Conservation International - great organization facing challenging times | Glassdoor
  1. Helpful (3)

    "great organization facing challenging times"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee -  in Arlington, VA
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at Conservation International full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Conservation International has a lot going for it: smart people, an important mission, strong partnerships, prestigious board, and a solid reputation as convener with ability to make things happen at the global level. For employees, good benefits, historic reputation for work-life balance and flexible work options (although this reputation has been tested during leaner times over the past year or so).

    Cons

    It feels as if CI has lost its way over the past few years. A major shift in mission/strategy happened about three years ago, and while change should be good, this has led to constantly shifting priorities, strategies, and plans - resulting in confusion, dysfunction, and stress. Lots of attrition - both staff leaving for new opportunities and some layoffs - also has contributed to an uncertain and unstable environment. Founder/CEO/Chairman of the Board Peter Seligmann is truly a rock star, but he lives and is based on the West Coast, which creates a weird dynamic since he's leading the organization remotely (about half the staff is based in Arlington and the rest in international locations). Budgets have been tight, so fewer opportunities for professional development, staff travel to visit projects in the field, etc. Hopefully things will settle down and CI will get back on track, since it has an amazing history and lots of potential. But for the time being, I found it was a challenging place to work.

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    Advice to Management

    Senior managers should get out of their offices and walk around to get a pulse on staff morale. Scale back the mammoth and not-very-efficient annual planning exercise. Be better at prioritizing and stay the course rather than shifting focus/strategy every few months. Invest in manager training and development.

    Conservation International2012-12-11
  1. "Great people"

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

    I have been working at Conservation International full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Working with like-minded colleagues who care about CI's work makes this a great environment. Leadership is on the newer side and have shown their interest in listening and adapting. Nice Arlington office space. Option to work remotely or have a flexible schedule. A good amount of annual leave and competitive benefits.

    Cons

    Communicating vision isn't always clear. Lack of diversity. I've heard that it's very difficult for coordinators to be promoted.

    Conservation International2020-01-06
  2. "Barely Livable Salary, No Room for Advancement"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Coordinator 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Conservation International full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    It's an amazing, welcoming, and modern work environment. You're also able to work remotely and the benefits, as well as the people, are great.

    Cons

    It is nearly impossible for someone in an entry-level position to be promoted. The salary for coordinators and office administrators is barely liveable yet they have no problem paying for expensive consultants monthly. They expect you to have years of experience in positions that almost no one would take because of the low pay. If you don't have a Master's degree or Ph.D. you won't make any money. It doesn't matter how many years of experience you have as being a manager, if you don't have a traditional education you're completely looked over. As far as development, they offer you Linkedin learning (which is a joke) and the chance to receive project management certificates (which again doesn't matter if you don't have a Master's or Ph.D.).

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    Advice to Management

    Enable those with less traditional educational backgrounds to advance into management positions.

    Conservation International2020-01-11

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