AKQA Reviews | Glassdoor

AKQA Reviews

Updated August 17, 2018
500 reviews

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3.6
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AKQA CEO Ajaz Ahmed
Ajaz Ahmed
227 Ratings

500 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • "Absolutely great people to work with" (in 46 reviews)

  • "Great clients, the people are very friendly and intelligent, dogs are allowed in the office" (in 37 reviews)

Cons
  • "the clients are demanding and control a lot when it comes to work/life balance" (in 46 reviews)

  • "long hours, lack of leadership support, fragmented management team" (in 48 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Great company"

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

    I worked at AKQA full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Worked in the media department, Scott Symonds is a great leader and produce innovative work

    Cons

    Opportunity for more cross department moves

    Advice to Management

    Continue fostering an environment where people can grow in their roles


  2. Helpful (4)

    "Poor Work/Life Balance, Inexperienced Program Managers, 2 Sets of Layoffs Due to Poor Management"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Project Manager in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Project Manager in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at AKQA full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    -Creative and UX team worked hard to produce quality work and legitimately cared for what they were making

    Cons

    -There have been 2 rounds of layoffs in the last 4 months alone. About 35 people have lost their jobs due to poor management
    -Managers often have less experience than the people they're overseeing and lack the skills to actually assist (yelling at people and acting sullen and standoffish isn't a solution)
    -Little to no Work / Life Balance (Work till 10 or 11 at night in preparation for a weelly client on-site that you have to be at the office for by 7, which you won't get home from until 7 that night)
    -Cliquey culture

    Advice to Management

    Hire more accomplished people for Program Manager / Creative Direction level positions so that people don't need to work grueling hours to make up for the time higher-ups would have spent reviewing the work if there was enough of them. Figure out your actual budget based on hard numbers rather than projected before you lay off what few remaining employees you have in the NY office.

  3. Helpful (1)

    "Acceptable, but not sustainable"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Copywriter in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Copywriter in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at AKQA (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Kind coworkers, nice location and office.

    Cons

    Political and cliquey at times, high turnover, bad review process.

    Advice to Management

    Audit and train line managers, and simplify hierarchy. I had six managers in four years. The majority of them didn't work with me, and two barely ever spoke to me.


  4. Helpful (1)

    "Pleasantly surprised!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Group Creative Director in Sea Cliff, NY
    Current Employee - Group Creative Director in Sea Cliff, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at AKQA full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    People and culture - it’s been a long time since I worked at a place where there are zero stink bombs. Everyone is super talented, the get togethers are a blast, the snacks and cold brew are plentiful.

    Not a production shop - everything we do is strategic. We don’t just ask for research, or suggest analysis - we actually do it. It’s baked into everything we do. So our design is not led by the biggest ego, or loudest voice in the room, it’s led by the customer.

    It’s a chance to be the voice of the customer, to be their inside line to help big corporations work for them.

    Cons

    Client work can have its ups and downs. If you’re not up for learning how to present, sell your ideas, back them up with research, etc, then this might not be the right place for you. It can be tough.

    Some people don’t like it here because we have big corporate clients.

    Advice to Management

    Get yourselves out there more to let people know what we’ve got going on. Before I started here, I had no way to know that we walk the talk on being a strategic digital partner to our clients. Everyone says it, but this is the only place I’ve been where we actually do it.


  5. "Great Culture"

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

    I have been working at AKQA full-time

    Pros

    Free Coffee, Nice Office, Nice Location,

    Cons

    Benefits Could use Improvement, and a wellness program

    Advice to Management

    Great location, great culture. NO Changes needed


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Great culture, great work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at AKQA full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Culture of creative rigor, nothing sloppy ever goes out the door. Full of super smart, fun, compassionate people who stick around for years and are invested in making the place great. Office leadership cares about employees and wants to do great work. Really fantastic work-life balance, lots of people have families. Lots of upward mobility and career opportunities; they reward people who jump in and take on new responsibilities. Big clients and exciting projects in the emerging tech space are the norm.

    Cons

    Some accounts have been with the agency for years and feel stale. Wish there would have been a greater focus on new business.

    Advice to Management

    Keep the focus on great work, and great people.


  7. "Great Place to Grow"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at AKQA full-time

    Pros

    Everyone is clever and creative. It's a fast paced environment with exciting and innovative projects.

    Cons

    Work life balance can be tough. There are high expectations and a culture of people who work late.

  8. Helpful (2)

    "Great place to work, but not without a few flaws"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at AKQA full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Culture - AKQA by far has the best culture of any company I have worked for. They put a lot of effort into making this a fun and collaborative place to work, providing opportunities to expand your horizons both professionally (toastmasters, skillshares) and personally (clubs, movie nights).

    Trust and Empowerment – For the most part, your manager will empower you to forge your own path and way of working that plays into your skillset, strengths and areas of interest.

    Inclusion and Diversity - AKQA has made a lot of strides to address gender wage gap, unconscious bias training, etc.

    Cons

    Communication and Professional Development – I realize this is a contradiction to the two pro’s, but you hit a professional plateau once you’ve been promoted to middle management. It seems executive team withholds or sugar coats information as a power move so they always stay relevant to client work and doesn’t allow others the opportunity to take complete ownership of a project.

    Moving the goalposts – Similar note to above, you could be trending towards a promotion and leadership moves the goalposts to make it increasingly difficult to move into the next position. This results in great talent leaving for greener pastures, executives scrambling to counter-offer to keep them, and our teams under-resourced. Recognize good talent early on, embrace their career development and pay them competitive salaries.

    More training!

    Advice to Management

    Your best talent is already here.


  9. "Assiciate designer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate Designer in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Associate Designer in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at AKQA full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Good people!!!nice work have fun

    Cons

    Work hard and passionate great


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Media Supervisor"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Digital Media Supervisor in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Digital Media Supervisor in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at AKQA full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Great place to work with an awesome agency culture. Support in movement to other opportunities within the company.

    Cons

    Some politics as with any agency.


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