NBBJ Reviews | Glassdoor

NBBJ Reviews

Updated April 3, 2018
104 reviews

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3.5
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NBBJ Managing Partner Steve McConnell
Steve McConnell
47 Ratings

104 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • Expected work/life balance is at times unrealistic and efforts by individuals to balance those underappreciated (in 9 reviews)

  • Long hours, though doesn't seem drastically different from other firms (in 3 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "San Francisco Office: Best Architectural office I have worked for"

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

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

    Pros

    Supportive environment, innovative, creative, great projects, design focused, great mentor-ship, great resources and support expertise from other offices, fun & exciting, great benefits!

    Cons

    They need a new monitor in the conference room. Lighter laptops


  2. Helpful (2)

    "Unprofessional and inappropriate HR department - Seattle"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

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

    Pros

    corporate office - large scale projects

    Cons

    HR department - especially senior recruiting department- very unprofessional and demeaning to co-workers, as well as creating negative image of the firm to prospective employees. They do not seem to know the boundary and know what is appropriate and not appropriate. They need to realize their inappropriate actions and remarks will adversely affect the image of the firm in a very negative way to public or in architecture profession. The firm may be known global, but if they do not train their HR and recruiting departments to be professional, architecture world is small and the words are already spreading.

    Advice to Management

    Re-evaluate the HR and recruiting departments and train them to be professional and not be inappropriate - after all, their jobs are to be "Human Resources", not "human abuse, demeaning, arrogant and rude".

  3. "Great Company"

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

    I worked at NBBJ full-time

    Pros

    A good team environment where successes as a team and as individuals are celebrated. The company benefits are also great.

    Cons

    Expected work/life balance is at times unrealistic and efforts by individuals to balance those underappreciated.


  4. Helpful (2)

    "Fight against status quo"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Associate in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Generally responsive/supportive of professional goals, good life/work balance, can create opportunities for leadership if pro-active, and put in the “extra” time, some very good projects...but too few and far between.

    Cons

    Project work tends to settle on mediocre, lead designers are almost all male— the office culture is very much white men supporting other white men. Female PA leadership, especially as a non-interiors or non-healthcare Architect, is practically non-existent. This model contributes to an overall tone for project team dynamics that lack in real collaboration, trust and inventiveness. Project development lacking in strong QC process, experimentation, relationship with academia, and interest in research. Management stigmatizes millenials, and are too comfortable settling into the industry status quo... which is an attitude that appears to accept an inevitable expiration date.

    Advice to Management

    Create an environment that promotes strong female leadership. Take more risks, and be open to failure. The industry is changing faster than you care to admit, and NBBJ is going to have to find a way to attract and retain younger talent if they want to remain relevant.


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Less attention to Design and excellence"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Project Architect in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Project Architect in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at NBBJ full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    It is good experience for young architects. They get big complex projects and give you good experience for awhile. And then you hit a ceiling. It is a good old boy kind of place. If you have a partner supporting you, it can be good.

    Cons

    Mostly white males, I am and it was hard to keep women very long. Older employees often have a hard time surviving, especially lately.
    Marketing and Financial get a lot of attention, without equal support for Design.

    Advice to Management

    Stop rewarding a few supposedly stellar individuals. Do a better job of building design teams


  6. Helpful (3)

    "Senior Interior Designer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Interior Designer in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Senior Interior Designer in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at NBBJ (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    If you like politics, then this is definitely the place for you. If you want to do real architecture, then run as far away, especially from the London office, which was really a glorified kindergarten. The New York office is just as bad, with incompetent leaders heading the interior design studio.

    Cons

    So many, I do not know where to begin. Leadership in Seattle choked on the corporate kool-aid, and it trickles down to all the other offices. It is more important here to know the Revit software, than to actually design.

    Advice to Management

    Stop drinking the kool-aid, and start doing real architecture, not parametric designed nonsense. Celebrate diversity, don't condemn it.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Designer"

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

    I worked at NBBJ full-time

    Pros

    meet alot of people and expand your network

    Cons

    very corporate atmosphere, you can't get a sense of he big picture - just small tasks.

  8. Helpful (1)

    "It was O.K. Mgt needs overhaul"

    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

    Pros

    Free food, cool people for the most part

    Cons

    Hours were terrible, and expectations of work/life balance was unmanageable


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Nice culture but lacks depth."

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

    I worked at NBBJ full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great projects with good coworkers for the most part. You can have a career there, as long as you maintain the status quo.

    Cons

    Studios can be siloed and operationally inefficient. Your ideas to improve these issues are seldom addressed adequately or not at all and creates unnecessary busywork and (unpaid) overtime.

    Advice to Management

    Find and fix operations and managers that don't improve efficiencies so the real work of design doesn't suffer.


  10. Helpful (4)

    "Blind leading the Blind"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Associate in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Associate in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at NBBJ full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Inclusive culture, everyone has a say though that culture has started to change as the firm wants to grow and become more corporate it seems.

    Cons

    Long hours, though doesn't seem drastically different from other firms. Staff is underappreciated. Loyalty and growing with the firm is often unrewarded as they continue to hire instead of promoting from within. Culture is muddied due to newly hired leadership. Studio leadership only seek the feedback of high level senior leadership on projects, which seemingly is the blind leading the blind.

    Advice to Management

    Seek feedback from all levels. A leader should not just be evaluated by how upper management or peers view them (based on hearsay). A leader is only as good as his/her team. Would highly recommend interviewing staff to evaluate leaders (performance based).


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