Singularity University Reviews | Glassdoor

Singularity University Reviews

Updated October 5, 2017
37 reviews

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3.5
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Rob Nail
25 Ratings

37 Employee Reviews

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  1. Featured Review

    Helpful (4)

    "Great place to work! Awesome mission"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Website Manager in Reno, NV
    Current Employee - Website Manager in Reno, NV
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    - Incredible benefits and peers to work with
    - Excellent company vision
    - Lots of new and exciting things constantly happening directly with the company and indirectly

    Cons

    - Lots of transitions when I first started and things were quite hectic
    - Some of the objectives were not well defined, but now things have changed and the company seems to have made great strides in improvement here

    Advice to Management

    All the changes that have happened in the last 6 months have been super positive, really looking forward to this new evolution !


  2. "Amazing culture!"

    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

    Amazing projects in the pipeline!

    Cons

    It's either you're part of a really good team or a not so good one.

  3. Helpful (2)

    "Great energy, great mission"

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

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

    Pros

    Amazingly talented colleagues.
    Work that is cutting edge in creating social impact.
    Awesome events - we are really good at conferences and I get to attend some of them

    Cons

    Growing pains for a company at this size: how to have the right amount of process; holding executives accountable for results

    Advice to Management

    Set goals and communicate about them a lot! Let's drive our financial goals.


  4. "Great company to start your career but don't expect much"

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

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

    Pros

    Impact driven organization with a great mission
    People are bright
    Flexible with employees working remote or on-site
    Many of the company's products rely on in-person events and so there's always something happening at least 2 to 3 weeks out of the month; free food.
    Each month the company hosts Lunch and Learn events for employees to learn about emerging tech and their ethical implications.
    Unlimited PTO....if you remember to use it

    Cons

    For a small company of 100 employees, it is trying to be perceived like a large organization by implementing processes hindering progress; thinking linearly rather than exponentially.
    Some teams are mismanaged and do not align with the organization's overall mission/goal, which often times become disruptive.
    Company has an editorial department that does not generate revenue but is perceived as a "business unit"...

    Advice to Management

    If you want the organization to succeed, we need to practice what we preach. Exponential growth does not happen with check-points and box-checkers along the way. There's too many "managers" who add no value and who simply impose checks and balances to justify their existence.


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Stay far away"

    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 Singularity University full-time

    Pros

    There are smart, nice people here.

    Cons

    Unethical management consistantly promise people one job, then pressures them into accepting 3x, 5x, 10x more work. Burnout it very common.

    Advice to Management

    Treat your people like they have value.


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Great Mission, Lacks Long-term Plan!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Director in Mountain View, CA
    Current Employee - Director in Mountain View, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Singularity University full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    - exciting mission that draws in people who care
    - friendly and collaborative environment
    - opportunity to be exposed to great thinkers and leaders
    - flexible/remote workplace
    - open and transparent dialogue is encouraged

    Cons

    - lack of organizational processes and procedures which makes achieving results hard
    - no real perks compared to other SV startups
    - lack of vision from leadership
    - no process for feedback and weeding out bad/incompetent performers

    Advice to Management

    - Draw out a plan and stick to it!
    - Foster a culture that excites and rewards the right kind of people


  7. "A great mission with not so great execution"

    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

    I have been working at Singularity University full-time

    Pros

    Mind opening and a great place to learn.
    The mission is amazing and truly commendable.

    Cons

    The mission is diluted by each level of management.
    The mission of positive global impact overshadows the direct impact the company should have with its employees; so it gets ignored.

    Advice to Management

    Figure out what your true focus is.

  8. "Leadership Struggling to Articulate the Message"

    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
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Singularity University full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    - Passionate, creative, and collaborative co-workers
    - Some growth opportunities and career advancement, along with an inspirational network of current and former employees.
    - B-corp on a mission for impact, which is easy to endorse
    - Unlimited PTO
    - Flexible work schedule
    - Employee events & an effort to maintain company culture
    - free snacks and drinks in the kitchen; free meals occasionally.

    Cons

    - As the company grows, it seems like the leadership struggles more and more to articulate the mission of the organization and provide a clear direction; Employees at the coordinator, manager, and director level are left to fend for themselves.
    - Hiring on the basis of cronyism and "who you know" rather than the work that you have done or what you can bring to the role.
    - Unchecked sexism and sexual harassment in the community (staff, faculty, participants).
    - Little to no management training
    - High employee turn-over; general employee dissatisfaction.
    - Raises/promotions are frequent for people "at the top" (C-suite, EVP, VP), but very uncommon for coordinators and managers.

    Advice to Management

    Make sure your employees know what they are working towards. Set goals, publish them publically, and stick to them. Hire good people managers and invest in training the managers that you already employ. Take a stance against inappropriate behavior in your community and work to build a safe working environment for your employees. The mission of SU is inspirational and worthy, but it fails in execution due to poor direction of the leadership. With a little more clarity and stability, SU can be the "exponential organization" that it longs to be.


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Managing Director"

    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 Singularity University full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    - Company has a mission that goes beyond making money, and the B-corp structure codifies that.
    - Good compensation and benefits (e.g. health care, unlimited PTO)
    - The organization always tries very hard to do the right thing. Intent counts.
    - Ability to learn about and work with the latest technology and ideas
    - Excellent faculty
    - Legitimate focus on empowering employees to succeed.
    - I'm granted a lot of autonomy
    - I am trusted and my work is valued.
    - Flexible work schedule and work environment
    - Real commitment to iterative improvement
    - Paths for growth within the company - they're very good about promoting from within
    - As a manager, I appreciate the outstanding support from HR. Our EVP of People is the best HR person I've ever worked with.

    Cons

    It has the standard growing pains of a company transitioning from small- to medium-sized, but I feel like senior management understands and is working hard to address these pains so I'm happy with the progress and the process.

    The schedule can be pretty intense if you work programs, but there's a lot of flexibility outside of those times.

    Advice to Management

    I'm encouraged to see all of the organizational work that's been done over the last year, especially hiring (and promoting from within) some very strong performers. I think Rob's team is top notch, from the EVPs to the EAs - outstanding hires, all of them.

    I'd like to see more clarity on the mission and values of the company. I feel like we're part of the way there, but having that clarity for our five-year vision will really help.


  10. Helpful (3)

    "A Lot of Talk"

    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

    I have been working at Singularity University full-time

    Pros

    The job and tasks it came with were exiting and fresh. Lots of really well intentioned and intelligent people working at this company.

    Cons

    I was excited to work at a Benefit Corporation that had also decided to register as a B-Corps; unfortunately very few members of the leadership team could even tell you the difference between the two. If you are someone who wants to achieve big social change and impact in the world, direct your energy into a different avenue. Trying to influence a change in approach from within is a dead end. There was no training, coaching, or even feedback offered on any regular basis. Employee talent often goes unrecognized. You need to know how to navigate a strong political game or you will be left completely isolated. There is a severe lack of women in leadership. There is also a lot of talk about "Impact" being in the DNA of the company with the belief that it will somehow manifest itself without any intentionality. Being an education company they have a lot of theories and hypotheses about impact work but offer no insight to program participants or staff on how to actually implement and realize impact. Their compensation and promotion opportunities are severely skewed and rewards roles typically held by males in leadership positions.

    Advice to Management

    Balance your gender ration internally. Invest in developing, coaching, and training of your staff. Bring in fresh perspectives on your business model and impact and don't be afraid to innovate and cut off old programs that are completely unscalable.


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