Rubicon West

  www.rubiconatlas.com
  www.rubiconatlas.com

Rubicon West Reviews

Updated December 3, 2014
Updated December 3, 2014
15 Reviews
2.5
15 Reviews
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Roger W. Smith
8 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1. 3 people found this helpful  

    Brilliant people. Bright future.

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

    I have been working at Rubicon West full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Rubicon is full of brilliant, well-intentioned, staff members who look out for each other and the best interests of the firm. While Rubicon has gone through some growing pains and needs to update some process and roles to match the firm’s size, I’m optimistic about the firm’s ability to grow and innovate in the future.

    Cons

    Rubicon is still catching up to its growth in many ways and still operates like a smaller firm in terms of both business processes and culture. As Rubicon continues to grow and scale, it will need to rely on a little more structure and strategy (as opposed to personality and opportunity) to be successful.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Prepare for growth. Take care of your staff. Be transparent with firm strategy and goals.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    An example of one career path

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

    I have been working at Rubicon West full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    I have developed both personally and professionally in numerous areas with Rubicon. While friends working elsewhere have had to job hop to gain new experiences, I’ve participated on various teams including Operations, Marketing, Client Service, Professional Development (both internal and external) and the Rubicon Foundation to name a few. Some opportunities I have created on my own and some have been asked of me due to company needs. When I benchmark myself against peers in the community, I am comfortable with my depth in my area of expertise and satisfied I haven't been pigeon holed in to one career track. I have experienced Rubicon’s commitment to providing a broad range of opportunities to develop it’s associates and their capabilities.

    Cons

    Historically change has been slow, but that seems to be changing.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Continue on the positive path you are on.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3. 7 people found this helpful  

    Don't get duped like I did, I regret it every day

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

    I have been working at Rubicon West full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    There are some awesome people here that really do want to do well and make a difference in education. Office is in a great location downtown and the company reimburses for home internet, a perk I have not heard of elsewhere. Employees are provided with an iPhone and an iPad. Free snacks (which is nice on those days you really need some chocolate...which is quite often).

    Cons

    No parking/transportation stipend. Employees do whatever they want with no vision or clear direction. Management tells people things and lets news spread through the grapevine instead of formal communications. Poor business practices; time spent on the wrong things. Lots of internal INefficiencies that management refuses to change (like the fact that EVERY employee is required to account for every 1/2 hour of their day on a SPREADSHEET every two weeks for payroll). Can only join retirement plan Jan 1 or Jul 1 after 6 months of employment (something they did not even tell the recruiter). There really are people who are paid to gossip and report back to the CEO.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Let go of the past! It's not 1990 anymore.

    Doesn't Recommend
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  5. 6 people found this helpful  

    Extremely volatile and poor management, amazing team

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

    I worked at Rubicon West full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Good benefits: medical, dental, vision, disability short and long etc.

    401K eligible after 6 months with company match

    4 weeks vacation + 1 week sick leave

    Offers decent work-life balance if you manage to get a cool/understanding team lead. Not consistent throughout the company

    Cons

    Volatile CEO and management.

    Back-stabbing is the name of the game here. The CEO gets off on listening in on all the gossip. He literally has tasked somebody in finding out all the "dirt" that is going on in order to use it as leverage during reviews (if you ever get one).

    There is an internal tool they built called "twitter" to allow for anonymous (to the unlucky recipient) messages to be sent to management about anybody in the office. Obviously, it was and is abused to tell/complain about minor things that could be addressed with a simple conversation. Instead- it creates a suspicious and low morale environment since you never know which coworker complained about you. As a user, you can see that something is posted in regards to you but not the contents of it or who sent it. They sell the use of this tool as a "way to provide feedback of your coworkers". You only really find out what that "feedback" is... when/if you get a performance review. It then gets taken into account, while you get to be taken by surprise about something that might have happened weeks/months/years ago.

    Extremely irregular performance reviews. Some people get them yearly... and several members haven't had one in 2-4 years. In other words, some people have not had pay raises in 2-4 years and with no exception of when you will get one since they occur on the whim of the CEO.

    Decisions are made by only one partner. Everything is filtered through him. Even though the company has 5-6 team leads... they actually don't do anything except relay information to the partner who makes all the sole decisions. Months of work have been thrown away at a whim, or mood swing. There has been a lot of back-tracking on work. A waste of employee time and effort. Another reason morale is down across the board.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Please retire. The endless cycle of terrible management has created a toxic environment all around. Allow the talented people you have hired to actually do their job. Kill Twitter. It is toxic and the most unproductive "tool" we have ever encountered.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 5 people found this helpful  

    job-seekers beware

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

    I worked at Rubicon West full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    4 weeks vacation
    higher starting salaries
    generally smart and nice colleagues. They hire ambitious, intelligent, dependable people but their talent is ultimately wasted

    Cons

    -no HR. This company thrives on gossip and arbitrary rules set in place by the CEO that essentially just likes to watch you squirm. Employees have no protection and are at the whim of "upper level management's" moods (if you can even call them that. they are just there to make it look like the CEO isn't the only one calling the shots when he is).

    -the lack of HR also allows actual illegal behavior to pass as acceptable. Several employees and former employees have either sued or discussed this as a viable option.

    -they try to advertise the company as a "flat organization." Do not be fooled by this. It is corporate jargon for "zero growth opportunity."

    -incredibly high turnover in recent years. some of the best people at the company have left within the last year or 2 years. the only people that are still there are either: new, looking for a job, or have been there so long that they know their skills most likely wouldn't be valued at a new company.

    -salaries: they may start you higher than other places but they are 100% arbitrary and not at all based on performance. They are NOT tied to performance reviews!

    -Performance reviews are basically an excuse to tell you all the things that people don't like about you. You have very little PD even though they tout this as a benefit.

    -Tenured and fulltime associates are treated with little respect, while interns are treated like royalty for whatever reason. It doesn't work though, because most are smart enough not to come back full time.

    -The product is incredibly outdated. It has not helped one single school.

    -the travel is a thankless burden.

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

    A highly educated and diverse team

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

    I have been working at Rubicon West full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    The team at Rubicon is highly diverse and educated. The culture in the office is highly cooperative and every associate is invested in the success of new associates.
    The atmosphere even though is very formal, the team is very laid back outside of the office and very active.
    Associate lunches are encouraged by the firm to be able to build relationships between team and feel connected and successes are celebrated firm wide.
    Overall the work is fulfilling because of the service we provide to teachers and personally is also enjoyable because of the people I work with.

    Cons

    Given that it's a rapid growth organization there are growing pains but that also provides great potential.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 4 people found this helpful  

    Anytime now, Google.

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Rubicon West

    Pros

    -Nice kitchen, espresso and "treats"
    -Beautiful office
    -Amazing people
    -Amazing clients

    Cons

    -NO HR. BEWARE.
    -Manages by fear
    -Totally arbitrary dress code that doesn't fit the client base or modern times
    -Outdated software product, amazing it is still a competitor
    -90% of leadership is a joke
    -Mass exodus of talent
    -No clear vision or innovation
    -CEO is a loose cannon
    -No consistency in pay, mission, reviews, objectives, professional development, meetings
    -No message is ever simple. It has to be buried in metaphors and poorly written story lines.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Retire. Step out of the way for fresh leadership.

  9. 5 people found this helpful  

    A lesson in navigating micromanagement.

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

    I worked at Rubicon West full-time

    Pros

    The pay was above average for Portland, but never really certain what others were making. The views from the office in Portland are incredible.

    Cons

    Where do I even begin? This is a software company that wants to be the leader in teaching and learning. The problem with this scenario is that the software has never been proven to affect teaching and/or learning. It’s sort of like everything else here: a great deal of spin but very little substance. The interview process is quite lengthy where the same questions are asked. There is no HR department, so when a colleague or manager is acting unprofessional, there is little if anything that can be done for the employee. There are no professional development opportunities. The company has long claimed to be a flat organization, but then “promoted” some people. The people promoted had a title change, but everything still has to be approved by one of 3 real partners. It is very much a top down style organization. I have never been so micromanaged in my life. There were and are some great people at this company, but many have left because their voice is never considered in any decision. An abnormal amount of money is spent on parties and food for the office, but there is no employee review process and nobody is every certain if or when they might get a raise. The dress code is too formal for a Portland office that rarely sees clients in the office. Clients are mostly contacted over the phone or in person. You must check your email all the time to know the dress code for the day or learn of an emergency meeting or required event.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    1. Believe in your team.
    2. Take some time to go out and visit a classroom for the purpose of seeing what teachers, administrators, and students do each day.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 5 people found this helpful  

    Perception of the company is more important than what anyone actually does

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

    I worked at Rubicon West full-time

    Pros

    Good benefits for all, 4 weeks vacation, phone, internet
    Good pay ... for some

    Cons

    Pay is arbitrarily set depending on mood of CEO. Firm is advertised as a 'flat' organization, this is absolutely false. Management micro-manages every project. Projects must be defined by management or are ignored. Management has no vision for the future, so employees have no idea where the firm is going. Focus often changes on a quarterly basis ("We need to get in to those social media thing!" 3 months later... "We need to be leaders in the iOS market place, throw away that social media stuff!"). Company is extremely formal, full suits most days, business casual when you get an email at midnight (be sure to check email in the morning).

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Ask CEO to retire, or at least say no to him once in awhile. It does no good to always agree with everything the CEO says. Listen to your employees instead of just throwing money at them when they have a problem. You hire great people, give them the lead on projects and let them succeed or fail by themselves. You don't need to get involved in every single project, and you can't. The reason you can't scale is because it's impossible to micromanage more than 60 employees at a time.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 6 people found this helpful  

    An interesting psychological study of a start-up that's stalled

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

    I have been working at Rubicon West full-time

    Pros

    Located in downtown Portland, the offices are absolutely beautiful, with eclectic working spaces. The talent in this company is amazing, they hire extremely bright and passionate people. The team in general is very close and is involved in many outside the office activities together. The product and community outreach is really admirable, safe to say, they are a well-respected proponent of the education community world-wide. Amazing what the relatively small team accomplishes in terms of handling an international client base.

    Cons

    Where to start:
    1) There is no HR, nor does it seem there ever will be as long as current management remains the same. It represents too much of a loss of control.

    2) The talent stagnates and people begin to leave. A lot of effort is put into "sparking" new initiatives and products, but people have zero say in seeing through a project without getting bottlenecked at the top.

    3) To say the president of the company micromanages every aspect of the company is a huge understatement. They like to say the company is flat in interviews, but that is in no way true.

    4) Pay is good, but secret, arbitrary, and little is done on the way of consistent performance reviews or bonuses.

    5) Always chooses making a good impression on outsiders vs valuing existing employees. For example, senior team members get displaced from offices and desks so that interns get a good view!

    6) Dress changes from business formal to business casual, but employees have to wait for a nearly nightly email from the president before they know what to wear the next day!

    7) Insane amounts of time and money is spent on twice yearly parties, often to the point of disrupting actual work and time with clients. If they were smart and really wanted to effect morale, management would throw a potluck in a park and hand out bonus checks.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Step aside and hire in leadership that empowers your talented employees! Or hear out and give more power to the existing teams that work passionately on trying to effect change. Stop hazing the talent. Fear is not motivational!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

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Creative Space "Serengeti Lodge"

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