District Management Council Reviews

Updated June 29, 2015
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2.5
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John J-H Kim
19 Ratings

25 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (1)

    Challenging and very rewarding place to work

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

    I have been working at District Management Council

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

    Pros

    As a member of the consulting team, I’ve found DMC to be a challenging and very rewarding place to work. The work is a combination of strategic and analytical thinking alongside deep mission-orientation, which is a hard combination to find. On most days, I get the intellectual excitement of solving complex problems and the deeper thrill of driving real change in education.

    Everybody at DMC is incredibly committed to our mission. As a firm, we work primarily for public school districts, with some additional work for state education departments and foundations. Recently, it’s been exciting to see the firm re-examining our services and measuring our impact to make sure we’re having the impact intended.

    I’ve also enjoyed how high DMC’s expectations for employees are. The result is that all employees are constantly pushed and supported to grow. Another result of this culture (as well as a result of DMC’s relatively small size) is that there is big opportunity to take on additional responsibility and connect with very senior leaders.

    Cons

    The flip side of DMC’s high expectations culture is that work can be demanding. Generally, this is a tradeoff I like to accept, because it gives me the ability to grow more quickly and because it pushes the work forward.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to challenge employees while providing support and opportunities for upward feedback. Continue to prioritize service to our district clients.


  2. Helpful (1)

    consulting team is not a fun place to work

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

    I have been working at District Management Council full-time

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

    Pros

    As many have said, if you want to be out in districts and

    Cons

    I just don't think we're being honest with ourselves about whether we're really benefitting these districts in a tangible way. We were in several districts for 3+ years (I've been told) and they haven't improved appreciably. I wish we could be more honest, and have a conversation about whether we're making a difference, but I don't think the leadership has the maturity to do this. Moreover, I'm working an insane amount, and don't think this is a sustainable place.

    Advice to Management

    track the results you're having - and figure out what works and doesn't


  3. Helpful (1)

    I work on the consulting team

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

    I have been working at District Management Council full-time

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

    Pros

    I have been at DMC for several years and I find the work to be exciting and helpful to school district. I like the focus on improving outcomes for students and fell like I am part of doing something important for public school. I also like the opportunities I have to learn the consulting skills from some very skillful upper management. If you work at DMC, you work hard, get recognition for your successes. The atmosphere in the office is serious but there is lots of room for fun with colleagues and the company encourages social interaction.

    Cons

    None that I can think of at this time!

    Advice to Management

    Continue to find ways to give staff challenging assignments and the support to succeed and celebrate successes. Also, provide continued opportunities for fun! More guacamole competitions please!


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  5. Helpful (2)

    DMC provides a number of opportunities

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

    I worked at District Management Council

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

    Pros

    Opportunity to make a difference
    DMC provided me with a great opportunity to make a difference in education. At the heart of the firm’s mission is the goal of helping districts and district leaders improve student achievement, operational efficiency, and resource allocation. This belief system is part of the fabric of the firm that everyone feels daily when they are spending time with district leaders or in the office. To be part of this cause and see the impact that the firm has had and will continue to have in helping students across the U.S. is inspiring.

    Opportunity to connect with education leaders
    DMC is in the middle of our national conversation about education. This has provided me with a number of opportunities to meet well known superintendents, policy makers, think tank leaders, foundation leaders, etc. that are all contributing in some way to improve U.S education.

    Opportunity for career growth
    DMC is a small growing firm. Every team member is provided a clear path for how their career could grow. I’ve personally been able to take advantage of numerous opportunities to see my role and responsibilities grow through promotion and other reasons. Also, there have been a number of people at the firm throughout the years who have had opportunities to grow horizontally from team to team based on a combination of business need and personal interest. It’s been great to be part of a firm that is open and creative in thinking about how people can grow in their careers.

    Chance to work with some great people
    It was a privilege to work with so many talented people at DMC that are passionate about education. And in addition to this, everyone always made the work fun and enjoyable along the way.

    Flexibility to provide an entry point or growth opportunity in the education sector
    I personally fall into the camp of team members that had an interest in education, a consulting background but thin education experience. DMC provided me with a great opportunity to enter into the education sector in a way that used my skills wisely so I was able to contribute quickly as I built my personal knowledge and credibility in the education sector. Other colleagues had a deep education background and were looking to grow their career in a new way. DMC provides a place for multiple people to grow.

    Generous rewards
    A number of other posts have mentioned the solid salaries at DMC - which is true. To add to that, DMC also provides generous health and welfare benefits that is more similar to a large, established organization than a small organization. This has been a plus for me

    Cons

    Not too much to add here.


  6. Helpful (1)

    Consultant

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

    I have been working at District Management Council full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    Smart people, fair pay for the education industry, good office location

    Cons

    There is no denying this firm has systemic cultural issues that are born, grown and reenforced by the President and CEO. Write all the academic responses you wish. The truth of the matter is that they are just words. The actions of the firms "actual" management contradict their words, and conflict with the desired creation of a culture that they aspire to. This is an issue that has been going on for years. They ask people to write positive reviews on glassdoor to try to minimize the impact of the negative truths.

    This is not a positive work environment that deserves the efforts and commitment of top recruits. From top Ivy league graduates to senior experienced hires the firm recruits on promises (words) that are not grounded in the realities of existing and historical conditions. All the data supports the fact that the culture has not been able to retain these people. Data does not lie. Attrition is rampant at all levels and has been consistent for 3 years. This is not a phase but systemic.

    This is not a place of honesty and unfortunately glassdoor seems to be the the place to freely speak. Management (would be wrong to refer to them as leadership) has a proven track record of not knowing how to build, develop and sustain a culture that is worthy of top talent. Again the data tells is all. From the inside I can honestly say a majority of us are seeking new opportunities.

    Advice to Management

    You have received all the advice from staff, coaches, surveys and glassdoor clearly presenting the issues and possible solutions. Until you start being honest with yourselves and staff this firm will continue to be a revolving door. You can no longer describe this as a "phase"or blame top talent who leave as "not being able to hack it" It is time to own up to the fact that management is not equipped to lead and create the needed change.


  7. Helpful (7)

    gone but not forgotten

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

    I worked at District Management Council full-time (More than a year)

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

    Pros

    you will work with amazing people. they are smart, driven, and passionately committed to doing good . . .

    Cons

    . . . but those people will be squashed or battered, and they'll leave, because why on earth would a talented person stay? and then you're there, with then next crop. i am not sure why they keep coming, but they do. do you try to 'be the change' - no, don't risk it. it's better to sit back, don't speak up or be noticed, and slip out quietly when a year (a minimally respectable timeframe) has passed.

    Advice to Management

    scan your HR records. how many employees have you had in the last 10 years? what is the churn? it's gotta be off the charts


  8. Helpful (7)

    Not a good place to work

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

    I worked at District Management Council full-time (More than a year)

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

    Pros

    Downtown Boston is a handy location.

    Cons

    I have worked in a lot of different places and so I have the experience to say that this is not a healthy workplace.
    I don't need to re-iterate all the bad points that recent reviews have raised. They all seem accurate to me.
    The occassional 'glowing' review look very suspicious to myself and others.
    The most recent glowing review was really pathetic and to respnd in part:
    This is the least professional place I've ever worked at. I genuinely worry about folks, especially new grads of which there are always a lot, thinking that this is a normal healthy workplace and taking that experience a(and learned attitude) to other workplaces. If you are type A and rude you might think its fine but if you are not this can feel uncomfortable for you.
    Being unhappy here is NOT about the ability or inability to meet high standards or work hard. That's particularly offensive. Many people have come and gone that worked really really high with incredibly high standards. Those are not the reason they left. They don't resent constructive criticism but they prefer a model that supports growth for a diverse group of people.
    The perks (kitchen, lunches, etc.) are no better than most other small firms I know today.
    At the end of the day the professionals working here are NOT seeking to "compromise when it comes to client deliverables and outcomes for the districts we serve.". That is just offensive to them to even suggest it.


  9. A continually rewarding experience-one of the best professional opportunities.

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

    I have been working at District Management Council full-time (More than 3 years)

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

    Pros

    This has been the best professional experience I have had. I have learned so much and have grown tremendously since I started here, not just from the guidance my managers provide, but also from learning from my peers and colleagues. DMC has changed quite a bit in the past few years, management has taken a real hard look at the firm’s internal practices and perceptions and is actively working on trying to better understand and help change those perceptions.

    Personally, I feel that my work is valued here and I feel that I have gained an incredible amount of responsibility and autonomy in the work that I do. I do not feel afraid to speak up, and I often do speak up in meetings or high-stakes settings. I feel supported by my managers and by the Managing Directors in the firm, even if my suggestion or my idea is not used. I've never felt "abused", "mistreated", or "disrespected" here.

    The CEO and Managing Directors have very high standards and expect a lot out of those who work closely with them, and I like that challenge. Are people expected to work hard here and put in their all? Yes.

    Since it is still a small firm, everything we do or don’t do impacts us in some way or another, so it’s unfortunate that small things here seem to affect people so deeply. I know others that have not had the best experience here and while I can’t speak to their experiences, this is a two way street. If you want transparency, feedback, and challenges that make you grow professionally, you have to have a tough skin and take the praise along with the criticism, it can't always be praise. Think of the millions of students your work is going to impact, and know that the feedback you get, whether positive or negative, is for your own good and development.

    I truly enjoy working with everyone at DMC. People are friendly, helpful and passionate about the work we do. We have leaders at DMC that are accomplished and respected and they take a personal interest in positively influencing the culture and mentoring some of the teams they lead. Leaders and management dedicate a lot of energy toward our work with our clients, and also toward the development of teams that support this work. The perks here are unreal- a fully stocked kitchen, catered lunch every Friday, and there have been some renovations to the office over the past few months to make it a welcoming and comfortable place to work every day. We also have great benefits and a commuter reimbursement plan that I haven’t had at my other jobs.

    Yes, there is concern about the bottom line and profit, but that is what allows us to expand our business, hire and attract great candidates, and compensate our talented and committed staff competitively.

    Cons

    When people are unhappy here, it seems very obvious and that can be uncomfortable for others that are content here. It creates a ripple effect that can be awkward for people that are doing well, or are enjoying their experience at DMC. Recently, there was some clique-like behavior that alienated a small group from the larger firm and that resonated throughout the entire team in a negative way- this group of 3 or 4 people could literally change the vibe of a meeting just by their general mood that day and they made it uncomfortable to even join in on casual conversation during lunch or in common areas.

    With such a small office (hovering between 35 and 40 people), departures seem to be felt very strongly, which I think is contributing to some of the negative posts on this site. This is a growing and developing firm, so turnover is a natural occurrence in a dynamic environment like this, in my opinion.

    Have some really talented and passionate people left? Yes, but everything happens for a reason and a lot of these people have gone on to opportunities that are better suited to their skills and career goals. I’m happy for them and I keep in touch with lots of the people that have left, and can understand why some get frustrated. It’s not alarming that people have differences in opinion and move on for something that is a better fit, or have been unhappy and have found something else to do that fits them better, that's life, it happens all the time in other firms/organizations.

    Advice to Management

    My advice would be to keep the dialogue open with the firm and be willing to change some of the perceptions and norms that make sense to change, but don’t compromise when it comes to client deliverables and outcomes for the districts we serve.


  10. Helpful (6)

    Looks good from afar but far from good.

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

    I have been working at District Management Council full-time (More than a year)

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

    Pros

    Fair salaries and benefits. Smart, hardworking people who have impressive academic and professional credentials.

    Cons

    This is a company that unfortunately does not have the capability to create an environment that can retain talent. This is evidenced by a very high attrition rate that has occurred for years and continues to occur despite all the attempted fixes. The founder / CEO does not have the ability to manage and lead teams effectively. He and the other partner have struggled and failed to fix this and need to come to the understanding that they do not have the needed traits and knowledge to execute in a manner to groom, grow and build a firm to be larger than themselves.

    The company is successful at attracting talent who come with excellent credentials academically and professionally. Unfortunately, the environment supported by the partners is one that diminishes the value and growth of top talents. Creativity, teamwork, innovation and personal initiative are touted as things to be valued when interviewed but squashed when attempted in the workplace.

    Advice to Management

    Realize that these reviews are not a few disgruntled employees but the results of an environment and culture that the partners have supported and created year after year.

    District Management Council Response

    Jun 11, 2015

    Thank you for your post; your feedback is important to us. We do pride ourselves in fair compensation for our talented staff through both salary and benefits and consider the professional and ... More


  11. Helpful (4)

    Truly disappointing. It is a place that regularly mistreats employees.

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

    I have been working at District Management Council full-time

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

    Pros

    Great colleagues: all of the more junior employees are passionate, smart, fun, and great to work with (though they keep leaving).

    Learning: you will gain a deep knowledge of the issues facing U.S. public education and learn very transferable skills (i.e., analysis, communication) that will serve you well in any job.

    Compensation: it pays better than many other opportunities you'd find in education.

    Cons

    Self-serving management: Management seems to care more about preserving their egos and "keeping people in line" than truly valuing its employees. Despite what they say about wanting employees to be more honest, leadership can't take any form of feedback and will turn against you the minute you make them feel insecure. No matter how well you've performed or how much you've contributed to the firm and to the work, they have no qualms about abusing you or pushing you out to serve their purposes. A shockingly high number (nearly every former employee I can think of) leave feeling mistreated or severely scarred from the experience.

    Culture of fear: Because so many are mistreated, people end up feeling unsafe, and fear among employees is palpable. People are afraid to speak up and be a part of the solution, because management has repeatedly turned against even the best of its employees. This is a real shame, because that means the firm does not know how to tap into the talent of the folks they bring in. They recruit for people who are incredibly smart, mission-driven, and self-motivated but don't provide a safe (or empowering) space for people to express their opinions and contribute to making the firm a better place.

    Profit-driven, not outcomes-driven approach to the work: While the company outwardly states that making impact in districts is its mission, its bottom line is profit. The firm is more than happy to keep getting paid even when there are no results to prove its success and even when it doesn't believe it can really deliver the results it promises.

    Advice to Management

    Please reflect on your leadership. People don't follow leaders who just want to be right and look good at the expense of those below them. People follow leaders who are humble, readily acknowledge their mistakes, and stand up for what is right and good - even if that means standing up for those lowest on the totem pole.



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