Arup Reviews | Glassdoor

Arup Reviews

Updated June 11, 2017
17 reviews

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Arup Group Chairman Greg Hodkinson
Greg Hodkinson
4 Ratings

17 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Good work/life balance (if you tackle the subject well with your team) (in 40 reviews)

  • Very interesting projects, and the company is very well respected in the industry which you get to reap the benefits of (in 43 reviews)

Cons
  • The work life balance is difficult to maintain with the large workload (in 21 reviews)

  • Culture of long hours, although depends on teams (in 26 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Frat boy culture; management are sharks"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Engineer in Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - Engineer in Los Angeles, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great projects that look great on your resumes. Lots of company perks and great benefits.

    Cons

    Because you get a lot of company perks, great benefits, and get to work on high profile projects, the pay is less than average. Expect to work a lot of overtime in the ballpark of 60-80 hours a week. You also need to "drink the company kool-aid" in order to tolerate some of the insufferable people here.

    Associates and principals have no social cues. Often crass and out of touch when trying to relate to junior engineers. My direct appraiser and management often talked crap about my peers in my presence. Completely unprofessional.

    I was a female engineer at this office. I got talked down to a lot by many of my male peers. I would be in meetings and my work would be questioned a lot, but not the work of my male peers in the same meeting. We both did equal quality work and comparable types of projects. Being a woman in this office was hell.

    This company hires some of the smartest people in the world, but they're also some of the most patronizing, negative, nihilistic frat boys who are out of touch with reality. Arup is like the Uber of the A/E/C industry. I'm just happy I got the experience and licensure that I needed while I was here to move onto better A/E/C firms.

    Advice to Management

    Learn to treat your employees better. Practice gender equity and diversity & inclusion instead of showboating that the company espouses these values in your fancy little marketing pamphlets and press releases.


  2. Helpful (9)

    "Fustercluck"

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

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

    Pros

    - Offices are generally nice in major cities

    - You have the opportunity to work on some interesting projects if you are favored by your manager

    - Fairly flexible and casual for a large company

    Cons

    - Salary is way way way below the competition and they'll tell you that it's the cost you have to pay to work on cool projects, but a self-respecting engineer should be able to see through this false compromise

    - Long hours are expected, and overtime is hardly granted

    - Business strategy is totally decentralized, so politics, finger pointing, and the blame game rule amongst senior ranks

    - Non-technical leaders and managers directly overseeing engineers leads to a contentious environment

    - No consistent performance standards, so popularity with your peers is more important than performance

    - Archaic practices such as granting some senior staff fellowships, basically giving them tenure and a license to be pretentious

    - Culturally very homogeneous as well as a clear preference to put British folks in management contribute to a neo-colonial-socialist vibe

    Advice to Management

    Run the company like a business, not like a country club

  3. Helpful (12)

    "Who cares"

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

    Pros

    Benefits and great project.

    20'words min so I repeat it. Good benefits and expensive projects. Seriously that's all there's is

    Cons

    What can I say. This is a company that the higher up principles ignore the little fish. No how are you ? or simple "hi". Everyone that works here says this the best company yet they are not getting promoted. I've been told that your rank don't matter or your title. Yet if that's so why do all the engineers have different titles. Senior grad associate Etc

    BECAUSE IT MATTERS!!

    I quit and I now am getting paid much better and much more respectable position. Arup says who cares as long as you work here you should be happy.

    Sorry. Benefits only go so far. Also bigger isn't better. I used to think Arup was the Bentley of the engineering world. I failed to realize Honda is a better value and you better off working for a company that values you!!! Arup didn't value me. I'm glad I left

    Engineers should be able to make enough to buy a house. It's a respectable field but Arup engineers have roommates. They broke and they are just a number. At least they have good benefits haha. Suckers.

    Glad I left. I will be house shopping soon and I'm no longer ashamed of my position


  4. Helpful (7)

    "Not Applicable"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Not Applicable in Cambridge, MA
    Former Employee - Not Applicable in Cambridge, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Very employee focused firm. Believes in inclusion for all. Best employee benefits I have ever seen. Heavy commitment to technology...they have all the latest gadgets.

    Cons

    Least technically accomplished firm (or at least branch office) I have worked for in my 20 year career regarding HVAC design. Lacks skilled management and leadership. Lacks ability to be nimble...is bogged down with heavy bureaucratic procedures, forms and review processes that offer little to no value to the firm or to projects. Does not actively engage in the release of under performing employees. No one owns stock, no one has to 'buy-into' the company, so no one has 'flesh in the game' to make the company better...profits are distributed across the entire company, evenly, regardless of branch office profitability or performance. This arrangement breeds indifference to being the best!

    Advice to Management

    I offer no advice to the company leadership. If you do not already know what I am saying (because most of the USA industry has the same view of Arup MEP) I do not believe you want to change or improve. So please stay the same, for that will equate to more work for the rest of the industry, and we can continue to use the name Arup as a punchline.


  5. Helpful (3)

    "Application process"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Public Safety Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Public Safety Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Has great benefits, Fair salary, good working environment.

    Cons

    The upper management are not necessarily the most considerate of your needs. They over work you and when your in the application process if you have anything on your record and you are given an offer you will be given an offer and benifits and you will sign the paper work before getting a background check. If you have anything on your background check you or anything negative on you credit report the company will take back the offer and you will lose your job opportunity after given all this hope.


  6. Helpful (12)

    "Joke of a company"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Mechanical Engineer in Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - Mechanical Engineer in Los Angeles, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Benefits. Location was pretty good.

    Cons

    Some of the worst people I've ever worked with. Leadership in the US is joke and the company can't seem to win any projects. The people have been there forever and don't value anyone with new ideas. Arup USA can't win any real projects and I can't see it being an employer of choice moving forward. Very low salaries and the profit share is not competitive no matter what they tell you. They try and hire very cheap labor and keep them for as long as they can. Look elsewhere.


  7. Helpful (8)

    "Bureaucratic"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Engineer in Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - Engineer in Los Angeles, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Arup part-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Good for resume building and move on with life as soon as opportunity arises.

    Cons

    Bad for personal life and growth. There is fake sense of work life balance. All the smartness comes from very few individuals who pull off majority of tasks for rest of the politicians or gang members. The gangs go around chest thumping and take credit as "we did this" and talk to upper management outside the office hours at parties. The "we" is acceptable while advertising to the outside world, but when it happens internally, it is called back-stabbing.

     The true credit and merit is never given to the individual who accomplished the task, since that individual is busy working with his head in sand on the next big project. Often this person never receives promotion unless he has a god father in the firm. The upper management is so busy affirming their positions in the company because of which they hardly recognize how the work got done. Many of the newbies and introverts work in constant fear of being reprimanded or being out-casted by the gang mentality.

    They encourage staff who post on behalf of the firm on FB, LinkedIn and other social media. So there is a general sense of greatness. There is a book by the title "Snakes in Suits" and this firm is perfectly like it.

  8. Helpful (5)

    "ARUP doesnt like"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Structural Engineer in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Structural Engineer in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

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

    Pros

    You can do anything you want.
         Show up late or not show up at all.
         People drink at their desks as they do work.
         They have a lot of lunch time meetings so you can stay up to date on the industry.
         You are free to travel and spend time in different offices.
         You have the opportunity to work on a vast array of projects.

    Cons

    There is a lack of management skills. There are a lot of managers, most of them are incompetent. There seems to be no recognition of hard work. You get promoted based on how long you've been there and how well you fit into the ARUP "culture" (which is nonsense by the way). Expect to have most of your day wasted with stupid meetings and horrible presentations about nothing and lets not forget about the horrible office events. This will cause you to spend a lot of extra hours in the office, usually because an unqualified manager made a decision that made absolutely no sense.

    Of course you can choose not to attend these events and you become the ARUP outsider and miss the chance for advancement.

    Advice to Management

    Learn how to manage, because that place is ridiculous.


  9. Helpful (4)

    "Horrible Place to Work"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Los Angeles, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Arup full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    A well known company that has designed some of the most iconic building in the world, the london eye, Sydney opera house, the birds nest and water cube for the Olympics.

    Cons

    Poor Leadership, the upper management sits in a bubble and does not care about happens in the field organization, The COO is clueless about what happens in the rest of the businesses especially in HR

    Advice to Management

    Clean up HR, bring in some new people to add some excitement at the upper management level. Too many long term folks making decisions based on what they did 10 years ago.


  10. Helpful (2)

    "Customer Service "Call Center""

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    benefits - is the only positive

    Cons

    nothing nice to say... it sucked!

    Advice to Management

    get a real job


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