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Conservation International Reviews

Updated February 9, 2018
69 reviews

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3.7
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Conservation International Chief Executive Officer M. Sanjayan, PhD
M. Sanjayan, PhD
7 Ratings

69 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Many managers (not all) respect work-life balance and provide opportunities for professional development (in 8 reviews)

  • Good benefits, they care about your professional development, important conservation mission, kind, impressive and inspirational CEO (in 8 reviews)

Cons
  • Low level employees gather to discuss the horrendous behavioral trends from their bosses just to get through the day (in 4 reviews)

  • high turnover during the last five years (in 3 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Fantastic organization"

    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 Conservation International full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Top-notch benefits; diverse workforce; engaging culture; smart, passionate employees; and most of all, the chance to be involved in incredibly meaningful work. Business operations (HR, finance, etc) all seem to be staffed with agile, helpful, competent individuals.

    Cons

    While it’s a 35-hour workweek, it’s highly unlikely you’ll only work 35 hours; 40-45 is more realistic. There is the usual office politics and drama, but no more here than any other average workplace.

    Advice to Management

    Focus on ways to streamline internal processes to maximize efficiency. Much of the aforementioned 40-45 hour workweek can be directly attributed to bureaucracy.


  2. "Takes Initiative to succeed but worth it for this amazing organization"

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

    I have been working at Conservation International full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    The people at CI are some of the most intelligent and passionate people I have ever met all working on the most critical issues of our time. You are constantly challenged at CI and constantly inspired by our brilliant team and leadership. There are tremendous opportunities for those that take initiative and amazing benefits.

    Cons

    Tackling global environmental issues can be daunting at times

  3. "Good but could be great"

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

    I worked at Conservation International full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    mostly passionate, dedicated people; meaningful goals; track record of impact. Can provide great opportunities given favorable funding and management conditions.

    Cons

    Capable practitioners undermined by poor leadership and political issues; as with many NGO's funding constraints can hamper ability to follow through on promising initiatives; disconnect between senior leaders and actual work on the ground.

    Advice to Management

    Management should trust and empower qualified practitioners to get on with the job, whilst they focus more on supporting internal and external collaboration, and fund-raising. Listen more.


  4. Helpful (1)

    "Great culture"

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

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

    Pros

    Very strong internal culture developed by the founder. Excellent work around the world. Incredibly entrepreneurial environment with a strong beleief that (smart) risk taking is acceptable.

    Cons

    Either you are a member of the "tribe" or you are not. If not, you'll probably leave before 2 years. If you are, you may be there for 20. You'll know soon enough.

    Advice to Management

    Stay focused and remember to maintain the culture of the founder.


  5. "Fantastic Organization"

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

    I have been working at Conservation International full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Incredible organization with a unique, inspiring NGO culture and ambitious mission. Highly recommend!

    Cons

    Hard work, lots of travel- But travel is often to phenomenal places.


  6. Helpful (4)

    "Great Place to Learn How to Identify a Good Place to Work (Trust me, it ain't here)"

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

    I worked at Conservation International full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Excellent benefits, great location (easy to commute via metro/car), great social events (free liquor on the premises at most events)

    Cons

    favoritism in the workplace, horrid HR department (They will, literally, regurgitate everything back to your direct manager), zero trust, very white-centric (seriously, you have offices around the globe and majority in leadership positions is white), no voice, hostile management/upper management teams, having to watch your back 24-7 (people gossip wayyyy too much) -There's not enough space to list all...

    Advice to Management

    The worst decision made was making the current CEO a CEO. Side comment, replace the entire HR department -That would be the perfect start to some healthy conversations.


  7. "review of conservation international"

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

    I worked at Conservation International full-time

    Pros

    Great passionate colleagues committed to conservation. Will from managers for yong professionals to grow.

    Cons

    A lot of work, very long days.

  8. Helpful (2)

    "Great Mission - Toxic Workplace"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Manager
    Former Employee - Manager
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    So many passionate people that want to make a difference in the world. A mission that anyone can get behind and a history to be proud of.

    Cons

    Terrible office politics, where a few bad eggs that create a toxic working environment for everyone around them. CEO is egotistical and unethical. Beware favoritism and back stabbing, yes-men/women are rewarded over independent thinkers.

    Advice to Management

    Grow up and institute a culture of professionalism and respect. The building blocks for greatness are all there, but the politics get in the way of great work happening.


  9. Helpful (3)

    "Tread Lightly"

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

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

    Pros

    -At HQ there are a lot of amazing and talented individuals who are passionate about the mission of the organization.
    -Very casual dress-code.
    -Laid back atmosphere.
    -Amazing benefits.
    -Great office (open space, shower for those who bike/run to work, nursing room etc.)
    -Majority of staff are "young professionals/millennials."

    Cons

    -At HQ there are a lot of burned out individuals with egos.
    -Office politics.
    -Seriously watch out for HR department (there are a few great members, but you can't trust the rest)
    -Very little opportunity for growth for Jr. level positions (don't expect any bonuses or promotions)
    -There is no work-life balance, expect to check you email well into the night and weekend.
    -Don't expect to work with "team-players." I witnessed many times poor behavior from Sr. level staff members who ignored and belittled Jr. level staff and failed to involve them purposfully.
    -Very little diversity at HQ.

    Advice to Management

    When I left the organization, they were in the early phase of bringing in a new CEO. CI has a fantastic mission and I truly applaud the staff members who are working at HQ and out in the field, because they are making a difference.

    As for management advice, there needs to be more opportunity for growth. For a few years, I watched several talented co-workers leave CI because the were not moving forward and didn't feel as though they were valued. For an organization that has been around for 30 years, CI still has a lot of learning to do.


  10. Helpful (4)

    "In turmoil"

    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
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Conservation International full-time

    Pros

    People believe in their cause.

    Cons

    Constant reorganizations. Confusion. Very fragmented organization with insufficient inter division collaboration.

    Advice to Management

    Spend more time building organization effectiveness.


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