SmithBucklin Reviews | Glassdoor

SmithBucklin Reviews

Updated June 20, 2017
172 reviews

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Full-time Part-time

3.6
Star Star Star Star Star
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Approve of CEO
SmithBucklin CEO Matt Sanderson
Matt Sanderson
30 Ratings

172 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Experience that in many cases someone so green would not get the opportunity to learn (in 9 reviews)

  • Good work/life balance; Good benefits; ability to work on many different activities (in 8 reviews)

Cons
  • Work-life balance is non-existent (in 21 reviews)

  • No work-life balance or room to advance (in 8 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (1)

    "Association Management on Steroids"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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.


  2. "Great opportunity to grow my career"

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

    Pros

    I have had the opportunity to be in several very different roles within SmithBucklin--each giving me new challenges and the ability to create great relationships with client organizations

    Cons

    Some people don't thrive in this intense of a work environment

    Advice to Management

    Stay on the path you are on--great changes in the company over the past 18 months.


  3. Helpful (1)

    "Love the employee benefits!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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 8 years)

    Pros

    There are some wonderful benefits to working at SmithBucklin. The employee stock option, scholarship program, all the learning outlets they provide is better than any other place I've worked. I recommend working here!

    Cons

    All the pros weigh out the cons in my case.


  4. "Employee Owned!"

    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 SmithBucklin full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great place to work, learn and become part of the family of employee stock owners. Great benefits and exciting fast paced office environment.

    Cons

    It would be nice to have a gym in the building.


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Enjoy the work and the company"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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 8 years)

    Pros

    The company has created a culture that allows for continually personal development and growth. I was able to start at entry level and through the challenging and engaging work I was given receive several promotions.
    Not only are the people that work here caring on a personal level but they are passionate about their work. I've also enjoyed the opportunity to meet leaders in the different industries and from across the world that we serve.

    Cons

    Due to the nature of the work, it's not a 9-5 job. There are times when you have to work evenings and weekends.


  6. Helpful (8)

    "Just. Say. No."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    You can get a lot of experience in a short amount of time, as others have pointed out, but so what? Trust me, it is better to take 2 years to learn the business somewhere else rather than get it in 9 months in this type of environment.

    Cons

    Zero transparency and zero regard for employees, other than senior management's current pets.
    - Yes, most of the glowing reviews are fake and everyone knows it. It's really stupid to continue them, but I guess they are trying to keep the percentages for 'refer to a friend' and 'approve of CEO' high and hope no one will really read the negative reviews or believe them.
    - Lots of unqualified folks in management, lots of cliques and junior high behavior.
    - Learn to like being under the bus because you will be there a lot. Never seen such a culture of finger pointing and blame. And every task is a fire drill. Somehow the management seems to be under the impression that SB is performing life-saving surgery 24/7, as nothing can wait till the next day (unless, of course, you are one of the lucky 1% and need to beat the traffic or get a haircut or something).
    - Lots of phony team-building stuff, like bringing in snacks or lunch or having a happy hour (after office hours, natch!). Yeah, I want to have a beer with the folks who are either the ones throwing me under the bus or those under the bus with me!

    Advice to Management

    The company needs a radical overhaul and a fresh approach, not a continuation of what they've been doing for years and years. The world has changed, and so have employee attitudes and what they expect from an employer. You can't continue to thrive with the attitude that the employer has all the power in the employer-employee relationship.


  7. "Fantastic place to work!"

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

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

    Pros

    I have been with SmithBucklin for more than three years and continue to be impressed by the caliber of employees, the positive supportive culture, and the sense of camaraderie. I feel as though the company has my back, which these days seems rare. These folks have integrity! I also appreciate the autonomy I am afforded. I feel trusted and appreciated , not just as an employee, but as a person.

    Cons

    Nothing comes to mind. I have had no concerns during my employment.

    Advice to Management

    Keep doing what you're doing!


  8. "Like a family"

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

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

    Pros

    Dedicated, well-intentioned, hard-working employees are greatly valued. In return, you are treated like a member of a tightly-knit family. The people here actually care about you. The work is fulfilling, meaningful and challenging. You will never be bored if you have initiative and drive.

    Cons

    Like any family (and any company), it has its issues. Acknowledge them and doing what you can to help resolve them. This is how it works in a family.

    Advice to Management

    never stop listening


  9. Helpful (7)

    "Pit-stop for college grads"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Associate in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Associate in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Decent benefits. I was lucky to have good managers that were competent and considerate.

    Cons

    If you look at the reviews, you'll see two or three glowingly positive reviews posted in quick succession after a scathing review is published. So that tells you a little about the culture here and how unwilling upper management is to address problems and make changes.

    Turnover is a serious problem, and for good reason. They hire kids right out of college or desperate individuals looking for work who don't know what they're getting into. Employees are worked to the bone for below-average pay, and overtime isn't just encouraged, it's expected. Work-life balance is non-existent. I worked here for two years and couldn't tell you 10 things about any of the people I worked with. I'm a social person, but the culture was just dead. And with people coming and quitting so often, I think a lot of employees give up on trying to make friends. The costs of hiring and training new people must be staggering, at the pace they're going at now. Even with the constant revolving door, opportunities for advancement are slim to none. I gave up on ever getting a promotion, as did many of my coworkers.
    The company's financial outlook doesn't look so sunny, either. Performance this year was lackluster at best.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to your people when they tell you something is wrong. When you hire good talent, make an effort to keep them.


  10. Helpful (5)

    "Beware of what is told vs what you actually get"

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

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

    Pros

    Decent benefits, office in central location downtown Chicago

    Cons

    People tend to throw you under the bus as others have stated. You work in teams but they will blame you when things are wrong or don't go right to save their own behinds. No one likes to take responsibility. Many managers don't know how to manage or speak in a professional manner. Some even micro-manage. Turnover seems to be high and the work is given to the people already there who are already overworked! No work-life balance or room to advance.

    Advice to Management

    Put better people in management positions and train them! Stop over working people and teach a team oriented environment.


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