Development Alternatives Reviews

Updated March 19, 2015
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3.8
43 Reviews
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James Boomgard
18 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1. Great company to work for

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

    I worked at Development Alternatives full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    The culture at the company is great, and the work is interesting. Good career advancement opportunities and the ability to move laterally within the firm for a change of pace too. The people at the company are very friendly--lots of RPCVs and committed people--and, if you want to, you will have many opportunities to travel. Also, the company has been performing fairly well from a business development pipeline and current work opportunities perspective.

    Cons

    Work-life balance can get tested depending on the manager and project you have (but you will learn a great deal and have opportunities if you work hard). Also, the firm will try to squeeze employees on pay initially at junior and middle levels (if you're a good performer you get rewarded, but still at a lower level).

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Sharing your views for the future trajectory of the company more clearly (not vaguely) and communicating change better.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. Nearly two years with DAI. Nice to be somewhere that truly makes a difference!

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

    I have been working at Development Alternatives

    Pros

    CEO is smart, engaged, came up "through the ranks," has a sophisticated understanding of running a business; senior leaders care a lot and also bring strong functional expertise; people are passionate about their work; compensation is average for most employees, low for entry level professionals; benefits are solid.

    Cons

    So many processes and policies dictate every aspect of the work, and yet there is still a ton of ambiguity about how to get things done in the office; office employee count is pretty "lean," which means it's difficult to advance past the work that absolutely must get done into the things that will take the company to the next level and make it stronger.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3. Been here 10 years never yet found a reason to look elsewhere

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

    I have been working at Development Alternatives full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Ethically uncompromising. Forward thinking. Technically outstanding and committed to getting the work right in the field. Great people, enjoyable workplace. Flexible managers. Opportunities for professional growth.

    Cons

    Industry in transition -- has put pressure on resources. Health benefits good but employee costs up a lot in recent years.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
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  5. Good company to consider if you are interested in the field

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

    I worked at Development Alternatives full-time

    Pros

    Very good people that worked there, they were passionate about international development and had a lot of ideas.
    Was able to work from home if I needed, although that was due to my manager's flexibility not company wide policy.

    Cons

    Too little pay for lower level employees. For the responsibilities and work that lower level associates did, they were not compensated fairly. Benefits were average but days off were difficult because holiday and vacation days were all in one pool.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pay your lower level staff more, they are the ones that are keeping your company running.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. Good

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Development Alternatives

    Pros

    Good company with many opportunities

    Cons

    Tough environment for some people

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Good

  7. Specialist

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

    I have been working at Development Alternatives

    Pros

    People are best part of company

    Cons

    salaries can be a little low

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    find a way to keep the mission as part of the over message

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. A great company to start off

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Auditing Support in Bethesda, MD
    Former Employee - Auditing Support in Bethesda, MD

    I worked at Development Alternatives

    Pros

    It has standard enterprise principles and culture, people are really nice and the environment is friendly.

    Cons

    It is too big to socialize with coworkers.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. Great Place to Learn and Grow

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

    I worked at Development Alternatives full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Fast-paced atmosphere, fueled by an engaged and talented workforce. It's exciting to work at DAI--the company seems to always be at the forefront of the industry, and is open to new approaches in development. If you are a high producer, managers are supportive and help you identify roles that will expand your career. Many supervisors support flexible work arrangements if it suits your position and your team.

    Cons

    Home office-based jobs can be high pressure, requiring long hours. Technical leaders are really committed to their fields and sometimes devalue the contributions of finance and operations staff. Support of technical delivery in the field is inconsistent--sometimes overseas staff receive great support on deliverables, etc., and sometimes not.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 2 people found this helpful

    Heavy workload in a friendly, but driven work environment

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

    I worked at Development Alternatives full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    1 - Many opportunities for personal and professional growth at this company.
    2 - The office culture is very friendly, with many smart and driven co-workers who are dedicated to the company mission and cause.
    3 - There are opportunities to move around in the company, including to overseas project assignments.
    4 - Reputable firm in the international development industry with strong technical expertise.

    Cons

    1 - Has a "decision by consensus" culture, which although collaborative, leaves a large gap in accountability.
    2 - Salaries for entry-level and mid-level positions are low, although typical for the international development industry.
    3 - Internal support departments (i.e. IT, HR, Procurement, Contracts) are not effectively managed and operate inefficiently.
    4 - Depending on the department you are in, work-life balance can be challenging as the workload is quite heavy and there is pressure to keep staffing levels low.

    Recommends
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. Interesting

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

    I worked at Development Alternatives

    Pros

    Great work environment. One meet people from all those different backgrounds and cultures.
    If you have an interest in international development, this is the place for you. Annual performance review helps determine whether you have met your goals and objectives for the year.
    Great career opportunities available.

    Cons

    Although there's potential for career progression; however, be prepared for the possible unexpected workforce reduction.

    No opinion of CEO

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