AKQA Reviews | Glassdoor

AKQA Reviews

Updated September 19, 2017
419 reviews

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3.4
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AKQA CEO Ajaz Ahmed
Ajaz Ahmed
185 Ratings

419 Employee Reviews

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  1. Featured Review

    Helpful (5)

    "Unbeatable opportunities and an empowering platform"

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

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

    Pros

    AKQA is an organization that's constantly evolving, striving to set the pace together with great brands. But it also stays true to the values and philosophy set forth by Ajaz and team from day one. This relentless commitment to AKQA's DNA has proven successful, especially when coupled with a vision hungry for growth and evolution. Fundamentally, it's this mentality, in addition to an opportunity-rich environment filled with seriously talented, unique, and kind people that drew me into the company.

    Like any firm, AKQA goes through ups and downs, but it's carried forward by a fighting spirit that translates into constant innovation, unbeatable thought, and intense creativity. Total belief in the work has helped the company, as well as the people that share that belief, thrive.

    I can confidently say that AKQA offers strong opportunities for growth (the next chapter is always being defined), diverse connections and engagements globally, as well as an environment filled with brilliant people – both as professionals and individuals.

    Whether you're in it for the long haul or not, AKQA is a company that sets you up for success, agnostic of your industry of choice, because the values and activities the company is involved with are universally applicable (and highly regarded).

    Cons

    AKQA is an incredibly diverse company, in the sense that it's welcoming and empowering for anyone connected to it. But the degree to which this happens does sometimes hinge on having the initiative, energy, and willingness to make things happen. In other words, you'll get the most out of it if you're hands on, genuinely passionate, and care about what you're doing for the clients, the organization, and the people.

    More broadly, there are some gaps that the company is working on. None of them would deter me from recommending AKQA, especially as the environment is incredibly flexible and friendly. For the most part, if you want to make something happen (and it makes sense), AKQA is absolutely ready to support.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to look forward and create concrete change. Keep empowering young people to be part of this change.


  2. "Sink or swim."

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

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

    Pros

    Great work if you're willing to wait out the lulls and fight to get onto the better accounts and projects. If you do well being thrown in the deep end and taking whatever comes your way you'll make some good work for big name clients.

    Cons

    Not for those who aren't willing to speak up for themselves, raise their hand and fight to get onto the best projects. Lots of politics and perception of what you're capable of is everything. If you can't play the game, you wont go far.

  3. "Too Many Chefs in the Kitchen"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Community Manager in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Community Manager in New York, NY
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at AKQA full-time

    Pros

    Fun Parties
    Free beer and breakfast
    smart people

    Cons

    Too many chefs in the kitchen. Because of this, no idea gets launched. The bigger the team, the harder for things to get done. No one has a set job. Multiple people in one position making it harder for any ideas to go thru because everyone disagreed with each other.

    Advice to Management

    Assign people to positions first and not just hire more people into the team.


  4. "Almost a perfect storm"

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

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

    Pros

    Very engaged and clever people everywhere you look. Clients are world class and your growth is built upon how well you perform.

    AKQA recognizes the courageously bold, and those who aren't afraid to take risks and punch above their weight. We have developed some of the most innovative work over the past decade, and will continue to do so given the freedom to create.

    Cons

    Work life balance is tough, but to be expected. Comp days and working hours are a plus as long as you handle the work. Inefficiencies in process is our biggest problem. Senior leadership often defers responsibilities, and things don't move along unless there is a fire drill.

    Advice to Management

    Spend more time resolving our inefficiencies, and learn how to stop burning out your best talent.


  5. "Creative Developer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at AKQA full-time

    Pros

    Solid learning experience at AKQA

    Cons

    Lack of growth and opportunities for promotion


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Great potential, frustrating management"

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

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

    Pros

    Creative opportunities for world class brands are plentiful. Room to grow into senior roles quite quickly. Good people and social culture in some teams.

    Cons

    Terrible upper management and organizational structure, resulting in lots of inefficiencies and burnt out staff. Lots of promises thrown around and not kept.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to your staff on how to change and soon enough it'll be a world class agency.


  7. "Great place for the most part"

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

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

    Pros

    Super talented team. Ability to work on many different projects. Relatively diverse.

    Cons

    Everyone is underpaid. The tech team are second class citizens.

  8. "Very nice agency"

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

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

    Pros

    Very nice Human Resources Team, Account Team

    Cons

    No cons, everything is good.

    Advice to Management

    Keep doing good job


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Great place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Employees are passionate about what they do and find innovative ways to express that, both through client work and internal office projects. Employees are approachable and willing to help/share their area of expertise.

    The culture and people are great. There are a lot of ways to get involved and feel connected to the company and other employees, with cross-collaboration for inclusive office projects, and different after work events, programs, and teams. Monday morning breakfast doesn't hurt either :)

    The company gives off a forward-looking approach. It seems that they value their employees and look to find ways to help with career growth and progression.

    Cons

    The elevators can be painfully slow?


  10. Helpful (2)

    "Growing Something Special"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Account Director in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Senior Account Director in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

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

    Pros

    AKQA's New York office definitely going through an transition/evolution. While the global network has been around for more than a decade and worked with some of the biggest brands in the world, the New York office definitely has elements of a start-up mentality.

    We are not growing just to grow, or winning business just to meet our bottom line - we are aggressively going after specific brands and clients that want to shake things up, all while solidifying who we are and what we want to be known for. And that's never an easy or quick process.

    But we have a tight-knit, positive, 'family' vibe, that helps us stay balanced as we hustle and grind to build something special. I'm very proud to be a part of this group of people, and that energy fuels me every day I walk in. We make cool/impactful stuff and have fun doing it.

    Cons

    Given that start-up mentality and our ambition to take on some of the biggest challenges from the largest brands, the work/life dynamic hasn't struck a balance quite yet. This is not the place for those that want to leave at 5pm, or just cruise on work that is good. It can be challenging at times, and much is asked of those that work here.

    For the amount of great work that we strive to take on an execute, keeping it all rolling requires you truly need to enjoy what you do. For those that don't, it can seem over-bearing. But therein lies that mentality of start-up.

    Advice to Management

    Keep staying true to the mandate of growing 'the right way'. Keep chasing the type of work and ambition that meet our standards. As we evolve and mature as an office, keep communicating and motivating those that make it happen. Be real and honest, but never neglect showing us the north star of what's next. We are all contributing to building something special here - so help us feel that every day.


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