Starcom USA Reviews in Chicago, IL

Updated August 8, 2014
Updated August 8, 2014
118 Reviews
3.3
118 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Starcom USA CEO Lisa Donohue
Lisa Donohue
25 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Good training program to learn the fundamentals of media (in 13 reviews)

  • You will learn about media planning and buying, lots of vacation, abundance of free meals/events/gifts/etc (in 6 reviews)


Cons
  • The work life balance depends directly on your team, i've seen it be great but they can also drive you into the ground (in 14 reviews)

  • Long hours, difficult to maintain healthy work-life balance, below industry compensation package (in 20 reviews)

More Highlights

57 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1.  

    Learn the basics

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Media Supervisor  in  Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Media Supervisor in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at Starcom USA full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Starcom provides a strong training program for entry level employees. The people are hardworking, fun and talented to work with.

    Cons

    It is difficult to move around to different areas of the company to gain a more well-rounded experience.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Invest in the people who work there, and provide them with adequate resources for further training and advance their careers.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Horrible place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Media A  in  Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Media A in Chicago, IL

    I worked at Starcom USA full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Free cereal
    Free lunches
    Learn a lot

    Cons

    Low pay
    Bad work environment
    Bad management

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Do something

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

    In the fast pace industry of media communications Starcom excels in strategic thinking and challenging the status quo.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Associate Media Director  in  Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Associate Media Director in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at Starcom USA full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    - High energy
    - Strategic thinking lead by human insights
    - Exposure to leading category companies
    - Being on the cutting edge of media communications

    Cons

    - Strenous work life balance
    - Limited staffing for workload, unbalanced across teams

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 2 people found this helpful  

    Unfocused and arbitrary, but has potential

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

    I have been working at Starcom USA

    Pros

    Starcom is part of an amazing group of companies, in Chicago at least, it is a great location and office space. The clients are typical agency clients, if you work in advertising you know what that means. Salary is somewhat competitive, but geared towards younger workers.

    Cons

    If you're a smug, entitled, unfriendly, borderline alcoholic 20-something, this is the place for you. It's like high school all over again and the rampant lack of professionalism with this group of employees is staggering. Due to re-orgs and red tape it's difficult to even predict where you sit. Weeks go by without seeing my boss. Feedback and input is a rigid process, but info and sources aren't shared - you're just supposed to accept what you hear in reviews without knowing who said things or why. It's disorganized now due to some half-hearted culture change they are attempting, but no one, not even the champions of the new structure, can really even explain what it is. It's just confusion and chaos. If you aren't 23 with hundreds of pieces of SWAG on your desk, don't expect anyone to talk to you. You're invisible.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Properly on-board people! Don't just plop someone at a desk and hope for the best. Be sensitive to the needs of new employees. Be more authoritative and proactive about your organization. Watch the alcohol consumption at work as well as vendor perks - both are bad signs for your firm's integrity. Teach basic manners to people who don't seem to know otherwise. You lose good people because it's not a nice environment, unless you're used to sororities and frat parties. You're running an enterprise-wide clique and you'll continue to lose more people every day. And someday your client will say the same. I've never worked with such rude people in my life.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Very fun atmosphere, but very difficult to live in Chicago on the salary

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Associate  in  Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Associate in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at Starcom USA full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Very fun atmosphere with an extensive training program.
    You are constantly exposed to a wide aspect of media, giving you a very steep learning curve.

    Cons

    You will work 50-60 hours a week with no overtime.
    Starting salaries are very low and are difficult to live on in Chicago.
    High employee turnover results in every time a team starts to work well together someone leaves the company or rotates to a new team resulting constantly taking on extra work from others.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Offer employees more incentive to stay at the company and teams will perform more efficiently/effectively, ultimately producing better work for clients.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great group of talented, smart and fun people

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

    I have been working at Starcom USA full-time

    Pros

    Social culture - you will make great friends working here
    Generous time off - more days than you can use!
    Fast paced and challenging work

    Cons

    Can be difficult to obtain work life balance due to nature of agency structure - teams are often very understaffed and people fulfill more than 1 role
    Salary is not very competitive as compared to other Chicago agencies

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Correct the agency structure model - it may work for hitting margin goals but it contributes to high turnover, burned out employees and poor work life balance

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Your chance to work on the biggest brands in the US and world

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Media Director  in  Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Media Director in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at Starcom USA full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Experience working on the biggest of the big brands
    Great benefits and vacation time
    Relatively little drama for an agency
    Job security is better than at other agencies
    A great deal of training for new hires (if they ask for it)

    Cons

    Accountants run the place
    It can be a 'sink or swim' environment - depending on your team
    Promotions tend to be more political vs your abilities and talent

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Overall, you do well. I think you should nurture the young talent a bit more. They all seem to leave soon after the 2nd year for better opportunities outside Starcom. It would also be nice to know how the business is doing from a financial perspective. Starcommers never really know until Maurice Levy gives his end of the year wrap-up.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    Amazing summer full of learning and fun

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Media Strategy Intern  in  Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Media Strategy Intern in Chicago, IL

    I worked at Starcom USA as an intern for less than a year

    Pros

    Great team, supervisors cared about development and providing a rich experience, relaxed work environment, casual dress code, lunch & learns saved a lot of money, vendor parties

    Cons

    Wish there were more opportunities for interns to get to know each other socially, did not get a chance to meet upper management as interns

    Recommends
  10.  

    LOVED being an intern here

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Intern  in  Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Intern in Chicago, IL

    I worked at Starcom USA as an intern for less than a year

    Pros

    great perks, great people. I loved it

    Cons

    can get lost in the crowd

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    Research Manager

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Research Manager  in  Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Research Manager in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at Starcom USA full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Great corporate culture, lots of opportunity

    Cons

    Nepotism, can get lost in the crowd

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep an eye out for the non-favorites

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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