SmithBucklin Reviews in Chicago, IL | Glassdoor

SmithBucklin Chicago Reviews

Updated October 22, 2017
117 reviews

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Chicago, IL

3.4
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SmithBucklin CEO Matt Sanderson
Matt Sanderson
27 Ratings

117 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • Work-life balance is non-existent (in 23 reviews)

  • No work-life balance or room to advance (in 9 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (1)

    "Young company, exciting and fast paced"

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

    I have been working at SmithBucklin full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    - Work on many interesting projects
    - You can make a difference in a variety of industries
    - Interesting work and they give you access to clients
    - Employee owned (its awesome!)

    Cons

    - Need to be on your A game
    - Multi-tasking is a must
    - Need to be comfortable with change

    Advice to Management

    Keep seeking out and listening to people the change in dress code and expense polices means you are listening to us!


  2. Helpful (6)

    "Proceed with Caution"

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

    I worked at SmithBucklin full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    You will gain invaluable project management experience while working at SmithBucklin, no matter which business or service unit you work in. Other pros: benefits, travel opportunities, location, networking opportunities.

    Cons

    This company has a serious, systemic management problem. If you're hired into a dynamic client team, you may have a good experience. However, the majority of client teams are run by unqualified people managers who've gain their position due to seniority rather than skill. The managers lack the ability to have trasparent, crucial conversations with employees on their teams, and lack the ability to distribute work in a fair and effective manner, which causes an unsettling office/work environment for overworked and underpaid employees. This can also be shown in the company's outstanding turnover rate and inability to retain skilled employees.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to your employees' feedback. Focus on dismantling the political, unsettling office environment. Only hire and/or promote employees to the manager level who prove the ability to lead, motivate and encourage their team members. Take action on the longstanding lack of diversity within the company!

  3. Helpful (1)

    "Great Training Ground"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Sales in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Sales in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Great Benefits, Solid co-workers and colleagues, challenging work,

    Cons

    management plays favorites I know that sounds a bit bitter, and maybe it is, but it's still the truth, There are those in management who do have their favorite people who they encourage and offer opportunities to move ahead and then there are the rest who work just as hard but are looked over, salaries are average at best,

    Advice to Management

    keep everyone on the same footing don't play favorites just because someone is a bit older doesn't mean they're not up to the task.


  4. Helpful (2)

    "Associate"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Associate in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    - Great people at all levels of the company- everyone is supportive of each other and willing to work collaboratively to achieve our mission
    - Full of very knowledge people to interact with and learn from
    - Great work life balance
    - Very positive environment where ideas are encouraged

    Cons

    Projects outside the unit can become difficult because employees have very busy schedules and it is hard to get face to face meetings.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to listen to the feedback employees are providing you with.


  5. Helpful (3)

    "Dirtector IT Services"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - IT Services Director in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - IT Services Director in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at SmithBucklin full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Great Place to work and build career

    Cons

    None that I can think of really

    Advice to Management

    None


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Great company to get your start, or stay for your career"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Association Associate in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Association Associate in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    SmithBucklin does a great job of creating in-house opportunities for growth. If you care about professional development, SmithBucklin is a good match for you. A lot of women work at this company, and I believe that created a great work environment. Really good benefits.

    Cons

    The administrative work can be mind-numbing. It is quite corporate, so be prepared to report on how you spend each 15 minute increment of your day, literally. Pay is not great... you can make more working for a standalone professional association.

    Advice to Management

    Increase the pay! There is no excuse to be paying full-time employees with degrees LESS than $40,000 in a city like Chicago.


  7. Helpful (3)

    "Improvement Needed"

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

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

    Pros

    SmithBucklin is big on professional development and encourages learning. The company as a whole strives to be transparent with employees. They seem to be working towards improvement on company culture. If you like to travel there are a lot of opportunities.

    Cons

    Culture. Although SmithBucklin seems to want to improve their company culture they are moving slow. Onboarding is inconsistent and a rocky experience for most. Employee success, satisfaction, training and work life balance with the position is highly dependant on what team you are placed on. Employee retention is low in my opinion with many leaving within 2 years.

    Advice to Management

    I think the company has a good foundation but needs to work on some concerning inconsistencies with onboarding and training. The company culture needs to catch up with the times.

  8. Helpful (7)

    "Association Management on Steroids"

    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
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    For someone looking to break into association management, this is a great place to start. Lots of opportunity to learn, diverse client base, and some amazing clients and professionals to learn from. Your job won't be the same two days in a row, and you will get experience and responsibility immediately. Room to learn, grow and figure out if the association field is your thing -- and it is not for everyone. If you're lucky enough to get on a good staff team, you may never want to leave!

    Cons

    Long hours, and the luck of the draw when it comes to client assignments and senior staff members who will supervise you. Some are absolutely amazing, and others, well, not so much. But that is no different than any other company in this field. Pay can be below average depending on the assigned client(s) and the staffing model on a particular team. Some office politics and favoritism shown to specific staffers at the expense of others.

    Advice to Management

    Live your published chosen values. They're painted on the walls for a reason. Get rid of some of the troublesome "dead weight" clients -- it's okay to cut clients from the bottom in order to preserve the sanity of your staff teams.


  9. Helpful (4)

    "Event Services Associate"

    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
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at SmithBucklin full-time

    Pros

    As an event services associate you learn a lot and you are integrated in a very fast paced environment. The best part of SB is the people...they have a VERY hardworking and wonderful group of people. Overtime is paid, and you are going to need it! Health benefits are great.

    Cons

    I left SB after a very rough year and half there. Whether you have a positive or negative experience completely depends on what clients you are assigned. SB is growing very quickly and they are understaffed for the amount of work that needs to get done. YOU WILL WORK A LOT OF OVERTIME. For the amount of work that is assigned to associates, you are not getting paid enough and are treated as a machine that just pumps out work. They are also don't mention this in the job description, but accounts receivable will be a huge part of your job.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to your employees. They are overworked and feel very under-appreciated at times. There is very little work life balance and that leads to unhappy employees and more turnover for you guys to deal with. I can only speak to an associate role, but it would be a huge help if you hired people specifically for customer service (emails and phone calls). Also to change the OOO email policy.


  10. "Fun, but stressful"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Membership Associate in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Membership Associate in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great office environment. An office full of mostly women, so it can seem intimidating for some men. Great benefits too!

    Cons

    You will take your work home most nights and do about 2-3 hours from home. You are highly discouraged from billing overtime, even though there is no way to get everything done during the work day.


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