District Management Council

  www.dmcouncil.org
  www.dmcouncil.org
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District Management Council Reviews

Updated August 21, 2014
Updated August 21, 2014
16 Reviews
2.2
16 Reviews
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John J-H Kim
9 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1. 3 people found this helpful  

    This has been a good place for me to advance my career.

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

    I have been working at District Management Council full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    This company has a great mission. It's nice to know my efforts are making a positive impact on society. My supervisor is a good listener and everyone on my team treats me with respect, which means that most days are happy days for me. On my particular team, we all seem to "get" each other and have pretty good work chemistry. I am given a lot of freedom in how I accomplish my work.

    This is perhaps odd to say, but I really like the weekly company meetings on Friday mornings. There are about 40 of us in the company now and it's a great way to keep connected with other people you may not have worked with that week because we take the time to discuss in small groups what happened the previous week. The tone of the meeting is always positive and I always leave there feeling good about the company.

    The free snacks in the kitchen are a nice bonus and have the side-effect of impromptu kitchen conversations with coworkers. I really like my coworkers; there are a lot of nice and interesting people here.

    Cons

    Busy schedules mean top leadership is often inaccessible for quality collaboration.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  2. 3 people found this helpful  

    DMC is NOT a non-profit - it is a for profit company owned by the CEO

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

    I worked at District Management Council full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Working closely with school and district leaders offers the opportunity to impact meaningful change in the education sector. The staff are a real pleasure to work with.

    Cons

    Many reviewers seem to be under the illusion that DMC is a mission-driven non-profit. This is not true.
    DMC is a firm whose mission is to increase its own bottom line - this may be why employees are disappointed in the culture - the work isn't driven by trying to achieve a greater outcome for students, faculty, schools or districts. Certainly the partners want to achieve such results but they are not measuring the success of themselves or the company based on what happens in schools and districts. Potential employees need to understand this before joining the company.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't pretend to be something you are not - be clear in your advertising and hiring that DMC is a company NOT a non-profit organization.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 5 people found this helpful  

    Don't believe the fake reviews posted within one week of each other in January, the culture still sucks

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

    I have been working at District Management Council full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    1) One of the senior leaders, Karla Baehr, is a wonderful coach and mentor, deeply invested in junior employees' development, and she is reasonable and level-headed. 2) It is definitely exciting to work so closely with school systems. 3) I am happy with my compensation, it is competitive for the non-profit sector. 4) For the most part, they do not have a strong expectation of "face time" - I am able to leave the office when I want/need to, as long as I get my work done. Mind you, I work like crazy, but I have flexibility with when & where. 5) There seem to be pretty good exit options - people keep leaving for pretty good jobs.

    Cons

    This organization lacks real, underpinning values that guide decision-making and shape the culture. One obvious, potential value would be "improve student learning in the districts where we work". This is nominally in the mission statement, but it isn't lived in practice - the company has been working in some districts for 3-5 years that have seen no improvement, and they never talk about this or hold themselves accountable in any way. There is also not a strong value on developing employees' skills. It's kind of a "do your own thing" professional development model, which might be fine for people 10+ years into their career, but works really poorly for early-tenure folks. Third, and most concerning, the culture is extremely hierarchical - you will be flabbergasted at the extent to which even the most unimportant decisions runs through the top, are communicated as commands and not ideas, and are often underdeveloped or ridiculous, but you'll have no chance to push back. I expect that the culture will actually get worse, as half of the partners left within the last year, and those that left were the ones who showed more interest in culture -- I think they just gave up trying to make it better.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Seek counseling

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 6 people found this helpful  

    Gaming reviews to improve your ratings and online image

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

    I have been working at District Management Council full-time

    Pros

    1) The ability to impart actual change in our public school systems.
    2) Co-workers
    3) The business model is great

    Cons

    1) Brutal work environment
    2) Internal mobility will most likely end at the Senior Director level, since there little likelihood that anyone will make it to the managing director (Partner) level.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    1) Look outside of Harvard, Yale and the other Ivy League schools to hire people. Life does not revolve around these schools. There are brilliant people that went to other schools that aren't even considered since they didn't go to the "chosen" institutions. School snobbery runs rampant here.

    I am amazed at the fact that there was an internal decision to make four staff members post positive reviews to offset the consistent negative reviews of former employees. Four posts within 3 days of each other all positive. Instead of trying to offset the negative reviews, why don't you help the culture of the company. The staff are great and intelligent. They bust their tails and give 1000%. With such high turnover, all that happens is more work gets dumped on fewer people. As a business model this wont work in the long run. Usually college grads stay at their first company for 3 years, to date, that has not happened and most leave in under 1 1/2 years.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 2 people found this helpful  

    I like my job at a mission driven organization; working through growing pains

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

    I have been working at District Management Council full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Unlike the other reviewers, I have had a very positive experience at DMC. I definitely see a lot of growing pains... but folks who are not doing well here like to go on glassdoor to complain (and sometimes exaggerate... for example, in my time at this company I have never seen any yelling whatsoever). Unfortunately (but understandably) the rest of us folks who have a positive experience, don't feel the need to write on glassdoor.

    In my opinion, the vibe in this office is very positive and we are creating a good culture together. There are still people who are not happy, and as with any job, there are things that are not great. But for me, overall I am very satisfied with my job and I enjoy coming to work day to day.

    My personal list of pros:
    -Mission driven organization

    -Smart, nice people to work with (I very much enjoy my day to day interactions with my colleagues). There is no stigma against chatting with your coworkers about personal things.

    -Direct access to senior leadership means my work makes an impact and feels meaningful. What I do gets moved forward quickly and implemented.

    -Size of the company means I can take on more responsibility if I see a need, and it is appreciated by others/senior management.

    -Lots of company morale boosting going on (aka: Food, food, food) - Friday lunches, after work drinks, and a fully stocked fridge and fancy coffee machines means I NEVER buy my own lunch. Then there's all the birthday/work anniversary cupcakes, the holiday meals... it's a never ending food fest.

    -Expanded employee benefits: Since I've worked here, they've added in 1:1 professional coaching, better health insurance options, 401k matching w/increased plan options, and commuter benefits.

    -The management seems aware of past issues and seems to be addressing morale and turnover through infrastructure changes. This is HUGE. There have been real tangible changes to benefits (above) and increased structure and transparency into things like performance reviews.

    -Team feeling: There is a real sense of community being supported. For example, each new hire has an assigned 'buddy' to help them navigate the office/culture. The company pays for them to go out to lunch. My personal favorite is that there is an unlimited sick day policy (and I've heard the CEO remind people to stay home during cold/flu season if they are starting to feel sick). I know of several examples where the CEO/company gave people money/emergency support when disaster struck (house fire, car accident) and supported other employees visiting them (reimbursing cab rides to hospital during the work day, sharing updates).

    Cons

    -The largest part of this business (consulting) has only been around for 5 years, which means there are growing pains in the infrastructure. There seems to have been a lot of mis-hiring of associates in the last few years, and things are just now seeming to be settling. There is also a missing layer of senior management (5+ years consulting experience). The company is pretty open about looking to build out this capacity, so hopefully this will improve some structural/staffing issues soon.

    -The upper management is directly involved in the work (this is also listed as a pro above). So it's great when you're doing well and getting recognition for that, but the other side of that coin is that it sucks if you mess something up or aren't performing where they want you to be. Attention from the CEO or other partners when you screw up sucks no matter what company you work for. This upper management has very high expectations so somewhere along the line, everyone will fall short at least once. If you recognize that, learn from the experience and keep moving, it's not the end of the world.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    -Continue to address morale issues. Seek and incorporate feedback on this.
    -Be transparent whenever possible.
    -Build out Director level of consulting practice and give them autonomy to lead teams.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    I do not understand why negative comments were recently posted on this site. This is a very desirable place to work.

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

    I have been working at District Management Council full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    There are so many terrific reasons for someone to want to work here: my colleagues are great to work with, extremely smart, talented, and collaborative. The pay is very competitive and the benefits are outstanding. The work is challenging and interesting. We do a lot of fun team-building activities. The CEO is very supportive, friendly, approachable and always striving to make this a better place to work in order to be the BEST place to work.

    I wake up every day and am happy to go to work and be a part of this outstanding organization.

    Cons

    DMC is a small consulting and high technology company. It is dynamic and rapidly growing. As a result, there is a lot of challenging and hard work and everyone contributes very diligently as the standards are extremely high. However, this provides an opportunity to learn and grow and see your personal contribution imprint on the organization.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I think you're doing all the right things to make this a great workplace - please keep it up.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great place to work and learn

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

    I have been working at District Management Council full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    While I’ve read multiple reviews that describe a horrible culture, I’m glad I took a leap of faith and accepted my offer. Since I’ve started at DMC, my experience has been very positive. The CEO seems to genuinely care about his people and has made some significant investments in career development and benefits to attract and retain top-talent. Although the expectations are high and the work we do is challenging, the culture is positive and it fosters trust, learning, and comradeship. I particularly enjoy the weekly catered lunch where we share and learn about each other’s week as well as the multiple outings that help develop friendship with teammates.

    Cons

    Since the firm is relatively young, the culture and infrastructure is still a work in progress. As a result, a new employee might need to somewhat adjust to the fluidity of the environment especially coming from other firms that have been established for a while. That being said, I’ve seen significant progress on that end and feel a new DMC’er would have a relatively seamless integration into the firm with the new onboarding process and all the support and resources that are now available.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. 3 people found this helpful  

    worse than you can imagine, and then the other reviews have said

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

    I have been working at District Management Council full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    everything that the other reviews have said is true, but they haven't been blunt enough. the pros are modest in light of a huge con - a lousy culture. the pay is fine, some of the co-workers are nice though they leave at astonishing rates, the average person probably stays less than a year.

    Cons

    the big, unavoidable con is the culture, which stems from the leadership, which is weirdly authoritarian and prone to rash spats of anger. unclear why you would think this is remotely motivating.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    be honest with yourself

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 2 people found this helpful  

    Horrible climate to work in - steer clear!

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

    I worked at District Management Council full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    God - I don't know what's positive. Some of the other new hires are nice, but they seem to leave really fast.

    Cons

    Some of the leadership are megalomaniacs, who veer into extreme anger and lash out without warning. When it happens, you really wonder "is this actually happening to me, in 2013, in the United States?"

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Change the culture - it's absolutely horrible

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  11. 3 people found this helpful  

    Miserable culture to work in

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

    I worked at District Management Council full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    I really don't have anything positive to say. I guess the pay is acceptable.

    Cons

    Watch out! You'll think you're doing a good job, and all of a sudden the CEO will rip into you for unclear reasons in front of clients, the rest of the company, others. You'll get no feedback on your development, unless it's yelled and abrupt, and then you still don't really know what to do to get better. It's incredibly frustrating -- you thought you were going to work to help school systems, but you go home crying many days.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Change the culture

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

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