Education Advisory Board Reviews

Updated October 11, 2014
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Robert W. Musslewhite
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Employee Reviews

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  1. Great Opportunity if You're Willing to Work Hard and Hold Yourself to High Standards

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

    I have been working at Education Advisory Board full-time

    Pros

    EAB and the Advisory Board as a whole is known for employing a lot of young, recent college-graduates. Of course, there are also tons of people who are external hires, and certainly leadership aren't young anymore. But I wouldn't be surprised if a large number of senior-level folks started their careers early here--and that's fantastic. As someone hired in with a B.A., I've been given far more opportunities for advancement and senior-level exposure than a lot of my friends at other companies. I really do think this place works on merit, but you have to show that you're worthy of investment early on--even showing that you have the potential to learn quickly and execute on seemingly daunting tasks means upper-level staff with take a chance on you and invest in your career. You need that to succeed here, and once you prove that you're committed and can do a good job, I'd say you're in.

    Cons

    There are strong personalities at this company, especially in the research division. Just like in any workplace, in order to move up, you have to be able to navigate these personalities with some finesse--and that's not always easy. That said, I haven't worked or interacted with a single malicious person here--even the kookiest of characters does so because they genuinely care about the quality of work that we produce. And that often translates to what feels like impossibly high standards. I'd say it's a mix of extremely high standards and some curiosity on senior leaders' parts to see what you do when you're wrong or if you fail. That said, at the entry-level and a few clicks above that, it's expected that you don't fail. And that can be really stressful to deal with.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Retain internal talent and help them thrive--make sure they feel appreciated, or they'll jump ship. There may be lines of people waiting outside ABC/EAB to be given jobs, but as a company, focus on retaining internal talent.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. Overall a good place to start your career.

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

    I worked at Education Advisory Board full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    I found the work very interesting and felt like I was making a difference. I felt like we almost had too many days off. Overall, you get good training for future career paths and ample opportunities for professional development/exploring new roles. The office culture is generally friendly, intellectual, and fun.

    Cons

    While at the time I thought I was paid well, I definitely made less than peers doing similar work at other firms. Retention is a problem with many people staying less than two years. The company is also facing some growing pains that causes management to be stretched thin; you quickly learn the value of being able to navigate internal politics.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Higher salaries and financial support for graduate school would definitely improve staff retention.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3. An incredible place to develop a career and learn about higher education

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

    I have been working at Education Advisory Board full-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    --The role offers more autonomy, access to high-level thinkers and doers, responsibility, and intellection than I ever thought I would have at this point in my career. With some of my projects, I really feel like I've made an impact on the colleges and universities I've worked for.
    -- The people are just incredible. I moved to DC not knowing anyone and have made some close friends among the rest of the team. All my peers are intelligent, friendly, went to great schools, and have interesting experiences to share.
    -- Another pro is the typical promotion timetable (12-18 months) for RAs to other roles both in the higher education division as well as the firm as a whole.

    Cons

    --The first 3-4 months of the role can be pretty tough, as you're expected to come onboard very quickly. I had a lot of late nights for a while until I got into the groove of the process, adopted the writing style, became comfortable with the vocabulary, etc. The managers and team are there to support you for the most part, but you really have to seize the mantle.
    --If you conceive of the RA role as management consulting, then it's below-market compensation (but I make more than other roles I considered in policy shops or think tanks).

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Build in more opportunities to collaborate with other departments - EAB is too small an organization to have silos

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful

    Look elsewhere if you value mentorship

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

    I worked at Education Advisory Board full-time

    Pros

    Very smart, committed people; Good health insurance; Excellent place to hone business writing skills and interviewing skills; For those that want to remain in higher education, an opportunity to learn about a wide range of higher education administration issues; Great corporate culture that puts "members first"; Members see value in the work that research associates do, which is very rewarding; The firm enjoys a stellar reputation in the DC region, so employees are well-positioned to seek external positions

    Cons

    Although EAB is very small, EAB management does not invest in or interact with employees in the custom research division (where all the RAs work)-- EAB is not a good place for people who value or are motivated by mentorship; Lack of work-life balance in the RA role; Because all managers in the custom research division began as RAs, pretty inside-the-box thinking about the research approach; Low pay for workload and by industry/geographic standards; Performance evaluation process in need of an overhaul (pay increases within the RA role are very small even for high-performing employees and changes take effect very slowly)

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    A few small changes at the senior management level could make EAB a great place to work. Most importantly, hire externally from the higher ed world for senior management positions within the custom division as opposed to promoting young employees to the roles from within. Hiring externally for those positions would not only contribute a fresh set of ideas about how to deliver to members/ get out in front of key higher ed issues, but would also help correct some internal politics problems and expand opportunities for mentorship.

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

    Great place to get experience in the professional world, but be aware that this is a sales position!

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

    I have been working at Education Advisory Board full-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    Gained great skills from working with a top-performing Marketer at the firm, have great support from marketer and have thus, made great connections with the Executives in the Marketing department.

    Cons

    Very low pay and frankly, it is questionable how much they value the work that the Marketing Associates do. You are evaluated based on your ability to hit your monthly goal and if you struggle to do so, your Chief of Staff will put you on "the plan" and ultimately push you out if you do not meet the criteria outlined by the plan.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Consider giving Marketing Associates a pay raise, it will make them feel more appreciated (which they should be, as they are the start of new business ventures!) and design a better plan to help MA's get back on track if they miss their goal for a month or 2 instead of putting unrealistic pressure on them with "the plan"

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

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