WATG
3.3 of 5 15 reviews
www.watg.com Honolulu, HI 150 to 499 Employees

WATG Reviews

Updated Mar 1, 2014

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3.3 15 reviews

                             

60% Approve of the CEO

WATG President & CEO Mike Seyle

Mike Seyle

(5 ratings)

67% of employees recommend this company to a friend
15 Employee Reviews
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A world of experience...

Architectural Designer (Former Employee)
Irvine, CA

I worked at WATG full-time for more than 8 years

ProsThe opportunity to experience many different cultures, within the various offices and on the many project trips, all around the world. Also, the variety of project size, type and style offers many different experiences from team to team and project to project.

ConsFrom office to office, there is somewhat of a disconnect...and within the office in which I worked, there was a disconnect from studio leader to studio leader. Technologically, they are not at the forefront, as some may claim.

Advice to Senior ManagementLead by example...explore, engage and share.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Many queen bees, few workers

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
Irvine, CA

I worked at WATG full-time for more than 3 years

ProsDecent benefits, good work place, decent

ConsPoor corporate governance, looks after top brass before considering needs of lower tier employees.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Good place to do large scale projects

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

I worked at WATG full-time for more than 5 years

ProsThe designers get to travel often. The projects you work on are large scale and impressive

Conssome parts of the company seems like a high school. There are many young people who start and stay there just because they are comfortable. You also have to be liked by "some of the management" or else regardless of your talent you will not move up.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Junior Designer

Junior Designer (Current Employee)
Irvine, CA

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

Proscould work luxurious hospitality projects all over the world

Consfew projects in domestic. hard to get a chance to work construction document phase.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Great Learning Experience

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
Honolulu, HI

I worked at WATG

ProsTremendous project opportunities; travel; good opportunity to learn about hospitality design; good heritage from 65+ year firm of Peter Wimberly, Jerry Allison and others who started the firm; opportunities to meet good people

ConsPoor work/life balance; unsophisticated business practices; risk of losing that heritage; typical corporate beauracracy in a large firm; mission and values not in alignment with reality of corporate culture

Advice to Senior ManagementHappy employees make for productive employees. Morale is a continuous problem at most offices, and ways to improve morale had not been effective.

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Great short term job the for the young and inexperienced.

Intermediate Designer (Former Employee)
Orlando, FL

I worked at WATG

ProsThe opportunity to learn some things from some very good designers. Travel.

ConsPoor management and misplaced talent. Too much emphasis on graphic presentation at the expense of better design.

Advice to Senior ManagementPrincipals need to keep a closer eye on junior management and provide better guidance. Too often someone with incredible design talent is put in a management position beyond their capability, creating a bad situation for all involved. Recognize that a good designer does not necessarily make a good manager and vice versa.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Great place to work at for experienced architects.

Intermediate Designer (Current Employee)
Irvine, CA

I have been working at WATG

ProsWATG is a great place to work at. During my time there it was easy to see why employee turnover was low. The company really takes care of its employees, provides generous compensation and excellent benefits. The managers are generally understanding about life/work balance issues allowing for flexible schedules, comp time, etc. They are also appreciative of efforts put forth by staff and teams/individuals are often rewarded and recognized for their contributions. The company also routinely holds social events within the office to allow the staff to get together and mingle.

The kinds of projects at WATG are large and exciting. From thematic to modernist there is a large variety of work available in various locations across the globe which affords travel opportunities to many great locations. Even within the firm there are opportunities to do a stint in one of the company's other offices located around the US and abroad. Even though the firm specializes in hospitality design, there is typically a variety of components within each project such as retail, dining, club houses, recreation, spas etc that employees would be exposed to a lot of different building types. The projects are huge and complex which give make for good exposure to work at a large scale which few other firms can provide. To add to that the company also provides a lot of learning opportunities from encouraging staff to go on sketching trips to doing internal lunch and learns on building codes.

ConsFrom my perspective as that of a young designer who joined straight out of school there was one main complaint:
For a person straight out of school WATG may not be the best firm to begin a career in architecture. Even though exposure to projects of such large scale is valuable, the heavy focus on design work means young architects are often not exposed to a lot of things; particularly on the construction document and administration side, which are vital for personal growth and development. I advise anyone whose joined WATG fresh out of school to bolt in two years and then comeback after a stint elsewhere. It pains me to say this but your growth will be stunted compared to your peers.

Advice to Senior ManagementI think overall WATG is a great place to work (Atleast as far as the Irvine office goes). Management does a good job of making a big office feel like a small one.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Fun company, a little behind the tech curve.

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
Irvine, CA

I have been working at WATG

ProsAmazing projects, and a fun place to work. Great work-life balance. The company has a strong sense of "family".

ConsIt takes a lot to change anything, whether it's updating technology initiating more efficient policies. You may be with a different team for every project which make it hard to establish good teamwork.

Advice to Senior ManagementGive someone command authority to update technology and policies without having to mess with politics. Many good ideas are lost waiting for consensus.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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WATG

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
Irvine, CA

I have been working at WATG

ProsFamily atmosphere, good work-life balance

Consconsensus-based management, no concept of mandates

Advice to Senior Managementfigure out if you want to continue to be a mom and pop shop, or grow into a real company.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Good office environment and atmosphere

Architect (Current Employee)
London, England (UK)

I have been working at WATG full-time for less than a year

ProsOffice has long history of hotel projects from well known hotel brands. It is very good if you like to work on high end hotel projects all around the world. Things are well organized and make good environment for working. People are nice with open minded and I believe that's from office's working atmosphere and culture.

ConsAs like other design office project schedule is pretty tight and deadline follows after one another. Sometimes you have to move to different projects helping out for urgent projects.

Advice to Senior ManagementIt is very helpful for basic tranings and workshops.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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