Environmental Science Associates Reviews | Glassdoor

Environmental Science Associates Reviews

Updated April 16, 2017
29 reviews

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Full-time Part-time

3.3
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Environmental Science Associates President Gary Oates
Gary Oates
6 Ratings

29 Employee Reviews

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  1. "Environmental Scientist - Portland OR"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate Project Manager in Portland, OR
    Current Employee - Associate Project Manager in Portland, OR
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Environmental Science Associates full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Small intimate firm, easy to make connections, management pays attention to staff and junior level employees

    Cons

    Small firm that was acquired by a larger firm ( ESA ), stiff competitive market, some staff or PM's are overworked, others are let go for no work? Utilization drives the culture if you are a PM who is lucky enough to have a long term client you are rewarded, if not you are let go for lack of work. Support staff and Project Accounts are hired and let go for unknown reasons. Like many organizations of this size, few spots for Associate growth.

    Advice to Management

    Work flows need to be shared ( WorkShare ) across different offices, PDX and SEA can be overworked while SFO could take up the slack at the PM and Support staff levels but there is no one who to manage this.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Senior Accountant"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Accountant in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Accountant in San Francisco, CA

    I have been working at Environmental Science Associates full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    work schedule is flexible, and good location

    Cons

    management changes within the last 7 months


  3. Helpful (2)

    "Disappointing"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Associate in Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Associate in Los Angeles, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Environmental Science Associates full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Competitive pay and interesting projects. Relatively flexible hours, but also expect you to work more than 40 on a regular basis, which unfortunately is pretty typical for this industry.

    Cons

    I've worked at several private consulting firms, but never at one that is so driven by office politics. Very political, it doesn't feel like anyone has each other's backs.

    The way work is given out is very chaotic. Some people are over-burdened while others getting laid off for being too slow. Very strange. Almost no management in that regard.

    Other than that, typical consulting complaints. Over-billing clients, focused on short-term goals, fake timelines, etc.

    Advice to Management

    Someone here needs to step up and change the management culture. There seems to be adequate employees, but no strong management.


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  5. Helpful (1)

    "Review of lower level position at ESA"

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

    I have been working at Environmental Science Associates (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Great group of people, interesting work. I have opportunities to work on projects among all practice groups. Most employees of ESA are easy to work with and great people. The greatest strength of ESA are its employees. Ownership culture is fairly strong.

    Cons

    Does not pay enough, especially in a city as expensive as San Francisco. I am living paycheck to paycheck.

    Advice to Management

    Give your lower level employees opportunities to participate in marketing and business development.


  6. "Don't Plan on Staying Long"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Associate in Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - Associate in Los Angeles, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Environmental Science Associates full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great location, the people are generally nice.

    Cons

    No advancement opportunities, compensation is pretty bad compared to other companies. Raises are few and far between because ESA has no interest in if you stay or not. Managers don't seem concerned about how happy or satisfied employees are with their job. Work-life balance is really poor. Associates are not encouraged to pursue job training or conferences. The experience of being an associate with this company is really & truly miserable.

    Advice to Management

    Don't treat entry level staff like we aren't part of the company. Management focuses on head-hunting talent from outside the company instead of mentoring and developing who they already have employed at ESA.


  7. "Very rewarding"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Marketing Coordinator in San Diego, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Marketing Coordinator in San Diego, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Environmental Science Associates full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Work-life balance and opportunity to work with smart individuals who know the industry.

    Cons

    Due to the nature of my job, the long hours can be hard at times.

    Advice to Management

    Taking more time to sit down one-on-one with your staff to find out what they are interested in pursuing and not necessarily during review time.


  8. Helpful (3)

    "No room for advancement"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Project Manager in Sacramento, CA
    Current Employee - Project Manager in Sacramento, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Environmental Science Associates full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Good benefits, ESOP program is like an added bonus every year, great people to work with for the most part.

    Cons

    Lack of opportunities to advance. Overworked staff. There seems to be a priority of Sr. Staff to hire old friends and ex-colleagues. This has resulted in a very top heavy structure. Because i have very Sr. Staff working on my projects and our already high billing rates, its hard to stay on budget for projects.

    Advice to Management

    Pay attention to Jr staff and middle project managers. We are very unhappy. Hire some Jr. staff to help with the work so project managers arent stuck trying to do everything.


  9. Helpful (4)

    "Mediocre and disappointing"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Associate in San Diego, CA
    Former Employee - Senior Associate in San Diego, CA
    Doesn't Recommend

    I worked at Environmental Science Associates full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great coworkers everyone is helpful, work isnt too hard, and good benefits.

    Cons

    No training, gossiping/backbitting, toxic work enviroment from management,no promotion from within, no opportunities for growth. You definitely hit the glass ceiling and most people leave or quit.

    Advice to Management

    Too top heavy, doesn't promote from within, think about helping and training your staff and become mentors instead of blaming others for your short comings and failures.


  10. Helpful (3)

    "Workplace bullies"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Associate in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Associate in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I have been working at Environmental Science Associates part-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Generally flexible about where/when you do your work. Will let you go part time. Interesting work when there is work.

    Cons

    Cruel management. Lack of advancement potential. Demand that you are billable and then do not provide you with work. Berate workers when times are slow. Unwillingness to get rid or poor managers. When they had the opportunity to hire someone with real business experience as COO a few years ago, they went with an ineffectual dimwit from within instead. Predictably, the company isn't doing well. Not that that is stopping ESA from hiring top level people nonstop. They are labeled "strategic hires" as if it is somehow strategic to be top-heavy. And then, of course, there is nowhere for any of the lower level people to go. Every day I work here I lose a little part of my soul. The days are so slow since there is no work. I am absolutely miserable here. I wouldn't wish working here on my worst enemy.

    Advice to Management

    Develop your staff. Your junior level staff is miserable. Seriously. We hate it here. The second the market gets even the least bit better, everyone is going to flee.


  11. Helpful (4)

    "Don't get too comfortable"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Associate in Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - Associate in Los Angeles, CA

    I worked at Environmental Science Associates full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Great benefits
    Nice office (In Los Angeles)
    Small office
    Easy to get friendly and close with co-workers
    If you work on enough good projects you can add loads of experience to a resume
    Was my first job where I got a bonus check

    Cons

    They don't invest as much in their employees as they may say. In fact , they year I was there the main guy chastised the bosses in on our office for spending money to send Associates to seminars and trainings.

    I believe there are a lot of office politics at work. I wasn't always one to hang with co-workers during lunch and happy hour after work, so I think that attributed to me being let go.

    If they don't have work, then you don't have work. And if you aren't working (billable) then you aren't of use. You must constantly ask for work to do.

    No direct training to help new associates understand their place in the company and to really understand how their processes work.

    After talking with my boss a few times, he said that they were interested in investing in their employees to raise in the ranks. Maybe he was misled also, but I didn't see that happening at all. People are too busy at times to help bring you up, so you may have to do it on your own.

    In short, don't be lulled into a false sense of security. A woman I know who left there said "Almost everyday I went to work, I thought I might get fired."

    Advice to Management

    Invest in your employees.
    Stop using the facade of niceness and care. At the end of the day you run like a corporation. Just because you work related to the environment doesn't make you automatically a good, "caring" company.


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