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McGarrah Jessee Reviews

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4.1
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Mark McGarrah
13 Ratings

17 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (2)

    "Great People & Great Work"

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

    I have been working at McGarrah Jessee full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    McJ's culture is unique and makes working here so much more pleasant and rewarding than other places I've worked at. You can tell that people really care about the quality of the work and craft that goes into making the most out of the projects they are given. I can't think of another place I'd rather work.

    Cons

    No place is perfect, but there's honestly not a ton to put in the con column. It's a place that expects everyone to give 100%, so that can be hard at first, but the flip side is that you are given plenty of opportunities to prove your worth and excel, so I'd think of that more as a positive than a negative if you're a self-starter type.


  2. "Great People"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Designer in Austin, TX
    Current Employee - Designer in Austin, TX
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at McGarrah Jessee full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    The most positive aspect of working at McGarrah Jessee is the people. You don't really get the feeling of anyone being ruthless ladder climbers or being two-faced. I work with people who I'd enjoy hanging out with on the weekend and I often do. Leaders are very supportive and push you to use your skill sets to their fullest. There are many opportunities, large and small, to do great work. Wonderful location in the heart of downtown Austin and you can bring your dogs to work. The founders, Mark and Bryan are fantastic people and very open.

    Cons

    Rarely is there an opportunity to advance in your career, although MCJ is very supportive of switching job roles/lateral moves. Like many agencies, expect to stay late frequently. 40 hours is the base requirement and it is expected to work more in order to get the best work possible. Not very good about raises or just matching the rapidly growing cost of living in booming Austin. Pretty bad about performance reviews but there is a system on it's way to help out with this. Sometimes it feels like there are too many decision makers and not enough creators on a project and jobs can sometimes get into a weird limbo of indecision.

  3. "Integrator"

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

    I have been working at McGarrah Jessee (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great downtown location, culture, and clients

    Cons

    Low compensation and work/life balance


  4. Helpful (2)

    "Good People and intentions"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at McGarrah Jessee full-time

    Pros

    The best part of the agency are its people. They are an asset and there is some real talent within its walls. The Design group is really their strength, but it doesn't get as much recognition internally or externally as it should. Mark and Bryan laid a good foundation for the agency and they try to maintain it to date. It's difficult in the changes the agency world has taken in recent years. The best part is the work-life balance. 8:30-5 consistently. For an ad agency, that is nearly unheard of. But if you are used to a much more challenging agency environment, you might find yourself bored.

    Cons

    I don't want to be overly negative as there are genuinely some good things at McJ. Unfortunately, creative leadership is seriously lacking. As stated above, the Design group is the strength of the agency. Creatively, they have fantastic talent, but creative leadership is weak. The work is stagnant and uninspiring.

    In addition, they have other leadership roles that create discord across various departments. There is a huge cultural gap between the tenured folks and the newbies. The newbies aren't always so welcome, and the agency is not eager to see change agents enter their ranks. Professional development is stifled because of it, and you have to leave to have upward growth in your career.

    Advice to Management

    Relook at some of the so-called leaders running your departments. Take note of how they impact morale and whether they are truly moving the agency forward. Encourage entrepreneurial approaches to solving client problems, not just the old school ways you are comfortable with. Lastly, limit the rules. The agency can feel very sterile as a work environment.


  5. Helpful (1)

    "The agency that showed me it's nice to work at an agency"

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

    Pros

    The people at this agency are the best. A real tight-knit group who love helping each other out and sharing their passions. There are plenty of opportunities to expand creatively and collaborate on projects but also a good balance of smaller projects that you can own. The culture is amazing. It's not a mirage like many places. It's genuine and strong and at the core of why the agency was founded. Love coming to work.

    Cons

    The client base is not very diverse. Sometimes the many levels of approval needed to get quality work out the door often prevent just that. The ice machine in the kitchen goes out sometimes.

    Advice to Management

    Protect the culture as the company continues to grow. It is what really sets this McGarrah Jessee apart.


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Best Place to Work in Austin"

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

    I have been working at McGarrah Jessee full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    It's very clear that this agency produces some of the best work out there. The people are fantastic and the culture is amazing. No one hates coming to the office and staying late is not encouraged. I've been full time here for 8 months and have never had to stay late for work. There are often events on the roof and free Shiner. The benefits are amazing and the pay is good. You can actually go talk to the CEO's whenever you want and they are very friendly. I honestly couldnt imagine working anywhere else. It's really tough to get hired which really produces a great agency and great work.

    Cons

    I cant name one con. I love this agency.


  7. "Chock full of creative people but limited personal growth"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Creative in Austin, TX
    Former Employee - Creative in Austin, TX
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at McGarrah Jessee full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Great creatives to work with rounded out with solid account service, smart minds, genuinely nice people, creative is KING, a lot of internal parties to promote the community and a fridge full of Shiner beer.

    Cons

    Ridiculously hard to get in here (could be a good thing) but also low paying and no room to grow once you get in. It is the type of thing where you can proudly say you work here, you will learn a lot and have good work to show from your time there but you are stuck once you get in. Seems to be a good place for junior creatives to get their start.

    Advice to Management

    Find paths for growth for everyone. Have a plan in place for them instead of making them just them feel happy to have made it into McJ.

  8. Helpful (2)

    "Don't Hate Your Life Work Here"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Art Director in Austin, TX
    Current Employee - Art Director in Austin, TX
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at McGarrah Jessee full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Great preople who are genuinely interested in how you're doing at a company that makes amazing work. It's rare find. Not cut throat at all. You won't find a better company to work for.

    Cons

    Not everyone can work here


  9. "Great place to spend many years."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at McGarrah Jessee full-time

    Pros

    Great people to work with who are for the most part top class. Their accounts keep you interested and engaged for an ad agency.

    Cons

    Feeling appreciated/valued can be lacking at times, lots of places like that. Pay can be somewhat lower than other places.

    Advice to Management

    Let your people know how much you value them. Pat them on the back more often.


  10. Helpful (4)

    "The people make the place"

    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

    Pros

    McGarrah Jessee has an amazing knack for hiring amazing people. The rumors that there are no divas here is 100% true. The culture is built on trust and respect and knowing that your co-workers are doing all they can for work that they truly believe in. I think this is really rare at an agency. The people make you want to continue to improve and try harder.

    Cons

    The trouble with that point, though, is that the agency as a whole fails to recognize those who are striving to be better. There are zero opportunities for professional growth and development, and while you are encouraged to 'make your own path,' the reality is that management is too afraid to try anything new and extremely slow to adopt change. It's a great place to work for those who are young and new to advertising because you will learn an immense amount, but for anyone who is ready for the next step in their career, you'd be hard-pressed to find that here.

    Advice to Management

    Make more of an effort to invest in your employees. Encourage their growth and help provide them with opportunities to continue to make a positive impact. Try harder. Trust in your staff and be quicker to affect changes that they may suggest. Expect more from managers and support in-house talent!


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