Conservation International Reviews | Glassdoor

Conservation International Reviews

Updated May 23, 2017
59 reviews

Filter

Filter

Full-time Part-time

3.6
Star Star Star Star Star
Rating Trends Rating Trends
Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Conservation International Chairman and CEO Peter A. Seligmann
Peter A. Seligmann
36 Ratings

59 Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date

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
  • Changeable and crisis-oriented management style, some lack of transparency and consultation in decision-making (in 3 reviews)

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

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (2)

    "Great people doing important work in spite of institutional identity crisis"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Director in Arlington, VA
    Current Employee - Director in Arlington, VA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Conservation International (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    -Mission: protecting nature for human wellbeing will get you up every morning, or it ought to
    -Colleagues: extraordinarily committed, hard-working, knowledgeable, skilled, fun folks from across the globe. Vestiges of the tight-knit "family" that CI was in the 90s and early 00s still exist.
    -Network: On the best days you're part of a 1000-person team protecting nature in 20-30 countries, in government offices, corporate boardrooms, international negotiations, academic conferences, rivers, reefs, and rainforests. Their work is your work; their victories are your victories.

    Cons

    -Institutional identity crisis: the organization grew large on the strength of a single donor and a clear approach: identify the world's most biodiverse places, and protect them by supporting national protected areas. When the original donor funding was running out, CI broadened its mission from biodiversity to human wellbeing, and broadened its approach from protected areas to other mechanisms. In a perfect world this move would have appealed to a broader donor base. But unfortunately this mission change happened around the same time the financial crisis hit, when everyone's wallets were snapping shut. The practical effect is that a lot of world-class scientific expertise on the old topics was let go/left, without much growth in new directions. Ever since then the organization has struggled to find its identity.
    -Travel: one day you're flying sky high to a workshop in Ecuador (Pro), the next day you've burned out because you're flying to.....yet another workshop in Ecuador (Con). Not the case for everyone--some people travel internationally constantly; some never get to.
    -Management: hit-or-miss. Many promotions appear to be based more on ability to charm the CEO than competence.

    Advice to Management

    -It's long past time for the Chair of the Board to hang up his spurs as CEO (yes, one man holds both positions). His fundraising prowess is top-notch, but he checked out from the day-to-day life of the organization a decade ago and the organization has been suffering for this ever since. There are rumors this may finally happen but I'll believe it when I see it.


  2. "Fantastic place to work with a great culture"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Technical Support Coordinator in Arlington, VA
    Current Employee - Technical Support Coordinator in Arlington, VA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    One of the best environments I've ever worked in.

    Cons

    The organization's structure is a little loose, but it is constantly improving.


  3. "Love this place!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Current Employee in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Current Employee in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Where do I start?
    Great benefits; great work/life balance; wonderful and approachable people (yup that includes lawyers, scientists, management and all in between); nice perks; flexible hours; promotes within; beautiful office; and of course fantastic mission!

    Cons

    None really... maybe Low yearly pay raise but pros make up for it! Ah... no windows offices for some but thats how the building is structured.....

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the good work!!


  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5. "Fun staff with broad interests"

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

    Pros

    A great organization lenged me, as an intern, to think and contribute. I got to work on relevant projects in my department, and was encouraged to talk to scientists, field staff, upper level mgmt and more. People were open and willing to share, and I got the sense that most people wanted to achieve something important. Service departments such as mine had great relationships with field and science staff. Great amount of traveling opportunities. Staff very young, which created awesome relationships in and outside of work.

    Cons

    While many were working together, there sometimes seemed to be a lack of transparency in decisions top down. Turnover in key management positions sometimes hurt cohesion on projects. Didn't effect day to day work which was great.

    Advice to Management

    Keep on reaching globally, and thinking about mission. It seems to drive great work.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Finance"

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

    I worked at Conservation International full-time

    Pros

    Friendly environment, great work/life balance

    Cons

    No major cons. Slow overall promotion potential.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "great"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Former Employee - Internship in Arlington, VA
    Former Employee - Internship in Arlington, VA

    I worked at Conservation International part-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    IT was a great internship.

    Cons

    Nothing bad to say about it.

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the good work


  8. Helpful (6)

    "Put up and shut up!!!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    If you can stay long enough to make it to senior level management there is light at the end of the tunnel...may the odds be ever in your favor.

    Cons

    Too many Sr. Directors have been there for a very long time with little to no management training. Your boss will haunt your work and question your every move. Which seems odd because if they were busy doing their own work they wouldn't have the time to focus on yours at such a high capacity. Low level employees gather to discuss the horrendous behavioral trends from their bosses just to get through the day. Folks can harass and say things to you that are not appropriate in a normal workplace. HR is a joke and will only take the managers side of the story or act as though you have no idea what you are talking about. The issues are deeply rooted. You can't go to your bosses boss because he/she will just tell your boss. There is absolutely no confidentiality. Someone knows your pay, if you and your boss had an issue, etc. I was spot on a situation where my boss went to HR about me without me knowing and I had a gut feeling about it and later found out it was true. I couldn't defend myself at that point. The accusations were false and I felt that my integrity was challenged when I had never given anyone a reason to do so. I went to work everyday on time sometimes earlier and later than I should've and was still questioned. You will be led to believe you are working at the best place ever by repetitive subliminal communications between you and your boss as well as other senior staff that have all been brainwashed. Most folks that have been there way too long do not understand the "outside" working world where people are not robots and are human and can make mistakes. You feel tiny in a world of Directors, VPs, SVPs, EVPs and Chiefs of....made up titles on top of titles. Everyone is looking for new jobs constantly because your own boss doesn't identify with your credentials or even pay attention to your previous work experience. Its like the knowledge that you have is washed out because the CI way is the only way. The review process is a joke that ties no accountability to your direct report if you did a poor job, but if you did well they will get your credit and you get a small percentage "cost of living" pay upgrade even if you worked your butt off. Each year your workload gets bigger and bigger and if you accomplish them all and do exceptional work they will find that "one time" you did something not to their standards and magnify that during your entire review just to make a credible argument for not giving you a significant raise. Nothing will be taken into consideration, like if maybe your boss was absent most of the time on travel or you had little to no guidance on a specific project....nothing. Oh! then that's where HR comes in handy and they can just say this is what HR thinks you deserve don't shoot the messenger bs. The best way to survive here is to put up and shut up around those vultures. Its a twisted work version of the hunger games in that place. You fight a battle constantly and no longer have a voice, you are no longer a human being and it will take a long time to get over the brainwashed antics, the harassment and the judgement and finally believe in yourself again.

    Advice to Management

    Go back to the basics, start a mandatory staff management training program. Focus on the mission and redefine every division within CI to meet the overall mission.


  9. Helpful (9)

    "Lots of resources...lacks real impact"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Conservation International full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Work-life balance and benefits are excellent.

    Cons

    Lots of talented people come in the org only to find absolute disappointment. Upper management is a joke with no skills to guide and direct work or people. The org spends enormous amount of money on efforts and activities that have nothing to do with conservation.

    Advice to Management

    Get training, or if you just simply don't care, than go work for a corporation. Seek feedback from mid and lower level employees and adjust your behaviors. Watch out for the marketing department. It is growing exponentially with little to no impact. It is beginning to suffocate other departments. Human resources: if you are burnt out then you need to move on. Employees trust you with their most personal insights and if you have no ears for it, then you are not in the right profession.


  10. Helpful (10)

    "Good Conservation Mission"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Development Coordinator in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Development Coordinator in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Conservation International (More than a year)

    Pros

    Good benefits, they care about your professional development, important conservation mission, kind, impressive and inspirational CEO

    Cons

    Bureaucracy is absurd, not enough responsibilities at the coordinator level

    Advice to Management

    Employees need to feel more connected to the mission.


  11. Helpful (2)

    "Coordinator"

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

    I have been working at Conservation International (More than a year)

    Pros

    Comfortable, friendly and positive work environment. Employees whole-heartedly believe in company mission and values.

    Cons

    Top-heavy - large gap between entry/lower level employees (associates, assistants, coordinators) & management level


Showing 59 of 72 reviews
Reset Filters