Benenson Strategy Group Reviews | Glassdoor

Benenson Strategy Group Reviews

Updated August 31, 2017
17 reviews

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2.9
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Joel Benenson
1 Rating

17 Employee Reviews

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  1. "Associate"

    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 Benenson Strategy Group full-time

    Pros

    You get to work with a really smart group of people and work on projects that have a lot of impact on clients. The firm is known for its political work, but does a lot of great corporate work as well. They have a great environment, but work hard. You can learn A LOT at this company at any level.

    Cons

    The work requires a lot of hard work including nights and some weekends. Deadlines are client driven and many times not realistic. Issues are not much different than other client centric service firms.

    Advice to Management

    Often times roles and job responsibilities aren't clearly defined. This does allow us lot of freedom to learn and grow professionally, but can sometimes cause a disconnect in expectations with your manager.


  2. "Research Analyst"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at Benenson Strategy Group part-time

    Pros

    Love the Fridays, Love the location,

    Cons

    Need some diversity in this place

  3. "Solid company with same drawbacks as most polling/marketing firms"

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

    I worked at Benenson Strategy Group full-time

    Pros

    Work with smart, dedicated people on a variety of projects for big-ticket clients.

    Cons

    As with most polling and market research firms, the pay doesn't match what is expected of employees and the work-life balance is pretty terrible. The company struggles with a high turnover rate. The company culture can also be somewhat cold and abbrassive, depending on which office you're in.

    Advice to Management

    Pay analysts and other frontline staff a higher salary in return for the long hours and sweat they put into their work.


  4. Helpful (2)

    "A Nice Boutique Environment with Some Hierarchical Structures"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Market Research Intern in New Haven, CT
    Former Employee - Market Research Intern in New Haven, CT
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Benenson Strategy Group (Less than a year)

    Pros

    A small, intimate boutique market research firm that engages in some pretty interesting, predominately qualitative research on marketing messaging

    Cons

    It's rather difficult for entry-level analysts to take on much responsibility given rigidity of job descriptions

    Advice to Management

    I would definitely encourage upper management to make more of an effort to work with junior analysts to develop a more structured internship program that gives interns a better idea of what the day-to-day responsibilities of employees look like


  5. Helpful (5)

    "Walking the Talk"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at Benenson Strategy Group full-time

    Pros

    Impressive political, corporate and institutional clients. The company strives to represent integrity and purposeful, meaningful deliverables for their clients. Joel Benenson sets the standards and is a high profile individual. Employees are given annual bonuses and fully paid benefits.

    Cons

    Executive level appears to be disengaged with staff and there is a prevalent fear among employees to openly discuss concerns. You can hear a lot of rhetoric about company values and support yet the work environment doesn’t support mutual trust, respect or open forums to resolve employee or management concerns. They don’t necessarily walk their talk. The company attracts academically high achievers who become discouraged by workload and lack of acknowledgement. The company doesn’t have a mentor program or standardized training.

    Advice to Management

    Be willing to risk having meaningful, respectful relationships with your employees. Be consistent with communicating and addressing concerns. Build stronger, multi-racial or generational teams to fully represent real world perspectives. Do more for the women in senior management roles be true leaders and not seen as in the shadow of men.


  6. Helpful (4)

    "Bad management, exhausting, thankless job"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend

    I worked at Benenson Strategy Group full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    • Nice office, casual dress, and everyone eats lunch together; there are lots of smart people at the company
    • Analysts and associates become friends quickly mainly bonding over their complaints about management; some go out to happy hours together but company rarely covers these
    • The clients are fairly interesting and there are some interesting projects as well
    • You will be thrown into the mix and given a lot of tasks to do, so there is the chance to learn a lot
    • Joel is kind, smart, respected and seems to be the only exec who seems to care about his employees, but he is rarely involved in projects that you’re on
    • Nice holiday party event

    Cons

    • Long, stressful hours with little to no respect for your personal life; always expected to be in the office and face time is very important. Terrible work-life balance
    • Turnover is extremely high, leaving teams understaffed and inexperienced
    • Don’t expect to leave the office before 6 or 6:30pm even on light days, many unexpected late nights, forced to work on weekends
    • You don’t feel like you’re contributing but rather whatever the boss says you must follow
    • Constant micro-managing, projects are exhausting and BSG often self-imposes tight timelines and over-promises when there’s little reason to do so
    • Despite being a “progressive company” compensation is terrible and raises are small; year-end “bonuses” are insultingly small
    • Partners and managers are very difficult to deal with and can be rude, degrading, and borderline inappropriate at times
    • Very rarely, if ever, thanked for your hard work; small mistakes aren’t treated as learning opportunities
    • Not a supportive environment where you feel comfortable bringing up frustrations
    • Doesn’t do a good job at promoting employees quickly enough
    • Hire and fire people randomly putting employees on edge
    • Cons are recognized but never addressed

    Advice to Management

    • Raise pay across the board
    • Treat employees like adults
    • Respect people’s personal lives and time
    • Set realistic timelines for clients that can be achieved without your employees hating their lives
    • Thank and reward your best employees with raises and promotions


  7. Helpful (5)

    "Challenging, dynamic and exciting place to work"

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

    Pros

    I’ve been with the firm for more than a year, and one thing is for sure, at BSG you will be encouraged to think strategically, do high-quality work, and perform at your full potential. If you are considering a career in consultancy, communications and/or market research, BSG is the best school you can have. Not everyone makes it here, that’s true, but if you are up for the challenge, you can be promoted within a few years and have a successful career here. I’ve seen people who started as analysts and they are now associates and VPs. You can expect to work with high-profile clients on some really cool projects, and you will be involved from beginning to end. Analysts and Associates are involved in every step of the process, and participate in almost every call with clients which gives you great exposure to the real world, and the opportunity to learn first-hand about the issues clients face. Also, there is an open-door policy among upper management; more often than not, you can reach out to them with any questions you may have. Something I really like is that senior management knows your name, they know who you are, you are not a number here. Finally, they hire really smart people so you get to learn from them as well.

    Cons

    While other reviews are correct in that there is a problem with employee turnover, I can attest that they are making genuine efforts to change that; I’ve seen some changes already. The work isn’t easy, the standards are high, that’s true, but the result is very rewarding. If you are looking for a 9-5 job, then this certainly is not your place. You can expect to work long hours but that doesn’t happen every single day, it is mostly when you are close to your deadline. Last 2-3 days before submitting a project can be hectic for sure.

    Advice to Management

    Partners should push back on clients a bit on timelines in order to avoid long work hours (although I understand it is the nature of the business). Keep attracting great talent but do more to reward them.

  8. Helpful (6)

    "Quality clients, crappy management"

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

    Pros

    Well, if you love the Democratic Party then you know of BSG. From Obama to HRC, BSG has their hands in their success. Joel Benenson is a genius and very friendly. Also, the employees are very smart, hard working and fun.

    Cons

    Well, management sucks. During my 3 month internship, I witnessed about 7 employees peace out including 2 interns. Not a good look for a team of about 30. Also, the team does everything for management from decks to memos but do not have their names listed on any of their work. Makes it hard to stay motivated in that kind of environment. Lastly, the employees are incredibly overworked and underpaid.

    Advice to Management

    Make BSG great again and care about your employees.


  9. Helpful (7)

    "Absolutely Ridiculous Turnover Rate"

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

    I worked at Benenson Strategy Group full-time

    Pros

    BSG attracts a lot of talent, contributing to an interesting office culture. Very high profile clients.

    Cons

    Most of the office bonding takes place over discussions of how unfairly every member of the staff is being treated (this goes for Associates too). While most of your employees genuinely care about your firm, they grow to resent every aspect of working here. Management, specifically Partners, continuously put their staff down. Their opinions are the only ones that matter and they make sure to let you know that you are easily replaceable.

    Advice to Management

    Unsure how high the turnover rate has to be for the Partners to start recognizing talent on their teams and at least attempt to retain them.


  10. Helpful (5)

    "Churn and burn culture, often a lack of mentorship"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at Benenson Strategy Group full-time

    Pros

    As others have mentioned, the firm offers you exposure to great clients and genuinely interesting research cases. It’s very easy to get close with your colleagues here –Drinks in the office, company retreats, and the “no eating lunch at your desk” rule ensures that you’ll make friends.

    Cons

    Certain teams are plagued with turnover e.g. In the past year, 10 people have left a team that was originally 15. This turnover has created noticeable instability, which has left many junior staff without sufficient guidance, opportunities for feedback, and access to other client accounts that would advance their professional growth.

    Be prepared for long hours and unprofessional personalities. While long hours are not uncommon for this industry, poor communication about expectations contirubtes to the late-night culture, as well.

    Pay is certainly not competitive enough

    Advice to Management

    Set your employees up to be successful by thinking further ahead into the future. There is a direct link between turnover and the current emotional culture, lack of mentorship, and work-life balance among certain teams. Trust your employees, take responsibility for them, and treat each and every one of them respectfully.


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