Underground Elephant

www.undergroundelephant.com

Underground Elephant Reviews

Updated January 6, 2015
Updated January 6, 2015
50 Reviews
3.8
50 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Underground Elephant Chief Executive Officer Jason Kulpa
Jason Kulpa
24 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Pool table, pinp pong, coffee/redbull, music, events, happy hours (in 5 reviews)

  • As a recent college graduate and new resident of San Diego, I can't imagine starting anywhere else (in 4 reviews)


Cons
  • The biggest pain is parking downtown, especially on game days (in 5 reviews)

  • I'd say having to pay for parking everyday, but then again there's no were else I'd rather work then in downtown San Diego (in 3 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    A digital marketing startup that is team oriented, culture centric, community focused, and wildly innovative.

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

    I have been working at Underground Elephant

    Pros

    I would have to say that the best part about working here is my coworkers, by far. I've never worked at a company full of people my own age, from so many different background and interests, that are so fully committed to driving the company's performance and participating in its culture. This is true across all of UE's business units, from sales to software development, from business development to marketing. This is the foundation of the company and its hip, fun atmosphere. Things move quick, we work hard, and our business innovates. It's great.

    Like most startups these days, there are a lot of cool tangible perks (stock option bonus plan, unlimited paid time off, free caffeine, awesome parties, guest speakers, sports tickets, Mariachi bands, a cash machine, and the list goes on..). However, for me, the best perks are the less tangible things that come from our traditions, such as the weekly all-hands-on-deck meetings, lunches where the CEO helps cook and hand out the meals, regularly scheduled offsite lunches with the executives, potlucks, and random funny pranks that happen within close-knit teams.

    Cons

    It's a startup. We are all ambitious, so we work hard; sometimes too hard. That is precisely why the company's leadership makes sure to balance employee ambition and commitment with fun and flexibility. I certainly went through a bit of a burnout stage about 3 months in, but found my stride and certainly got plenty of support and autonomy from the team along the way. Obviously morning coffees and end-of-day happy hours helped too--beer for big ideas, coffee for getting them done.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep doing what you are doing. Sometimes UE gets complaints that its culture isn't consistent. I would agree, it is continually evolving and improving; just like innovation in technology, we should challenge the business-as-usual approach to company culture, community engagement, and employee motivation. I am so glad that I work at a company that strives to continually improve its products, its services, AND its culture.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 3 people found this helpful  

    Worst place to work in San Diego

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

    I worked at Underground Elephant full-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    some cool people, learning what NOT to do, basically it

    Cons

    horrible management, like super bad leadership, quick to hire and quick to hire, high turnover, lies on lies, RUN!!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get trained on how to lead

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    One of the best start-ups in San Diego

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Marketing Intelligence Analyst in San Diego, CA
    Current Employee - Marketing Intelligence Analyst in San Diego, CA

    I have been working at Underground Elephant full-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    open minded, good opportunities, friendly environment

    Cons

    benefits, things can change fast, a bit inappropriate behavior sometimes

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    be more consistent and focused

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

    Great company culture

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Sales and Account Management Intern in San Diego, CA
    Former Employee - Sales and Account Management Intern in San Diego, CA

    I worked at Underground Elephant as an intern (less than a year)

    Pros

    At Underground Elephant, you can tell right away the leadership places a large emphasis on positive company culture. The office environment is fun, dynamic, and very fast-paced. Managers and leadership is always willing to mentor and help entry-level employees develop their skill set to accelerate their careers. x

    Cons

    Work-life balance is sub-par but to be expected at a growing tech company.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Perhaps systematize an internal formal mentorship program for entry-level employees.

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

    IPO Candidate, and future CEO launching pad

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Software Developer in San Diego, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Software Developer in San Diego, CA

    I have been working at Underground Elephant full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    The developer road map was created from multiple meetings with the entire tech team, and most of the ideas were owned by the team. This gave us a sense of ownership that has been fulfilling. The people I work with are great, and have my back. And the benefits are great, including unlimited time off, and stock options.

    Cons

    Data sharing can be challenging, and some departments are compartmentalized. It can be difficult to get some of the management team to cooperate, and often they are dismissive. This really is just two people, but they have pull.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep listening to the people that drive the company's success.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 2 people found this helpful  

    Elephant in the Room

    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Underground Elephant full-time

    Pros

    Underground Elephant is a place grounded on creativity and dedication, fostering an atmosphere where employees ideas and strategies can come to life. This isn't your average "my way or the highway" company. The management supports constant development and improvement while allowing employees to manage their own time and projects. The employees work extremely hard, but are rewarded with excellent perks. Pool table, pinp pong, coffee/redbull, music, events, happy hours....just to name a few.
    After reading some of the reviews, something to note is that the environment isn't necessarily "changing" all the time. If the company finds a strategy or way of production that increases profits or positively influences the company culture, there's no rush to change. It's more about advancing. The focus is instead: How can we do this better? Not always different, but BETTER.
    Our CEO has said that he wants this to be our last place of employment. LAST! Meaning only leaving the company for retirement or to start our own businesses. Management is investing their confidence in us and wants to see us succeed. With that being said, who wouldn't want to work for this company?

    Cons

    Stop complaining about parking people. Free parking is a nice fifteen minute walk away. My only complaint at this point is that I LOVE our office space and we are moving locations. But rumor has it that it's going to be even more excellent.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Advice? Keep up the good work and keep providing feedback to employees. We appreciate your opinions and tips on improvement.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 8 people found this helpful  

    Stay away, complete waste of time and energy

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

    I worked at Underground Elephant full-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    the girls hired are attractive

    Cons

    Pay is around the ppverty level
    culture is total "smoke and mirrors"
    "Best Place to Work" is comical
    Developers are undervalued and unappreciated
    unorganized
    management is the worst I've ever experienced
    asks employees to pay to park downtown
    If you are not a member of the top 10%, you will be used and let go as soon as possible
    Jason Kulpa has several personality disorders

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Communicate and actually manage your employees
    Appreciate the hard work and dedication put in

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 9 people found this helpful  

    Don't be fooled.

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

    I worked at Underground Elephant full-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    - There are/were some very talented folks working at the company.
    - Unlimited PTO

    Cons

    - Highly volatile environment. Major waves of layoffs annually.
    - Lack of transparency from leadership regarding financial health of the company.
    - No clear vision for company from leadership team.
    - Leadership pits employees against against each other behind their backs.
    - Inappropriate actions/comments by members of leadership team on regular basis.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take your employees livelihood more seriously.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 8 people found this helpful  

    Horrible Management, Fosters Competition Amongst Employees, Huge Layoffs

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

    I worked at Underground Elephant full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Nice coworkers. Events are hosted fairly often. They have a pool table. Wellness program.

    Cons

    UE gets all of the unimportant things right, and the important things horribly wrong. Their image is fantastic. They know how to attract new talent. But can you commit to this company? Absolutely not.

    First of all, the CEO is highly unpredictable and is frequently rude and unprofessional. Upper management is disconnected from the rest of the company; employees are subjected to a fake "positive culture" while living day to day with absolutely no sense of job security. UE regularly lays off 15+ employees at a time without notice.

    The management believes that fostering competition between employees is a good way to run the company. As a result, many employees become aggressive and are happy to throw one another under a bus to please their bosses. There is no real sense of community or teamwork at UE, despite the constant barrage of "positive startup culture" media that they publish to impress potential hires.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Learn to love your employees. Take care of them, foster teamwork and not competition, and don't randomly lay off huge amounts of people at once. They'll work harder in return.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 8 people found this helpful  

    Terrible managment, culture is fake

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Underground Elephant

    Pros

    Cool products, cool people, cool events, profitable.

    Cons

    There are more cons than parking.

    This place does have its perks as you can see from many positive reviews but they come at a VERY high cost. The first thing I realized when starting there was that the CEO would be happy one day then unprofessionally angry or publicly making inappropriate (sometimes demeaning) comments the next day. After working there for awhile I also realized that the turnover was insanely high. I saw many people leave or get fired on a whim. Vert skilled people that other companies were fighting to get. People who have been in various industries for years who this company seems to think they can treat like expendable, unskilled, inexperienced high school grads.

    I also agree with one of the other commenters who pointed out the strangeness in the fact that UE will treat employees as if they're doing awesome one day then fire them the next.

    My final point is that I believe that it is in the senior management's interest to foster an environment of internal competitiveness to somehow benefit them more or to somehow make people more productive than they already are. This may work for the people more engaged in sales but it's amazing how they don't realize that internal competitiveness tears a company apart from the inside out. I saw this day in and day out and it was a major part of why I left. Productivity has nothing to do with competitiveness and many companies understand this. UE unfortunately does not and I'd be surprised if they ever caught on to what really makes people more productive.

    Am I glad I worked there? Somewhat. I did learn a ton. Would I recommend this company to someone looking for work? No.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop power tripping and boost morale.

    Treat your skilled employees with the respect they deserve. Many of them are much more skilled than you.

    Live the culture that you're publishing to the public. It's fake when people read about buzz words like "good work/life balance" when you have nothing close.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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