Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates Reviews | Glassdoor

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Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates Reviews

Updated October 18, 2017
83 reviews

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3.2
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Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates CEO Curtis Freet
Curtis Freet
8 Ratings

83 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • You strictly conduct market research interviews (in 13 reviews)

  • Showing initiative is key to getting increased responsibility and more interesting projects (in 6 reviews)

Cons
  • Work/life balance is a struggle (in 16 reviews)

  • Low company morale due to high turnover rate, long hours, breakneck pace of work (in 10 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Great Place to Get Amazing Experience Quickly"

    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
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates full-time

    Pros

    --Employees are trusted with important work for major brands very early on in their careers
    --Teams are small, so you can see the specific impact of your contribution to each project
    --Work is varied and interesting; you get exposure to a wide range of clients, issues, and research methods quickly
    --Employees are empowered to try new things--there's not a lot of bureaucratic red tape that gets in the way of new ideas

    Cons

    --Work/life balance is a struggle
    --Company is growing and changing and is still figuring out how to adapt what worked for the company in the past to what it needs today

    Advice to Management

    --You have an incredible pool of very talented and motivated employees; continue to double down on your commitment to helping them feel looped in to what's happening at the upper levels of the company as it grows

    Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates Response

    Aug 9, 2017 – HR

    Thank you so much for your feedback! As always, we will bear this in mind moving forward - we are always looking to apply the feedback from our employees/former employees toward positive growth... More


  2. Helpful (2)

    "Market Research Analyst"

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

    I worked at Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    You do get a lot of autonomy and responsibility quickly

    Cons

    Salary is laughable considering the hours required (at least 9:30-6:30, many times later, and some weekends; lunch always at your desk). They will say that bonuses will compensate for that, but that’s not what I heard from other analysts / senior analysts that had received bonuses.

    Management is not approachable and they don’t actually manage. They believe everyone (including the tons that come straight out of university) should be able to manage themselves and their professional development with little to no oversight. Whenever I asked for clarification, structure, or more information, management acted as if I was asking something completely outrageous. Feedback will never be direct, and you’ll get a lot of passive aggressive comments about your performance (rarely to your face).

    Inter-team communication is nonexistent. As an analyst / senior analyst you might go to one or two client meetings, but you won’t be included in (or even know about) the majority of the meetings. Those that you don’t go to you won’t know anything about, until you miss something (that was mentioned in the meeting) and more senior people expect you to have known what happened in the meeting.

    As for the office-life / day-to-day, the NY office (maybe others as well) has incredibly low morale because everyone is overworked, underpaid, and treated poorly. The analysts / senior analysts are really nice and helpful, but again, the morale is pretty low.

    There's incredibly high turnover (in the course of two months, four people left). They're supposedly always hiring, but generally can't keep up with the turnover.

    Advice to Management

    Treat your employees like humans... They might actually stay.

  3. "A time of change, hopefully for the better"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Intelligent colleagues
    Interesting clients
    Ownership opportunities
    Open-door policy in office
    Convenient downtown location

    Cons

    Leadership changes
    Part of a large bureaucracy - needs to answer to WPP Holding company
    Raises and bonuses hard to come by. At times, I've thought it doesn't matter how strong PSB performs, when it's ultimately up to WPP to decide on raises and bonuses and therefore senior PSB management has their hands tied (or it appears this way).

    Advice to Management

    I think management is trying to steer the ship in the right direction with promoting a better culture, and the most recent executive leadership hires have been solid in my opinion.

    I would like to see more collaboration across teams and/or remove the siloed team approach. PSB is still small enough to fluidly work across offices and teams, and I can see a real benefit to this style. More communication is needed about how leadership is investing in growth opportunities, including investments in employees.

    Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates Response

    Aug 9, 2017 – HR

    Thank you so very much for your thorough feedback. Truly appreciate you taking the time and of course, we will make sure to incorporate this as we continue to grow in a positive direction here at... More


  4. "Consider social class and professionalism when hiring."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Floor Supervisor & Customer Service in Denver, CO
    Former Employee - Floor Supervisor & Customer Service in Denver, CO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    They will hire anyone, if you have a criminal back round, they favor hiring you for the end of the year tax deduction. Easy job no sales. You strictly conduct market research interviews.

    Cons

    The employees tend to be very inner city and thug, the equipment is garbage, they have very elementary rules on the call center floor, not a very professional office.

    Advice to Management

    Clean up the office itself and then clean up your staff.

    Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates Response

    Apr 17, 2017 – HR

    Hi! Thank you so much for your feedback. We actually just underwent a complete renovation to our Denver phone room - we stripped it down to the concrete, renovated it and filled it with beautiful... More


  5. "A good starting place"

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

    Pros

    This is a good starting place for anyone who is looking to break into the research field.

    Cons

    You will work a lot of hours. But of course that is to be expected of research consultant

    Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates Response

    Apr 17, 2017 – HR

    Thank you so much for taking the time to review us. Indeed PSB is a great place to start your research career - we pride ourselves our diversity of clients and services, as well as our investment in... More


  6. "Good Place for Those Just Starting Out"

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

    I worked at Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    - friendly analysts
    - relatively straightforward work; simplistic methods employed
    - there is a very clear path for mobility within the company; most analysts who stay for a couple years will be guaranteed an new title and raise

    Cons

    - working overtime and on the weekends; not sufficient compensation
    - the significance of the work doesn't justify the workload and time spent on projects
    - upper management are not available as mentors or for guidance
    - really high turn over rates in all levels of management

    Advice to Management

    - learn to cultivate your analysts to want to stay in the long run
    - genuinely and personally acknowledge the hours analysts put into projects, not just in meetings
    - don't ask analysts to do busy work that you could accomplish with a fraction of your time; and don't ask analysts to do things for you that don't relate to work projects

    Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates Response

    Dec 20, 2016 – Senior Associate

    Hello! Thank you very much for your review. We are glad you had a positive experience here. We will continue to work to improve upon processes in place and take note of your comments. Thanks again... More


  7. "Interesting"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates part-time

    Pros

    Very cool opportunity to work on projects for large and influential companies. Great history as well and friendly people to work with.

    Cons

    The internships sometimes felt like it lacked structure and I often found myself lacking projects to work on.Also seemed like work-life balance was hard sometimes for analysts.

    Advice to Management

    Obviously there are usually more pressing things to tend to than internships but I do wish the internship program was a little more structured and pay was more competitive, would have made it more enjoyable and harder to turn down an offer to come back.

    Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates Response

    Dec 20, 2016 – Senior Associate

    Thank you for your review! We have to disagree and say that the internship program is very pressing and important to us! We are constantly striving to improve our internship program and are taking... More

  8. "Great place to start your career"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Project Manager in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Project Manager in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    You get to have a huge impact on client work from the very beginning. If you're smart and know what you're doing, you will get promoted. You'll get to work on a huge variety of project types, which gives you great experience if you want to move somewhere else. Focus groups, online qualitative, IDIs, flash polls, trackers; in just a few years I pretty much used every methodology you can in market research. VPs and Directors are a great resource, and will teach you and advise you if you ask.

    I also loved my coworokers - not only were they very smart, but they were all very kind and good people, and our office avoided the kind of drama that I often hear about from friends.

    They company is also growing and doing well, so your career prospects are very good if you stick around. Very well known and well respected company.

    Cons

    Hours are tough, and change rapidly depending on client demands. 9:30 AM to 6:30 PM was typical. It often seems that VPs would offer dates to clients way before the client needed something, resulting in a lot of unnecessary fire drills when the client would have been happy to get it later. Work can often be very uneven, with some teams working very hard and others light (though I hear there are changes being made to address this). A lot of this comes with the territory for MR, but worth pointing out. Pay is also on the low side, and there are issues with the parent company that mean promotions and raises only happen at certain times of the year, which can be very frustrating.

    Advice to Management

    Thinking about retention will probably help long term - I feel like they do a really good job of cultivating smart people, but I often see them leave after just a few years. That probably means higher pay, and hiring more people to provide a more tolerable workload for everyone.

    Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates Response

    Dec 20, 2016 – Senior Associate

    Hello, thank you very much for your thorough review. We are taking your feedback into account as we continue to plan for next year and strategize how we can continue to improve as a firm. Thanks... More


  9. "Market Research Intern"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Nice people, interesting work

    Cons

    Same as downsides of any internship, lots of clerical work

    Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates Response

    Dec 20, 2016 – Senior Associate

    Thank you for your review! We are constantly striving to maintain a balance of work we need our interns to do (i.e. clerical work) with interesting work they would like to do. As such, we'd love to... More


  10. Helpful (6)

    "Great first job experience, but most make a quick departure"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    PSB does extremely interesting work with extremely interesting work. Projects are fast paced, which mean long hours are often expected. However, the sheer volume of work that needs to be done means that strong self-starters who pick things up well can quickly take on more responsibility and advance in the company. The people at PSB are young, fun, and interesting, which leads to a strong camaraderie between employees that has existed as long as anyone there can remember. Even if the hours are long, PSB is a fun place to work, and you can advance quickly if you put in the effort.

    Cons

    Most who join PSB leave within a 1-3 year period. Part of this is long hours, and part of this is pay, which is slightly below industry average and doesn't always match up with the amount of work that is expected. Part of this is also likely the nature of who PSB hires -- 22-25 year olds who don't always know what they want to do, and often leave for different industries or grad school. However, these factors together have created a company culture where junior level staff staying longer than 2-3 years is the exception, not the rule, and has now become a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy. There is also the feeling, justified or not, that senior level management often doesn't pay enough credence to views/gripes of junior level staff, and even views them as expendable or interchangeable. The speed of turnover sometimes makes continuity on long-term projects an issue (you'll find yourself discovering and having to recover from mistakes made from the last person, or the person before them), and lack of experience in project and operations teams alike makes some projects more difficult than they otherwise should be.

    Advice to Management

    Justified or not, there is a perception/expectation at PSB that people will leave after a certain amount of time, and that management doesn't care about junior staff. If efforts are made to increase staff retention now, that could pay dividends in the future.

    Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates Response

    Dec 20, 2016 – Senior Associate

    Thank you so much for your detailed review. We truly value our employees at all levels and work year over year to ensure they feel their needs are met. We are taking this feedback into account... More


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