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Barrel Reviews

Updated Jul 9, 2021

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Found 20 of over 20 reviews

3.5
53%
Recommend to a Friend
57%
Approve of CEO
Barrel Co-Founder & Principal Peter Kang & Sei-Wook Kim (no image)
Peter Kang & Sei-Wook Kim
15 Ratings
  1. 5.0
    Former Employee, more than 1 year

    Enjoyable place to work

    Jun 15, 2019 - Senior Developer in New York, NY
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    One of the best company cultures I've had the pleasure of working in. I felt like I fit in really well with my co-workers, so I genuinely looked forward to showing up to work each day. Further, my manager was one of the best I've ever had. He did a phenomenal job of setting me up for success while also challenging me and helping me grow. I felt very comfortable working with him and felt as though I was a valued member of the team. The projects were cool and genuinely offered really great and relevant professional experience. I was usually working on a healthy mix of projects with diverse challenges, which gave me an opportunity to learn and grow in my area of expertise. Barrel did a great job of giving me the tools and resources to solve those problems and better myself as a professional. In my time there, I felt as though Barrel, and its employees, made it a point to be a learning organization. It was very important that I learn and better myself while also challenging and helping my co-workers to do the same. I found that to be a really valuable part of my experience with the company.

    Cons

    Resourcing was often an issue. It wasn't uncommon for team members to be juggling a bit more work than they probably should and feel a general pressure that they should be able to handle everything thrown at them. With that said, management does a pretty great job of identifying and addressing systemic issues like this. Just before I left, they closed the office for an entire week to have a 3rd party company train the whole team on agency project workflows in an effort to improve project digestion. Compensation was a bit lower than market average, but they do make it a point to give you opportunity to review and discuss your compensation.

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  2. 2.0
    Former Contractor, more than 1 year

    Profit First

    Jul 9, 2021 - Producer 
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Great talent across the board. Smart people, including founders and directors.

    Cons

    Profit First. People Last. It's all about the Numbers. Always. ALWAYS.

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    1 person found this review helpful
  3. 4.0
    Current Employee

    good team, communicative, flexible

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

    Pros

    everyone is kind and collaborative, ready to help

    Cons

    nothing too bad, it's a job! some of the work isn't that exciting

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  4. 1.0
    Former Employee

    Honestly the most cruel people

    Oct 14, 2019 - Producer in New York, NY
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    My experience at Barrel was nothing but horrible. Other than having great coworkers I have nothing to say.

    Cons

    They are extremely cruel and abusive people, willing to inflict constant mental anguish for their employees. They are so manipulative and blame their employees for any business issues instead of looking at themselves. There is no work-life balance, no upward mobility, and they have low low pay. Some of these good reviews they have pressured past employees to write. DON'T BELIEVE THE GOOD REVIEWS

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    8 people found this review helpful
  5. 5.0
    Former Intern, less than 1 year

    Great Learning Atmosphere with Growing Potential

    May 3, 2019 - Production Intern in New York, NY
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    I was a production intern at Barrel for just under four months and I came at a time where my supervisor was swamped with tasks. I got the ability to jump right in and start working on client accounts almost immediately. From an intern perspective, Barrel is an excellent place to learn a lot about digital marketing and the components that work together within quickly. I asked a lot of questions on a daily basis to not only my supervisor, but also to the rest of the production team and everyone met me with welcoming and encouraging responses. I got the ability to branch out into other disciplines within the company including growth marketing and design meetings and training sessions which helped learn how my role fit in the bigger picture. I met some amazing individuals and had excellent mentors, not just from within the production team. I also enjoyed the lunches Barrel brought in each day for us, especially the Friday Thai-day and the Bourbon Friday Cheers. I was very grateful for the people from my direct supervisor Max, to upper management of Peter, Sei-Wook, Lucas, and Wes for everything I learned. Though there was lots of work, I was able to learn something unique from each person because he/she still took the time to teach me a new skill or think about a process more critically. If you're someone who is willing to learn by seeking out opportunities and asking lots of questions, someone who is organized and gets work done on an early and timely basis, Barrel will be a great fit for you. Overall, I really enjoyed my internship!

    Cons

    Barrel's workplace is not fit for everyone. There's always lots of work to get done on an hourly basis and with client emergencies and moving parts becoming discombobulated, it's very easy to get drowned with work. On many occasion, I used personal time late in the evenings and on weekends to attend to client tasks. From an intern perspective, I was trying to learn as much as I could so I was ok with the extra work and hours, but for others, this may not be the best fit.

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  6. 4.0
    Former Employee, less than 1 year

    Great experience

    Jun 4, 2019 - Growth Marketing Analyst in New York, NY
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    It's a great place to learn a lot in a short amount of time. They give you the opportunity to own your work and present to clients. Pushes you outside your comfort zone.

    Cons

    Work-life balance. Pay and benefits could be better but good enough.

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  7. 2.0
    Former Employee, more than 1 year

    Great place to learn.....horrible place to work

    Jan 23, 2019 - Anonymous Employee 
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Peter and Sei-Wook are infinitely passionate about Barrel. When making staffing decisions, you can see that they prioritize hiring team members that are equally as passionate, hardworking and well-rounded people. The overall team at Barrel is fantastic: incredibly smart, hardworking individuals who are some of the most charismatic people that you will meet. The Barrel partners do encourage a highly educational environment, open to new learning opportunities for team members, giving team members the ability and confidence to do their own research and present new findings to the team. As a former employee, I highly respected these qualities within the environment.

    Cons

    Despite the learning opportunities and passion within the company, burnout is INCREDIBLY high within the company. Even when you do want to start experimenting outside your role and make waves in your professional development, you better be prepared to give up much of your personal time and drown. For what? A pat on the back and no true team recognition and appreciation? There is no lunch break for employees and many team members are often working through lunch/skipping meals in order to balance their crushing workloads. Many people are staying 10-12 hours a day in order to manage the crushing workload, trying to learn new skills to meet clients ever growing demands (i.e. new project management skills, new design tools, etc.) as Barrel gains new clients but refuses to expand the team. There is also no respect for work life balance: partners and seniors texting during weekends, late nights and even holidays in order for you to be "on" and working on issues and being upset when you don't devote your personal time to giving an immediate response. Especially the producers who feel the majority of the heat from partners and clients. For producers, the partners do almost nothing to shield and protect producers, who strive incredibly hard to make sure clients abide to SOWs; partners often let clients abuse the team hours and project timelines, leading to a an overall financial loss, conflicts between different projects and staffing, in order to keep "high priority clients" and save face. Additionally, there is very little team cohesion between the general employees and partners and whatever cohesion there is feels fabricated and forced: a common phenomenon is for people to smile in the face to the partners at Bourbon Fridays, but go out to drinks with co workers after where they truly vent and let out how frustrated and underappreciated they feel. Many within the company are afraid to speak up to the partners and the newly created senior roles as, often times, those who voice their opinions are trash talked by the partners in the weekly partner meeting and then promptly shown the door not long after. This is a cycle I had observed NUMEROUS times. Partners are also incredibly inefficient at critical feedback and creating a growth path for employees: you feel like they are more so criticizing you and blaming you for feeling a certain way (almost implying that, if everyone else is able to work, there's something wrong with you which is untrue as this feeling of stress is company wide) rather than giving you constructive feedback and creating a plan to make both the partners and employees happy. This has also led to another familiar cycle at Barrel: people quitting in waves in order to find new opportunities. Finally, present and future clients BEWARE. The partners have a tendency to mock clients behind their backs, whether it is for the idea of their company, complaints about client demeanors or the personalities of members on the client team. None of the comments are overly malicious, but if i were a client, I would not appreciate the thought of my agency rolling their eyes at some of my ideas/suggestions/expectations and would rather they talk about it more professionally internally.

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    14 people found this review helpful
  8. 5.0
    Former Employee, less than 1 year

    Can't recommend enough

    Sep 29, 2014 - Developer in New York, NY
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    As someone who recently departed after a short stay, it is really amazing how much of a positive impact Barrel had in my life. Overall there is a great morale in the office and never noticed any of the drama mentioned in a previous review. Some of the people you will find Barrel are Kevin K. who will teach and encourage you to play ping-pong; Pete who will make you a cocktail; Zack, Angela and Scott who will geek out about video games (in a good way) and many others, each of whom has other passions other than work. Barrel's greatest strength lies in the cumulative pride that each employee puts in their work. I can't recommend Barrel enough. From the on-boarding experience to the every day, you will feel like part of a great team. As any agency, it can get really busy at times, but there is always someone you can tap on the shoulder for help or guidance. If stressed, someone will tap you and listen to what you have to say. Other things to add are that there is a very high level of transparency, they are very open to feedback, and they have generous work from home/late policies. I'm still super upset that I missed Creative Days, so close!

    Cons

    Workload can be challenging at times and I wish that I my start wouldn't have been so hectic.

    2 people found this review helpful
  9. 5.0
    Current Employee

    An excellent place to grow and learn

    Sep 25, 2014 - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Barrel has been an excellent work experience first and foremost because of the team. Management is very careful to hire people that will get along well with each other and puts a lot of emphasis on communication and team building. The team itself feels like a community of passionate and creative individuals that are always striving to do the best, and it is a good place for young designers and developers to grow and develop their talent. The work is interesting and the company encourages creativity and use of new technologies. Management encourages employees to voice concerns and will usually act quickly to address and correct mistakes. Other perks include a flexible time off policy, free beer and wine, a nice office, and ping pong.

    Cons

    Workloads are challenging and most employees are typically balancing several projects at once, so this can lead to late nights depending on the projects and deadlines.

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    2 people found this review helpful
  10. 2.0
    Former Employee

    Not what it seems on the outside. Toxic place to work

    Sep 9, 2014 - Anonymous Employee 
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    -Free lunch, beer, wine -Creative Days internal hackathon -Coworkers are young, friendly, ambitious people -Office space is pretty decent and has ping-pong table -Somewhat lenient time off policy

    Cons

    The marketing is flashy and perks are attractive but behind the gloss, it can be a pretty toxic place. -Poor work-life balance, often have to stay late for client work -Inexperienced, often unprofessional management with no creative or technical background and no sense of scoping -Complete lack of trust from management toward employees = frequent micromanagement, hovering, feedback sessions and reviews -No interest in quality of creative ideas and a ton of emphasis from the top on churning out websites quickly to turn a profit -Lots of office drama behind the scenes that influences the way they run the place -Poor compensation. Company tends to hire young people and pay them the least that they can get by paying them -Little to no room for growth and no such thing as moving up since the company has zero interest in nurturing talent -Turnover rate has been insanely high due to employee dissatisfaction at the hours they need to keep, the management and the low salaries

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    6 people found this review helpful
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