Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP

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Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP Reviews

Updated February 28, 2015
Updated February 28, 2015
83 Reviews
3.1
83 Reviews
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Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP Managing Partner, San Francisco Gene Schnair
Gene Schnair
15 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Great Projects and opportunity for advancement (in 8 reviews)

  • High Profile projects and clients (in 5 reviews)


Cons
  • Long hours are expected leaving little time for life outside of work (in 13 reviews)

  • Horrible work life balance for most (in 5 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Architectural Giant

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

    I worked at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP

    Pros

    Lots of great projects around the World. Very knowledgeable and helpful staff. Great place to gain skills, experience, and grow with the firm.

    Cons

    None really. Extra hours are a standard, but that's to be expected from any design firm.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Good place for young architect to train

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

    I worked at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP

    Pros

    Learn from great people. Process driven. Rigorous and committed to design intent.

    Cons

    Peer pressure to work long hours. Hard to get promoted in an often stagnant-feeling environment. Very little social interaction with peers.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Promote women designers!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    Terrible management, disconnected from real world (INTERIORS)

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

    I have been working at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP

    Pros

    Supposedly great projects, prestige. Historically innovative firm known to attract top talent.

    Cons

    No training for entry level employees. Very political environment. Leadership struggles internally. Horribly inefficient use of employee time. Initiative and collaboration discouraged. Managers motivate through fear, not an offering of support and trust that could lead to great things!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Try to learn something about how the world is changing, how the industry needs to adapt. Otherwise you will lose your smartest people and wonder why you can't get innovative projects.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    VP quant analyst

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Vice President Quant Analyst in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Vice President Quant Analyst in New York, NY

    I worked at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP

    Pros

    Great company when you think about it

    Cons

    lousy pay when you think about it

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Improve performance

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6.  

    Good but very inefficient 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 Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP full-time

    Pros

    Good design, large budgets, money to spend on vendors, good benefits

    Cons

    Too many unpaid hours is common

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    big buildings, big egos

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

    I have been working at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP

    Pros

    unbelievably great benefits, amazing work space

    Cons

    very little trust or confidence put into lower level staff. it's a very traditional "work your way up" place, very rigid hierarchy. it's not diverse. poor management leads to project teams scrambling to complete tight deadlines very quickly - long hours are not uncommon. overall attitude is focused on working long hours - i have had many days taking no lunch and leaving late at night. overall attitude reinforces that low level employees are very insignificant.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    put more trust into lower level employees and promote a more transparent and laid back culture rather than the current trend of management not mixing with low level staff at all. learn employees' names if possible...should be, everyone's got a name, it's only polite to remember it if you've been working with them for a year. project a better business plan to avoid the current trend of laying off and then hiring new staff to replace when work picks up again two months later.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    Long Hours Strong Design

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Architect (Level C) in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Architect (Level C) in New York, NY

    I worked at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Work with Talented highly motivated group of architects and designers in a fast paced/high intensity work environment. This can be either a pro or a con depending on your attitude. They have a fairly high turnover for lower level positions. Pay is decent and benefits are pretty good.

    Cons

    Very long hours, top down management style.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Break up the hierarchy and work to minimize your high turnover at the entry level.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 2 people found this helpful  

    Independence discouraged

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Architectural Professional (Level E) in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Senior Architectural Professional (Level E) in New York, NY

    I worked at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP full-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    Looks impressive on resume - that's it.

    Cons

    1. Definitely do not think for yourself
    2. Managers encourage people to spy on and rat out fellow employees.
    3. Innovation is definitely not encouraged.
    4. Booty kissing is the order of the day, especially at the expense of others.
    5. The arrogance of this firm borders on the supernatural.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop promoting people based on who they walked on and start promoting based on ideas and skills.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    learning how to design a structural system

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

    I have been working at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP full-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    Can meet a lot of people who works in field currently. Learning new sustainable systems for structures

    Cons

    have to work almost 10 hours per day if you have a lot of things to do.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 2 people found this helpful  

    Sweatshop of a company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Structural Engineer in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Structural Engineer in New York, NY

    I worked at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Nothing great about working here except being in Wall Street and being paid the least

    Cons

    No growth for engineers , very low salary in NYC

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Spend some money to hone talent before everyone leaves the job

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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