Education Advisory Board Reviews | Glassdoor

Education Advisory Board Reviews

Updated April 19, 2017
16 reviews

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Full-time Part-time

3.8
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Robert W. Musslewhite
7 Ratings

16 Employee Reviews

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  1. "Awesome Software Company"

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

    Pros

    Interesting work, modern platforms/programming languages, incredibly knowledgeable mentors, great pay/vacation/bonuses/benefits

    Cons

    Honestly, there are no real cons


  2. "Inconsistent leadership and accountability leads to wasted potential and lost opportunities for success"

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

    I worked at Education Advisory Board full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    - Entry-level staff given exposure to member-facing roles and can directly serve members at the CXO level

    - Lots of young, driven talent that's eager to please members and management alike

    Cons

    - Leadership endorses a toxic culture of harassment, sexual and otherwise. Leaders often
     can't control their behavior around staff and members alike, especially when alcohol is involved. HR will respond based on your place in the org chart.

    - Management selectively performs their assigned duties with no accountability when members/staff fall through the cracks. Unless you're hindering your boss' ability to climb the ladder, you can do whatever you please. An outside consulting company came in to diagnose management woes and politely informed leadership that management roles are poorly defined and not consistently enforced. The response was to hard-code "flexible" role definitions for staff (at individual manager discretion) and made the problem worse rather than encouraging accountability.

    - If you're male, be ready to adapt to the bro culture that's heavy on boozing and harassment. Participate or look the other way.

    - If you're a woman, you'll face harassment from peers and managers alike, with HR turning a blind eye. Loyalty is rewarded above performance.

    -Staff are actively encouraged NOT to write self-reviews during evaluation periods because management wants to avoid awkward conversations when expectations and reality collide.

    - HR will never, ever follow up without constant pushing, no matter how innocuous the request. They're primarily interested in doing favors for leadership-level staff, with expectations of a reward later. Established procedures are often ignored, and don't expect any action to be taken without a court order.

    - EAB's parent company's stock dropped 50% in two years, and it recently went through rounds of layoffs and office closures before selling a significant stake to a company that invests in failing or bankrupt companies. EAB is about a year or two behind the parent company with regard to EVERYTHING, so expect your job to be temporary.

    - You will be actively misled regarding your development and promotion opportunities, unless you've been unofficially "fast-tracked." Half of the jobs on the internal job board don't actually exist, and most of the remaining ones were promised to staff months earlier.

    - If you ever need to use federally-mandated medical leave to care for family, resign or lawyer up. The retaliation you'll endure isn't worth it, though.

    - Average staff tenure for the entire company is ONE YEAR. Speaks volumes on its own.

    Advice to Management

    - Managers are expected to deliberately misrepresent staff performance, either inflating performance ratings to make key players appear more impressive or important than reality, or slashing performance ratings to save money on bonuses and raises. If you need to be told not to do this, then you have management problems.

    - Stop rewarding managers for falsifying performance metrics for their departments. It feeds into a destructive cycle where staff are indirectly encouraged to lie to their bosses, and the bosses don't want to admit they were fooled.

    - Stop punishing high-performing staff. If "too many" staff in a department perform above and beyond expectations for their role, the department manager gets chewed out because the company has to pay out promised incentive bonuses. Performance is graded on a curve, regardless of what's outlined in evaluation matrices.

    - Stop lying to low-level staff about how their compensation compares to similar roles at other companies. HR compiled a "report" with zero data and declared the "rumors" about inadequate compensation to be false. For a company that runs on data and research, the effort was insulting and based on falsehoods.

    - Get your yearly budget done on time. Massive staff disruptions have occurred as a result of leadership either failing to submit a budget on time or deliberately misleading other managers about available resources.


  3. "Coordinator"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Coordinator in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Coordinator in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Slightly more fun than your average cube-farm, this company is a great way for recent graduates to gain experience in a basic office environment or in sales/marketing. Getting promoted is a real possibility although it's not as easy or as quick as applicants were told (expectation used to be promotion after one year for above average performers, now it's 18-24 months).

    Cons

    Entry level positions are pretty thankless (not uncommon in the corporate world) but I feel they exaggerate the benefits and use them as an excuse to pay below market level (considering the cost of living in DC). This often leads to a higher than average level of discontent among entry-level associates and a higher turnover. I would only recommend entry-level marketing positions to those interested in sales. For those interested in working in higher ed or healthcare specifically, avoid marketing and try for the research or consulting departments. Also, full disclosure, there's some "evaluating" being done now and it's been hinted that things could change drastically in the next few months- it could even lead to pieces of the company being sold.

    Advice to Management

    Give applicants more realistic expectations of what the job is like, if they go into their position with open eyes they won't feel deceived.


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  5. Helpful (2)

    "Great company culture, paths for advancement if you make them"

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

    I worked at Education Advisory Board full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great benefits plan and company culture, lots of flexible time and capacity for pro bono work

    Cons

    Sometimes hard to identify a clear career development plan if you don't know exactly where you want to be in five years

    Advice to Management

    Continue to offer ways for employees to identify skills and interests that align with needs in the company


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Great work/life balance, but at a cost"

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

    I have been working at Education Advisory Board full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great working environment, young and professional, although growing to be more on the professional side. Great opportunities to own parts of business not given to college / 5 years and less experienced folks.

    Cons

    Underpaid - similar work can often go for at least 10-20k more than your salary here. New and inexperienced managers do not lead to productive career pathing.

    Advice to Management

    Provide training for your managers, and pay to the national compensation scale.


  7. Helpful (2)

    "Good People, but They Leave"

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

    I have been working at Education Advisory Board full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Wonderful, engaged people who care about making education better. Flexible. Many opportunities for personal and professional growth in training and community engagement for entry-level employees. Friendly atmosphere. Great team building that doesn't feel like a chore. Good work-life balance. Good perks, but they often aren't very relevant to employee needs. Opportunities to work in different areas of the company from where you originally found a position. Lots of young, social colleagues who care about each other. Opportunities to advance.

    Cons

    People tend to leave after a year or two because they aren't given the necessary tools or space to continue to move toward their career goals. We see incredibly promising employees leave every month for jobs that better value their experience and expertise. Career development decisions are opaque at best, leaving people wondering why they were placed in the area they were and largely unable to negotiate properly.
    Also, there are few (are there any?) women in the highest positions.

    Advice to Management

    Work to keep promising talent. Engage mid-level staff through honest, collaborative career development that allows people to pursue their personal and professional goals, rather than focusing on perks. On the research side, work with analysts and senior analysts to place them in forums that fit with their passions and prior knowledge, which would make the research better and make the researchers more committed to it. Large and lofty events and platitudes do not replace plain and open policies that give employees the power to direct their own career paths and general respect for employee needs.


  8. Helpful (1)

    "Great Opportunity if You're Willing to Work Hard and Hold Yourself to High Standards"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Research Analyst in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Senior Research Analyst in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Education Advisory Board full-time

    Pros

    EAB and the Advisory Board as a whole is known for employing a lot of young, recent college-graduates. Of course, there are also tons of people who are external hires, and certainly leadership aren't young anymore. But I wouldn't be surprised if a large number of senior-level folks started their careers early here--and that's fantastic. As someone hired in with a B.A., I've been given far more opportunities for advancement and senior-level exposure than a lot of my friends at other companies. I really do think this place works on merit, but you have to show that you're worthy of investment early on--even showing that you have the potential to learn quickly and execute on seemingly daunting tasks means upper-level staff with take a chance on you and invest in your career. You need that to succeed here, and once you prove that you're committed and can do a good job, I'd say you're in.

    Cons

    There are strong personalities at this company, especially in the research division. Just like in any workplace, in order to move up, you have to be able to navigate these personalities with some finesse--and that's not always easy. That said, I haven't worked or interacted with a single malicious person here--even the kookiest of characters does so because they genuinely care about the quality of work that we produce. And that often translates to what feels like impossibly high standards. I'd say it's a mix of extremely high standards and some curiosity on senior leaders' parts to see what you do when you're wrong or if you fail. That said, at the entry-level and a few clicks above that, it's expected that you don't fail. And that can be really stressful to deal with.

    Advice to Management

    Retain internal talent and help them thrive--make sure they feel appreciated, or they'll jump ship. There may be lines of people waiting outside ABC/EAB to be given jobs, but as a company, focus on retaining internal talent.


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Overall a good place to start your career."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Research Analyst in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Senior Research Analyst in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Education Advisory Board full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    I found the work very interesting and felt like I was making a difference. I felt like we almost had too many days off. Overall, you get good training for future career paths and ample opportunities for professional development/exploring new roles. The office culture is generally friendly, intellectual, and fun.

    Cons

    While at the time I thought I was paid well, I definitely made less than peers doing similar work at other firms. Retention is a problem with many people staying less than two years. The company is also facing some growing pains that causes management to be stretched thin; you quickly learn the value of being able to navigate internal politics.

    Advice to Management

    Higher salaries and financial support for graduate school would definitely improve staff retention.


  10. Helpful (3)

    "An incredible place to develop a career and learn about higher education"

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

    I have been working at Education Advisory Board full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    --The role offers more autonomy, access to high-level thinkers and doers, responsibility, and intellection than I ever thought I would have at this point in my career. With some of my projects, I really feel like I've made an impact on the colleges and universities I've worked for.
    -- The people are just incredible. I moved to DC not knowing anyone and have made some close friends among the rest of the team. All my peers are intelligent, friendly, went to great schools, and have interesting experiences to share.
    -- Another pro is the typical promotion timetable (12-18 months) for RAs to other roles both in the higher education division as well as the firm as a whole.

    Cons

    --The first 3-4 months of the role can be pretty tough, as you're expected to come onboard very quickly. I had a lot of late nights for a while until I got into the groove of the process, adopted the writing style, became comfortable with the vocabulary, etc. The managers and team are there to support you for the most part, but you really have to seize the mantle.
    --If you conceive of the RA role as management consulting, then it's below-market compensation (but I make more than other roles I considered in policy shops or think tanks).

    Advice to Management

    Build in more opportunities to collaborate with other departments - EAB is too small an organization to have silos


  11. Helpful (2)

    "Great place to get experience in the professional world, but be aware that this is a sales position!"

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

    I have been working at Education Advisory Board full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Gained great skills from working with a top-performing Marketer at the firm, have great support from marketer and have thus, made great connections with the Executives in the Marketing department.

    Cons

    Very low pay and frankly, it is questionable how much they value the work that the Marketing Associates do. You are evaluated based on your ability to hit your monthly goal and if you struggle to do so, your Chief of Staff will put you on "the plan" and ultimately push you out if you do not meet the criteria outlined by the plan.

    Advice to Management

    Consider giving Marketing Associates a pay raise, it will make them feel more appreciated (which they should be, as they are the start of new business ventures!) and design a better plan to help MA's get back on track if they miss their goal for a month or 2 instead of putting unrealistic pressure on them with "the plan"


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