Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP Reviews

Updated April 15, 2015
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3.0
91 Reviews
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Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP Managing Partner, San Francisco Gene Schnair
Gene Schnair
16 Ratings

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 Pros and Cons

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. Enjoyed my time there.

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

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

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Great team support
    Exciting projects
    High design

    Cons

    People worked long, crazy hours
    Some Ego issues

  2. Architect

    • 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 full-time

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    You get to work on some of the most exciting and high profile projects possible.

    Cons

    Hours and salary. You will work almost every holiday and weekend. Don't expect a raise for doing so.

    Advice to Management

    Invest in your staff. They out tons of hours in without question. Start giving raises more often.

  3. Competitive pay, boring projects

    • 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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Good pay, decent hours and good benefits. Location in SF is great.

    Cons

    Bosses are just yes-men trying to climb the corporate ladder. Projects are not very exciting.

    Advice to Management

    Listen more to the junior employees. Take bigger risks early on in the design process.

  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5. Good experience to have on your resume.

    • 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

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Salary and benefits are market rate.

    Cons

    It's a huge company with hierachy, so it takes a while to advance. Some who had been there a long time left because they couldn't go further.

  6. Good place to start your design career if you are fresh from school. For designers who have families, big no no.

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

    I worked at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    1. Very interesting projects; 2. Experience is good to have on your resume; 3. Good opportunities to learn from your co-workers.

    Cons

    1. Very bad time management skills of some of the upper level people; 2. Salaries and benefits do not match its reputation compared to its competitors. You get what you got on your job offer letter and there is no year end bonus. 3. A lot of overtime and sometimes they even do not offer you dinner while you are working through the night.

    Advice to Management

    Please respect your employees as human beings as most of them have or will have families. They are not living for working but working for living.

  7. Great opportunities if you know how to grab them. Good place to start your architectural career.

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

    I worked at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP full-time

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    You get to work with talented people and learn things. They will teach you and guide you where to find the answers. You will be given responsibilities to do things but make sure you have back ups to explain why or who made the calls.

    Cons

    1. Long hours is a common thing. This is true for most architectural firms.
    2. Some associates are inexperienced and have accepted what they know is the only right way to do things.
    3. Too much politics.

    Advice to Management

    1. Things in the past are the old ways. In order to compete with top companies on the world's top 300 chart, try to find out what really matters to the clients.
    2. The interior design is old and out-dated.
    3. Try to loose the repetitive bracing XXXXX design. Keep using the same design theme is like telling the world your creativity is stuck.
    4. Fully transfer to use Revit. You can't compete with the top companies if you still believe autocad has a future. The reason it seems slowing you down is because old dogs don't want to learn new tricks or there's not enough training.
    4. Some project managers are sub-par by the building industry standard. Their duties are mainly PR work and project coordination. The real project management is more than just that.

  8. 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

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    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 Management

    Promote women designers!

  9. 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

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    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.

  10. 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

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

    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 Management

    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.

  11. 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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Great company when you think about it

    Cons

    lousy pay when you think about it

    Advice to Management

    Improve performance

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP Photos

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9th Floor Entrance
Cathedral in Oakland Model

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