SmithGroupJJR Reviews | Glassdoor

SmithGroupJJR Reviews

Updated November 14, 2017
93 reviews

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4.0
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Mike Medici
13 Ratings

93 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • Big firm, stodgy, very political (in 2 reviews)

  • The ability for professional growth has been limited in my experience (in 2 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Growing, with opportunities"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at SmithGroupJJR full-time

    Pros

    Many opportunities for growth as the company grows

    Cons

    Multiple layers of approvals before moving forward with projects


  2. Helpful (2)

    "Good projects, Bad Work"

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

    I worked at SmithGroupJJR full-time

    Pros

    Win lots of nice looking projects to put in your portfolio. Great learning experience for young staff- for a year or two. Nice people.

    Cons

    No design influence from majority of staff. Design dictated down by design director. Not a lot of thinking outside the box is expected or accepted. Do as you’re told, Status quo. Often hires unqualified candidates. Over worked and under paid. Burnout. Design and sustainability are not thought through and often BS’ed. Think entire buildings designed in a 100 hour work week leading up to deadlines. Staffing/management issues. Money first, design second.

    Advice to Management

    Allow the staff Architects to design the projects- oversight, teaching, and guidance from design director(s), not dictation. Respect staff’s time away from work. Pay for achievements, advances in career. Compensate competitively.

  3. "Best Place to work at"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Architect I in Dallas, TX
    Former Employee - Architect I in Dallas, TX
    Recommends

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

    Pros

    They care about your growth and value.

    Cons

    Lots of travel included. Sometimes asks for overtime.


  4. "Engineer"

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

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

    Pros

    Great opportunities for growth and advancement.
    Great culture, high energy, hard working employees.
    Large backlog of work and job security.
    Fast paced and busy.
    Strong focus on design excellence and innovation.
    Strong focus on growth.
    Good benefits and Fridays off.

    Cons

    Nothing too concerning to mention.

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the good work.


  5. "systemic concerns"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Architect III in Detroit, MI
    Former Employee - Architect III in Detroit, MI
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Many of the people are friendly. Project work can be interesting depending on how you are staffed.

    Cons

    I was recruited out of state to join the firm. The position described to me was healthcare/health science higher education design & planning role. What I did not realize is that planning is siloed from architecture. This arrangement creates a internal dynamic which planners are seen as inferior and not adding value to projects. Design and planning are also physically separated creating coordination problems. The Detroit office also lacks a healthcare studio so there is no ability to collaborate, mentor or learn beyond the office. Detroit and local clients in general are entrenched in a dated culture; a vestige of the auto industry, thus career growth is stifled. Overall, low Detroit wages and cost of living arguments don't justify working for national firm. Limited career growth and awkward office organization remain concerning. I left as other firms came calling offering recognition, collaboration and better pay.

    Advice to Management

    Healthcare studio leaders should consider outsourcing all healthcare planning efforts to other offices. The organization of planning vs architecture is outdated and will continue to suffer from staff turnover. Studio leaders could consider moving out of private offices and make an effort to collaborate with staff to foster growth and leadership, similar to most firms.


  6. "Architect"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Great place to work. Great people.

    Cons

    nothing much to say for cons


  7. "Senior Graphic Designer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Graphic Designer in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Graphic Designer in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    The firm promoted a generally fun, casual environment. There was lots of conversation, good technology support, and open lines to mid-management.

    Cons

    No room for professional growth in my non-architectural professional position. The firm had became very large and corporate.

    Advice to Management

    If the goal is to preserve status quo and protect stock holders, than they are doing the right, conservative thing. If they are interested in bucking trends and creating something new and progressive, then they need to inject a spirit of entrepreneurism into the works.

  8. "Good working environment, OK place to learn"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Intern in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Intern in San Francisco, CA

    Pros

    Great community
    Nice people
    Good work culture
    Good benefits

    Cons

    Not much direction
    You need to look for projects to get assigned with something


  9. "Intermediate Engineer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Intermediate Engineer in Detroit, MI
    Current Employee - Intermediate Engineer in Detroit, MI
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    A lot of opportunities to grow
    Professional Interviewing process
    Good work life balance

    Cons

    Every job has its cons, nothing that really stands out


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Downward Trend"

    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
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at SmithGroupJJR full-time

    Pros

    Has/had a good reputation
    Decent benefits (like Fridays off)
    Some good people
    Treat women well for the most part (many are able to rise up in the company)

    Cons

    People tend to get put in positions for which they don't have the proper experience
    Healthcare area seems to be getting weaker; not doing enough to bring in experienced people
    Design quality lacking; focus on more on project delivery - even if it means doing mediocre work.
    Limited opps for rising beyond a certain level

    Advice to Management

    Bring in experienced people, particularly for design. Increase mentoring of junior staff is those are the people you expect to be your next-generation leaders.


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