Great field staff

    Cons

    Maybe people who want to save the world aren't very nice.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Show up at headquarters

    Doesn't Recommend
  6. 2 people found this helpful  

    There's a lot going for CI, but leadership makes it tough to work there

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

    I worked at Conservation International full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    - Some incredible, smart, passionate people
    - Outstanding benefits (even among CI's peers, most of which offer good benefits)
    - Flexible scheduling
    - Good work is rewarded via promotions, raises, etc.
    - Family-friendly

    Cons

    - CI is run by the same man who founded it 27 years ago, and it still has that startup feel. Problem is, while that works when you're a new organization going toe-to-toe with The Nature Conservancy, it doesn't work when you have nearly 1,000 employees around the world. It leads to things like: changing direction more often than a drunk stumbling through a back alley; leadership giving strict oversight to parts of the organization that are far beyond their professional expertise; a "yes" culture where, if leadership asks you to jump off a bridge without a parachute, you do it eagerly and with a smile on your face; recruits coming in to "fix" problems and finding that they cannot make any headway; and all the problems with staff morale that you'd think would follow.

    To leadership's credit, they realize that many staff are unhappy, and there are internal processes in place to fix some of these problems. In fact, there were superficial but beneficial changes in the past few years. But in the end, CI is stuck: Peter Seligmann is the face of CI. CI exists because of him, and CI can raise millions of dollars because of him. So it's a real Catch-22. I'm pessimistic about this situation ever changing unless there is a real reckoning (which seems unlikely).

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Read the Wiki for founder's syndrome, and realize that every one of the symptoms listed here is present within your organization. Really reflect on that, and fix it.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7.  

    Great Place & Great Colleagues - NGO norms

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

    I worked at Conservation International full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    CI has great, smart people who are passionate about conservation and make a difference for the earth and people living on it.

    Cons

    CI, like most NGO's was on a continually changing road. Change is necessary and normal; this felt excessive.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    A higher degree of development of employees technical skills would be helpful

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Look for another place to work or if you get an offer there and take it... do not stop your job search!

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

    I worked at Conservation International full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Interesting global projects, some cool trips to field projects, huge organization so you "could" meet a lot of people (however CI is not a friendly environment). They have conferences at lunch time "brown-bags" where you could learn about different topics. CI looks good on your resume for future job search. Money? some salaries at the middle level are good, higher level are great. Nice green offices, casual dress code everyday, flexible hours, easy commute, very few happy-hours (those are so boring, so this is definitively a pro), some other perks like showers if you bike to work, etc.

    Cons

    Frequent massive reorganizations accompanied by lack of transparency, clarity and communication, excessive pressure to adapt and re-adapt under lack of vision and stability... you have to play nice, don't show that you are questioning company's (Peter & friends) decisions. Excessive layoffs based on "market conditions"- high level prostitution for green washing. A lot of turnover... also because brilliant people quit, i.e. look at how many jobs are posted considering the company is not growing. It is not growing! there is a lot of struggle to: get funding, keep good employees, redefining strengths/priorities and approaches, huge struggle to resolve executives rivalries, keep corporate image, manage field offices, etc. In the chaos of layoffs and quitting, many got promoted to higher management positions and 90% of current leadership team lacks basic management (and human) qualities. So much money goes to few pockets... go to the website and count the amount of Vice Presidents for the same departments or similar areas. It's a shark place!! others steal your ideas, so they can present them to the CEO and his inner circle... if you have something good be careful, copyright it, no kidding! I saw many ideas, documents stolen and the original author's name never got to Peter's ears. Why is this important? because same colleges compete/fight for protects/funding/professional recognition. CI is not a place to collaborate, but to survive. How to survive: act very polite, artificially smile- zombie like, never say hi (no body cares), go to all meetings and show how much you are working, reply emails at odd hours so they see you are a slave, praise your immediate boss... everybody is having a hard time there and morale is low, so even though your immediate boss could act like a dumb, he/she is also being bullied from high up. Sadly, CI used to be a great BINGO (Big Int. NGO), but it is very well-know among the rest of NGOs in D.C. that CI is not a good place to work anymore.
    So why the CEO, Peter S. has such a good rating? because he is a great businessman, knows how to play the game inside and out, very charismatic, and a fantastic public speaker.... there is a lot of brainwashing at the all-staff meetings and Peter is the orchestra director "CI is the best, we are the global leaders, we are the cream of the crop, etc"... "subtle" messages from him and the executives, and if you don't have a high power job or are new at the job, you may just see that side, believe it, and well, ignorance is a bliss. If you are high on the ladder, you know, Peter choose people that follow him and he can manipulate into what he wants/thinks, you become a marionette, you really have to follow the doctrine, but if you can't do that... well, you will become miserable working there, many are very aware of that and believe me everybody is looking for a better job while they are there.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You know what to do. I could write a book in this section, but higher management is probably not aware of this website... some even don't know how to solve basic computer/email problems, so I am not expecting them to keep up with technology and websites like this. I am writing, hopefully, to help some of the new people that are exploring a job at CI.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9.  

    Fast pace environment.

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

    I have been working at Conservation International full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Changing the world for the future.

    Cons

    None at this time, it's a constantly evolving environment.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    None.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Most staff are highly motivated, intelligent, committed to the environment and human wellbeing globally.

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

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

    Pros

    Interesting and challenging projects, exciting travel, generally collaborative environment

    Cons

    Changeable and crisis-oriented management style, some lack of transparency and consultation in decision-making

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11.  

    Great work, pretty standard working environment

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

    I worked at Conservation International full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Fantastic mission and interesting work

    Cons

    Really lacked sense of community

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Try to improve interaction between departments

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

Conservation International Photos

Conservation International Guyana sign, Guyana, vertical, (Photo thanks to Flickr user Der Berzerker All rights reserved.)
Conservation International - La Paz office (Photo thanks to Flickr user Sam Beebe, available under by v2.0)

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