American Geophysical Union Reviews | Glassdoor

American Geophysical Union Reviews

Updated April 26, 2017
25 reviews

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3.5
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Christine McEntee
9 Ratings

25 Employee Reviews

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  1. Featured Review

    Helpful (2)

    "Fabulous Place to Work"

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

    Pros

    I began as an intern and applied for a full-time position after experiencing the great work environment at AGU. I sincerely look forward to coming to work everyday, both due to the culture of AGU and the people who work here.

    As an organization, AGU puts an emphasis on work/life balance, and offers outstanding employee benefits. Chris McEntee was recently awarded Professional Society CEO of the year, and leadership/management makes it a clear priority that employees are supported, encouraged and offered numerous opportunities to be involved in the community.

    Teleworking, barbecuing, get-togethers, art challenges, working for an awesome cause, and most importantly some amazing coworkers make AGU a great place to work.

    Cons

    Work flow varies, so you should be comfortable working heavily one week and then keeping yourself motivated if things are slow (although this depends on your department and preferred work style). And this goes without saying, things get hectic around Fall Meeting.

    American Geophysical Union Response

    Sep 23, 2016 – AGU Human Resources

    We’ve been fortunate that some of the many talented interns we have had were able to secure full-time positions - though we are not a large organization. Our CEO and our governance model have been ... More


  2. "Team Leader"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Team Leader in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Team Leader in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at American Geophysical Union full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Interesting topics they work with.

    Cons

    Troubled leadership direction lost a lot of people

    Advice to Management

    Don't stop believing


  3. Helpful (8)

    "Terrible place to work - steer clear!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at American Geophysical Union full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Whilst most employee are mistreated, paid low wages and not offered any room for growth, there are nice employees there. Like most companies in DC, people are generally working in DC because they are smart.

    Cons

    Corrupt management especially within HR, who have free reigns over the company to fire anyone at will. Extremely high turnover, all the good and smart employees have left. Leaders show a lack of leadership, and are highly political often competing with each other. One of the worst companies I have worked for in over 30 years working as a professional.

    Advice to Management

    HR needs an overhaul and must be closely monitored to ensure they are not abusing power. Either pay people a fair and decent salary or create a better work-life balance.


  4. Helpful (3)

    "Unrealistic expectations"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Copy Editor in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Copy Editor in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at American Geophysical Union full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Many friendly people, decent resources

    Cons

    Work-life balance not valued, unrealistic expectations re: workload.

    Advice to Management

    High achievers should be awarded. Be more careful about burnout

    American Geophysical Union Response

    Sep 16, 2016 – AGU Human Resources

    AGU last employed copy editors in 2012 when we transitioned from in-house publishing. Since then copy editing for AGU’s peer-reviewed journals is handled by our publishing partner Wiley & Sons ... More


  5. Helpful (3)

    "Challenging, collegial, financially sound organization"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at American Geophysical Union full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    AGU is a place that is very interested in exploring new ideas and is open to experimentation. I thoroughly enjoy working with my own team and with my peers in other departments. It's very exciting and challenging work, and there are all sorts of opportunities to learn about cool science - so if you are a science geek, it's great.

    Cons

    AGU is very member-oriented and very mission driven. So if you don't really care about science or scientists, you may not get the full value of working there

    American Geophysical Union Response

    Apr 25, 2016

    Thank you for acknowledging our openness to experimenting and learning. While you don’t need to be a scientist by training to work at AGU, we agree that those who value our mission and vision are ... More


  6. Helpful (5)

    "Work here until you can find a better job"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at American Geophysical Union full-time

    Pros

    Depending on who your Director is, this could be a good job for you. A few Directors look out for their employees, making sure they get the salary and work load they deserve. Various committees work hard to create events that get people mingling and add some fun to your work day (Art Committee especially), so that is a plus.

    Cons

    -Petty competitiveness among colleagues. It is very difficult to get anything done because there is so much competition between departments. There are too many egos that will undermine projects if it doesn’t fit their needs exactly.

    -Human Resources. Changing positions and salary is very difficult, and HR has often low balled employees in the past to save the company money and keep expectations low. I saw it many times while I was there and experienced it myself.

    -High turnover rate. The high turnover rate means a lot of stress on the people who remain behind, and tasks are passed off to random people who are not trained to handle them properly. The Directors do not support the remaining staff to be able to handle this work and just expect them to get it done.

    -Not enough pay and poor work-life balance. You have to work long and hard hours to be recognized, and even then you still won’t get the salary you deserve.

    Advice to Management

    Pay attention to your high turnover rate. There is a huge gap between the upper management and the people actually making your company run. HR needs to be more respectful and willing to actually recognize people who deserve the benefits and raises they have worked hard for. Instead there is a distinct nastiness whenever HR is approached to renegotiate salary, and they will quickly sour the relationship.

    American Geophysical Union Response

    Apr 25, 2016 – AGU Human Resources

    Our retention rate is actually on the high-side at 83% (the range is typically 70%-85%), and conversely our voluntary turnover is low. As noted by another reviewer, we can do better on cross-training ... More


  7. Helpful (7)

    "Very Political, tons of Cronyism and a Dysfunctional Environment"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Finance in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Finance in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at American Geophysical Union full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Decent paid time off, there are some really nice people there in some departments, despite them being completely worn out.

    Cons

    I worked there a little over 5 years and I came to learn that this place was way too political to the point of being dysfunctional. Nepotism and cronyism are of out of control there. It's totally normal to see completely qualified and competent people being passed up for others who barely know how to tie their own shes, simply because they are in good with the boss. This was very wide-spread and accepted by the staff.

    And the work-life balance is WAY off. Departments don't hire enough people to keep up with the workload. It's expected that you work 60 hour work weeks (in some case it's more). This is most likely the case, due to the toxic environment where managers don't want to give the impression that they can't get the work done with their current numbers. They don't want to risk looking bad by asking for more manpower. And the worse thing is people just accept this with the attitude: 'it's just the way things are'.

    Advice to Management

    Try to foster a environment that makes people feel safe, including middle management, so they won't feel scared about asking for more manpower. Encourage a better work-life balance. Weed out those dysfunctional managers who do not need lead, but instead fill their ranks with 'yes' people and who are only concerned with staying employed.


  8. Helpful (2)

    "Great Place"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Intern in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Intern in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    There was diversity, friendliness,transparency, flexibility and Care

    Cons

    Departments can feel divided due to structure (ie science on one floor vs marketing on another)

    American Geophysical Union Response

    Apr 25, 2016 – AGU Human Resources

    Thank you for the positive review on your internship experience. We strive for transparency and diversity and are glad you picked up on that. We are really pleased that you found AGU to be a friendly ... More


  9. Helpful (6)

    "Steer Clear"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Manager in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Manager in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I have been working at American Geophysical Union full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    - Benefits- good time off, medical, dental, some people have a flexible work schedule (many aren't allowed that option)
    - You make some really good friends- being under a lot of pressure does help you bond
    - Field trips are fun and coffee shop is good
    - The Arts and Social Events Teams make things more fun than they'd be otherwise
    - It's important work and you feel great about the job you're doing and the members

    Cons

    - Your experience very much relies on your director and most of them are terrible. Out of touch with the organization and with employees. As someone else mentioned, zero idea of how to keep people motivated and engaged.
    - They work you to death. They downsize without any regard to who's going to do the remaining work and force it on the people left. Directors know that some people have to work 60+ hours every week to keep their job afloat and do nothing about it.
    - Morale is awful. They've been working with an outside facilitator for 2 years to try to improve it but the only thing that will improve morale is if the Executive Director (who is awful and causing most of the problems) leaves.
    - Executive Director is never there, out of touch with what employees and the members want, travels the globe on AGU's dime with nothing to show for it, and is very cold/impersonal.

    Advice to Management

    - Pay attention to your high turnover rate- it says a lot more than you're willing to accept. Everyone is leaving/quitting because it's such a horrible place to work. All of your good people are quitting!
    - Executive Director and COO need to be more in touch with what's going on- they don't have a clue because they create such an atmosphere of fear that their directors aren't comfortable with telling them the truth.


  10. Helpful (7)

    "Not a healthy place to work"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at American Geophysical Union full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Decent benefits
    Do important work
    Lunch room fosters good staff connections

    Cons

    Staff are expected to work a minimum of 50 hours a week and for some titles and/or departments, 50 hours a week is just the floor.
    Senior staff ax staff a little too easily. While they provided a generous severance package, they fired half the staff to outsource their publishing operations. Don't think they truly understand the human component of motivating a workforce. When it comes to a dedicated workforce, job security goes a lot further than ice cream socials and trips to the ballpark. There just doesn't seem to be a strong tie between how hard you work, what you deliver, and how safe your job is.
    Drab building.


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