Gensler Reviews

Updated April 16, 2015
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4.0
213 Reviews
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Gensler Executive Directors Andy Cohen, David Gensler & Diane Hoskins
Andy Cohen, David Gensler & Diane Hoskins
92 Ratings

Pros
  • Great people, no attitudes (that;s hard to find in the architecture industry) (in 10 reviews)

  • Professional growth, profit sharing (in 7 reviews)

Cons
  • Work life balance can be a challenge depending on the person (in 8 reviews)

  • Long hours, internal politics, tends to favor extroverts over introverts (in 8 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

Employee Reviews

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  1. Featured Review

    Excellent environment for a self starter

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

    I have been working at Gensler full-time (more than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Truly entrepreneurial spirit. Learning is encouraged and innovation is championed.

    Cons

    Some of that learning and innovation may have to be on your own time.

    Advice to Management

    Keep heading in the direction you're going. More autonomy and valuing production as opposed to pedigree.

  2. Outstanding entrepreneural organization of innovative and intelligent experts with a professional services committment.

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

    I have been working at Gensler full-time

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Always pushing to next level of excellence in performance and service.

    Cons

    Too early to comment -- I am delighted to be part of this extraordinary team!

    Advice to Management

    Continue to develop strategic activities for targeted talent acquisition!

  3. Technology Support

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

    I have been working at Gensler full-time (more than 5 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Dynamic, high energy environment.

    Cons

    Some IT staff may find the lack of structure and entrepreneurial culture difficult to adjust to. Individual professional development is supported, but requires personal involvement and commitment.

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  5. Project Manager

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

    I have been working at Gensler full-time

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Creative, Progressive, Smart and Resourceful

    Cons

    Working in many projects at once with all in high capacity is a stereo-type

    Advice to Management

    Any aspect to improve work life balance

  6. Helpful (3)

    My experience at Gensler is mixed, I feel like they can do better in the HR department.

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Gensler

    Pros

    The pros are they push you to move up in the company .

    Cons

    The people that work here need a real attitude adjustment. I've never worked with a company that allows people to be so nasty,spoiled,spiteful,rude.

    Advice to Management

    Attitude is key in a company, not just for the client.

  7. Administrative

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Gensler

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great company and great life and work balance.

    Cons

    As an admin, it was hard to move up.

  8. Learned a ton

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

    I worked at Gensler

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Lots of talented designers, and incredible resources

    Cons

    It's hard to outrun the corporate machine that comes with being a company of this size.

  9. Helpful (7)

    The more you learn, the less you may like it.

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

    I have been working at Gensler full-time

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    There are some truly amazing people who work for this firm. Considering how much time you will spend with your colleagues, it's great to work for such a talented, insightful, and fun group of people.

    The firm is also big, so there a plenty of systems already set up for you to help streamline your work and save you time. You'll also have the opportunity to work with some of the biggest clients and on some amazing projects that you would never see anywhere else.

    During my first few years, I was convinced that I found my "dream job." I was dazzled.

    Cons

    It's a big company, so the politics, bureaucracy, jargon, and double-speak that one expects is most certainly present. Despite the official story, the focus is very clearly on making money over design, and this is where Gensler excels.

    While they do pay overtime as the result of Art Gensler's very fair outlook "If you are doing work for us, we will pay you for it," there is also a culturally embedded pressure to NOT report the actual time you work. In fact, some projects will be organized without fee or proper leadership, leaving the burden of making up for it on junior designers who are encouraged to "donate" their time.

    There are quite literally hundreds of "initiatives" out there vying for attention and staff hours. Very few have any budget, so once again, employees are expected to "donate" their time to it. While these are often created to give those involved much needed exposure, they greatly distract from core project work. Add to already overloaded design staff, and the result is unfocused, scattered, or half-baked designs.

    Very senior leadership is, at least in the DC office, both literally and figuratively detached from all studio staff. The most recent renovation design clearly indicates that they have no interest in actually being engaged with the office. Most cannot ascertain their roles, and those who have close interaction with them indicate that there is a large gap between their public and actual personas. Most insider anecdotes tend to be less than flattering.

    Compensation tends to be less than one expects. Part is that Gensler is smart- they are a well known brand name and use that to their advantage in negotiations. There are two bonuses: one is set while the other tends to be more merit-based. The latter is ingenious in that it is pitched as part of a total compensation package, but is a complete unknown until the day you receive it. As a result, most staff go through efforts to do anything they can to make it larger despite having no idea what factors actually determine its size. This means lots of free overtime, making new initiatives, political behavior, and shameless self-promotion.

    After more experience within the organization, I started seeing things that startled me. The Emperor was missing his clothes.

    Advice to Management

    Align marketing statements with reality by focusing on design rather than the bottom line.
    Put an end to practices (and a culture) that encourage staff to work for free.
    Reexamine senior staff behavior with a critical eye. Require them to become more engaged with studios.
    Reduce extracurricular activities to increase participation and while allowing a focus on core project loads.
    Prove to staff that they are valued by offering benefits above the mediocre.

  10. Intern

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

    I worked at Gensler

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great company to work for, as an intern I learned how the fast paced environment of a large design firm works. Lots of practice areas to choose from and develop a career plan.
    Can't wait to be back

    Cons

    Money was a bit tight, and entry level architects should get a bit more mentoring by the senior colleagues.

  11. Helpful (1)

    Corporate giant, not so different from other big companies out there

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

    I have been working at Gensler full-time (more than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    There are many talented people who are passionate about their work, office culture is nice, work times are quite flexible

    Cons

    Too much office politics going on, favoritism is very obvious. A lot of lip service but leadership is lacking. Base salary is low.

    Advice to Management

    Have better communication with your workers.

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