Creative Associates International Reviews | Glassdoor

Creative Associates International Reviews

Updated January 31, 2017
35 reviews

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2.8
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Charito Kruvant
3 Ratings

35 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (1)

    "Good Place Overall"

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

    Pros

    Nice people and really mission-driven

    Cons

    Sometimes leadership focus lacked a bit

    Advice to Management

    More attention to junior staff, compensation coul be better.


  2. Helpful (8)

    "Not a place junior level advancement"

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

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

    Pros

    Fairly decent benefits. Laid back culture.

    Cons

    Rampant with nepotism and cronyism.

    Advice to Management

    Refocus your efforts on the business.


  3. Helpful (5)

    "Junior-level Employee"

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

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

    Pros

    I started working at Creative Associates a few months ago and have absolutely enjoyed my experience with the company thus far. What stands out most is the company's approach, listed in its five core values. Of these, I am impressed by the level of teamwork I witness and engage in on a daily basis. The employees are bright, understanding, compassionate, and do their job at an exceptional level. I would highly recommend working here.

    Cons

    There is a solid size staff in the home office, and a few working remotely. It would be fantastic to have them in the office more!

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the good work in engaging with junior staff, we are all trying to learn and hone your expertise and skills.


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  5. Helpful (17)

    "Cannot wait to quit"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Program Specialist in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Program Specialist in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

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

    Pros

    The only pro I can think of is that I am employed. This place is hell. I guess the transit benefits and the gym membership is nice?

    Cons

    The management is inconsistent and does not care about junior staff. This is from the CEO down to the mid-level management. They are not trained on management best-practices and are not held to any standards on how to train, manage, or engage with employees. Several colleagues have told me about inappropriate behavior (trying to set up junior female staff with friends, saying really rude/mean things) and when there is no accountability this can be done with impunity. Junior staff are really smart, motivated, and hold great potential but are made to manage budgets all day and are not given any opportunities to improve technical skills unless they happen to have a good manager--there is no consistency in this. If you're really interested in exploring a topic you are told to sit down and wait your turn but your turn will never come.

    Advice to Management

    Remember that you were once young, and that someone had to mentor and help you. Institutionalize a process by which junior staff can gain the skills you feel they lack so they can gain skills and learn from you. Don't be a jerk or sexually harass people just because you can.


  6. Helpful (11)

    "Tale of Two Companies - Proceed with extreme caution!"

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

    I have been working at Creative Associates International full-time

    Pros

    Incredible bright hardworking junior staff and some amazing Directors and Senior Staff doing great work. People "in the trenches" care about their work. Deep technical knowledge. Opportunity to learn a lot, and get to the field early in career. If you're good with company politics and can make the company money, you will be fine.

    Cons

    Lost it's vision as the founders started taking a less active role and turning over leadership to others. Rampant nepotism, cronyism and tolerance for incompetence and abusive managers. High turn-over. Inconsistent application of policies to staff (including salary bands and bonuses). Poor morale. Very limited transparency. Lack of access to information needed to do our jobs.

    Advice to Management

    Pay attention to the feedback you are receiving. Go back to the Founder's vision and have the guts to make the changes necessary to follow it. Bring back some senior level development advisers who aren't afraid to push back when you are making poor decisions (you can pay for it by getting ready of all of the "yes men").

    Invest in real knowledge management.

    Creative is too good of a company to treat people so poorly.


  7. Helpful (5)

    "Seems to be on the upswing"

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

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

    Pros

    Solid base of work. Smart junior staff. Fun colleagues with some nice corporate events (Holiday parties, picnics, Chinese New Year, etc). Above average compensation for development field. Great travel opportunities. If you have the right boss you can be put in charge of significant parts of projects. Friends have gone on long terms assignments to the field after only a short time in DC.

    Cons

    Government contractor. Beholden to US Government, which means we're beholden to swings in funding. They recently laid some people off because of lost contracts. Support divisions are hit or miss. Benefits are bad compared to peer companies (401k is a joke). Junior staff doesn't know what management is thinking. If you have the wrong boss you will type numbers in excel all day.

    Advice to Management

    Foster better relationships between departments. Just because one department makes more money than others doesn't mean they should be treated better than Education or Econ Growth. Communicate more with junior staff.


  8. Helpful (5)

    "Outstanding Place to Work"

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

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

    Pros

    I have worked for a number of development firms, including DAI. By far, Creative is an outstanding place to work. Terrific management team, highly collaborative, mission driven and a wonderful place for women to gain professional experience. After all, the company was founded by four women in a garage nearly 40 years ago. One of the four continues to serve as CEO ans she is terrific!

    Cons

    There is never enough time in the day to get all the work done. Having said that, there is always a team around you supporting you

    Advice to Management

    Walk the halls a bit more. It is nice to see the President doing so . . he's a very accessible guy.


  9. Helpful (8)

    "Lack of Communication Across Departments"

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

    Pros

    They have balconies where you can go eat lunch in peace.
    It's very metro accessible.
    The building is connected to a series of underground hallways so you don't have to go outside in the winter.

    Cons

    They take no regard to placing senior staff in positions relevant to their experience.
    They do not share information between departments; it's a very turf-centric ideology and every department is silo'd; we have to reinvent the wheel each time something comes up.
    Senior management is not privy to what staff are doing. Middle management hides it from them.

    Advice to Management

    Get rid of toxic management. Find the right candidates and put them in the right position. Follow-thru on promises made to junior staff. Give junior staff the confidence needed to do their job well and effectively.


  10. Helpful (4)

    "An Internship wasted"

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

    I worked at Creative Associates International full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Sweet coffee machine
    Relaxed Attitude
    Very Capable and well educated co-workers
    My manager was really cool

    Cons

    Complete lack of direction

    I spent my entire summer working on a project that nobody really seemed to understand the point of, and by the end I realized it had all been a massive waste of time.

    Everyone seemed to be in there just as a placeholder till they could find something better

    Senior management is rumored to be entirely run by the family of the founder, and that might explain the lack of direction I experience

    Advice to Management

    Communicate more with your underlings if you want them to understand what you want out of them.


  11. Helpful (2)

    "Learning environment"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Intern in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Intern in Washington, DC
    Recommends

    Pros

    Creative Associates is a great place to work in. The internship program is very interesting and provides real training and development.

    Cons

    The salaries are not the best in the industry


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