Arabella Advisors Reviews | Glassdoor

Arabella Advisors Reviews

Updated January 25, 2017
19 reviews

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3.6
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19 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (17)

    "Highly Rewarding for Hard Workers."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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 Arabella Advisors full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Few organizations offer the breadth of experience that you can have at Arabella. The work spans four practice areas (consulting, impact investing, philanthropy management, and managed organizations) allowing you to learn about every aspect of the philanthropic sector. Also, clients range from the largest foundations to smaller family foundations and everyone in between. With projects in every state and many foreign countries, no other job can give you greater exposure to the entire field of philanthropy. It’s a great place to learn about the sector and prepare you for a career in philanthropy.

    There is definitely a team atmosphere, with everyone understanding that we are all in it together and then actually acting that way. I’ve never worked anywhere that has less drama and internal politics. Everyone (almost everyone) is really smart and interesting. So it's just fun to get to know everyone about the things they have done.

    The company is growing like crazy. Strong growth means job security for strong employees and more opportunities to take on new responsibilities as new work comes in. You can also move around within the company, from one line of service to another or from one office to another.

    If you work hard, are proactive about solving problems and identifying opportunities, you will be rewarded. That doesn’t just mean working harder – working smarter counts too. It is genuinely a meritocracy.

    Cons

    For the most part, you are not going to become a member of the leadership team by working up. The offices are full of hardworking, smart, ambitious people and there just isn’t room at the top for everyone. The people who are at the top are relatively young, extremely well qualified, and unlikely to be leaving soon. Learn what you can while you’re there and move up when you can, but likely have to leave to really move up.

    The work is demanding. Clients are not always reasonable, and client service means that the client is always right. That means hard work, sometimes on short deadlines and with little notice. It’s not a 9-5 job. Nobody is going to tell you to work less, so it is on you to figure out how much work life balance you want and then you have to make it happen.

    Growth is difficult, even when being managed well. New people are coming constantly, and that is exciting, but can be disruptive and time consuming. It’s a good problem to have, but still a problem.

    Advice to Management

    Be even more transparent about the way the business works and the expected tenure of most employees.

    Be candid with people about the work when you hire them. It’s a great place to work, the experience can be exciting and rewarding, but it’s still a job and there is a lot of work that isn’t exciting and rewarding but still has to get done. On balance, it is worth it, so set expectations when people come in.

    Recognize that the work can be hard and constant. Don’t rely entirely on employees to tell you when they are working too hard. Be more proactive about taking the load off so people don’t burn out.


  2. Helpful (4)

    "Exhausting"

    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
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    Nice benefits, nice location and great vision.

    Cons

    Inability to accept all and differences, extremely homogenous

    Advice to Management

    Open your mindset.

  3. Helpful (5)

    "More Pros than Cons"

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

    I have been working at Arabella Advisors full-time

    Pros

    -Privilege to work on social impact issues
    -Company is a leader in its field, helping funders do important work
    -Flexibility in work schedule, ability to work from home occasionally
    -Many coworkers are genuine, dedicated, smart, helpful people
    -Company trains staff in good people management practices
    -If you take the initiative, over time you'll find at least some opportunities to grow and develop in your areas of interest
    -Great benefits (medical, PTO)

    Cons

    -High client work load; it seems you can only have 2-3 weeks of a normal schedule before heading into a 6-10 week stretch of working way over full time, then repeat
    -Salaries low relative to workload, value delivered to firm, and consulting sector norms
    -Some unprofessionalism, questionable judgement, and playing favorites does happen by leaders


  4. Helpful (3)

    "Great company as long as work is your first love"

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

    I have been working at Arabella Advisors full-time

    Pros

    Arabella is a great place to work. There's an editorial team dedicated to help everyone better writers, the benefits are amazing, the time off earned is really high, the salaries are okay if you're used to nonprofit wages.

    Cons

    The work is stressful and it feels like every team could use at least a few more people to get work life balance and to be able to use the time off we earn.

    Advice to Management

    Arabella has been ignoring employee burnout. Fifty to sixty-five hour weeks should not be the norm and if it is we need to be more upfront to new employees about this as they come in.


  5. "Great company"

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

    I have been working at Arabella Advisors full-time

    Pros

    Amazing coworkers, management, mission, and culture

    Cons

    Opportunities to move up can be unclear


  6. Helpful (5)

    "The true test of a great employer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    There are many things to consider when determining if an organization is a great place to work. Some you can literally put a price tag on - like compensation - and others are priceless. I would like to publicly share an example of the latter.

    I recently found myself in the unexpected role of caretaker to a family member - one who initially needed 24 hour care. I was so worried about what that would mean for the state of my employment. Sure I could take FMLA, but that would have been unpaid time - and after 12 weeks, the employer is under no obligation to hold the position. I worried about that too. Oh, and I’ve only been employed here for about a year. I was pretty stressed out over it all.

    To my amazement and delight, when I told my boss about the situation, I got nothing but concern and support. I was told to do whatever I needed. I was told that I could take FMLA if I needed to, but I was also given the option to telecommute for as long as I needed - a solution that allowed me to both work, and take care of that family member.

    Like I said earlier, there are a number of things to consider when determining a great place to work, and I'm pleased to say that the firm already offers the more common ones; a great culture, a great benefits package and of course the mission focused work. But at the very top of that list, at least for me, is how a company treats its employees. I hope that what I've shared here gives you a good sense of how Arabella Advisors treats theirs.

    Cons

    Too many free snacks! But the fitness benefit compliments that nicely.

    Advice to Management

    Thank you for demonstrating that you truly care about your staff. Keep it up!


  7. Helpful (2)

    "Associate Director"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Smart people, love what they do and believe in the company's mission

    Cons

    More and more bureaucracy, need more coordination among teams

  8. Helpful (3)

    "Great"

    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 Arabella Advisors full-time

    Pros

    Great work environment, caring, hard-working team. Everyone was very supportive of each other. Great place to grow if you chose to stay.

    Cons

    It was hard to get hired as permanent employee, I found another job elsewhere instead of staying there because the process took too long.

    Advice to Management

    Make it easier to hire temp employees that you would like to keep. If the process is too elongated you may loose people you would like to keep.


  9. Helpful (9)

    "Good experience and learning opportunities, relatively young leadership"

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

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

    Pros

    Because the company is growing so much, there is considerable opportunity for learning, new responsibility, and taking on leadership roles with respect to certain initiatives. I appreciate the HR team's approach to people management, which relies on The Management Center and other good, progressive practices. I also appreciate the firm's attempt to be more inclusive and diverse.

    Cons

    The firm's leadership is relatively young, and can lack the gravitas and professional maturity that a more established firm might have. This is reflected in their occasional inability to recognize good, loyal work in addition to the "brown-nosers" mentioned in other reviews, or those who speak loudly and are adept at self-promotion. It can also be seen in smaller areas, such as communication styles (up-speak).

    Advice to Management

    Work on retaining the work force, appreciating a variety of work styles, and increasing the age diversity of the firm.


  10. Helpful (13)

    "Great place to learn and grow"

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

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

    Pros

    Arabella practices many of its company values on a daily basis, including working for impact, promoting professional development and growth among staff, and fostering a fun and supportive work culture. I have thrived working in this culture, as I have received the training and coaching I've needed to succeed in my roles at the firm, along with the latitude to increase my autonomy and lead relationships with clients. Arabella has invested significantly in staff development, through training managers on easy-to-implement management theories and providing staff with use-it-or-lose-it annual professional development budgets. Arabella is indeed a feedback-heavy culture, and I have received beneficial constructive pieces feedback from managers and senior leaders that helped me rapidly improve the quality of my work.

    Cons

    Arabella is definitely going through growing pains as it matures as an organization. And these growing pains account for most of the challenges I've experienced, such as inconsistent messaging from management, clunky and time-consuming systems, and "Arabella culture" varying significantly by team and office. The other major challenge - work-life balance - is somewhat attributable to the consulting environment, wherein workload fluctuates based on the work that comes in. The firm has made significant efforts to improve balance and to better anticipate and prepare us for time crunches, which I appreciate. However, some weeks and months have felt like nonstop work and it is hard for me to stay motivated during those stretches.

    Advice to Management

    I'd like us to be clearer on our mission and specifically on how politically progressive we are (or are not).


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