Creative Associates International

www.creativeassociatesinternational.com
Profile Unclaimed

Creative Associates International Reviews

Updated February 19, 2015
Updated February 19, 2015
13 Reviews
3.0
13 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
(no image)
CEO
0 Ratings

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Overall a positive experience.

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

    I worked at Creative Associates International

    Pros

    Creative Associates International has a very positive working environment and has earned a solid reputation in promoting education and civil society strengthening in the developing world. Charito Kruvant is one of the founders and currently leads Creative. She is truly an amazing and kind woman. It was an honor to work under her.

    Cons

    This is a family business, so one must know that there will be a limit as to how far you can rise up in the ranks. Also, the Education Development and Communities in Transition Division are very separate from each other with their own cultures. While fences do make good neighbors, there should be more efforts to synchronize their efforts.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Try to do do more to encourage collaboration between the Educational Development Division and Communities in Transition Division. Also try to do more to engage with donors outside of the USAID and State Department realm. There is a lot of opportunity for Creative Associates International to grow by engaging with private donors. This will be a learning curve, but will help make CAI an even better company.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  2.  

    A Company That Doesn't Practice What It Preaches

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

    I have been working at Creative Associates International

    Pros

    The junior staff at Creative Associates International is amazing. They really do recruit the best of the best.

    Cons

    This is a family owned company, so moving up seems nearly impossible. They do not care for their junior staff and treat them like petulant children instead of the brilliant backbone of the company that they really are. Charito Kruvant claims to have an open door policy, but I have yet to see anything positive come out of it from those that have utilized it.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    If you are going to hire such great staff, play to their strengths. If they have special interest or skills, explore that. It will help the company flourish. Also, do not keep verbally abusive senior staff around. It encourages discourse and brings down company morale. Your junior staff is your future. Cherish them instead of treating them as if they are disposable. Offer them more opportunities to grow professionally, and for goodness sakes, give them promotions and other incentives so that they know that their hard work actually means something to the company.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
  3.  

    A nice mid-sized international development company seeking changes

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

    I have been working at Creative Associates International full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    * Great experience and expertise in countries like Afghanistan, Nigeria and many other countries in especially MENA region.
    * Friendly company culture. Hardly you find poker faces.
    * Young staff can learn much from interesting projects.

    Cons

    * The compensation is not high, as compared to other government consultants.
    * While most of the programs work with great professionalism and high efficiency, some functioning parts just cannot do satisfying work.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    * Be more innovative and technical/data-driven.
    * Invest more in staff training.
    * Hire more entry to mid-level staff with strong motivation and technical skills.

  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Like other USAID contractors, but inconsistent and family-run

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

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

    Pros

    Lots of opportunities to learn, with very talented professionals around you.

    It's a financially stable organization (for now) so they are willing to spend money on career development and other things that many companies say no to or have limited funding for.

    They are doing great work, as are many USAID contractors, especially in the area of education.

    Cons

    Creative is entirely dependent on USAID. Yes, many other contractors in DC are the same way, I know. But Creative will not do anything outside the purview of AID or away from AID's strategic vision. And it leaves little room for Creative to be innovative and creative, despite their name.

    The whole family works there-in very senior-level positions-and while there are many successful family-run businesses, I do not think this is one of them.

    Senior management stress how strong Creative's values are, but I never saw that in action anywhere. It's essentially all talk, no walk.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hire more entry-level and mid-level employees to manage the workload and avoid the mass exodus of frustrated, overworked junior staff.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Creative is a good company to work for if you want to get started in international development consulting

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

    I have been working at Creative Associates International full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Great co-workers. Good network in Washington.

    Cons

    Growth is slow within the company. 2-year burnout rate.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    As reasonable as any other development contractor.

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

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

    Pros

    - Willing to give lots of responsibility to lower level expat staff in the field
    - Good work/life balance
    - Reasonable benefits for those abroad
    - High quality of highly experienced managers (on some projects)

    Cons

    - Poor management of HR
    - Underpaid lower level staff
    - Dependent on USAID, project objectives tied to fixed funding cycles (but so are all dev contractors)
    - Intended development objectives often difficult to meet

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Understand that ticking the following boxes: Time in conflict zone, MA in IR degree, Grant Management skills does not necessarily make a good employee. Go deeper in your hiring and find people that have a demonstrated passion about development and the people who live in the countries where you work.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Eccentric Organization

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

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

    Pros

    Not a mean spirited organization and if one does not burn bridges there, they are usually willing to take you back. Family oriented and is in a nice area in uptown Washington, D.C.

    Cons

    Very top heavy organization, not enough mid-level people to do the grunt work. In addition, it is a family owned organization which makes it very dysfunctional. Although, the organization is somewhat diverse, it is mainly a Latin culture which makes it a very emotional organization. The whole family works there which makes working there very tricky since the only option that employers have is to leave if they have a problem with any members of the family.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Start hiring Mid-Level and Junior employees to do the work.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Good intentions, horrible management

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

    I worked at Creative Associates International full-time

    Pros

    Interesting projects and company events; President/CEO gives out cash prizes during staff meetings for answering trivia questions correctly.

    Cons

    HR and executives at the whim of a few insecure project directors, who can get away with yelling, racism, sexism, and general harassment without any repercussion. Multiple complaints filed against specific staff members are ignored and/or HR has no power to do anything about it. Family-run business so if you are "in" with the family, you can get away with being incompetent and just being nasty to your staff.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    High turnover means that there is a management issue that is not being dealt with.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
  10.  

    Illustrator Designer

    Former Contractor - Graphic Artist in Washington, DC
    Former Contractor - Graphic Artist in Washington, DC

    I worked at Creative Associates International as a contractor (less than a year)

    Pros

    Artistic, first time experience with published work

    Cons

    off Site, wish i could network more

  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    No work life balance and low annual increases with glass ceilings so very difficult to receive promotions.

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

    I have been working at Creative Associates International full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Work in international development helps others around the world.

    Cons

    Management is disorganized (HR specifically), no work - life balance, employee turn over rate is very high (over worked and under paid).

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

Work at Creative Associates International? Share Your Experiences

Creative Associates International

 
Click to Rate
or

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