Environmental Science Associates

  www.esassoc.com
  www.esassoc.com

Environmental Science Associates Reviews

Updated November 7, 2014
Updated November 7, 2014
14 Reviews
2.7
14 Reviews
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Gary Oates
3 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Good place to work

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

    I have been working at Environmental Science Associates full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Management don't throw up barriers to getting work with new clients.
    Easy to go from Notice to Proceed to a billable order (within a day).
    Technical staff are very talented and creative

    Cons

    Some staff seem unaware of need for a consulting firm's employees to stay billable.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep tabs on billable staff, make sure you continue to pay attention to their experiences.
    Maintain the employee-owned status - it makes a huge difference compared to publically traded companies.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Good for Upper Management

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

    I have been working at Environmental Science Associates full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Good group of people. Employees are technically sound. They do good work that matters. You can work on some interesting projects at the Associate level if you land in the right group with the right type of projects. For certain groups with good project managers there can be opportunities for you to sharpen your technical skills. For others, not so good. If a group has limited projects and managers that won't delegate it can be a fight club style environment to meet your targets.

    Cons

    It is an employee owned company. We're told we have a voice in how it is run by picking the board. The system is flawed. The board nominees are appointed by a committee made up of board members. There are 9 board slots and 9 nominees. Of course they all got nominated. We were also told no raises this year, but a couple of months later there is an announcement about promotions. The same people keep getting rewarded. They claim it is because they are worried these favored employees will leave. What about the rest of us who are towing the line? Zip. And, when we bring it up it is used against us. And when some good people do leave they are trashed to others.Upper management calls the shots and don't let the managers on the ground run things. There is a rampant amount of favoritism starting at upper management.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Start rewarding the people who have been patient and stuck by when times were tough. Stop catering to those superficial upper management stars. Stop rewarding people who threaten to leave or cry that they are over worked. Let them go. Most should have left years ago, but couldn't in a bad economy. Why should they? Upper management keeps tossing money at them and promoting them for doing mediocre work. Stop giving the wrong people promotions and raises. Stop the favoritism. Keep upper management out of the equation. Listen to your rank and file employees.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3.  

    No room for advancement

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Project Manager in Sacramento, CA
    Current Employee - Project Manager in Sacramento, CA

    I have been working at Environmental Science Associates full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Good benefits, ESOP program is like an added bonus every year, great people to work with for the most part.

    Cons

    Lack of opportunities to advance. Overworked staff. There seems to be a priority of Sr. Staff to hire old friends and ex-colleagues. This has resulted in a very top heavy structure. Because i have very Sr. Staff working on my projects and our already high billing rates, its hard to stay on budget for projects.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pay attention to Jr staff and middle project managers. We are very unhappy. Hire some Jr. staff to help with the work so project managers arent stuck trying to do everything.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    Lots of good, but also lots of bad

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

    I worked at Environmental Science Associates full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    interesting work, very competent coworkers. Competitive salary and benefits. Family atmosphere. Lots of opportunity to go after work that interests you and if you can bring in work, you can basically become pretty self sufficient. Good work life balance.

    Cons

    The Family Atmosphere is both good and bad as its the source of much of the BS. Staff is oftentimes rated more on personality than work competence. Getting along, or the perception of getting along seems more important than really being good at your job. Senior managers treat mid to junior level staff like children.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Do not allow program managers and directors to have favorites. Value staff for their professional contributions.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    Legacy entitled management that requires only minions to make their 6 figures.

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

    I worked at Environmental Science Associates

    Pros

    Easy office politics at first. nice office supplies

    Cons

    Based exactly on the disappointing format as the large mega corporations. Poor senior management takes control just as like their predecessor mediocre firms that were eminent in the 1990s. Not for midmanagement people- you get railroaded out the door the first time you state your mind.

    Offices are run as complete independent entities. Not for the large scale oriented professional who aims to work internationally.

    My advice is to avoid this firm completely. not worth it.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    get rid of redundant and poorly performing management staff. but you wont so enjoy the last of the bubble economy.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7.  

    Good opportunities for entry level and senior staff

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

    I have been working at Environmental Science Associates full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Competitive salary. Benefits that are at or slightly better than industry average. A diverse client base and good support staff. ESA proves the opportunity for entry level and junior staff to learn a lot both about the technical and managerial side of consulting. If you are a self starter and take initiative, it will be rewarded. Similarly, if you are senior staff and primarily self supporting in terms of bringing in work and generating revenue, you have a lot of flexibility and good support to help you make the most of your career.

    Cons

    The opportunity at both the more junior and more senior levels is hard to find for journeymen-level employees. They are slow to promote in the middle ranks and if you are introverted or not a self starter it is easy to become mired in terms of career advancement; however, this is the case for many of these firms and it is often necessary to make a lateral move to advance.

    Corporate policies and management decisions can be frustratingly self defeating.

    They have a tenancy to treat staff, particularly junior staff like children.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You need to develop a more balanced staff mix, try not to put people in so many boxes. Do a comprehensive top to bottom reviews of your policies and procedures and have the courage to make the changes you know you need to make.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Mediocre and disappointing

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

    I worked at Environmental Science Associates full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great coworkers everyone is helpful, work isnt too hard, and good benefits.

    Cons

    No training, gossiping/backbitting, toxic work enviroment from management,no promotion from within, no opportunities for growth. You definitely hit the glass ceiling and most people leave or quit.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Too top heavy, doesn't promote from within, think about helping and training your staff and become mentors instead of blaming others for your short comings and failures.

    Doesn't Recommend
  9.  

    Good company, must pave your own way

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

    I have been working at Environmental Science Associates full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Small knit firm, very knowledgeable staff, pay is relatively well compared to other comparable firms, longevity with minimal turnover, ESOP program for employees

    Cons

    limited training and unstable project management, difficult to determine company direction at times, workload can be monotonous, high cost of benefits, growing presence of more corporate ladders

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Need for more training for junior-level staff, more transparency between staff and corporate, need to improve professional development and learn to grow the company from within, as opposed to hiring more top-heavy staff

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  10.  

    Workplace bullies

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

    I have been working at Environmental Science Associates part-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Generally flexible about where/when you do your work. Will let you go part time. Interesting work when there is work.

    Cons

    Cruel management. Lack of advancement potential. Demand that you are billable and then do not provide you with work. Berate workers when times are slow. Unwillingness to get rid or poor managers. When they had the opportunity to hire someone with real business experience as COO a few years ago, they went with an ineffectual dimwit from within instead. Predictably, the company isn't doing well. Not that that is stopping ESA from hiring top level people nonstop. They are labeled "strategic hires" as if it is somehow strategic to be top-heavy. And then, of course, there is nowhere for any of the lower level people to go. Every day I work here I lose a little part of my soul. The days are so slow since there is no work. I am absolutely miserable here. I wouldn't wish working here on my worst enemy.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Develop your staff. Your junior level staff is miserable. Seriously. We hate it here. The second the market gets even the least bit better, everyone is going to flee.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Don't get too comfortable

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Associate in Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - Associate in Los Angeles, CA

    I worked at Environmental Science Associates full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Great benefits
    Nice office (In Los Angeles)
    Small office
    Easy to get friendly and close with co-workers
    If you work on enough good projects you can add loads of experience to a resume
    Was my first job where I got a bonus check

    Cons

    They don't invest as much in their employees as they may say. In fact , they year I was there the main guy chastised the bosses in on our office for spending money to send Associates to seminars and trainings.

    I believe there are a lot of office politics at work. I wasn't always one to hang with co-workers during lunch and happy hour after work, so I think that attributed to me being let go.

    If they don't have work, then you don't have work. And if you aren't working (billable) then you aren't of use. You must constantly ask for work to do.

    No direct training to help new associates understand their place in the company and to really understand how their processes work.

    After talking with my boss a few times, he said that they were interested in investing in their employees to raise in the ranks. Maybe he was misled also, but I didn't see that happening at all. People are too busy at times to help bring you up, so you may have to do it on your own.

    In short, don't be lulled into a false sense of security. A woman I know who left there said "Almost everyday I went to work, I thought I might get fired."

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Invest in your employees.
    Stop using the facade of niceness and care. At the end of the day you run like a corporation. Just because you work related to the environment doesn't make you automatically a good, "caring" company.

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