Conservation International Senior Manager Reviews | Glassdoor

Conservation International Senior Manager Reviews

Updated Jul 23, 2015

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3.6
78%
Recommend to a Friend
Conservation International Chief Executive Officer M. Sanjayan, PhD
M. Sanjayan, PhD
0 Rating
  1. Helpful (2)

    "Fantastic, mission-driven non-profit"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Manager in Arlington, VA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Conservation International full-time

    Pros

    - Dynamic organization that provides opportunities for staff at any level to have a meaningful contribution to the mission and strategy - International focus, diversity of programs, diverse staff means lots of opportunities to interact and learn about other countries and cultures - Benefits are competitive with for-profits, generally positive atmosphere and good workplace conditions, salaries are competitive with other non-profits - Many managers (not all) respect work-life balance and provide opportunities for professional development

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    Cons

    - Founder-led organization, very top-down management - Frequent changes to strategy and restructuring results in lack of continuity of programs, funding, feeling of job insecurity by many staff - Legacy of promotion of staff who are strong in one area (e.g. science or fundraising) but are not necessarily strong managers, in some cases this has resulted in weak or outright bad management

    Advice to Management

    - If changes in strategy or restructuring is necessary, communicate the reasons for the change clearly and beforehand - Changes should be, when possible, made with input from staff at all levels of the organization. If feedback is incorporated into senior leadership decisions, or not, this should also be communicated (communication should not just flow in one direction.) - Organizational changes should, when possible, be made incrementally and outcomes of the changes (positive or negative) should be tracked and reported. Rather than making massive changes all at once, it is better to make incremental tweaks and see what works or doesn't. Major overhauls of programs or strategies should only be made in extreme cases.

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    Conservation International2015-07-23
  2. Helpful (11)

    "Look for another place to work or if you get an offer there and take it... do not stop your job search!"

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

    I worked at Conservation International full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Interesting global projects, some cool trips to field projects, huge organization so you "could" meet a lot of people (however CI is not a friendly environment). They have conferences at lunch time "brown-bags" where you could learn about different topics. CI looks good on your resume for future job search. Money? some salaries at the middle level are good, higher level are great. Nice green offices, casual dress code everyday, flexible hours, easy commute, very few happy-hours (those are so boring, so this is definitively a pro), some other perks like showers if you bike to work, etc.

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    Cons

    Frequent massive reorganizations accompanied by lack of transparency, clarity and communication, excessive pressure to adapt and re-adapt under lack of vision and stability... you have to play nice, don't show that you are questioning company's (Peter & friends) decisions. Excessive layoffs based on "market conditions"- high level prostitution for green washing. A lot of turnover... also because brilliant people quit, i.e. look at how many jobs are posted considering the company is not growing. It is not growing! there is a lot of struggle to: get funding, keep good employees, redefining strengths/priorities and approaches, huge struggle to resolve executives rivalries, keep corporate image, manage field offices, etc. In the chaos of layoffs and quitting, many got promoted to higher management positions and 90% of current leadership team lacks basic management (and human) qualities. So much money goes to few pockets... go to the website and count the amount of Vice Presidents for the same departments or similar areas. It's a shark place!! others steal your ideas, so they can present them to the CEO and his inner circle... if you have something good be careful, copyright it, no kidding! I saw many ideas, documents stolen and the original author's name never got to Peter's ears. Why is this important? because same colleges compete/fight for protects/funding/professional recognition. CI is not a place to collaborate, but to survive. How to survive: act very polite, artificially smile- zombie like, never say hi (no body cares), go to all meetings and show how much you are working, reply emails at odd hours so they see you are a slave, praise your immediate boss... everybody is having a hard time there and morale is low, so even though your immediate boss could act like a dumb, he/she is also being bullied from high up. Sadly, CI used to be a great BINGO (Big Int. NGO), but it is very well-know among the rest of NGOs in D.C. that CI is not a good place to work anymore. So why the CEO, Peter S. has such a good rating? because he is a great businessman, knows how to play the game inside and out, very charismatic, and a fantastic public speaker.... there is a lot of brainwashing at the all-staff meetings and Peter is the orchestra director "CI is the best, we are the global leaders, we are the cream of the crop, etc"... "subtle" messages from him and the executives, and if you don't have a high power job or are new at the job, you may just see that side, believe it, and well, ignorance is a bliss. If you are high on the ladder, you know, Peter choose people that follow him and he can manipulate into what he wants/thinks, you become a marionette, you really have to follow the doctrine, but if you can't do that... well, you will become miserable working there, many are very aware of that and believe me everybody is looking for a better job while they are there.

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    Advice to Management

    You know what to do. I could write a book in this section, but higher management is probably not aware of this website... some even don't know how to solve basic computer/email problems, so I am not expecting them to keep up with technology and websites like this. I am writing, hopefully, to help some of the new people that are exploring a job at CI.

    Conservation International2014-03-05
Found 2 reviews