Cambridge Associates, LLC Reviews | Glassdoor

Cambridge Associates, LLC Reviews

Updated November 9, 2016
18 reviews

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David Druley
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18 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Good work life balance and benefits (in 49 reviews)

  • The opportunity to learn is there (in 15 reviews)

Cons
  • you have to work long hours at times (in 19 reviews)

  • Manual data entry can be tiresome (in 15 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (2)

    "Cambridge Associates - Not a nice place to work"

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

    I worked at Cambridge Associates, LLC full-time

    Pros

    flexible schedule, easy to commute to, in the heart of the financial district. They are trying to figure themselves out

    Cons

    They keep reorganizing, there is ZERO leadership at the top and they don't have a plan for the future. EVERY single person I know has worked there 2 years, tops, and then left.

    Advice to Management

    Set goals and share them with the firm. Try to get the founders to understand that you need goals and a mission that people can get behind and work towards.


  2. Helpful (2)

    "Treated like a HS Student"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Investment Associate in Arlington, VA
    Current Employee - Investment Associate in Arlington, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Cambridge Associates, LLC full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Free coffee and nice location I suppose

    Cons

    Micro managed to the max, managers record what you do by the minute. They stress diversity but 90% of the workers are white and either belong to the same fraternity or sorority. Culturally diverse workers are treated less favorably. Also you get to work 70+ hours on busy months

    Advice to Management

    I still don't know what our core values are


  3. Helpful (6)

    "Back-stabbing culture"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Investment Consultant in Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Investment Consultant in Boston, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Cambridge Associates, LLC full-time

    Pros

    Good compensation for the hours, great location in Boston, as well as all of the perks of your typical consulting firm.

    Cons

    Horrible management team, focused only on keeping their middle management perks. Zero interest in maximizing career opportunities for existing employees. Firm recently fired its president and is re-building from the ground up.


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  5. Helpful (3)

    "If you didn't attend an Ivy League school, you won't fit in."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Contractor - Human Resources Generalist in Boston, MA
    Former Contractor - Human Resources Generalist in Boston, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Cambridge Associates, LLC as a contractor (More than a year)

    Pros

    The friendly administrative staff. The office was accessible by mass transportation.

    Cons

    Elitist attitude
    Top management gets rich while the bottom layer struggles to survive.

    Advice to Management

    Bring in new management. You've made enough to retire twice.


  6. Helpful (5)

    "Waste of Time"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Research Associate in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Research Associate in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Cambridge Associates, LLC full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Benefits. Excellent benefits including health, transportation, etc.

    Cons

    - Degradingly low pay. Even at the manager-level of the data department it is a wonder how they can support their families on their level of pay.
    - No exit opportunities. While you do learn many "soft skills" that's all you'll learn. Any other skills are Cambridge-specific according to their proprietary databases and utilities. Whatever transferable skills you do learn are very hard to show on your resume.
    - Micro-managing managers. In the Manager Information Group much of your time is spent on status reports for the next person up...who is spending much of their time on status reports for next person up...etc. etc. etc. At the end of the day you have managers who think they know about each employee but are actually naive. A non-hierarchical structure would serve the organization better. Finally, all reports go to the department head who is never around anyway. Once every six months you'll see him getting coffee before he ducks away into his office. Its basically like the department head doesn't exist--though he is worshiped throughout the department.
    - Awful performance reviews. To their credit, management is truly trying to improve performance reviews....but I've been told that it's been four years and they don't have much to show for it. Managers are not specific enough when it comes to what is needed for a promotion or how you can improve. They'll use some general language related to MIG's "values" and say how you lack a value. When asked for specific examples, they ramble off in unrelated general thoughts.
    - Misleading job descriptions. The word "research" is flexible but has a generally definable semantic scope. This position includes nothing remotely close to "research". Don't be mislead from the title--you will not provide unique insights into relevant matters. Process improvement and "self-audits" are NOT research!
    - Mind-numbing work. The good thing is that the Manager Information Group is gaining respect within the firm. The bad part is that this does not change the content of your work. Its true that the department gains more "business" from internal stakeholders...but it just leads to more abuse by the consulting and research departments who actually do work that is somewhat meaningful. Your work will be divided into three categories: (1) process improvement--related to the department's operations, tracking utilities, etc. (2) status reporting, and (3) data entry. The latter two take up way too much time for a department that prides itself for being efficient. The first, process improvement, is not nearly as exciting as it might sound. Basically, you need to constantly reinvent utilities and processes because management/the firm is too cheap to invest in long-term solutions (which would cannibalize our department).

    Advice to Management

    Re-think incentive structures. You'll need to pay up to have a decent back-office operation. 5% bonus cap? Really?


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Not worth the year I wasted after college, provided no relevant experience to financial services industry."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Junior Research Associate in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Junior Research Associate in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Cambridge Associates, LLC full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Atmosphere was all 20 somethings, so it was fun to be around peers.

    Cons

    Management admitted to not being intelligent, micromanaging, horribly run, took advantage of college students desperate for jobs and paid them unlivable salaries.

    Advice to Management

    Quit.


  8. "No real skill development"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Associate in Arlington, VA
    Former Employee - Associate in Arlington, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Cambridge Associates, LLC full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    work / life balance
    people are nice

    Cons

    mundane
    low pay
    not as much of an open door policy as they make it sound


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Good Company, Terrible Office/managers - Applies to Arlington - Wilson office"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Associate/Analyst in Arlington, VA
    Former Employee - Associate/Analyst in Arlington, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Cambridge Associates, LLC full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Very easy work - could be done by 8th grader

    Cons

    Skills learned apply only to company and don't transfer to other companies or positions unless data-entry is a career aspiration.
    People are promoted based on office politics and not merit
    Micro-managing is extremely prevalent
    Department is known as a "sweat-shop" to competing firms/investment firms
    Low Salary and minimal bonuses
    Work is mind-numbing and could be done by a grade school graduate

    Advice to Management

    Reevaluate usefulness of the department


  10. Helpful (1)

    "It has been comprised of long hours, very low pay, high demands, and little respect."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Consulting Associate in Dallas, TX
    Current Employee - Consulting Associate in Dallas, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    If you want to go straight from undergrad to business school they have a great connection with top universities. Harvard, Yale, Wharton, etc consistently recruit from Cambridge.

    Cons

    Dont ever EVER work in the Dallas office.

    Advice to Management

    none


  11. Helpful (12)

    "RUN THE OTHER WAY!!!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Investment Performance Associate in Arlington, VA
    Former Employee - Investment Performance Associate in Arlington, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    The people at Cambridge Associates were very nice to work with. The average age of co-workers was probably around 25, so it is easy to form friendships.

    People who go through the 2-3 year career path tend to position themselves well for graduate school.

    This position helps to improve time management and organization skills.

    Free Wall Street Journals!

    The office in Arlington is in a nice location as well.

    Cons

    Where to begin...

    If you are a recent college graduate seeking an entry-level career in finance to learn about financial modeling, budgeting/forecasting, investing, etc. this is not the place for you! The Investment Performance Associate Role is beneficial to people pursuing either a career in data entry/administrative work, or who are using the position as a stepping stone to graduate school. Each associate is responsible for collecting various financial information from funds that clients are invested in. Financial statements are put in PDF form and information including MVs, monthly return, cash flows, and cash allocation is circled and then entered in a proprietary system. After the data has been entered and is corrected of errors, the report is ready to be generated. This process continues as long as you are an Investment Performance Associate.

    Needless to say, very little learning/creative thinking actually took place in this work environment. I felt as if I was killing brain cells every time I entered a number into the computer. The first job that you take should help to develop fundamental skills in the career you choose to pursue. Other than a paycheck, I felt this was a waste of time.

    The position also requires a substantial overtime commitment. I worked anywhere from 40-70hr weeks. There were rumors of people working in excess of 80 hours/week during the busiest times of the control cycle and developing stomach issues from stress. Employees are not compensated for this overtime and there are no bonuses for Investment Performance Associates.

    I could justify the monotonous work, long hours, and low pay if there was some sort of light at the end of the tunnel. Unfortunately, at Cambridge Associates, the light at the end of the tunnel is actually a full speed train on its way to run you over! There are no raises for Investment Performance Associates. You are stuck at $46k until you get promoted to Senior Investment Performance Associate that make around $50k. Investment Performance Associates generally stay in that position for 1-2 years, but I have actually heard of people getting stuck in that position and making the same salary for 3-4 years! Senior Associates are then promoted to Analysts which serve as a liaison between consultants and the Marketable Performance Reporting Department. In other words, they double check your work to make sure there are no errors before sending the reports over to the consultants. There are no incentives to succeed and do well in the firm.

    The turnover in this department is also exorbitantly high! I think about 30 people left while I was there. Unreal!

    Advice to Management

    Your business model, financially speaking, is spot on. Develop a "career path" of three years designed to filter through entry-level workers, while effectively squeezing your employees for every dollar you pay them. It is a win-win: Average salaries/benefits for the department will remain low in the department because of the limited career potential. The inevitably high turnover will bring in new energetic workers willing to do the same work for the same pay as those that leave.

    Yes, the point of a business is to generate a profit. However, it is management's responsibility to create an environment that is beneficial to employees of the firm. Many people that I have talked to have a bad taste in their mouth from working in the control department at Cambridge Associates. You never know who your next big client may be!


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