Starcom USA Reviews in Chicago, IL

Updated September 23, 2014
Updated September 23, 2014
121 Reviews
3.2
121 Reviews
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Starcom USA CEO Lisa Donohue
Lisa Donohue
27 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 16 reviews)

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

More Highlights

60 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1.  

    Great company to gain experience and industry "cred"

    • 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 8 years)

    Pros

    Starcom has great credibility and respect in the media industry. You'll work with some of the best and brightest minds and some of the largest companies in the world.

    Cons

    There is a great deal of nepotism and management is often reactive to attrition trends, combating low employee moral by promoting people who aren't yet qualified for the next level.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Advancement should be based solely on hard work, ability, and experience.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Good place to take part in impactful media projects.

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at Starcom USA as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    Great work ethic and culture, interesting campaigns and projects being worked on and developed, smart and experienced individuals that work there.

    Cons

    Felt a bit too corporate for what I was looking for, wasn't able to always see the bigger picture behind all the work, limited training after the first few weeks on the job.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Support greater involvement and training for employees and allow for more development of skills outside of the day to day tasks.

  3.  

    Good Brands, Bad Managers

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

    I worked at Starcom USA full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Exposure to great clients from huge companies and very cool brands. Peer colleagues were great, big teams with a wide variety of talents.

    Cons

    Little desire to mentor and train employees at lower levels resulting in higher attrition rates. Many low people don't feel "the love" and more like a cog in the wheel.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take the time to train your employees and develop them as people and employees to help with consistency.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Great for Experience, but Stringent in Practice

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

    I worked at Starcom USA full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    The Experience You Receive, Very Smart Colleagues, and Amount of Days Off

    Cons

    Cheap pay for amount of work, promotion process is slow, and work/life balance on certain teams could be better

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Make the promotion process more flexible and work towards better work life balance if on a difficult account through setting expectations of client

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Great people to work with, difficult with pay

    • 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

    - Culture
    - People
    - Benefits
    - Great educational opportunity

    Cons

    - Salary
    - Most accounts are terrible to work on

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    It's a healthy, competitive environment. If associates were paid more, no one would leave.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    No Balance

    • 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 3 years)

    Pros

    Good Training
    Smart People
    Lots of vacation days
    Great place to get experience and go on to something better

    Cons

    No work life balance. Expect to work late into the evening most nights and weekends frequently. Even if you are physically not in the office, you can expect to have your laptop open and doing work throughout your evening. If you have a family, don't expect to spend much time with them. Company overloads people with accounts so that there is no time to get done what is needed in a reasonable work day. Management is inconsistent. Some are great, others don't understand how to treat people with respect.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    While the business model is set up to have fewer people do more work, I have watched numerous people burn out and move on to other jobs. Take care of your people, don't push them to work 70-80 hour weeks and help balance people's lives. If you do, your retention and company satisfaction will improve dramatically.

    Doesn't Recommend
  8.  

    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
  9. 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
  10.  

    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
  11.  

    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

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