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Rise Interactive Reviews

Updated February 16, 2018
108 reviews

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2.5
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Rise Interactive Founder & CEO Jon Morris
Jon Morris
73 Ratings

108 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • My first few weeks working here I learned more about digital marketing than I did in the past year combined (in 12 reviews)

  • Company culture is eclectic and electric (in 11 reviews)

Cons
  • Other reviewers have stated it - work/life balance is basically non-existent (in 12 reviews)

  • While this creates amazing opportunities, it also sometimes create growing pains (in 7 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (3)

    "Unique and outside the box (Completely Organic Review)"

    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 Rise Interactive full-time

    Pros

    *Variety of free refreshments: fresh fruit, vegetables, coffee machines, tea, and flavored water machine
    *Student loan assistance
    *Free gym on site
    *Commuter benefits
    *Parental leave, both for new moms and dads
    *Encouraging, welcoming and supportive teams
    *Energetic, diverse culture
    *Growth opportunities
    *Challenging, various tasks
    *Happy hours and other company wide social events
    *Free beer, wine and other treats on Fridays

    Overall, being a part of Rise is an exciting adventure! The Executives are down to earth - they join you for lunch, treat you to lunch, take you out for coffee, take you out to events or will have a drink with you. Everyone is responsive and works to achieve the goal - whether it's client related or if it's your own personal development. Your brain will definitely get a workout here as well - new challenges arise frequently. This should be expected as the internet is a changing, competitive market. You're not "pigeon-holed" either. Rise Interactive is a place where you have plenty of opportunity to learn, grow and gain a lot of experience.

    Cons

    Sometimes the place can get noisy - usually celebrating a win, but other times it's challenge related and everyone is trying to solve the challenge. Communication can be an issue as well - you could find yourself asking for the needed direction that was originally neglected, causing rework.

    Advice to Management

    Keep on being down to earth and utilize those who are ambitious to make Rise a memorable experience that is different from others!

    Rise Interactive Response

    Sep 5, 2017 – Director, Employee Services

    Thank you for the review and feedback. We are glad to see that you have highlighted many of our favorites things about our work environment from the challenging work and opportunities to some of our... More


  2. Helpful (6)

    "Great place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Rise Interactive full-time

    Pros

    Management really cares about the employees

    Cons

    A lot of layoffs since I have been an employee

    Rise Interactive Response

    Jan 22, 2018 – Director, Employee Services

    Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts. We appreciate the feedback about management and the concern about layoffs. As business needs change, sometimes we have to realign our resources... More

  3. Helpful (12)

    "RISE Loves to work the most skilled to the bone... then spit you out. There is no loyalty."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    *Variety of free refreshments
    *Student loan assistance
    *Free gym on site
    *Commuter benefits
    *Parental leave, both for new moms and dads
    *Encouraging, welcoming and supportive teams
    *Energetic, diverse culture
    *Growth opportunities
    *Challenging, various tasks
    *Happy hours and other company wide social events
    *Free beer, wine and other treats on Fridays.

    So if you're hungry all the time, you'll love it.

    Work hard, save your money, and stick it out if you can. When they lay you off or you decide to leave, you'll have a great resume, and can easily gain a position at a much larger corporation with better pay.

    Cons

    *If you want advancement, kiss your manager's butt.
    Rise does not promote based on skill. I have watched many very talented, the most talented people passed over, while people who try their best to look like their doing work prevail. The one difference? Kissing butt.

    *Are you highly skilled? PROCEED WITH CAUTION.
    They will work you 70+ hours a week at times, while the CEO, COO, and President live their happy lives.

    *No Loyalty from Rise.
    You will love the flavored water, restaurants, beer Friday's, etc. However, at any moment, the company can and will call you into a meeting and let you go. Entire teams of people sometimes. The turnover is incredible. Rise will only protect their bottom-line. You will be used as long as they need your particular skill or for as many bodies as they need to fulfill their projects. Once they've received their money and no longer need you, you are out.

    Advice to Management

    Learn to listen to your employees. It's your weakest point.

    Promote by skill. You have a lot of management who know much less than their staff. The reason management does well is the dedicated skilled workers you actually do have.

    Gain a sense of loyalty, even just a little-bit. You fire your best people to save a buck. Your reputation proceeds you. Many skilled people, who are friends, associates, colleagues at other thriving companies have heard of you before you put out the open positions listing, and many of them refuse to apply.

    Congrats! You grew up and created a company that treats their best like trash.


  4. Helpful (12)

    "If you're joining the innovation (product) team...beware. Everyone else seems happy though."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    - Team has much autonomy on implementation details
    - Benefits are pretty good
    - Great office space
    - People are mostly friendly and jerks aren't hired
    - Most are willing to put in the extra hours to get their work done as best as possible
    - Middle and upper management are really trying their best to make the best situation happen with what they got
    - If you're in any other team other than Innovation (product)...you got a pretty good company here
    - The company uses tools to try to identify the areas that need most improvement

    Cons

    - There is this fake sense of teamwork that seems to be mostly talk and not walk. Collaboration is not natural.
    - There is a large disconnect between executive leadership and middle management in regards to focus and what provides ROI in the near term vs long term ... which in turn causes middle management to pass the bad leadership downward as a result (to no fault of their own)
    - Turnover is common
    - Team members feel the need to communicate after hours in group team slack channels just to passive aggressively show they are working exhaustively hard and likely get praised for it later
    - Priorities are 100% top down and can change in a moment's notice simply because the CEO said so

    Advice to Management

    At the end of the day you're an ad agency and you function like one and you will continue to make money in an industry full of gaps that you can easily take advantage of...so why skimp on enabling the Product (innovation) team function as a self sustaining team of professionals?

    You still have a few experienced and extremely talented individuals remaining that can truly hockey-stick your business into a new era of growth unlike you've ever dreamed of ... yet you continue to remove valuable resources from them (forcing them to be mostly involved in execution 100% of the time) and continue to frequently focus on asking how long the current project will take.

    Unless you invest in your most talented individuals, Innovation is gonna end up looking like the black knight from monty python and the holy grail and expecting them to still continue to go to war for you with no arms or legs left to give into the fight.

    Rise Interactive Response

    Jan 22, 2018 – Director, Employee Services

    Thank you for the honest feedback. We will ensure that we share your suggestions with leadership as we look for ways to continue to improve the work environment for both the Innovation team and Rise... More


  5. Helpful (16)

    "Keep searching for a real company to do business with that values both their employees and customers."

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

    Pros

    None. See cons to gain a better understanding of the type of culture one should expect to deal with either as a client or employee.

    Cons

    Laid off many developers just prior to the holidays to save money. This speaks volumes about the type of company Rise is, its lack of leadership and its disregard for customers. Avoid like the plague and find yourself a company with leadership that has some values and cares for its employees and clients.

    Rise Interactive Response

    Jan 22, 2018 – Director, Employee Services

    Running an organization can be hard. Our leaders make the best decisions possible after a lot of review and discussion. Those decisions are not entered into lightly and it grieves us to have to say... More


  6. Helpful (18)

    "Great if you're 22, get out immediately after"

    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
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Rise Interactive full-time

    Pros

    You will learn a lot of random stuff pertaining to digital marketing. This place is a wonderful stepping stone. For that reason: 5/5 stars. Unfortunately there's a lot more to work than it being a means to an end. So...we move on.

    If you like chips, they give you chips and snacks. Don't ask for a raise though, that's chip money, pal!

    They have a nice $10,000 coffee machine. Boy does it make the best coffee ever! Wouldn't it have been great if that money went to the employee salaries? No, of course it wouldn't. Otherwise we wouldn't have a coffee machine!

    Do you really enjoy a glass ceiling? Ah, Rise has one of the biggest and best in all of Chicago. That glass is real sturdy.

    Cons

    No middle management. Nope. It doesn't exist. You work tirelessly and no one can help you. Your manager is there to listen to your concerns and voice those same concerns about their own career to their manager. You can ask for a raise but they will make you list reasons why you're deserving. Trust me, I had this day. I asked for an industry-average amount of money, and thankfully I found a place that could pay me that.

    Another con is they're trying to do anything but pay you more. If you speak up against them, they will fire you. Since my departure, they have cleaned out the place.

    They make you time track everything. They even make you time track the time you spend time tracking.

    Advice to Management

    Oh, gosh. I have none. Management doesn't care about Glassdoor. They used to be a 4.0 in 2016...

    Rise Interactive Response

    Oct 31, 2017 – Director, Employee Services

    Thank you for the review. Rise does, in fact, care about Glassdoor feedback and this response is an indication of our concern. We recently launched a new employee survey platform, are conducting exit... More


  7. Helpful (14)

    "Executive Administrator"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Executive Administrator in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Executive Administrator in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Rise Interactive full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Casual dress and come and go as you please

    Cons

    Very juvenile and backstabbing environment. If you are smart, that wont be rewarded. If you can cheerlead aged men with titles not commensurate with their expirience then youll do just fine.

    Advice to Management

    Jon should gut the place and get seasoned officers verses frat friends.

    Rise Interactive Response

    Oct 19, 2017 – Director, Employee Services

    Thank you for your feedback. Rise has worked hard over the course of the year to hire industry leaders and experts to continue to improve the diversity of thought and experience. This has led to... More

  8. Helpful (25)

    "Rise was a disappointment on so many levels."

    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
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    There are still some fantastic, highly intelligent people who work at Rise, despite all the chaos and drama.

    The health benefits are top-notch. Many of the entry-level employees don't realize this because they have never had to worry about health insurance coverage before, but as someone who has had several jobs in digital, the benefits are truly amazing.

    Other perks include: free gym membership, free snacks, nice kitchen area, relaxed dress code.

    Cons

    One of the cons that bothered me from the start is that 100% of the executive leadership team is white males who have known each other for years and years. The only real diversity that exists in the company (on an intersectional level) is among the most entry-level positions, and even among those positions, diversity is scarce. It's sad, but until that changes, I honestly don't think much progress (think top-down) will be made among any of the issues mentioned here.

    Work/life balance and lack of resource management is by far the number one issue I personally faced and that so many of my coworkers faced at Rise. It honestly became unbearable; 70 hour weeks were a regular occurance. The Sales and Account Management teams have little to no idea how to scope for new client projects because they are not the one's physically executing the digital marketing campaigns. Consequently, Account Management constantly questions and distrusts the channel teams use of billable time, causing constant friction between internal teams.
    The root of this problem is that since Sales and Account Management are directly client facing, they make endless promises in order to win business quickly, and this has an incredibly negative domino effect on all of the execution channel teams. Due to the lack of accurate scoping, lack of clear project timelines, and lack of general resource management, your personal life, mental health and relationships will likely suffer as mine did while working at Rise.

    In some cases, Consultants and Account Managers are worked until they become emotionally distraught or physically ill (there is an ex-Riser emotional support group, that is a real thing). Most people describe being "scarred" by Rise, and I know for a fact that I was. I was so overworked that I honestly felt like I was in a blur for so many months. I felt stuck and even brainwashed at times because the pressure to perform at lightning speed was so encouraged at Rise that it became habitual. A part of me actually bought-in to it all (The "Rise Way" of "Being All In" and "Providing Remarkable Experiences") for several months thinking my insane, unhealthy work ethic would help get me promoted sooner or perhaps help me gain the recognition needed to help push through to the next level. As that premise faded and as my understanding of the lack of leadership and organization developed, I was able wake up to reality with the support of friends and family and started looking for new opportunities.

    If you decide to take a sick or PTO day to compensate for being so overworked, you'll likely still be emailed/called/texted throughout the day with random requests, thus fueling the resentment cycle again and again. There is no protection or boundaries put in place to prevent this from this happening. Rise's work culture is modeled from the top-down.

    Emails are sent out at all hours of the day, 7 days a week, by all levels of the organization. This brews a culture of "you should always be checking online, always thinking about work" no matter if you are at a family funeral or trying to enjoy spring break in the Caribbean with your best friends. Looking back on this, I deeply regret missing out on several special family moments due to being so caught up with the work pressure I was under.

    The work environment seems pretty nice when you are given your initial tour of the space (Nap pods that no one uses? Check. Fancy lights that make it seem like you're going to be working in a night club? Check.), but within 1 month of working at Rise you'll experience uncomfortable, cramped spaces and headaches from the loud noises. As another reviewer put it, it’s a frat-house type of atmosphere that is obnoxious and at times literally impossible to work in (at least once a day you'll hear an F-bomb being shouted around the office, people talking over one another, etc. ). There is so little personal space or privacy to get work done with the current "open concept" set-up of high-school looking lunch tables and large monitors overflowing on top of one other. I remember feeling professionally embarrassed on many occasions when guests were in the office.

    There is also no formal management training program, which, as you can imagine, will cause a world of issues across the entire company. Since no training program is put in place, very young adults are promoted to management levels after 1 year without ever being taught how to manage a team or several workflows. Due to the knowledge gap here, many times it is the newest employees who suffer the most because their supervisors lack professional experience, clear expectations, resource management and emotional intelligence.

    Pay is not competitive for many of the positions at Rise. I know past co-workers who quickly left and went to another agency that paid a full 15% higher for the same exact position, except now they work less hours and receive better treatment. Rise discourages salary negotiations and will tell you that you have the "highest possible" pay range for your position.

    Rise has "All Hands Meetings" where the whole staff meets every other week. These meetings were required but after awhile they made me feel sick to my stomach because I felt like they were being used to drown employees with what I'll call the "Rise Kool-aid". The executives use this meeting to fluff up employees for the week using the same regurgitated Rise-branded language. These meetings were too long, extremely repetitive, and felt disingenuous.

    Advice to Management

    It's pretty simple: if you respect your employees' time, their personal lives, their hard work, and their health, they will stay loyal to you. If you don't, they will most certainly leave. Hire new executives from the outside who recognize this simple concept and start creating much-needed change at Rise.

    Rise Interactive Response

    Sep 5, 2017 – Director, Employee Services

    I'm truly sorry to hear that your time at Rise was such a disappointment. Many of the areas you have commented on directly are being addressed by senior leadership and our Employee Services team from... More


  9. Helpful (3)

    "Honestly, a pretty good place to 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 Rise Interactive full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    If you want to learn a lot about the industry and learn it quick, Rise is a pretty good pick. In comparison to other "digital" agencies in the city, the people at Rise are definitely the most knowledgable about the space. Have seen a lot of people "grow-up" at Rise starting as entry level employees and quickly moving through the agency. Amount of effort put in reflects the amount of opportunity given. Those who treat Rise as a 9-5 job typically don't move up or grow at the company. Those who come in and really try to do their best work are rewarded.

    Rise has a pretty heavy focus on feedback, each week managers and their reports have 30 min in person meetings to ensure everyone gets face-time with their boss. No concept of yearly reviews. Feedback, promotions, raises don't come on a set cadence.

    Great culture and benefits are above average in comparison to other agencies. Healthcare is mostly paid by Rise. Snacks, coffee, cold brew in the cafe. WFH policy, etc.

    Cons

    Some reorganizations over the last year were confusing, but the company seems to be in a pretty good place now.

    Lots of new business poses some challenges with staffing/training

    Growing means challenges that seemed small before are larger issues now

    Advice to Management

    Be a bit more proactive than reactive when it comes to challenges facing the company. Getting out in front of issues before they become problems will only help keep the company moving forward

    Rise Interactive Response

    Aug 30, 2017 – Director, Employee Services

    Thank you for the review and honest feedback. We are working on improving the work experience and environment and while we have faced some challenges as we grow we are confident we can continue to... More


  10. "SR AE"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Rise Interactive full-time

    Pros

    Loads of pros besides the pay

    Cons

    Not a ton of cons, outside of pay


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