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There are newer employer reviews for Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP

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Top end architectural design company

  • Work/Life Balance
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
  • Comp & Benefits
  • Senior Management
Former Employee - Urban Designer in San Francisco, CA
Former Employee - Urban Designer in San Francisco, CA

I worked at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP full-time (More than 3 years)

Recommends
Neutral Outlook
Recommends
Neutral Outlook

Pros

Great projects, professional atmosphere, highest standards. A memorable entry on my CV.

Cons

Can be a bit rigid, political, hard to get ahead without stepping on others. The architectural world is littered with ex-SOM designers who prematurely reached a ceiling they couldn't break through. Also, you kind of have to fit into the SOM design ethos and style, there seems little divergence or tolerance thereof. Also at the time (10 years ago) management seemed unconcerned with turnover and burnout. They always get new talent lining up.

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  1. Helpful (4)

    Tough place but amazing experience

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA

    I have been working at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (More than 5 years)

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    The scale of the projects is amazing and junior staff is given a lot of responsibility if you prove you are capable of it. The most professional place I have ever worked. Brilliant co-workers. Excellent resources of working for a big firm. You are given great opportunity but it is up to you to seize it. You have to be hardworking, strong, and speak up or you will be overlooked.

    Cons

    The corporate professional culture can be completely isolating and at times down right rude. Many people will not say "Good Morning." In order to succeed, you must dedicate your life to the firm. While I think this is typical of most American corporations, it takes much longer to get promoted here than elsewhere. The firm burns people out because reward is too little too late for all their hard work and long hours. For the hours worked, the pay is not the best, and you have to dedicate 6+ years before you are eligible for promotion. Also being a large corporation, the design caters to big conservative developers. If you are looking to push the envelope with design, this is not the place for you. There is a corporate aesthetic across most of the projects.

    Advice to Management

    Push the company harder to be a true industry leader. Take sustainability seriously and require all projects to surpass Ashrae 90.1. Push the design envelope more and allow Associate and Associate Directors more control over the design to foster creativity.


  2. Helpful (3)

    good architecture, unfriendly office culture

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Architectural Professional in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Senior Architectural Professional in New York, NY

    I worked at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP full-time (More than 8 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    great opportunities on international projects
    good resources
    some highly talented and experienced people but many are truly weird dudes!
    diverse staff

    Cons

    ineffective design and delivery process
    unfriendly and outdated culture of separation between design and technical staff
    marginal BIM delivery experience
    arbitrary and useless performance review process
    missing mid level design talent

    disconnected, arrogant senior management
    communication deficits on all senior levels
    dysfunctional ownership
    profit greedy partners focused only on their own pockets

    Partner owned, not an employee owned company
    you get a pay check, thats it
    and when its over you get two weeks severance
    and au revoir!
    no 401K employer contributions
    no pension schemes or stock options

    Advice to Management

    get management and communications training
    implement bottom up performance reviews for senior leadership, yes there is room for improvement for you too


There are newer employer reviews for Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP
There are newer employer reviews for Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP

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