Underground Elephant Reviews

Updated June 30, 2015
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4.1
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Underground Elephant Chief Executive Officer Jason Kulpa
Jason Kulpa
22 Ratings

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

  • I have never before experienced a work environment where people can have so much fun and accomplish so much (in 4 reviews)

Cons
  • Free parking is a nice fifteen minute walk away (in 3 reviews)

  • As a result, many employees become aggressive and are happy to throw one another under a bus to please their bosses (in 2 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

50 Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. Helpful (3)

    Great place to work

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

    I have been working at Underground Elephant full-time (More than 3 years)

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

    Pros

    The best thing about working here is the chance to move upward quickly. People are promoted from within, and there is plenty of opportunity. I used to work at a place where it was difficult to get recognized, and the only attention was negative.

    Cons

    The company could have been more transparent last year while going through personnel changes. While I get it there are privacy issues around people's employment, some detail would have been helpful. The company morale actually improved after some of the old people left, but I miss some of the relationships.

    Advice to Management

    I would like to see adjustments in the time off policy, and greater matching on the 401k.


  2. Fun, Hectic, Collaborative

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

    I worked at Underground Elephant (More than 3 years)

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

    Pros

    You learn a lot here. Overall, a solid work experience. Cool events every now and then, and good benefits. Work is appropriately challenging and there are a lot of incredibly smart people here.

    Cons

    You may/may not get guilted for not working enough, even when you work 6 days/week and 9 hours+/day, but that's an industry wide thing, so if you can't deal w/ that, do something else. Some managers are better than other with this.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to people you might not normally listen to every once in a while. Just because they aren't at your pay grade doesn't mean their ideas aren't valuable.


  3. Helpful (4)

    good place to work for young people

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

    I have been working at Underground Elephant

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

    Pros

    if you are young and want to have fun at your work place, this is for you.
    Company full of young people.

    Cons

    unorganized, parking is a big problem


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


  5. Helpful (4)

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

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

    I have been working at Underground Elephant

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

    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 Management

    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.

    Underground Elephant Response

    Jun 25, 2015Marketing Coordinator

    We appreciate your positive feedback! We understand that the team works very hard here at Underground Elephant, and we like to reward that hard work with perks such as massages and social activities ... More


  6. Helpful (7)

    Worst place to work in San Diego

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    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)

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

    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 Management

    Get trained on how to lead


  7. Helpful (3)

    One of the best start-ups in San Diego

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    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)

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

    Pros

    open minded, good opportunities, friendly environment

    Cons

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

    Advice to Management

    be more consistent and focused


  8. Helpful (3)

    Elephant in the Room

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

    I have been working at Underground Elephant full-time

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

    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 Management

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

    Underground Elephant Response

    Jun 25, 2015Marketing Coordinator

    At Underground Elephant, we are dedicated to continuous improvement, and it’s because of feedback like yours that we can bring about more positive changes. We are definitely a hard working company ... More


  9. Helpful (12)

    Stay away, complete waste of time and energy

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    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)

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

    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 Management

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


  10. Helpful (9)

    Don't be fooled.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    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)

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

    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 Management

    Take your employees livelihood more seriously.


  11. Helpful (9)

    Horrible Management, Fosters Competition Amongst Employees, Huge Layoffs

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

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    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 Management

    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.



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