Working at Solstice | Glassdoor

Solstice Overview

Chicago, IL
201 to 500 employees
St Ives Group
2001
Company - Public
Business Services
$50 to $100 million (USD) per year
Solstice is a digital innovation firm that helps Fortune 500 companies seize new opportunities through world-changing digital solutions. As strategists and consultants, we help organizations evolve their digital strategy to solve mission-critical problems. As designers and ... Read more

Mission: We exist to prove what humanity is capable of.

Company Updates

  • Solstice is having an open house at our office Tuesday, May 16th! Come by and see some of the cool stuff we've been working on! Here’s a link with more details: http://glassdoor.com/slink.htm?key=vQBqM

  • As the needs of the market have changed, our vision of the future has broadened; and our strategy, design and full stack engineering capabilities have evolved to follow suit. But our purpose remains the same. Check out our new site! http://glassdoor.com/slink.htm?key=vI3qi

    Innovation and Emerging Technology Consulting Firm | Solstice

    We help Fortune 500 companies seize new opportunities through groundbreaking digital solutions.

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Solstice – Why Work For Us?


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Our people always come first. That’s why we’ve created a culture that empowers continued learning, authentic innovation and constant creativity. From Chicago to New York, to Buenos Aires, we are always reimagining how we work and how we can make a difference in the world around us.

An Engineer's Day in the Life at Solstice

The consequences of not evolving and adapting in today’s business environment are rooted in reality, not in 1s and 0s. They’re widespread, vital and incredibly real. That’s why at Solstice, what we do goes far beyond building a "digital solution." We're always working with new technologies with our clients and through our own Solstice Labs. Check out some of our work below! 

Robotics

Artificial Intelligence 

Augmented Reality

  • Health Insurance
  • Health Reimbursement Account (HRA)
  • Dental Insurance
  • Life Insurance
  • Short-Term Disability
  • Long-Term Disability
  • Life Insurance
  • 401k with match
  • Cell phone reimbursement
  • Device Policy
  • Ventra/Metra Tax Free Dedection
  • Training Allowance
  • Great internal training program
  • Mentorship program
  • Women in Tech Group
  • On site fitness center
  • Rooftop open to employees
  • Casual Dress Code
  • Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
  • Annual Holiday Parties
  • Solstice Express Day
  • Quarterly Company wide team meetings
  • Weekly Awesomeness Award
  • Weekly Run Group

Solstice Reviews

4.5
Star Star Star Star Star
Rating Trends Rating Trends
Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Solstice Founder & CEO J Schwan
J Schwan
92 Ratings
  • Featured Review

    Helpful (2)

    "I love coming to work because I work with people I love"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - User Experience Principal in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - User Experience Principal in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    When you realize that you work with your friends and you've formed life long relationships with coworkers, that's when you know you've made it. I did the corporate thing for years and Solstice is nothing like that, it’s why I’ve stayed for as long as I have and it’s why I don’t see myself leaving.

    You get a mentor at the beginning of every year, a person that looks out for you, advocates for you, gives you advice, and most likely becomes your friend outside of the mentor thing. I never had that at previous jobs and I wouldn’t expect that from most companies. Mentors are who you can talk to about difficult situations, how you can improve yourself, areas of focus that you want to move in to but can’t figure out how to get there, and of course career growth. Of course they aren’t going to get you to where you want to go, that’s up to you, but they provide direction in an industry that is exploding and has many many avenues.

    What I love most is that people look out for one another - Solstice is built on feedback. We’ve truly taken agile to heart in that we look to ourselves to constantly improve and we have many things in place to help us improve. We look at ourselves critically and what we offer to each other that is most important, is honesty. We provide feedback to people twice a year (Q2 and Q4) through peer review, but also you have 2 opportunities for peer promotion outside of that (Q1 and Q3). That is certainly not normal and a huge opportunity for everyone working at Solstice to improve themselves and get chances for promotions and reviews.

    I work with a sea of people I respect, I can go to anyone and they will make time for my (sometimes asinine) questions. People don’t have to fear looking stupid and in fact we follow the mentality that it’s okay to be the ‘stupidest person in the room’ and ask anything you feel is worth asking. The exec team is always looking for feedback on the processes the company has in place and answers them at weekly meetings but less formal approaches are totally fine as well. I’ve had 1-1 conversations with people about company policies in the past and instead of taking it as a slight against the choices the company has made, it’s taken as invested interest in the betterment of the company itself.

    Really it comes down to the people and the culture we have here. We have a culture of “work hard play hard”, and that’s not just a provision of alcohol as others have mentioned in reviews but additionally we have: board game night, lunch and learns (people teaching others about things they are interested in), monthly birthday lunches, anniversary lunches (with the CEO), team outings to bars (restaurants, whirly ball, headquarters, bowling, etc), makers club (3d printing, linoleum prints, pasta making and more), and alcohol (haha). When you work with 100+ 20 somethings, drinking is going to happen - which is why we have a sweet connected vending machine that you can use an app, a tablet, virtual reality bar or an Amazon Echo to order a beer/soda. When you work at a company of innovation, why not have fun with it and apply it to the things you like?

    To continue with that, Solstice Labs is a huge positive to working here. You get a chance to work on brand new technologies, whether that’s V.R., A.R., Voice, Chat bots, or anything else you can imagine. Mostly this work is done on your free time, as projects may not apply to these kinds of new tech but if you understand it and know how a company can benefit from it, pitching those ideas isn't a crazy thing. We have many clients who are building chat bots, working with robots, and also VR - so it's not a pipe dream. You don’t get those kinds of opportunities anywhere else.

    Cons

    - Every company has their growing pains and for a company that constantly looks to change the way it works - things are always in flux and as soon as you get used to one thing it can change. Get used to change ;)

    - If you're not used to working in an open environment it can be a bit overwhelming. Finding places that are less noisy can be difficult but not impossible. Overall the office isn't that loud but sometimes it can be.

    - You get used to not pushing buttons in elevators (ours are all automated) and you can end up looking really dumb in other elevators by just getting in and just sitting there before you realize you have to push a button

    - If being thrown in to something that you don't understand scares you, it may not be the best place for you. We are constantly learning and trying new things, it's not always a good environment for those who need a certain kind of structure and consistency. You need to ask yourself if you like to constantly be challenged by teaching yourself new things or learning new ways to perform your job. Every year I have been here I have forced myself in to some new aspect of my job (and even aspects that are not my job) and it's not easy and not for everyone.

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the transparency. Our hearts are in it and it's reassuring to see that yours are as well.

    There's a divide between delivery, sales, and operations that we could bridge. I think that's something that every company has to figure out, but the quarterly meetings are where I hang out and talk to people in different areas the most. They're good people and circumstance and jobs make it hard to get to know people outside your areas.

    We can work on our on-boarding of new people. Many are already looking to improve this on their own but I think it's something we have always struggled with and can always improve upon.

See All 110 Reviews

Solstice Interviews

Experience

Experience
52%
20%
26%

Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview
65%
21%
6%
3
3

Difficulty

2.5
Average

Difficulty

Hard
Average
Easy
  1. Featured Interview

    Helpful (2)  

    Technical Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at Solstice (Chicago, IL).

    Interview

    I applied online in early 2016.

    First I was given a phone call about a week later where I spoke to a recruiter who informed me about the company and went over my resume with me. The phone call was pleasant and very informative.

    Next I was given assigned a simple mobile application to create over the weekend. It didn't take too long, but I had fun with it. The instructions were pretty clear and laid out a few suggestions on how to implement it.

    After writing my app and sending it in, I was asked to come in for a few on-site interviews. They were a mix of both behavioral and technical questions, with a total of two interviews. The first put me with two developers, and the second had me interview with a single developer. Both were relatively casual and Solstice was very helpful and reliable throughout the process.

    Interview Questions

    • Basic OOP Concepts such as term definitions. A few questions about my app and what I could do to improve it.   Answer Question
See All 35 Interviews

Solstice Awards & Accolades

  • 100 Best Workplaces for Millennials, Fortune, 2015
  • Best Small Firm to Work For, Consulting Magazine, 2015
  • Companies to Watch, SD Times, 2014
  • EY Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist, Ernst & Young (E&Y), 2014
  • Best Small Workplaces, Get Rated, 2014
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