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Acumen

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Acumen Reviews

Updated Jun 19, 2021

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Found 189 of over 207 reviews

3.4
70%
Recommend to a Friend
35%
Approve of CEO
Acumen Managing Member  Thomas MaCurdy (no image)
Thomas MaCurdy
99 Ratings
Pros
  • "Interesting Projects and smart co-workers(in 12 reviews)

  • "good work life balance which is good(in 11 reviews)

  • Cons
  • "nothing from my side perhaps the work-life balance but it very common during this special year the remote work mode(in 26 reviews)

  • "Compensation not as good as other companies in the Bay area(in 18 reviews)

  • More Pros and Cons
    Pros & Cons are excerpts from user reviews. They are not authored by Glassdoor.
    1. 4.0
      Current Employee
      Featured Review

      Fast Growing Company with Lots Opportunities

      Oct 9, 2020 - Researcher 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Focus on health care policy and works on Medicare and Medicaid with multiple big clients such as NIH, CMS etc.. Lots of interesting research topics that can make your work influential to the society.

      Cons

      Transition from small to a big company requires sufficient expertise and the supporting teams are catching up.

      1 person found this review helpful

      Acumen Response

      Senior Recruiting Manager

      Thanks for taking the time to leave us a review and helping us to get the word out that we have lots of opportunities at Acumen, LLC.

    2. 5.0
      Former Employee

      Summer law clerk

      Jun 19, 2021 - Law Clerk 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      They were very inviting and you get to work closely with an attorney

      Cons

      I have nothing bad to say

      Be the first to find this review helpful
    3. 4.0
      Former Employee, more than 1 year

      Decent place to work

      May 26, 2021 - Data and Policy Analyst III in Burlingame, CA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      - I loved working with the people I worked with. They were all driven and caring. - The projects I worked on had real-life impact.

      Cons

      - It was not always clear whether I was doing the most rigorous science or just to placate the clients and make the next deadline. That was a major incentive for me to go back to grad school. - There is a culture of overworking and perhaps an inflation of urgency when it comes to meeting deadline.

      Be the first to find this review helpful
    4. 1.0
      Former Employee

      WARNING: Manipulative managers, toxic work culture, and no work-life balance

      May 4, 2021 - Anonymous Employee 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Decent entry-level position for fresh college grads that need a full-time job with benefits and have no better options.

      Cons

      Toxic work environment and terrible managers. I read the negative reviews before I first joined Acumen, but decided to take the job anyway. Color me disappointed yet not surprised when nearly everything said in the negative reviews became a reality for me. Work-life balance is nonexistent. They constantly overwork you and do not pay for overtime. What other reviewers have said about incompetent and self-centered managers was also true in my experience. My manager was unable to cohesively lead the team or guide subordinates. My manager would also manipulate situations and conversations in their favor. It was so suffocating. I tried to muscle through it, but it was honestly not worth it. My advice is to stay away from Acumen before you burn out from the terrible work environment. Find a company where you’re valued as an employee and treated well by higher-ups. I didn’t realize what I had been missing until I left. Don’t settle for working at Acumen. If you do, just know what you’re getting yourself into.

      7 people found this review helpful
    5. 5.0
      Current Employee

      Great teams to work for

      Jun 8, 2021 - Current Employee 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Wonderful people, have a great manager

      Cons

      Pay could and should be higher

      Be the first to find this review helpful
    6. 4.0
      Current Employee

      There are things to improve, but generally has been a good experience

      Feb 26, 2021 - Data and Policy Analyst in Burlingame, CA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      -Great work culture within my team, but work culture probably varies across teams/branches/departments. -Good work-life balance, but again, work culture varies across teams/branches/departments. -Great teammates and supportive managers to work with. -Learning very-specific knowledge and new things every day.

      Cons

      -Teams seem to work in silos, since every team is responsible for meeting the needs of one client. Cross-team collaborations exist, but not as much as I'd enjoy it to be. This also means that new hires need to be very proactive to search for people to connect with and ask questions about company-wide resources and opportunities. -Client-oriented, (as opposed to be more non-profit/academic-oriented). I knew this before joining, but knowing this does not change the fact that I enjoy working in a client-oriented setting less. -Tasks and projects are pretty zoomed-in to a few specific policy areas, as opposed to focusing on the broader, bigger-picture policy designs. This is a cons for me because I am concerned about how much of what I am learning is applicable or transferable to other industries/areas of work.

      Be the first to find this review helpful
    7. 4.0
      Former Employee, less than 1 year

      Okay place to work

      Jun 2, 2021 - Data and Policy Analyst in Burlingame, CA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Good training, Good facilities and management

      Cons

      Micromanagement, not clear promotion timeline

      Be the first to find this review helpful
    8. 5.0
      Current Employee

      Overall a nice place to work

      May 26, 2021 - Software Developer 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Friendly work environment, a lot of opportunities for new grads

      Cons

      Not many that I can think of

      Be the first to find this review helpful
    9. 2.0
      Former Employee, more than 3 years

      Try it out...and then RUN

      Apr 28, 2021 - Anonymous Employee in Burlingame, CA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      -Provides monthly lunch and daily fruits and snacks for employees -Likes to hire fresh grads -Location is by the water and accessible through public transportation -If you're willing to believe it, the work can be interesting -Some staff are cool and friendly Acumen is a government contractor that works in the healthcare space, which means they're not going to run out of business any time soon. As bad as COVID is, it did give Acumen more business, and they were lucky enough to not have to lay off anybody (more on that later). When at the office, the administrative staff are friendly and nice and will take time to keep the office tidy and clean. If you can become friends with them and IT staff, your time at Acumen will be less hellish. For whatever reason, Acumen tends to hire more fresh grads, so you'll have an easier time interviewing here than other companies. They're willing to train people to do their jobs (as most companies should), so you don't have to have a ton of prior experience. If you can fix your mindset a certain way, the work can be interesting, especially if you can look at the unique situations that people go through with their healthcare.

      Cons

      -Very apathetic and, at times, toxic, company culture -Infrastructure and technologies are very old, leading to ineffective practices and operations -Shockingly low pay and diminishing benefits -Career development is minimal -Inexperienced managers, and leadership is a joke -Turnover is ridiculously high -Nepotism is very prevalent Aside from the on-the-surface and superficial pros, though, unless you're a higher-up or in the MaCurdy inner circle, that's where your luck runs out. Although Acumen tends to hire fresh grads, they fail at retaining staff. Turnover is very, very high, and management either ignores it or lies to themselves about why turnover is so high at all. In fact, turnover was/is so bad, management decided to offer quarterly bonuses to people, with the incentive to stay being the bonuses stack more the longer you stay. The problem is this bonus is based off of your salary, so every quarter, you get an extra couple hundred taxable dollars added to your paycheck. Because it's so negligible, you don't even notice it being added to your paycheck. Where did the money come from? They slashed some 401k benefits. Was it a fair trade? The still-high turnover says all you need to know. To top it all off, HR actually tells themselves that people leave because they want to continue their education or some other nonsensical excuse. Very few people stay for more than a year, which nobody faults them for. As a company, Acumen fails to understand what its employees truly want. Many things are outside of the company's control, but it certainly does not help their case. Because Acumen works a lot with the government, their technology and infrastructure have to be on the government's level as well, making it very old and unusable in many cases. The building doesn't even have Wi-Fi! Everybody is given a workstation and a computer they log in to (even while working remotely). What you get is very slow connection because of all the hoops you have to jump through to even start working. You don't need me to tell you how slow and dysfunctional that would be. The company does NOT issue laptops for remote work. About COVID and 2020, the company failed to grasp the gravity of everything and instead opted for tone-deaf and apathetic answers. I don't entirely blame them, as COVID was and and still is a unique situation. As an established company, though, everybody expected more. Before the state-wide lockdown, leadership had one of the company's senior researchers give a presentation on what COVID was and how people should be dealing with it, with the central theme of the message being, "It's not a big deal, and everybody should continue coming to work anyway. Our work is important, and it allows us to fight COVID in our own way." Most companies were already telling their employees they could start working remotely. After the talk, HR sent out an email to all employees saying that the company policy continued to be, "We don't have people work from home as a rule. We know our best work is done very collaboratively and at this time we need to be efficient and effective. Currently the benefits of working together far outweigh the costs." This was not even a week before the governor issued a state-wide lockdown, and Tom MaCurdy, the CEO, finally sent an email telling everybody working remotely was allowed. Talk about mixed signals. After that, we didn't hear anything from management until a month and a half later, when the COO would hold a town hall meeting for everybody to submit questions, only to give non-answers and that they would continue to manage the situation. When speaking to recruiters from other companies, they mentioned their leaders would hold weekly meetings to give updates on the company, including layoffs and other structural changes. How did I find out Acumen didn't lay off anybody? A friend in HR told me, not through a company update. Acumen continues to give monthly updates about COVID, but each update is always "We don't have anything new to share." In regards to George Floyd and the movements, the COO was silent for a few weeks, and his long-awaited email's theme was, "I am very upset, but I hope you all remember that our work continues to be important and that we need to keep at it." Acumen's leadership fails at a systemic level. At this point, you might wonder if maybe things are better on the team level. Maybe, if you're lucky. I've seen teams at Acumen thrive, and that's largely because they have good managers. However, it's very clear that Tom's management style trickles down to everybody, and company culture suffers as a result. If your team doesn't interact with Tom much, great. If you do, however, expect inexperienced managers and nepotism at its finest. People who don't do much for the team are promoted to senior titles, whereas the people who do the most work are stuck in their entry-level positions. Why? Because some employees are funnier or are better at sucking up. But, even getting promoted doesn't mean much, because many positions have only two tiers of promotions. After going from entry-level to senior to lead, there is no more career development. What do people who work the hardest get? Maybe a minimal raise. It's possible that you get lucky and get a manager who actually cares about the welfare of the team, but even so, they are limited by what they can do for the team because of company policies. You can find more comments about Tom if you look through these reviews, but the general consensus (even throughout the company) is he changes his mind depending on what day it is and has a thunderous attitude and temper. I don't know why he thinks it's fine to yell at his employees, which you can actually hear even when on a different floor. In an area and age where companies want to move forward, Acumen enjoys staying still and not caring about its employees. You're welcome to try it out, but you'll quickly see that turnover is high for a reason.

      Continue reading
      12 people found this review helpful
    10. 1.0
      Former Employee, more than 1 year

      Good work, horrible environment

      Feb 2, 2021 - Data Analyst III in Burlingame, CA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      - The researchers and analysts are very impassioned people - Kind coworkers (for the most part) - Beautiful, scenic area around the Bay Area office - AdminOps tries really hard to be helpful and make the atmosphere less smothering

      Cons

      Toxic work environment. Quite simple. I've heard horribly inappropriate things said at all levels, seen outbursts of inappropriate violence (think screaming, hitting desks, slamming doors, etc), seen people fired for offenses less than those perpetrated by the senior staff, etc. The comments are correct - it all starts from the top. The COO is a good guy at his core who is clearly over-worked, and the CEO is demanding and harsh. There isn't a lot of room for growth if you work under a supervisor or manager that just doesn't get along with you. Thoroughly lacks a diversity of thought and personality types, which is bad because if you think differently or approach your work differently conflict will arise. People are promoted to managerial or supervisory level due to their work abilities (which is earned and correct), but without seemingly any thought to whether that person can lead a team or even gets along with the people they are now tasked with leading. Also, the pay is abysmal for the area, what you have to put up with, and when compared to similar roles at comparable organizations.

      Continue reading
      5 people found this review helpful

      Acumen Response

      Senior Recruiting Manager

      Thanks for taking the time to leave us a review. We appreciate your feedback and will pass along your advice.

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