Starcom USA

www.starcomusa.com

Starcom USA Reviews in Chicago, IL

Updated January 11, 2015
Updated January 11, 2015
130 Reviews
3.4
130 Reviews
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Starcom USA CEO Lisa Donohue
Lisa Donohue
29 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Good training program to learn the fundamentals of media (in 14 reviews)

  • Decent work-life balance if you are on the right team (in 6 reviews)


Cons
  • This depends on what account you're on but the work-life balance can be awful (in 17 reviews)

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

More Highlights

63 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Easy to get lost in the hussle, lots of politics and favorites, but exceptional work and GREAT experience and learning.

    • 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 (more than an year)

    Pros

    They train you very well. Especially if you're on a good team. You'll also get the chance to do a lot of cool work. Lot's of young people. Big brands. Lot's of Vacation time! 4 weeks as a new hire and you basically get Thanksgiving and Christmas week off. They do a lot to inspire a fun culture too like experience days you can take when ever you want. They also stock the fridges every Thursday and Friday with client brand beers :)

    Cons

    You can get stuck at the bottom or in one place without recognition easily. Horrible compensation, but tis the industry. The work life balance depends directly on your team, i've seen it be great but they can also drive you into the ground. You have to have the guts to speak up and control your own direction. Can be frustrating to feel you're being left behind.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Compensation is an obvious in order to keep great talent, also manage work-life balance across the organization. There's such a variance between teams, it's got to be due to culture not entirely workload.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    There is a reason it is a revolving door

    • 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 (more than an year)

    Pros

    You will learn about media planning and buying, lots of vacation, abundance of free meals/events/gifts/etc

    Cons

    - Most teams are under-staffed and combined with demanding clients leads to long hours
    - Low pay
    - Little consideration of career objectives by management
    - Few instances of talent development of the lower levels
    - It seems like the people that others don't like to work with are those getting promoted; also process for promotion is not clearly defined and seems political
    - Company is losing more clients than it is gaining

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take some time to listen to the career objectives and desires of your employees and also ensure what is be preached at the VP level is being filtered down to the Director/AD level. There is a huge disconnect.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    Good entry level job into the media industry

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

    I have been working at Starcom USA full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Great benefits, 23 paid days off a year, gym located across the street, Special K snacks and Coke products available in kitchen, happy hours with vendors, beer Thursday and Friday = great work culture

    Cons

    Slow growth within company, can work some pretty long hours, management and supervisors play favorites and often choose to be "friends" with their associates- which makes for some sticky situations under pressure and deadlines

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Make sure the supervisors aren't dumping all of the work on their associates. Often times the supervisors leave at 5pm and the associates are left with hours of work that must be completed by the morning

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Good starting point

    • 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 (more than an year)

    Pros

    Great place to learn the ropes. You get a lot of vacation (10 Vaca days, 9 flex, and 18 paid holidays). You get exposure to a lot of the higher ups as well. It's a great team environment and they try to expose you to different accounts on a yearly basis.

    Cons

    Depending on your account, you could get a really heavy workload. If you get put on a very demanding brand, you may end up working a lot of late nights. Some people take the job way to seriously and can't really enjoy the perks of the job itself, and they let the brand get in the way of their personal life.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep circulating people, and maintain a decent work-life balance.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Media Associate

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

    I have been working at Starcom USA full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    - People are friendly
    - A very good place to start a marketing career
    - You will learn a lot

    Cons

    - Long hours
    - Sometime it seems like upper management don't really care because of the culture that everyone is supposed to work long hours and have a lot of work. There exists sort of a "just deal with it" mentality between higher up and lower level employee

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Great training, management needs to improve

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

    I have been working at Starcom USA full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    - Great training at all levels
    - Great vacation package
    - Great health benefits
    - Free Kelloggs and Coke products
    - Free beer
    -Working with really smart people on global clients

    Cons

    - Management can be improved (micromanaging is common)
    - Long work hours
    - Hard to have life/work balance
    - Passive aggressive feedback given

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The whole philosophy that you have to "pay your dues" as an entry-level employee by working long hours is hard to accept as an employee. Management should respect the fact that people have lives outside of work and that endorsing life/work balance actually makes employees more effective and productive every day.

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

    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 (less than an 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
  9.  

    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 (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
  10. 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 (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
  11. 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

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