Population Services International Reviews | Glassdoor

Population Services International Reviews

Updated May 11, 2017
105 reviews

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3.6
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Population Services International President & CEO Karl Hofmann
Karl Hofmann
64 Ratings

105 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • It's a great place to get involved in international health efforts (in 8 reviews)

  • Good benefits and fair compensation (in 7 reviews)

Cons
  • The work-life balance is compromised with a lot of deadlines that need to be met (in 10 reviews)

  • junior staff worth paying attention to will rise to the top anyway (in 6 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "I was an intern - only there for 2 months"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Former Employee - Supervisor in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Supervisor in Washington, DC

    I worked at Population Services International (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Large group, friendly employees
    Interesting ideas/projects

    Cons

    Didn't involve interns in projects


  2. "Intern"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Intern - Hourly in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Intern - Hourly in Washington, DC
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great experience, paid holidays off, flexible schedule

    Cons

    High workload, interns paid hourly


  3. "Ghastly"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Population Services International (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    I was employed, which is good.

    Cons

    Remarkable arrogance is a cultural norm. Shame they have little tobactual ll y be arrogant about.

    Advice to Management

    Look up the word humility


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  5. Helpful (2)

    "Great global health non-profit with a bottom line focus"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Various Management/Director Level in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Various Management/Director Level in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Population Services International full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Driven culture, focused on results and metrics. Innovative solutions to global health problems, at scale and with great value for money for its donors. Good benefits and fair compensation. Generally well managed with reasonably well functioning systems compared to the industry standard.

    Cons

    Growth, donor priorities and slow cultural shifts away from its original DNA may be making PSI more like others in the same space, i.e. less focused on results and more process oriented. Junior staff do a lot of grunt work with little thanks. People work hard and long hours; if you are not ready for that then PSI is not for you.

    Advice to Management

    Stay true to the "PSI difference", the loss of the edgy culture will come at a cost in the long run. This means being comfortable with real public dissent internally, and taking real risks externally. Donors complain about PSI being this or that, but secretly they like it. If PSI loses that then it becomes mundane and therefor less interesting.


  6. Helpful (4)

    "Marketing"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Amazing passionate people that share same values, specially at country level. Meaningful mission and work. Opportunity to make a difference.

    Cons

    Poor balance between work and personal life. Crazy hours to keep up with work load. New marketing leadership unlike the has no real marketing background with a draconian managing style.


  7. "program Manger"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Program Level in Alexandria, VA
    Former Employee - Program Level in Alexandria, VA
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Interested working at none profit organization on project management .
     population service international is one of the best org dealing with health and other social problems in African.

    Cons

    the program was HIV intervention at work place ,am program manger and 8 individuals was clinical service coordinator and one regional manger was under my supervision

    Advice to Management

    excellent communication and understanding with management team


  8. "PSI-Cameroon"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Consultant In Communication in Chicopee, MA
    Former Employee - Consultant In Communication in Chicopee, MA
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Population Services International (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    PSI/Cameroon promotes health products, services and healthy behaviors that enable low-income and vulnerable people to lead healthier lives.
    Work mostly independently with monthly/weekly/daily objectives to achieve
    Great benefits and compensation (My phone bill and car expenses were paid every month)
    Work with different communities with different background. Enlightening
    There is private university (PSI University) where you can take classes to improve your profile

    Cons

    Well, it's difficult to say.
    I became a better worker and person after my experience with PSI


  9. Helpful (9)

    "Do great work until you can't take it anymore."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - DC Associate in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - DC Associate in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at Population Services International full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    There are many great things about PSI, but here I'll focus on two. First of all, the people who work at PSI are smart, passionate, and committed to increasing choice, access, and knowledge of health products and services for those who need them most (not "helping the poor."). This combination means that PSI runs very effective programs that achieve real change, and they do it mostly without the paternalistic overtones seen at many other NGOs. The second is that PSI truly values innovation and evidence. This again comes through in some of its best international work, but is also true in the day to day office environment. If you have a good idea and can prove that it's a good idea- you are given the opportunity to try it out and see where it will lead. That flexibility and trust makes PSI a great place to work and grow.

    Cons

    From a people perspective, the most disappointing issue I see is that PSI as an organization does not value its junior level staff. I've been told on many occasions that junior staff are replaceable, that if one leaves "we'll receive 200 more applications within a week," that management frequently "forget that junior staff exist," and that the only junior staff worth paying attention to will rise to the top anyway. This manifests in PSI's day to day culture as well. It can be difficult for junior staff to get responses to emails from more senior staff, senior staff are often late or don't show up to meetings held by junior staff, initiatives started by junior staff are marginalized, and senior staff talk over or throw out the meeting plans of more junior staff. Add to this that there are very few defined career paths at PSI, it can be hard for junior staff to find mentors and advocates, and there is a prevailing sense that one has to leave PSI and come back in order to advance on the totem pole. It is no secret that no one works at PSI for the money alone, so it should come as no surprise that time and time again talented and passionate junior staff who love PSI and the work we do hit a wall, realize they deserve better than what they are getting at PSI, and leave. I realize that not everyone who begins a career at PSI will stay, but this turnover represents a huge amount of lost talent and potential for PSI, demotivates those who are left behind, and wastes uncounted sums of time and money finding, hiring, and retraining for each position.

    Advice to Management

    You understandably cannot focus on every issue that PSI has, so instead focus on your managers. Right now we have many managers who are technical experts and can guide PSI well in their area of focus. We have many fewer who are people experts and who can guide people to do excellent work and maintain their passion for PSI. We even have a few managers who are so bad at the people side of what they do that their presence is toxic, and those who work under them are at best inconvenienced and a most actively harmed by their manager's influence. If everyone at PSI had an inspirational manager who truly cared about his/her growth and career, many of PSI's problems would take care of themselves.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Great people, great mission."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Population Services International full-time

    Pros

    Mission driven, proactive and productive, fun people who share your views on life but challenge you, good benefits

    Cons

    Something of an old boys club, trying to work out how it fits into the international development space (this is a positive as it is changing the status quo but it is in flux)


  11. Helpful (6)

    "After almost 26 years......."

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

    I have been working at Population Services International full-time

    Pros

    I'm about to finish an almost 26 year career at PSI. I started as a Country Representative and am now in senior management. I love this place, warts and all. What excites me about PSI is the mix of the social mission and the largely private sector, commercial approach. This leads me to PSI's second biggest attribute: While all NGOs struggle to measure outcomes as a result of their work, PSI does better in this regard than most. Over the years, PSI has evolved tremendously and mostly for the good. Many old negative traits--insularity, a lack of diversity in our leadership, a "go it alone" mentality-- have been stamped out. Despite our massive growth, however, the place is still filled with smart, committed folks who just love to get stuff done.

    Cons

    PSI is a large organization, with revenues in excess of $600M. Our sources of revenue are incredibly diversified. It's a hugely complex beast. This leads to lots of audits and an increasing focus on compliance with donor rules and regulations. While we are proud of our record in spending scarce resources, it's not fun focusing on this stuff as much as we do and must.

    Advice to Management

    I'm very comfortable with the management of PSI. Most senior managers are very competent. I hope the current team stays for a long time.


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