National Geographic Reviews

Updated March 26, 2015
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3.9
108 Reviews
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Gary E. Knell
15 Ratings

Pros
  • The benefits (work from home, green fridays, work life balance) are rare to find in DC (in 12 reviews)

  • That would be brand recognition (in 7 reviews)

Cons
  • Constantly changing work landscape, a lot of shifts in leaderships and teams, lots of uncertainty, somewhat low pay (in 5 reviews)

  • Knowledge hoarding, lower pay (non profit), no parking (in 3 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

Employee Reviews

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  1. 1 person found this helpful

    Very Inspiring Staff and Managers

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

    I worked at National Geographic as a contractor (less than a year)

    Pros

    Despite my role as a temp, my position in the medical wing allowed me to interact with a wide variety of employees, some of which were some of NatGeo's more famous international photographers. My manager also wasn't shy about giving me increasing levels of responsibility as I proved my skills over time.

    Cons

    At the time, they were in the middle of a hiring freeze, so I wasn't able to advance beyond my temp role, although I was told that I would've been able to obtain a position if the economy was different.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Find ways to track the gems among those you bring onboard as part of your temp program - we're out there, looking to bring our passion to NatGeo!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. Confusing, frustrating at times but great brand

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

    I have been working at National Geographic

    Pros

    It's a wonderful brand. People notice when you work for NatGeo.
    Work from home options are nice.
    Great perks, discounts, etc.

    Cons

    Certain departments are favored by the company over others.
    Extreme micromanaging in entry-level positions.
    No privacy (using their tech) or autonomy.
    Little creative freedom.
    Constant meetings and hoops to jump through for every single little thing.
    Long work hours and at times extreme expectations.
    Did I mention there are a lot of meetings?

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Chill out and trust your employees a little more. Allow for some level of autonomy and freedom.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3. Great company (Non-profit), Great Mission, Great / Dedicated staff

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Digital Media Planner in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Digital Media Planner in New York, NY

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

    Pros

    Great Company to work for

    Cons

    Non-profit: upward mobility a challenge

    Recommends
  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5. Internship

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Intern in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Intern in Washington, DC

    I have been working at National Geographic (less than a year)

    Pros

    Awesome work environment, invaluable experiences, friendly people.

    Cons

    Internships do not lead directly into full-time positions

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    n/a

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. Great work envionment, so-so business processes

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Director in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Director in Washington, DC

    I have been working at National Geographic full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    You get to work with lots of great people, both in your own organization and in other parts of the company. The mission and the societies work is incredible and nearly everyone gets behind it. Benefits are fantastic and work-life balance is good. It's a non-profit that operates like a commercial entity.

    Cons

    Too political for an organization rooted in declining businesses. Culture is very different from one business unit to the next. Limited potential for advancement due to the relatively small size of each division. It's a non-profit that operates like a commercial entity.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Salaries need to be more in-line with competition in the commercial space, since that is where the much needed talent will come from. Similarly tele-work options should be more uniform across the board. On-site or nearby childcare would reduce a staggering number of unexpected days off for employees.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. Great company, good culture

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

    I have been working at National Geographic full-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    work/life balance, environmentally conscious workplace, work culture, perks/discounts

    Cons

    not much upward mobility, compensation not the highest

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  8. Geography program intern

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Intern - Geography Program in Washington, DC
    Former Intern - Geography Program in Washington, DC

    I worked at National Geographic as an intern (less than a year)

    Pros

    -It's Nat Geo.
    -Opportunities to attend symposiums and meet program's explorers. If you like learning about the world, Nat Geo offers some cool weekly opportunities internally.
    -Networking opportunities.
    -In my position, a relative flexible work pace; and room of initiatives.
    -Generally awesome people to work with, HR is mostly responsive in my experience.
    -Green Fridays, you have the option to work remotely or take the day off (well if you don't have any tight deadlines to meet).
    -Willingness of cross-departmental collaboration.
    -The cafeteria and cafe have good stuff at a reasonable price.

    Cons

    -Intern pay is low, but that's sort of expected.
    -Interns are informed about possible extension of their contracts at the eleventh hour, which is why I say to upcoming interns to not have expectations beyond their contracted term.
    -I was quite frustrated at how underwhelming the work pace was, since I was able to finish my assignments faster than they could give it to me.
    -Restructuring is apparently shifting a lot of things around so things may be much different than from what I experienced (i.e. departments becoming consolidated, end of Green Fridays probably, loss of personal offices etc).
    -I was offered a small extension onto my contract but after two weeks waiting after the end of my intern contract I decided to seek a position elsewhere. Again that might have been due to restructuring.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The intern had the chance to meet various higher-ups in the organization for advice and feedback, and I'm grateful for that. I wish the program could be more structured and that expectations of the position could be spelled out much clearly at the beginning. Give interns more responsibilities and have higher expectations.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. Waste of time

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

    I worked at National Geographic

    Pros

    Discounts, experience and the people are nice

    Cons

    No room for growth and little compensation

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't hire people with Masters degrees to do jobs that less qualified people can do

  10. 1 person found this helpful

    Great Company, With Issues

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Coordinator in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Coordinator in Washington, DC

    I have been working at National Geographic full-time

    Pros

    Great benefits
    Wonderful people
    Plenty of events to keep you engaged with the mission
    Pretty consistent work

    Cons

    Low Pay
    New CEO is taking away some of those great benefits that are supposed to compensate for the low pay
    Rarely hire from within
    Too many upper level positions, not enough in the middle
    Work/Life balance depends on department managers - some want you there the same hours they are there - can be frustrating
    Occasional nepotism is disappointing
    I MUST copy these two reviews from above because I 100% agree!!:
    "It can be hard to be recognized for your accomplishments. Vocal employees are often rewarded more than the hard-working ones."
    "People are often stagnate here. They would rather stay with the company in a job they've outgrown than pursue other opportunities." - This ties in with the fact that SOME departments rarely promote/hire from within and the aforementioned problem of not enough middle positions

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    If you are going to start taking away some of our amazing benefits, start compensating through pay, because people will be leaving in DROVES without Green Fridays.

    Start promoting from within, and stop being to obsessed with the pay grades! Why can't a level 9 with 5+ years experience get that Level 11 position? Instead of taking 4 months hiring someone from outside and spending another 3 months training them to use our systems and learn our procedures?

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. A lot of people like working here

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

    I have been working at National Geographic

    Pros

    Non-profit and still mainly acts like it. Profit is important but not the end all. Benefits are stellar but as the years go by, they are taking some of the good ones away. Maternity/parental leave is very very good.

    Cons

    New leadership clashing with old guard who have been here for years. NG is not sure if it wants to be a media conglomerate or an instrument of global change.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Make changes slowly.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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