Public Citizen

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Public Citizen Reviews

Updated Mar 10, 2014

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2.2 13 reviews

13 Employee Reviews
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    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

     

    The internship experience is great

    Social Median Intern (Current Employee) Austin, TX

    ProsI work at the Texas office of Public Citizen which is known as Clean Gulf Commerce Coalition. The office has a relaxed atmosphere, and the interns are really being valued. I did not have a great experience with my last internship because my supervisor did not actually let me work on the things that I wanted to (I applied for communication intern but I was treating as a business intern the whole time). But at Public Citizen, my supervisor let me do real social media work. No clerical work is also a plus.

    ConsI do not have any complaints, at least for now.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

    2 people found this helpful  

    Terrible place to work

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsHealthcare is paid for 100% after 30 days

    Union organization, so you have pretty good job security after passing the probationary period

    ConsMuch lower salaries compared to other local non-profits, and it is very difficult to get a raise or a promotion.

    No HR department, so nowhere to turn if there is a workplace issue that needs to be discussed. Management is not impartial so speaking with them is not an option.

    Despite low pay, management expects you to work as much as possible and hesitates when you ask for overtime or time off as compensation.

    This is a union-based organization; some employees take advantage of the job security and behave unprofessionally (including showing little to no respect for colleagues, not performing their job functions, etc.) which corrode the atmosphere of the work environment.

    Turnover within the organization is extremely high. This is due to a variety of reasons, including low pay, lack of opportunity for growth, lack of team atmosphere, and lack of professionalism in the workplace. Managers do not show respect for their teams and often take sides rather than reaching a middle ground. The high turnover rate results in poor historical knowledge and having to reinvent the wheel every time someone leaves.

    Advice to Senior ManagementStart respecting employees more and allowing us to do our jobs and people will stick around. It is very difficult to perform our job duties when managers do not have our best interests at heart and allow for such high turnover to occur. Listen to employees rather than looking for the cheapest way out. For an organization that waves its public interest goals like a banner, it's awfully sad that employees are rarely treated with decency and respect.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

    1 person found this helpful  

    Easy work, difficult work environment.

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee) Washington, DC

    ProsGood health benefits and there are some nice people there, unfortunately they are treated poorly and paid even worse.

    ConsIncompetent senior management, no over-arching mission, low pay, no raises, little collegiality, lots of obstacles to success.

    Advice to Senior ManagementThe objective of a manager should be to enable your staff to do what they are good at. You have to stop getting in people's way and trust them to do what you hired them to do. Treat people well or they won't stay, especially if you are going to pay them such low wages. And give the organization some sense of purpose - it's not the seventies anymore. The organization is dying and you don't even seem to realize it.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

    1 person found this helpful  

    Dedicated people trying to do important work while being hamstrung by management.

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsThe people working there are amazingly dedicated, qualified, and eager to work.

    ConsThe management of Public Citizen (including the Board of Directors) allows and in some cases takes part in bullying of employees, takes advantage of unpaid interns as a way of not hiring additional administrative staff, and generally treats employees with a total lack of respect.

    Advice to Senior ManagementGet rid of policies and people who are causing high turnover rates (and poor reviews on this site.) Bring in a strong HR director empowered to take immediate direct action to end the bullying of employees. Stop using unpaid interns to avoid hiring administrative staff. Pay entry level employees a living wage.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

     

    Glassdoor exists to warn people about places like this

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsPublic Citizen works for admirable goals.

    ConsBullying. Outdated... everything. High turnover. Low morale. Management knows nothing about managing. Constant threats. I would be honestly surprised if they are still in business in 3 years. Not worth it for any number of reasons - no matter how much you agree with their goals.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

    1 person found this helpful  

    Rewarding experience, don't expect to get paid

    Intern (Former Employee) Washington, DC

    ProsI really enjoyed the mission of the team I was working on. It was very rewarding to know that I was working towards a change.
    One of my managers was very nice, and I felt a deep connection with him.
    Generally, you will find other progressive, like minded people working here.

    ConsThey do not pay you for internships. I understand that this is common, but it seems unjust and hypocritical for such a far left organization, especially one that is so favorable to labor unions. The only people that can afford to do unpaid internships are middle class college students, so the organization is discriminating against lower class people and segregating their workplace. In my department, it was clear that they took on interns because the two staff members could not handle all the work themselves. It seems unjust that they would pay two staff members and then bring on more, essentially staff members, for the cheapest labor possible - free.
    Campaign organizing is a great experience, but if you want to do it as a career and are starting off, you will be lucky to make 25k, if anything at all. Not to mention, it does not really give you skills that transfer to any other type of job.
    Staff was a little snobby - several people scoffed when I told them I live in Maryland instead of in the city (Washington, DC). How do you expect an unpaid intern to live in such an expensive city?

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

    1 person found this helpful  

    Internship not as advertised.

    Intern (Former Employee) Washington, DC

    ProsIf you are far to the left, don't mind working with an unorganized, low resourced staff, you may enjoy working with this organization.

    ConsThe internship position was not as advertised online or what was discussed in the interview. Intern assignments could have easily been tasked to a high school student. The staff were unwilling to include interns on projects even though they all were so concerned about how much work needed to be done on a daily basis. Their office operations made zero sense - a very disorganized group. Each department works on their own agendas, with no overarching mission. Terrible experience with minimal reward.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

     

    Internship was rewarding, but would have benefited from more structure

    Research Intern (Former Employee) Washington, DC

    ProsI was an unpaid intern at the Congress Watch division of PC (on Penn. SW near Third, not at "HQ"). I enjoyed the work I was doing (95% of time) and people I worked with (closer to 100% of time), and I believe in the over-arching mission of the organization.

    ConsThe project I was working on didn't lead to an identifiable work product that I could later point to as an accomplishment, and so wasn't as likely to provide proof of my abilities to a later potential employer.

    Advice to Senior ManagementProvide a bit more oversight, so that interns are assigned to projects that are likely to reach some level of completion, allowing intern to say something like "I did ________ to [help] create __________, which _________[makes xxx contribution to xxxx]."

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

    1 person found this helpful  

    It was great -- until it wasn't

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee) Washington, DC

    ProsIt is a great cause, which works on many important issues. It has a rich history with important wins behind it.

    I had many passionate, smart, savvy co-workers, who I enjoyed spending time with, on and off the job.

    The benefits were pretty good, and management could be flexible at times. It was a great place to work -- until it wasn't.

    ConsThe mission was getting bogged down, and projects were created and assigned without a clear explanation of how they help meet our goal. Goals were also very "pie in the sky" and unrealistic.

    There were many employees who were dead weight, with the better employees picking up the slack -- and getting burned out.

    Management was pretty terrible, either lashing out or avoiding confrontation altogether, both to the detriment of the department. Turnover is very high. The workplace could definitely feel toxic.

    Salaries were also lower than many other nonprofits in DC.

    Advice to Senior ManagementTake management classes. Know which battles to pick and how to approach them. Don't expect harder working employees to pick up the slack for others you can't get rid of for nothing in return.

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

    1 person found this helpful  

    Low morale, low pay, and little support.

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsPublic Citizen has accomplished a fair amount over the years and works on a lot of important issues few organizations do.

    ConsOne of the worst management teams of any organization I've ever worked for. There is no overarching mission at the organization, leaving the organization to operate more like a bunch of tiny groups. Nobody knows what anyone else is doing.

    It's also one of the stingiest organizations I've ever seen. There are really smart people working at Public Citizen who have 5+ years experience and advanced degrees who make less than $50k.

    Unsurprisingly, morale is very low and turnover is very high.

    Advice to Senior ManagementTake a class in management. Pay your employees what they are worth. Provide some organizational strategy and direction. The Ralph Nader tactics from the 1970s won't work in today's world. Move forward!

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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