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Burns & McDonnell Reviews

Updated January 13, 2018
367 reviews

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3.7
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Ray Kowalik
53 Ratings

367 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • Work/life balance can be challenging at times (in 34 reviews)

  • Regularly expected to work long hours (in 27 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Positive Attitude"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Burns & McDonnell full-time

    Pros

    All pulling in the same direction desiring to be successful for their project and their client.

    Cons

    Typical matrix organization challenges including home office vs remote office go back and forth between competition and cooperation.

    Advice to Management

    Make more time for senior staff to mentor, monitor and train younger staff.


  2. "Great Place to Work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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

    I have been working at Burns & McDonnell full-time

    Pros

    Everyone at Burns & Mac is motivated and personable . In the office you can tell that people are willing and able to help one another . At any position you’re involved in great projects and exposed to great experience.

    Cons

    Those scared of putting in hard work need not apply . Burns & Mac hires the best , but only because the best can deliver. Doing what it takes can mean longer hours, but only when necessary .

    Advice to Management

    Keep doing what you’re doing .

  3. Helpful (6)

    "Great for many"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Burns & McDonnell full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Burns & McDonnell (BMcD) is a profitable company and it’s not unheard of for people to spend 20-30 years there.

    In an era of professional service firm consolidation, BMcD remains private and independent. I don’t think it ever had to buy business while I was there. As a private company, it doesn’t report to Wall Street. It remains accountable to its employee owners.

    BMcD embraces professional growth. Continued education through tuition assistance and attendance at conferences is encouraged.

    BMcD is a top engineering firm and you will work on amazing projects. These projects have significance because they deliver power, water, and other basic services to the citizens of this world while protecting the environment.

    BMcD hires the best and brightest. It’s a great opportunity to not only learn from the work you do, but from the people as well. I really enjoyed the majority of people there and still have several friends who bleed blue.

    The overall truth is, I am very grateful for my time with Burns & McDonnell. It had a positive impact on the life I have today and I am a better person for it.

    Cons

    I was unhappy towards the end of my tenure with BMcD. I had three direct managers during my 5 years there. The first one was average, the second was great, but the third one was the reason I left. If that last manager and I had a better relationship, I might still be with the firm.

    I see a lot of negative reviews about billable hours. Truth told, I previously wrote a now deleted and scathing review about that. Something to the effect of “be 100% billable but also win new projects because the business development folks don’t develop business at all.” Reflecting on that now, I regret that review and the comment. Here’s why:

    Any for profit consulting company wants its employees billable. That benefits the organization and you, the employee owner. Who are the best resources to bring in new business? Those actively engaged with clients and who can deliver further value for the organization. The very best employees at any company find ways to develop business with an existing or new client. If you really want to succeed and you are working on a client project, you should seek to identify ways in which BMcD can solve additional challenges. This will result in more BMcD services for your client, more hours for you and your team, and should make you a rising star. If you do all these things and are not rewarded - you need to leave.

    Advice to Management

    New employees at regional offices need a better understanding of MacCulture. They must know that while a lot will be asked of them, a lot will be returned. The EOY bonuses are great but they are subjective.

    Business development leaders should seek input about client needs from projects teams. Project teams can generate leads, but it’s important for the business development manager to qualify and manage those opportunities. When BMcD wins, give a bonus to those people on the project team that contributed.

    Consider changing your business development model: Business development leaders should not be managing people outside of business development and should not be responsible for billing hours. Business development leaders should be developing relationships, aligning strategies, and winning new business.


  4. Helpful (3)

    "Good Company if you work for the right mangager."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Electrical Designer in Fort Worth, TX
    Former Employee - Electrical Designer in Fort Worth, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Burns & McDonnell full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    If you stay with the company long enough, you can really pad your retirement account with the ESOP. You just have to survive the vesting schedule. Large bonus makes up for below average base pay.

    Cons

    I think some people are promoted into management based purely on how much money they bring into the company with zero thought about people skills. ESOP culture can be a little weird and cult-like. Some employee-owners "bleed blue", blue is the company color. They live and breath Burns & McDonnell on and off the clock and are rarely off the clock. If your manager is that way, well, I'm sorry. Large bonuses are nice, but on a bad year, or if your manager decides your blood isn't blue enough, it can really hurt due to the low base pay. Your ESOP account can also act as golden handcuffs if your not fully vested, which I think has a lot to do with the low turn over rate. You'll leave most of it behind if you jump ship. Expect long hours and poor work-life balance. This is okay for single, career minded people, but stinks if you're family oriented or have a life outside of work.

    Advice to Management

    Stop promoting people into management based purely on how much money they bring in and the ridiculous amount of hours they work. My manager's complete lack of people management skills, or rather his method of ruling with intimidation, drove off five EOs in my time there, including engineers and designers. Others were talking about leaving when I left. It was dismaying and demoralizing to watch EO's in other departments happily going about their day while we avoided and dreaded any interaction with our "leader".


  5. "Great Company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Kansas City, MO
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Kansas City, MO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Burns & McDonnell full-time

    Pros

    Great company to work for, but can be dependent on your relationship with your manager.

    Cons

    Learning how to say no is a must.

    Advice to Management

    As the company has grown in various market segments and physical locations, there has been more and more clash between competing business units. Due to the almost cut throat nature of making sales goals in each GP and Location, we often find that our biggest competitor is our internal politics. Further people want to protect their client and the work they do for the client rather than cross-sell service offerings from competing GPs and Locations. This also leads groups to keep work in their own group rather than bring in experts from adjacent business units.


  6. "Great company values"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Burns & McDonnell (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Employee ownership culture, great coworkers and team environment

    Cons

    Work-life balance, limited advancement opportunities

    Advice to Management

    Listen to your employees, reward your top performers. Hire true leaders as managers.


  7. Helpful (3)

    "Satisfied"

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

    I have been working at Burns & McDonnell full-time

    Pros

    Great Benefits, thats about it.

    Cons

    Need to be in the club

  8. Helpful (2)

    "Good job, questionable transparency"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Substation Engineer in Minneapolis, MN
    Current Employee - Substation Engineer in Minneapolis, MN
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Burns & McDonnell full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    ESOP
    Bonus
    Free food
    All profits stay in the company

    Cons

    Strict dress code
    Strict working hours
    High stress

    Advice to Management

    Be transparent about salaries and bonuses


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Staff engineer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Staff Engineer in Kansas City, MO
    Current Employee - Staff Engineer in Kansas City, MO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Burns & McDonnell full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Good company, good values, nice people

    Cons

    Doesn't pay for high performance


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Don’t fall for the hype"

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

    I have been working at Burns & McDonnell full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    The stock benefits, if you can last long enough to reap them

    Cons

    Upper management is too busy to offer real guidance or advice, you’re basically on your own. Being billable is more important to management than your job satisfaction. You’re expected to work nights, weekends and around the clock. Bonuses are not guaranteed and there’s always a reason why it’s not as high as it should have been. Woman are not treated fairly.

    Advice to Management

    Note the Cons and address them


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