Mission: We are an ideas-first firm. Our designers are driven to create and seek out ideas at each step. We thrive on collaboration; we know great ideas come from a multitude of sources. Experience has taught us that great design is rooted in equal parts innovation, sustainability and ...
I worked at SWA Group full-time (More than a year)
The talent pool at the office is amazing. Every day you are exposed to the smartest and brightest talents in the industry. You get exposed to some very interesting projects. My dream project was to design a skatepark and I was to fulfill that dream at SWA Los Angeles. The benefits are GREAT! Especially if you have a family. You can learn a lot top level design if you pay attention and work hard. One important aspect at working at SWA is the professional network and holding that experience on your résumé. This carried more weight then I initially thought. Grateful that my experience at SWA has allowed to me have my dream job now.
The hours can be long. However, as I was departing management was working very hard to change the "long hour culture" associated with SWA. I was on the tail end of that but I did see it improve morale and create a better work/life balance
Advice to Management
Consider more frequent "check-ins" with the employees. Ask the employees periodically "What do you want to do". versus this is what your good at so were going to give you this as cost effective strategy. This causes "burn out" and is discussed extensively internally within the office. Even with pro-active measures from myself breaking molds at SWA is difficult.
It lasted for about 1 hour at an average difficulty level, I was asked about 5 questions other than describing the projects in my portfolio. The most difficult question was what your short term career goal is