Refinery29 Reviews

Updated August 23, 2015
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2.8
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Philippe von Borries
21 Ratings

33 Employee Reviews

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  1. Software Engineer

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Refinery29 full-time

    Pros

    Experimenting with 10% time Fun offsite activities, company meetings & company events Summer Fridays Code workshops + show & tell sessions bring engineers together to learn from each other Flex hours to allow for schooling & remote development (upon approval) Employees can participate in R29 stories from time to time Corporate gym memberships with Equinox & Crunch Beautiful office Coworkers are friends Free snacks

    Cons

    Low education budget per developer compared to other companies No 401K match Code quality varies from repo to repo

    Advice to Management

    Increase the education budget so it is competitive. Introduce 401K match. Create more diverse opportunities for engineers who do not wish to go into management.


  2. Helpful (5)

    Not for the weak of heart

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Creative Department in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Creative Department in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Refinery29 full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Office culture can be very social, with frequent events, parties, etc. My colleagues are some of the best in the business.

    Cons

    Refinery29 can be a bit of a catty sorority, where bosses pick favorites based on how cool you look rather than how good your ideas are. The politics can be difficult to navigate for anyone who doesn't fit the mold, and I've seen really great folks get ostracized for that exact reason. For a company boasting their earning YoY in company wide meetings, it's really disheartening to see that pay and benefits are not growing equally. Salaries are not competitive. Employees are expected to be online 24/7, work late, work on vacation, etc. Work life balance is not existent. Almost every department has weak or abrasive, untrained mid-level to upper management. All of these factors contribute to an incredibly high turnover. All of my colleagues are actively looking for new jobs.

    Advice to Management

    Management needs serious training Manage work life balance Improve compensation Otherwise you'll continue to bleed star talent


  3. Helpful (3)

    Kool-aid on tap at Refinery29

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Refinery29 full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    A very cushy job. Generally no overtime. You can do the bare minimum. Impossible to get fired, you have no idea. Free snacks.

    Cons

    Lack of leadership. Code is a never ending mess that hasn't improve much over the last 2 years. Clique culture. Too many junior devs, not enough knowledgeable people. You won't get to work on cutting edge tech. Don't even think of bringing up flaws or issues, you'll make someone else have to do their job and you'll be the enemy. As long as you close tickets you're doing a good job, even if it's adding to the mess. Engineering is in fact the most underperforming department, but they have so much money no one notices. For some reason front-end people wont take jobs here. The good people leave after getting burnt out from trying to make a change.

    Advice to Management

    Maybe it's time to start again and bring in some heavy hitters like the larger media corporations have.


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  5. Helpful (2)

    Editor

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Refinery29 full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Rapidly growing company, huge opportunity for growth, excellent company culture, and the knowledge of knowing that thousands of people are reading your work daily. Management is interested in your career path within the company but also how you will succeed and grow once you leave, and that's super rare.

    Cons

    Some complain about a work/life balance, but it's media — any company worth its salt it going to be a company where you have to carve out your own work/life balance. No one is going to hold your hand and do it for you, the same way no one is going to help you grow unless you speak up and do it for yourself. I don't really see these as cons, though. They're growth opportunities.


  6. Helpful (10)

    If You're Not A Boss-Favorite, You're Nobody

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Editor in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Editor in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Refinery29 full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    I've met a lot of smart, creative, passionate people here. It's cool to be working at such a hot company, and I personally have a lot of autonomy in my day-to-day, so that's a plus.

    Cons

    Upper management is clueless. It's a mismanaged company with poor intra- and inter-departmental communication. If you have a "following" and you're good at kissing tail, you will be favored. Way too much emphasis on numbers and goals, not enough — or any — placed on people doing hard work everyday. Total lack of integrity in senior managers who abuse their power and undermine and manipulate staff not on their level. I believe that it's the mid-level people who are the ones who actually have a handle on the work being done. Lots of recent preaching about how they're going to make our lives easier; no solutions offered. There is also a CRAZY amount of turnover, which is a good indicator of employee discontent. Every week, someone else is sending an adios email. Only those favorited by upper mgmt receive sweet send-off emails. Same is true for those beginning work at R29: If you have a following or were "poached" (their word, not mine) from another company, you will receive a lovely email intro. Nothing though if you're not deemed special by head honchos.

    Advice to Management

    Take a look around at how many talented people have left the company in the last year. Remember that there are people being employed here, not servants or children who you can treat terribly.


  7. Work IS Life — and that

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Social Media Editor in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Social Media Editor in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Refinery29 full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    HUGE opportunity for growth if you're willing to speak up and be innovative, great brand story and company culture and brand mission.

    Cons

    Little to no work/life balance, management can seem non-supportive.

    Advice to Management

    Incredible leadership can be hard to come by, but keeping them empowered is even harder. Understanding how hard it is to juggle day-to-day tasks with overall strategy really doesn't allow managers and their employees to prosper, so empowering all the managers to feel more like mentors would really help craft a company culture where everyone feels like their career is getting championed and not constantly challenged because there's someone cooler to poach from an outside source.


  8. Work in Progress, but a great company!

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Refinery29 full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    The outlook of the company is great - it's growing rapidly, staying ahead of the industry. It's a really exciting time to be a part of the company. Everyone is passionate about the brand. Everyone works hard but also knows how to have FUN at work. Of course, we get some cool stuff - happy hours, tons of catered lunches/breakfasts, perks from brand partnerships, etc.

    Cons

    With rapid growth comes major growing pains. Lots of teams need more operational support, managers with more managerial experience. This is not an environment for everyone - everyone puts in a lot of time, so work-life balance can be thrown off easily if you're not mindful of maintaining personal time.

    Advice to Management

    Be pro-active in learning HOW to manage small and large teams. Be mindful of your employees - they have personal lives that also need attention.


  9. Helpful (4)

    Fashion intern

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great growth potential Fast-paced work environment Ability to go far in the editorial ranks

    Cons

    Below market salary Long hours Mismanagement of interns at certain times


  10. Helpful (4)

    Account Executive

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Account Executive in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Account Executive in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at Refinery29 full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Rapidly growing organization with an interesting business model. Will probably ride the crest of the wave and eventually break it up.

    Cons

    Poor execution of projects, weak supervision, poor coordinating efforts and way too much dissension for a company of this size. Hiring way too quickly and loosing focus on objectives as well as the human element. Hours are long and personnel is under appreciated.

    Advice to Management

    Slow down! You are beginning to loose control. To many employees feeling the risk/reward simply isn't worth it. It started out being fun, but it has become a sweat shop with little hope for improvement.


  11. Helpful (5)

    Sales Rep

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Refinery29 full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    There is an arrogance about management that gives them licence to treat you like garbage and yet, people are attracted to the company in the hopes that it will be different for them. I like that the company is hot, but what good is it if you are underpaid, overworked and under appreciated.

    Cons

    A plethora of missteps going on simultaneously creating a high level of stress and anxiety for just about everyone other than senior management. Poor communication leads to low morale and criticisms are not always constructive and can be cutting at times.

    Advice to Management

    Big problem with management is that they tell you what to do, but don't tell you how to do it. They ask everything of you and give nothing in return. Management has stop dumping on teams and take responsibility for lack of leadership and low self essteem.



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