MBH Architects

  www.mbharch.com
  www.mbharch.com

MBH Architects Reviews

Updated October 21, 2014
Updated October 21, 2014
13 Reviews
2.5
13 Reviews
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Dennis Heath
4 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    I WORKED HERE FOR A YEAR

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

    I worked at MBH Architects full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Flexible schedules, friendly and caring management

    Cons

    Low compensation, work can become mundane

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Retail architecture is all about who you know.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Job Captain in Alameda, CA
    Former Employee - Job Captain in Alameda, CA

    I worked at MBH Architects full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Flexible work hours, and great I.T team.

    Cons

    Low pay, and too many noobs straight out of school.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Communication between staff and management has gone horribly wrong.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    Convenient and mostly nice, easy to get along with people.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Architectural Apprentice in Alameda, CA
    Former Employee - Architectural Apprentice in Alameda, CA

    I worked at MBH Architects full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    If you enjoy fast paced retail design work.

    Cons

    you will be stuck doing the same thing day in and day out.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to your employees.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    Violation of labor laws

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

    I worked at MBH Architects (more than an year)

    Pros

    Nothing for Pros here. Other pros comments of course are bias

    Cons

    Lots of people asked why being called "apprentice", not "designer", "job captain", "drafter", "intern"...here, at MBH.
    Simple answer: your boss is a lawyer, and that's how lawyer called their interns. Forget about the "M,B and H". Focus on the "F", then you would understand.
    Some complained the middle management here are "aggressive", "hairsplitting", "counting beans" rednecks. That's not fair. Most of them may not come from architecture school, therefore never draw anything in their life. If they had already drew something in school for 4 years, they would know that in 10 lines you draw, at least 1 line is a mistake, and you will have sympathy for other designer's work, understand that you are no better. Rednecks do what they do best: harass! Want a test? Ask your middle manager to draw something themselves, under the same stress and pressure, and I guarantee you, he will fall like sack of potatoes.
    I once witness one middle manager yelling in the break room complained people not cleaning after their mess. She acted like a mother of all 3 guys standing there, evidently not their mess to be yelled at. Two minutes latter she come talk to the boss about something else with a sweetest ass-licking tone I ever heard in my life.
    Some also said this place is good for entry level people. Do not believe it because it's a trap line for hiring cheap and harass youngsters. Want to hear more trap-lines? Go talk to Dennis.
    Lastly, do not complain. Have your lawyers draft up a letter, give a copy to your job captain, telling him/her it's a violation of California Labor Law to harass people. Until then, you maybe leveled with them. Do not expect professionalism coming out of law breakers!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I am glad MBH survived the last recession.
    But they will not in the next one.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  6.  

    No respect and appreciation for loyalty and hard work

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

    I worked at MBH Architects full-time

    Pros

    Free parking and nice restaurants near by.

    Cons

    Employees, mainly apprentices and job captains are moved around more times than chess pieces between brands or studios. At least in a chess game there is some conscious thinking before a move is made. No thinking or planning goes into moving staff around at MBH. ZERO THINKING!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop moving people around or at least have the decency to ask the employee if he/she agrees with the move. Give the job captains notice when you are taking away apprentices. If you feel there is little work to justify staff in a team then you may well do the work yourself.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Poor experience

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

    I worked at MBH Architects as a contractor (less than an year)

    Pros

    Good sized firm. Occasional hiring. Good office.

    Cons

    Hire in bunches and let go in bunches. Lowest salary and no benefits.
    Managers are obvious tyrants. I have worked at a few places but this is the only place where I went home and cried every other day because of the torcher of the job captain. There is no concept of improving and learning at work. Smallest mistake and you will called in a room and bashed. This person got promoted which means the seniors approve of this management style.This persons quality of work was very poor but had a very aggressive nature. People with aggressive personalities do well here.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The owners are really really good but the middle management sucks.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    A respectable company with friendly staff members

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Architectural Apprentice in Alameda, CA
    Current Employee - Architectural Apprentice in Alameda, CA

    I have been working at MBH Architects full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Flexible schedules, friendly and caring management

    Cons

    Low compensation, work can become mundane

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    "Apprentice" hits a ceiling

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

    I have been working at MBH Architects full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    MBH is a great place for people to develop their construction document experience, especially if they are fresh out of university. People are generally friendly and are willing to help (if you ask for it). As a large firm, MBH is quite structured and organized (benefits, in-house committees that organize company events, lunchtime seminars). Many people take initiative to create study groups for certification/licensure exams, and sometimes pay out of their own pocket for study materials to share as well. Several departments within the building also allow for various opportunities whether it may be in retail, restaurants, urban projects, or special projects.

    Cons

    While there are several departments within the building, managers and principals tend to mislead their employees that they will be given grander opportunities within the building. This is true, but on rare occasions. The higher-ups seem to be more interested in keeping the company afloat rather than spending time to understand the individual needs of the employees - not realizing that these little needs add up and impact the overall "success" of the company. While employees are encouraged to pursue other experiences within the building, they are often shut down and told there are no openings (but new temps and hires happen to pop in that very position soon after... then "let go" after the projects are over). I've also found MBH to be quite stingy on multiple occasions involving referral benefits, certification reimbursements, etc. It is understandable that the company is looking out for itself especially after the recession, but it does not give employees a huge incentive to excel outside and further than the bare minimum requirements necessary for the daily routine at the office. They tend to let a lot of employees go every year without truly considering the overall satisfaction of the company as a whole... but perhaps this is just the sad reality with retail architecture. Because MBH is for the most part a big-name retail design firm, the level of cutting-edge design is low. Most designs are standardized by the clients (Apple, Target, etc.) leaving very limited room for innovation. Again, MBH is a great place to learn the basics of a standard architecture firm and also a decent place for people who don't mind the mundanity of retail design, but there are definitely firms nearby that can offer more bang for your buck.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to your people. Also, how would you explain to an outsider your position as an "Apprentice"?

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 2 people found this helpful  

    Move MBH office to China

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

    I worked at MBH Architects full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Average pay, occasional free lunch.

    Cons

    If you want to be in an architecture firm that lead by a lawyer, managed by non-architectural education/training managers and work under passive project architects,...this place is for you.
    Attending one of those design reviews to witness the firm lawyer's input on the design would be a good example of how this firm works.
    About long hours? You should expect that from a service-oriented firm.
    About design? Go check the water stains on their 1 year old buildings on 14th street in Oakland.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Move your office to China, so people won't complain about the sweat shop environment.
    Send your managers and lawyers to architecture school if they want to be architects.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    Beware...

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

    I worked at MBH Architects full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    There is somewhat a work life balance if you push for it. This is a firm were OT is something that does not happen often and if it does, you will know its coming.

    Cons

    MBH doesn't invest in training. Although individual initiative approach has helped to identify and cultivate leaders within the firm, this approach doesn't allow us to compete with other Architectural firms which trains their staff to use the latest software, and be as competitive as possible in the field.
    Very much a firm where if they like you~ its easy as cake. but don't get on their bad side.
    MBH also loves to hire temp and tell them that we have plenty of work and dont worry they will get hired on after 3 months. The never hire the people after 3 months, they are lucky if they hire them after 1 year.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don/t over look the little guys, because they are the ones that are doing your work and keeping the company afloat.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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