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InterAction Reviews

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3.7
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Sam Worthington
5 Ratings

13 Employee Reviews

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  1. "Policy Summer Intern"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Public Policy Intern in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Public Policy Intern in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at InterAction (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Incredible exposure to important work in the international development and humanitarian spheres. Also, everyone here is very friendly and willing to offer career advice.

    Cons

    My day-to-day responsibilities varied greatly. One day, I would be jumping to and from the Hill, producing research summaries for higher-ups, and create visualizations for the head of department. The next, I might be sitting at my desk for a few hours, just filling in meeting attendance sheets. However, grinding through the slower days are well worth the excitement of the busier ones.


  2. "Senior Communication Associate"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Communications Associate in New Orleans, LA
    Former Employee - Senior Communications Associate in New Orleans, LA
    Recommends

    I worked at InterAction (More than a year)

    Pros

    great team and an ability to work across departments. there is also a lot of exposure to other players in international development.

    Cons

    they are often bogged down in bureaucracy and expectation from leadership are often unclear.

  3. "Great exposure to int'l aid issues and a positive work environment"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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

    I worked at InterAction full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Committed staff, with a little motivation you can provide a valuable service, great place to learn how international NGOs work (and don't work!), good work-life balance, some (though a minority) of excellent managers, positive working relationships at the junior and mid management levels. The most interesting and impactful work is done in the public policy and humanitarian teams. In third, the Communications team is also trying to be more innovative.

    Cons

    Top level management (the CEO and all the VPs, with the exception of the humanitarian lead) is perpetually unable to work together to get things done. The CEO has generally surrounded himself with VPs who will support and defer rather than challenge him, let alone one another.

    Avoid working for the Membership and/or Strategic Impact Team (which focuses on international development) as the leadership is uninspiring and the work as a result is very constrained.

    There isn't great room for growth or increased responsibility. Though you may get promotions and raises periodically, the actual job rarely changes. That said, since you work with so many NGOs, many staff get the chance to get better positions with members.

    Advice to Management

    Major opportunities are being missed due to a lack of vision and leadership among some VPs. Have an honest discussion and take steps to address these gaps. I would seriously question whether having (and funding!) 5 VPs for a non profit with 50ish staff is necessary.


  4. Helpful (1)

    "Turnover high, employees on their own, management unconcerned"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Web Manager in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Web Manager in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    You'll work with some of the brightest and most competent leaders in the field of humanitarian development and relief. There are some great people who get things done, working above and beyond their titles and paygrades. Many people leave InterAction to go on to incredible positions elsewhere.

    Cons

    You'll work with some of the most political and self-centered VPs who believe their team is the organization rather than just part of it. There is very little interest in cross-team collaboration and leadership from the top is minimal.

    Advice to Management

    Review whether you need a VP rank. Make Communications its own team, which is not subservient and reactive to the other teams, but rather sets the organizational outreach strategy overall and guides other teams in implementing it.


  5. Helpful (2)

    "Great potential, but leadership lacks a clear and creative vision."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC

    Pros

    Despite its poor leadership, InterAction has some really talented people on staff who are committed to doing outstanding work. There are opportunities to gain significant professional experience in many parts of the organization.

    Cons

    InterAction wants so badly to be seen as influential by global development and humanitarian power brokers that it stretches itself too thin to have any real impact. Senior management seems to be building their own resumes at the expense of a tired and overworked staff. Has a very expensive senior management team. Severely limits the growth potential of middle managers. Staff lacks diversity above junior level.

    Advice to Management

    Develop a clear vision for the future. Recognize what you don't know and empower qualified staff to lead. Compensate for low staff salaries by investing more in the professional development of your staff.


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Full of good intentions and possibility but leadership unfocused"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Recommends

    Pros

    Passionate and intelligent coworkers dedicated to helping the world's poor
    Not too structured; can forge own path if inclined
    Good starting point for getting into international development sector
    Ideal for networking and making connections with other players (NGOs, government, etc)

    Cons

    Very top heavy
    Has an identity crisis; can't decide what it wants to be which results in mediocre output
    Things often seem to be made up as they go along
    Salary levels are low compared to others
    Understaffed for the amount of work they attempt to do

    Advice to Management

    Think about what really constitutes success. Devise a clear and simple focus and let your staff help you work toward that (and don't nickel & dime them while you do it). Gain some self confidence, concern yourself less with impressing others through token gestures and more with doing meaningful things. Be bold!


  7. "Good company for a couple years"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Good interesting work, great coworkers, great cause, and lots of passion. Great networking opportunity.

    Cons

    Low pay, poor employee training, and sometimes can be a bit disorganized and fractured

  8. "Good Team, Positive Environment"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    - Attend working group meetings
    - Talk to various people in the non-profit field
    - Informational Interviews with staff members
    - Gain experience and see how the non-profit world functions

    Cons

    - Unpaid/ $50 stipend didn't cover anything


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Great place for broad exposure to international development and humanitarian policy and practice."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at InterAction full-time

    Pros

    Smart, hard-working co-workers; friendly, approachable and supportive CEO; excellent HR Coordinator who works hard to ensure InterAction continues to improve opportunities for staff.

    InterAction offers a broad view of the key international development and humanitarian issues, and is a great place for a young professional to start their career; offers unique experience in coalition management, membership politics, facilitation, and cross-sectoral programming; good for networking and working with different stakeholders from the INGO community, government, policy makers, etc.; in a highly competitive sector, offers an important space for the INGO community to convene and advocate together.

    Cons

    InterAction must navigate a rapidly changing sector and despite a heavy focus on this issue by senior leadership, organizational changes are slow to take hold, in part because of the consultative nature of coalitions, and the need for member buy-in. While InterAction staff understand these challenges, communication between the senior executive leadership and the staff is relatively poor, with final decisions framed often as consultative, transparent sharing, with little real opportunity for input. And while high level, existential conversations continue, day-to-day operational issues that have a direct impact on InterAction staff go unaddressed. Senior leadership is often pre-occupied with its external relations - members, donors, etc. - but needs to spend more time with their hard working staff who need leadership, stronger communication, and to be empowered to improve InterAction's work culture and opportunities.

    Advice to Management

    Improve communication and attention to operational issues at the organization. E.g. training opportunities, data base, email and conference call support, and clarify what are the appropriate channels for input and feedback.

    The senior leadership needs to help ensure that teams' Senior VPs understand that they are part of a larger whole, not an organization unto themselves, and to demonstrate leadership by showing respect for the rest of InterAction's work, teams, and staff. The tone set by Senior VPs is critical and has a ripple effect on a young staff.


  10. Helpful (2)

    "High expectations, lots of autonomy"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at InterAction full-time

    Pros

    InterAction managers tend to give staff a lot of leeway and independence in their work. It's a very talented staff and there are high expectations for output, but there is room for self direction and creativity if you are able to manage the workload. It's a great place for young professionals in DC to get their start. A lot of junior staff have moved into management roles within InterAction's member organizations.

    Cons

    With the above comes the inevitable challenge of heavy workloads. The people that thrive in this environment are those who are willing and able to say 'no' when they can't handle any more and able to really force a balance of work/life. Staff who aren't as self-motivated tend to get buried under the expectations and burn out.

    Advice to Management

    Empower ALL staff to say 'no' and encourage managers to lead by example. Management needs to demonstrate a consistent approach to work/life balance and not send mixed messages by working ridiculous hours.


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