Public Citizen Reviews

13 Reviews
2.2
13 Reviews
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  1.  

    The internship experience is great

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Social Median Intern in Austin, TX
    Current Employee - Social Median Intern in Austin, TX

    I have been working at Public Citizen as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    I 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.

    Cons

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

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  2. 3 people found this helpful  

    Terrible place to work

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

    I have been working at Public Citizen full-time

    Pros

    Healthcare is paid for 100% after 30 days

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

    Cons

    Much 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 ManagementAdvice

    Start 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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

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

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

    I worked at Public Citizen

    Pros

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

    Cons

    The 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 ManagementAdvice

    Get 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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Easy work, difficult work environment.

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

    I worked at Public Citizen full-time

    Pros

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

    Cons

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

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The 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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  6.  

    Glassdoor exists to warn people about places like this

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

    I worked at Public Citizen full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Public Citizen works for admirable goals.

    Cons

    Bullying. 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.

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

    Rewarding experience, don't expect to get paid

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

    I worked at Public Citizen as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    I 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.

    Cons

    They 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?

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Internship not as advertised.

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

    I worked at Public Citizen as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

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

    Cons

    The 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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  9.  

    Internship was rewarding, but would have benefited from more structure

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

    I worked at Public Citizen as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    I 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.

    Cons

    The 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 ManagementAdvice

    Provide 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]."

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    It was great -- until it wasn't

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

    I worked at Public Citizen full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    It 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.

    Cons

    The 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 ManagementAdvice

    Take 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.

  11. 2 people found this helpful  

    Low morale, low pay, and little support.

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

    I worked at Public Citizen full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

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

    Cons

    One 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 ManagementAdvice

    Take 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!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

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