AKQA Reviews | Glassdoor

AKQA Reviews

Updated May 9, 2018
479 reviews

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3.6
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AKQA CEO Ajaz Ahmed
Ajaz Ahmed
218 Ratings

479 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 43 reviews)

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

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (2)

    "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.


  2. Helpful (3)

    "Still a boys club"

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

    I worked at AKQA full-time

    Pros

    There are smart, nice people
    There is interesting work and clients
    It has a good maternity policy, especially if you've been there a few years

    Cons

    Men seem to get more money and more power throughout the agency
    Salaries could be higher
    The most senior people (mostly men) are allowed to get away with really inappropriate things and are given more flexibility

    Advice to Management

    Hire more senior women
    Give people the ability to do their jobs - trust them and let them sink or swim on their own

  3. "Discover your full-potential here! World class organization"

    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 (More than a year)

    Pros

    All of the teams that make up the agency in the SF office, truly make it a special place to come in and work everyday. The environment is always lively and full of opportunity for any individual to learn from. The agency promotes learning about one another's departments and a great platform to grow as a professional.

    Cons

    There's opportunity for agencies in other office to be more integrated. This may be able to help increase the work flow and provide additional resources.


  4. Helpful (1)

    "Rad agency and great place to work"

    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 5 years)

    Pros

    I have been with AKQA for over half a decade and can honestly say it has been a great place to work. Challenging yet rewarding, I have had the opportunity to work across many top clients to produce forward-thinking, impactful work. The people are amazing and great to work with.

    Cons

    At times, there are short deadlines and quick turn-arounds most of which however were anticipated. Also, some work streams / deliverables can become repetitive and stale.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to promote a culture of innovation and encourage teams to learn new skills / approach challenges in new ways.


  5. "Good company if you are in good project"

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

    I worked at AKQA full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Good Benefits and generous leave policy

    Cons

    Lack of vision for good work


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Possibility without the process"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Copywriter in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Copywriter in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    -Great people
    -Worldwide clients
    -Upbeat and energetic culture
    -Creative leadership that's an advocate
    -International network of offices

    Cons

    -Lack of promoting from within
    -Cliquish socially
    -Under compensated compared to industry
    -Lack of perks (food, time off, bonuses, etc)
    -Under appreciated talent

    Advice to Management

    There seems to be a high-concentration of CDs and other senior leadership, but a distinct lack of promoting or developing talent. Spend more time at growing what you have so people will feel appreciated and will stay/buy in to company culture.


  7. Helpful (2)

    "Senior Analyst"

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

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

    Pros

    Absolutely great people to work with. The culture is very close to my own beliefs, which evolves great service to our clients and being thought leaders of the industry.
    I have worked in more than 1 office and I saw a big difference in culture between offices. San Francisco is definitely a great office to work for many reasons.. I was in love with the architecture of the office the minute I walked in and I instantly realized that there is so much investment in being a good place to work. I love the perks too such as Yoga, Massage, Breakfast every Monday, etc.
    From a career perspective, I believe there is an opportunity to grow and you have to constantly up level your work - which is a pro for me.

    Cons

    AKQA tends to pay lower than competitors - just from seeing other offers we get from LinkedIn. There is lack of transparency regarding salary bands within roles and promises that take long to become true..

    Advice to Management

    Increase transparency regarding salaries. This creates a more trustworthy environment. If I am giving my best to you I expect you to be transparent about salaries and timelines - if getting recognized via salary/role takes this long, it just feels like being used.

  8. "supportive teams, great client"

    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
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    great people, supportive team, challenging work, positive atmosphere, amazing client roster, snacks and fruit bowls

    Cons

    some people are unhappy and make it known, but any situation is what you make of it


  9. Helpful (6)

    "Save yourself"

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

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

    Pros

    - If you like to drink your problems away this is the place for you.

    - If you are close with leadership you are good.

    -If you don’t want to have a mind of your own when the MD wants something, this is the place for you.

    -On a coveted account? You’re golden. On a revenue driving account? You’re being used.

    -Summary = you’re a pawn in this really unhealthy game.

    Cons

    Oh where to begin

    - Layoffs, layoffs layoffs
    - Zero creativity
    -No creative guidance
    - went from 2 full floors to barely 1 and a half.
    - false agency updates give false job or opportunity assurance.
    - Negative attitudes from PM’s of a larger account to everyone else, almost feels bullysish.
    - Zero transparency.
    - All good employees have left or been let go to save favorites.
    - this “studio” is going down in flames very quickly. making a room feel like a NYC tourist destination doesn’t do a damn thing to agency morale or all of the ongoing problems.

    Advice to Management

    STOP trying to come across creative. Stop forcing the stories of failing accounts vs the successful ones. Stop lying to employed and stop interfering with growth. How many layoffs will there be until the doors shut?


  10. Helpful (1)

    "First impressions count"

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

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

    Pros

    After just a short time within the agency, I'm blown away by the commitment to the people, the environment and the work.

    - The in onboarding is second to none, the talented people are what matters most and it shows from day one. The time dedicated to immersing staff into the agency and its culture empowers everyone to jump in with full confidence.
    - People are next level intelligent and talented, they hire well and you'll be inspired by your team to be your best every single day. There's no shortcuts in the craft and everyone is empowered to make an impact for a top roster of clients.
    - Community and culture genuinely matter! The ongoing investment in culture lead initiatives in both the agency and the broader Bay area demonstrates the core agency values lie in the right place. Every week there's something new to get involved in, it's stimulating and personally rewarding. Not to mention all the great people you'll meet.
    - It's not just the work that's innovative. The leadership team clearly focus on innovating the process, culture and agency dynamic. Always trying for new ways to empower their staff to reach new heights.

    Cons

    Nothing you wouldn't see at any large agency, the difference is the drive to improve both inside and out.

    Advice to Management

    Continue the focus, transparent direction, and time dedicated to the group, it gives people a sense of purpose and confidence to reach their potential.


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