Dawson Design Associates Reviews | Glassdoor

Dawson Design Associates Reviews

Updated Oct 22, 2017

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Found 11 reviews

3.6
StarStarStarStarStar
Rating TrendsRating Trends
66%
Recommend to a Friend
64%
Approve of CEO
Andrea Sheehan
6 Ratings
  1. Helpful (5)

    "Manage your own career at DDA"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Junior Architectural Designer in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Dawson Design Associates full-time

    Pros

    This is a fast paced, interactive firm with high expectations. You can really propel your career if you are proactive, ask questions, and be positive. If you want to advance, you have to be your own advocate. There are plenty of resources on the server, training booklets, old projects, standards if you take the time to look that can better your skills. If you love doing one-of-a-kind spaces with what seems like...

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    Cons

    If you are looking for a place to clock in and out of, this is not it. Projects move fast and that is reflected in the pace of the firm. The CEO expects a lot and often raises her voice when she is frustrated which is not necessarily an indicator that she is angry. This is not your interior design studio from school the critique will be harsh. You cannot take it personally, even though everyone does.

    Advice to Management

    Andrea expects a lot from her employees, but I think she sometimes forgets that she has over 30 years of experience. I can understand the idea behind raising the bar high and having people rise to meet it However, I often felt that if I didn't get it the first time, there was no opportunity to try a second time. Andrea seems to be looking for a second Andrea to help grow the business. Being a strong-willed individual...

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    Dawson Design Associates2016-07-08
  2. "Great projects, negative work environment."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Dawson Design Associates full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Talented staff and beautiful projects, opportunities for increasing responsibly and growth, good office location and fun space in a loft.

    Cons

    Staff yelled at in front of others on daily basis, dirty office, long hours and lower pay, too many meetings.

    Dawson Design Associates2017-10-23
  3. "Great Learning Opportunities, Great Rewards"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Finance Manager in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Dawson Design Associates full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    DDA offers some the most intensive training and development opportunities in the industry and does high profile hospitality design which receives international press and recognition. DDA has developed methods and practices that take time to master, but those who are eager to learn and take advantage of the opportunities will do well. Employees in both offices (London and Seattle) work together in a team effort. ...

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    Cons

    High profile projects and deadline driven industry require employee flexibility and resiliency.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to encourage professional development on all levels.

    Dawson Design Associates2016-05-25
  4. Helpful (2)

    "Current Employee, Part of the DDA Team for 3.5 years"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - International Account Manager in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Dawson Design Associates full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    I've been exposed to more opportunities in my career than I could've ever hoped for. Our team is incredibly talented and very international; our clients and projects very high profile and yet, we're a small, intimate team.

    Cons

    Our high-profile projects are very demanding - but that's the nature of working for a firm of this caliber. It can be intense, but I like the drive that creates.

    Dawson Design Associates2015-12-19
  5. Helpful (7)

    "Abusive Relationship"

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

    I worked at Dawson Design Associates

    Pros

    Beautiful Projects, Talented staff, although stifled and unhappy

    Cons

    If you enjoy being mentally and verbally abused, then this is the job for you. Many people equate being employed here to being in an abusive relationship. The CEO has a horrible reputation in the industry. Listen to what people are saying, it's true.

    Advice to Management

    Learn to understand the control issues the CEO has, this limits your opportunity to grow, recognize it for what it is and stick to being a small firm so she can fully be control of everything, honestly for her there is no other way. Also learn to recognize the abuse of the staff, they are unhappy. You don't gain success by making other people suffer and putting them down, there's talent there, appreciate and foster it,...

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    Dawson Design Associates2015-10-31
  6. Helpful (1)

    "Intense hands on experience"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Interior Designer in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Dawson Design Associates full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    I started working at Dawson Design as an intern and was able to stay on full time. During my time here I had a lot of hands on experience. It was very intense at times but also very rewarding. I worked on creative and fun boutique hotels experiencing every side of the design process. From schematics all the way to purchasing. I did a lot of traveling and was fortunate to be at a few of the hotels on opening night. Being...

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    Cons

    Being that the owner of the firm is intense, you have to be very thick skinned and not take anything personal. She does have a big heart and means well along with a strong personality. If you are an organized individual it can be challenging.

    Advice to Management

    My advise would be to take it easy on the interns. Most of them come to you eager to learn, and you have a lot to offer but I would take it down a notch so they stay on board. By doing this you can create a great team for your company.

    Dawson Design Associates2014-03-26
  7. Helpful (2)

    "Work is great. Treatment of the staff - not so much."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Interior Designer in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend

    I worked at Dawson Design Associates full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    The projects were/are great. Seemingly an earnest desire to push for great design. Principal does recognize hard work and reward with the occasional extra day off or bonus.

    Cons

    Revolving door of staff. Often "walking on eggshells" around senior staff/Principal. Messy work environment. As Senior staff/Principal must be involved in every decision, time management can be challenging when they are always away from the office. Staff is often treated in a condescending manor.

    Dawson Design Associates2013-11-13
  8. Helpful (1)

    "Learn, Grow, and Lead!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Project Manager/Senior Designer in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Dawson Design Associates full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Working at DDA is a tremendous growth opportunity. The culture is fast-paced, intense, and fosters learning and professional growth. DDA requires the employees to keep up with international design trends and offers opportunities to travel to international trade shows and gain global insights. All employees are encouraged to be part of DDA’s concept building charettes and are constantly asked to step out of their comfort...

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    Cons

    Like all design firms, approaching deadlines can cause stress and require employees to work long hours.

    Dawson Design Associates2013-07-18
  9. Helpful (1)

    "Fast Track, Fostering Growth and Opportunity…Design Boot Camp 101"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Job Captain, Interior Designer, Project Manager in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at Dawson Design Associates full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    1. Excellent Opportunity for Advancement I started as an intern with this company and moved up to a junior designer position. Within 18 months, I was promoted to job captain and began training as a project manager. I did not feel ready for this transition but took on a sink or swim mentality. I gained exposure to all phases of the design process learning valuable client and problem solving skills. It was a very...

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    Cons

    1. Fast-Paced Due to the caliber of clients and nature of the Hospitality industry, this office is very fast-paced. Obviously a fast-paced environment means an increased level of stress to keep up and perform creatively under intense pressure. 2. Small Office, Large Work Load DDA gets very busy during the summer and fall months. The office swaps back and forth between a team based environment and one large...

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    Advice to Management

    More solid consistent protocols and procedures.

    Dawson Design Associates2013-01-09
  10. Helpful (3)

    ""Revolving Door" Reputation for a Reason"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Design Associate in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend

    I worked at Dawson Design Associates

    Pros

    Company's projects and products are top notch. Employees are talented and well educated.

    Cons

    The biggest issue is the owner of the company, who believes public humiliation is the best teacher. There's a reason this company has a reputation for having a "Revolving door," employees are fired or quit frequently. New graduates are offered wages far below industry standard. Office is a filthy mess.

    Dawson Design Associates2012-01-07
Found 11 reviews