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SAA Reviews

Updated November 28, 2017
24 reviews

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2.8
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Nelson Algaze
17 Ratings

24 Employee Reviews

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  1. "SAA 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 SAA full-time

    Pros

    Generally good benefits - cell phone and gym reimbursement. Organized production team, marketing, and accounting teams. Owners open to change and suggestions

    Cons

    Healthcare is fine for individuals, but very expensive for spouse and family


  2. "Toxic work environment & culture!"

    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
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at SAA full-time

    Pros

    Decent pay & free snacks, that's probably about it.

    Oh, and there's cake sometimes.

    Cons

    -Too many cliques and even more gossip. Co-workers say horrible things about each other on the Skype instant message system they have installed on everyone's computer, making it even easier to talk sh_t about people without getting caught. (Unless you accidentally leave it up on your computer screen...)

    -If you are not apart of the main design group, you will be 100% shunned and ignored. The people here are not very friendly, & I definitely didn't feel welcomed when I first started. Barely anyone introduced themselves to me, so here I was stuck with my couple of teammates shoved in a corner. Few people could even mutter a 'Good morning', 'Hello', nothing. They simply walk past you and avoid eye contact.

    -You will feel like an AutoCAD robot. Except you won't have much work to do. So you'll feel like a useless AutoCAD robot, with an unfilled timesheet.

    -The building is not the best, very dated and uninspiring. Just a white box, with white benches, with a sea of black monitors everywhere. No color. Zero privacy, no panels or dividers whatsoever. I found it extremely distracting to work this way. The acoustics were horrible, as there were all unfinished cement floors. The kitchen is horrendous and looks like it's straight out of the 80's or that ugly phase of the early 90's. I guess all the cool people get to sit upstairs.

    -The "Summer hours" ("half day Fridays") are a joke! They have "shifts" and sometimes you are forced to come in the later half of Friday, which completely defeats the purpose of having a half day Friday!If I can't beat the rush hour traffic, then what is the point?? Isn't that the point? Traffic was absolutely horrendous in that area, just to stroll into the office and have nothing to do. Not fun.

    -As previously mentioned, most of the time you will have no work to do. (At least I didn't.) Just picture 30 hours a week of just sitting there, doing nothing, pretending to be busy. When you finally DO get work, it will be the most boring project you could possibly imagine. As the previous reviewer said, "SAA is really nothing more than paint + carpet". I really wish I would have never taken this position. I do not recommend working here!

    Advice to Management

    Slap some color on those walls aside from that horrendous orange you put in the hallway. Maybe just demo the entire kitchen while you're at it.

    You need better business development so that you can get more work/ better projects. The CEO needs to be more present and train the leadership better so that maybe it will trickle down.

    Clean house and start over, like the previous reviewer mentioned.

  3. "Employee"

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

    I worked at SAA full-time

    Pros

    Great health benefits, Gym reimbursement, chair massages, Friday wine downs and for the most part the people on teams were fun to work with. Orange County office by far was the most fun.

    Cons

    New management, work environment became hostile. Upper management had little to no regard on how their employees were doing. All about profit and business. No appreciation for their employees who did all the work. Very litttle room for advancement.

    Advice to Management

    Take of care your employees and they will take care of your business. Clients don't come first, your employees do.


  4. "No loyalty to employees"

    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
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at SAA full-time

    Pros

    Good benefits, excellent PTO, partial gym reimbursement. The Managing Director of Culver City and Downtown LA is great.

    Cons

    CEO talks a good game but when it comes down to it, he is not a good guy. He badmouths his partner on a regular basis. The best people on the executive team were let go a couple years ago.

    Advice to Management

    Live by the supposed core values of the company.


  5. "SAA"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Designer in Newport Beach, CA
    Former Employee - Designer in Newport Beach, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Many social events, everybody is polite and willing to help you, the opportunity to advance in terms of salary and position and training is good.

    Cons

    -like any other company salary could be a bit higher
    -work can become monotonous
    -project are mostly office spaces(Tenant Improvement)


  6. "Shlemmer + Algaze + Associates, Interiors & Architecture"

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

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

    Pros

    Ability to collaborate across multiple internal offices in different geographic areas with current technology platforms that significantly enables projects to progress at a faster pace. Investment in up to date rendering software that leads to increased productivity.

    Tuition reimbursement program that supports overall career development.
    Good work/life balance and flexible work week schedules (to accommodate that L.A. traffic, it’s no joke, studies rank LA traffic world’s worst; thank goodness for Waze and the commuter benefits). Summer hours are great!

    Mid to large size company with a small firm “feel”, co-workers are ambitious and determined individuals that are easy to get along with. There is great satisfaction working with equally committed and passionate indivudals collabartively developing concepts and watching those concepts transform into a client’s reality.

    Recently renovated work spaces in Downton Los Angeles and Culver City – fresh organic fruit and snacks in the offices – wine down Fridays – monthly massage - bottomless coffee (if you’re into that sort of thing) - the views are awesome from 12th floor of the DTLA office!

    Dynamic and passionate President that genuinely cares about the employees. This is evident through his willingness to engage everyone and connect on a personal level regardless of your role in the firm.

    Cons

    No so much cons but rather improvements:

    Medical plan offering is good (13 medical plans to choose from, some at no cost for single coverage) but could be better by offsetting more of the family premiums.

    Would be good if there was an employee lounge area with video games (WII, X-box, pool table etc.).

    Could do better at recognizing great employee performance at the firm level versus at the office level.

    Offer cross-training between the different Studios/Disciplines.

    Advice to Management

    Although there are logistical challanges, it would be good to have senior management be more of a physical presence at each of the offices on a regular basis.


  7. "Project Design Lead"

    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 SAA full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    ● many company wide perks such as chair massages, summer Fridays, happy hours, etc.
    ● one-on-one meetings with directors provide staff to voice concerns/opinions.
    ● pleasant working environment and staff.
    ● great work/life balance

    Cons

    ● extra hours may be required when deadlines occur, as with most architectural + design firms.

    SAA Response

    Jun 14, 2017 – Director of Marketing

    Thank you for your review. We appreciate that you understand the importance of providing feedback during your one-on-one meetings. That open communication is critical to help the company grow and... More

  8. "SAA"

    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

    Pros

    SAA is a great place to work!

    Cons

    Benefits are not that great.

    SAA Response

    Jun 14, 2017 – Director of Marketing

    Did you know SAA has 16 hours annuity for charitable contribution time off and chair massage day? If you are referring to the actual benefits or the cost of the health insurance, we currently offer... More


  9. Helpful (3)

    "Political, Unethical, Bad Culture"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Project Manager in Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - Project Manager in Los Angeles, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Good place to learn if you are a young designer out of school. Low pay

    Cons

    Poor management, part time CFO, part time HR. CEO wants to be a Gensler and copies their strategies without having a clear vision that applies to SAA and where the company is at today.

    Although the CEO sells the company as a "large design firm" there's only 3 people in San Francisco and 1 person in New Jersey.

    The company is run as a mom and pop business, all locations are disjointed and there is no clear direction.

    You will not get any praises or acknowledgement here. No raises, bonuses or yearly reviews. No mentors or role models.
    Managers get no training and everyone rins their team however they can.

    There's 20 mamagers, no room for growth here. High turnover. Good people leave constantly because they dont get a raise or a promotion.

    The owner keeps profit all to himself and doesnt invest in his people.

    The culture is horrible, everyone points fingers at each other.

    NOT A GOOD PLACE TO WORK!!

    Advice to Management

    Your people are your best asset, invest in their growth that will lower the turn over.

    Get some structure and a strong management team with individuals who have a business background, not just designers in management roles. Is not working.

    Share the profit, reward people financially.
    Pay people well and choose carefully who you hire.

    Stop the politics, there's too much negative gossip in this place. People at all levels talk bad about the company internally and externally.

    SAA Response

    Jun 14, 2017 – Director of Marketing

    Thank you for your review. We completely agree that our people are our best asset! It seems like you left during a transition period because many of these items have been addressed or have changed... More


  10. Helpful (3)

    "Used to be a good place to learn."

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

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

    Pros

    When I started working here, I learned tons of architecture knowledge working with my specialized team. I was introduced to a vast knowledge of construction. They let me join them with client meetings and construction visit.

    Cons

    No room for advancement. Just Selected employees are getting the benefits of designing. They don't explore their employees talent. Your stuck whatever you are doing from first date of hire. Even if you spent time for free to present alternative design they will just dump it in the trash! No words, no acknowledge etc!

    Advice to Management

    Value your employees that works below PM level. It is not just the PM who brings money on the table. That's why architects firm are called TEAM they all contribute to make that lines into reality!

    SAA Response

    Jun 14, 2017 – Director of Marketing

    Everything about a successful company starts with a team! We completely agree that all SAA’s successes have come from the collaborative efforts of many talented individuals working toward a common... More


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