Sasaki Associates Reviews

Updated March 1, 2015
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Sasaki Associates Managing Principal James Miner
James Miner
6 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1. 1 person found this helpful

    it was disappointing

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Architectural Designer in Boston, NY
    Former Employee - Architectural Designer in Boston, NY

    I worked at Sasaki Associates full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    good city nearby the office
    fairly good people
    good benefits

    Cons

    work work and work!
    low payment
    competitions
    not efficient communications

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. Highly "siloed" work environment; multidisciplinary, but lack of collaboration

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Landscape Designer in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Landscape Designer in San Francisco, CA

    I worked at Sasaki Associates full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    The corporate structure provides some level of organization, which many design firms lack. Access to interesting project work, if you get on the right teams and in with the right Principals.

    Cons

    I expected a more collaborative environment coming to a multidisciplinary firm, but the departments feel surprisingly separate, and even antagonistic at times.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful

    A disappointing work experience, largely due to a lack of leadership and poor management.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Landscape Architect in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Landscape Architect in San Francisco, CA

    I have been working at Sasaki Associates

    Pros

    Good benefits, reasonable salary, some interesting project work, and a respectable level of commitment to quality work products and solid design.

    There are some good, talented people who work here.

    The multidisciplinary environment provides opportunities for better collaboration among the different disciplines.

    Cons

    Very poor, uninspiring leadership and mismanagement that lacks vision and big-picture thinking -- too many knee-jerk reactions and short-term solutions to problems that are systemic within the organization. A lot of micro-managers -- there needs to be a macro-visionary in the landscape architecture group.

    The SF office plays a very secondary role to Watertown, which diminishes the opportunities for the SF office to work on world-class projects, and the environment is overly corporate for an office that is not very big.

    Much of the design work, while competent, lacks imagination and innovation, and input from talented junior staff is too often disregarded.

    A severe lack of transparency regarding business decisions made by the leadership.

    Junior staff often get pigeon-holed very quickly into doing a certain type of work and certain kinds of tasks, which does not yield a solid foundation for professional development.

    Multidisciplinary office lacks interdisciplinary collaboration and is more "silo-ed" than many single-discipline offices.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Management should nurture the talents of the existing staff and promote a meritocracy. Good work and efforts to show initiative often go unrecognized at Sasaki, which is demoralizing. While the company has laid off a number of people because of the economic circumstances, many others have left voluntarily because of such low morale. Management also needs to promote a more collaborative, interdisciplinary environment, and managers in the landscape architecture department need to push for more responsibility and leverage in design conversations by landscape architecture staff rather than relegate the landscape architect's role to providing assistance to the architects and planners.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
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  5. Following the economy and going downhill fast

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

    I worked at Sasaki Associates

    Pros

    Co-workers are great - for the most part, very talented, bright, fun, interesting people who want to do good work and make a difference in the world

    Cons

    Communication from senior management is laughable - they think they're great at it, but its meaningless white noise. The silence around the continuing layoffs is unsettling, to put it mildly.
    The feeling we get from senior management is that everyone is replaceable; we should all feel lucky to have a job; its the haves versus the have nots.
    Too many principals, and many don't like or respect each other, or want to work together; feels like high school, but at least in HS you have the excuse of being young and immature. So much for the 'collaborative, interdisciplinary' culture!
    Bottom line and utilization rates are all that matter.
    Level of stress in no way equals the 'rewards'
    HR is a joke; not advocates for the staff.
    People tend to show their true colors when the going gets tough, and those colors are not pretty.
    Many of the good people have left or will leave; unfortunately, some useless people remain.
    Too bad - used to be a respectable design firm and a decent place to work.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get serious management advisor in ASAP, before its too late
    Throw out (almost) everyone at the top and start over

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. Great hands on experience with all phases of the design projects in a wide variety of design sectors

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Interior Designer in Watertown, MA
    Current Employee - Interior Designer in Watertown, MA

    I have been working at Sasaki Associates full-time

    Pros

    Flexible working schedules, casual and informal working atmosphere, strong focus on interdisciplinary design

    Cons

    Poor staffing strategies, continuous flow of projects with poor clients/contractors/consultants

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7. limited opportunities at a prestigious firm

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Landscape Architect in Watertown, MA
    Former Employee - Landscape Architect in Watertown, MA

    I worked at Sasaki Associates full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    nice work environment in a beautiful location, diverse and peremier projects from all over the world

    Cons

    strange office environment, some of the terrible people tend to dominate the atmosphere , though most of the people are nice and helpful.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    should be smart in telling what is the most important and what is not important in implementing work, and should encouraging the passion of their fellow coworkers and

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful

    Use to be a good, respectable place. Seems to be struggling with recovery and leadership.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Associate in Watertown, MA
    Current Employee - Senior Associate in Watertown, MA

    I have been working at Sasaki Associates

    Pros

    A lot of great people to work with at a social and professional level. Good benefits package. Great commitment to sustainability work. Excellent commuter benefits.

    Cons

    Lack of competitive salaries. Far too many partners (40+) for the size of the firm (240). A divide has formed between the older and younger partners. Morale is low due to ongoing layoffs, lack of work, and poor leadership. Layoffs were expected in 2009 and 2010 due to the economy, but a few weeks after a company meeting in 2011 where they said no more layoffs they laid off about a dozen more people. Other firms appear to be recovering in the Boston area (hiring) while things remain flat at Sasaki. People are really beginning to question management, just not directly.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Since the CEO is retiring the idea of leading the company by committee is certain death. The partners have always had difficulty agreeing and for some reason they think it is going to work to run the company by committee.

    No opinion of CEO
  9. Lots of potential

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Associate in Watertown, MA
    Current Employee - Associate in Watertown, MA

    I have been working at Sasaki Associates

    Pros

    Interdisciplinary firm
    Pleasant people
    Nice work environment
    Great firm legacy
    Huge potential

    Cons

    Lack of unification at top levels of management
    Too top heavy

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Leverage design talent through career development opportunities.
    Hire more design leaders and less management leaders.

    No opinion of CEO
  10. Seen better days

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Watertown, MA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Watertown, MA

    I have been working at Sasaki Associates

    Pros

    Exposure to a lot of different projects types and locations
    Friendly work atmosphere and activities
    Competitive benefits and pay
    Nice co-workers

    Cons

    The path to career advancement is not very clear or consistent
    Projects overall are pretty average for a national firm
    Long hours
    Increasingly dreary with frequent layoffs, lack of work, and the poor economy.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Too top heavy. There are way too many principals. The firm's legacy has been built on creating world class landscape design, but there is little to show. The international practice remains a very small sector of the firm, with little work outside planning. Seems like a missed opportunity.

    Approves of CEO
  11. Things to think about regarding Sasaki.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA

    I have been working at Sasaki Associates

    Pros

    Project types are unique. Equal opportunity benefits for men and women.

    Cons

    Pay scale for engineers is low. It is a top heavy firm with limited opportunity to get into the top tier (partner) as most are not ready to retire for another 10-15 years.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Look more closely at equivalent pay scales for the specific disciplines, for the greater Boston area.

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