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Interesting work with interesting architects.

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Career Opportunities
Current Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  New York, NY
Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY

I have been working at BuroHappold

Pros

I get to work with premier architecture firms and on very interesting projects. The culture of the office is closer to an architecture firm than other engineering firms.

Cons

It appears that the price employees pay for working on interesting projects is that they are not compensated as highly as other firms.

Recommends
No opinion of CEO

Other Reviews for BuroHappold

  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Buro Happold review from a mechanical engineer's point of view.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Mechanical Engineer  in  New York, NY
    Current Employee - Mechanical Engineer in New York, NY

    I have been working at BuroHappold

    Pros

    Three weeks of vacation standard. At Buro Happold, you work on some of the most interesting projects in the field. Opportunities to go abroad as well.

    Cons

    The pay at Buro Happold does not really compete with the rest of the field. Although the projects are interesting, there is little recognition of a job well done. They expect employees to work well more then 40 hours a week.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Although management tries to "get in touch" with the common workers at the office, there is a large gap between what the employees need and want, and the actions of the management. Morale would increase with only a small amount of effort and resources.

    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Incredible Potential....Yet to be realized

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Associate Director  in  London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Associate Director in London, England (UK)

    I worked at BuroHappold full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    BH has an amazing legacy of innovation and achievement. It is a place where good engineers can (if events align) become great engineers. It has thrived on a "just go and do.." approach that has served it well over the years, and enabled it to grow and even survive the recent recession relatively intact. There are incredible people working at BH. both inside and outside the various disciplines. Many of whom have worked for the practice for most, if not all of their careers.

    There is an informal and fun atmosphere among many of the teams. Each office around the globe has their own particular flavor while keeping core elements that make it a BH office. The company truly believes in developing people, and wants to be a place where you come for a job but stay for a career. Consequently there is tremendous institutional knowledge in house .

    Cons

    It is frustrating in that the same things that are great about BH are also where BH struggles. There are amazing opportunities to do great work at BH, but those opportunities are not evenly distributed or equally available to all staff, especially new staff.

    The ad-hoc approach that has served the firm well, is now its Achilles heel. BH has vastly outgrown its own support infrastructure. HR, Finance, IT and Project Management support are all woefully under resourced and struggle to keep up with demand. . BH does truly believe in developing staff, but has yet to put any realistic amount of resources behind that belief. Instead they just sort of hope it will happen organically.

    There are amazing people there, but frankly , on the flip side, some people have been there far too long. Some of these people have little or no experience outside of BH. So many of them, (some in very senior roles) are terrified of change, and in some cases actively resist anything that doesn't sit in their zone of comfort and familiarity.

    The corporate governance structure of the firm (LLP / Partnership built on a consensus model) is slow to adapt to organizational needs . Given the size and scope of the firm today it is long past time to revisit the model and see if it is still fit for purpose.

    The CEO role is an elected position. Serving a set term. So it is very hard for the CEO whoever it is, to actually lead the firm, given that all other Partners feel they are the owner/operators of the company. (Which in reality is exactly what they are.) Hence the CEO role tends to be a bit toothless.

    BH struggles endlessly with defining their brand. The latest attempts to do so, are an improvement, but still surprisingly unfocused and vague. Sad when you see it coming from a firm with such a substantial history and impressive catalog of work.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    In spite of all the challenges you face. BH remains far more potential, than it is actualized. There are truly incredible people there who love what they do, at the same time however you have some real dead wood there that frankly you need to clear out.

    You cannot avoid investing in support infrastructure. HR and IT are under resourced to the point of being obstacles to getting things done. Project Management support (what little there is of it...) is completely random and unfocused.

    Restructure corporate governance so the CEO has greater leeway to make needed key changes. And lastly, Stop trying to invent a brand. and instead clarify the one you have had all along but cant seem to actually grasp.

    Yet at the end of the day the projects get done, and evidence would prove, , done very well... The reason? The PEOPLE at BH really do care about the work. So stop taking that for granted, and instead leverage it to make the BH you talk about , the same as the one your staff experiences in their jobs every day.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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