Stevens & Tate Reviews | Glassdoor

Stevens & Tate Reviews

15 reviews

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2.7
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Dan Gartlan
11 Ratings

15 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (1)

    "A long road of ups and downs, learning, mistakes, growth, and ultimately a fond farewell."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Graphic Designer (8 Years)/Creative Manager (II Years) in Lombard, IL
    Former Employee - Graphic Designer (8 Years)/Creative Manager (II Years) in Lombard, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Stevens & Tate full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Stevens & Tate seems to have a knack for finding good people.
    You have a fairly casual environment where you can talk to co-workers, share ideas, and laugh.
    No restricted computer usage.
    Open door policy to discuss issues, frustrations, and concerns.
    Pretty good summer/Christmas company parties.
    There is a decent amount of autonomy. As long as you are organized and plan your time well, you generally can address projects and tasks as you see fit.
    You have a lot of control over your personal growth. No one forces you to change, or learn, or develop weaker skills. Those who take initiative will go far.
    A decent effort is made to stress good interpersonal practices and attitudes.
    Always had quality technology and access to tools to do my job.

    Cons

    There are some pretty intense personalities to deal with in management. It can be intimidating.
    Change for the better is desired and discussed, but it seems like putting it into action is difficult.
    Too much focus on hourly rates/logging hours and profitability.
    Too much production type work and not enough creative projects.
    There seems to be a mould for Creatives to fit in. You need to live and breathe design, know how to draw / do pencils, and be willing to put the work first. If you lack in any of these areas, it can be hard to move up, get promoted, or be trusted. While these are all good traits for a Creative, I think there are other ways to succeed as a designer that the company struggled to accept.

    Advice to Management

    Put more focus on encouraging, rewarding, and trusting the employees.
    Make a career path clear and show employees how to reach those promotions. Don't assume they will just reach for it without some prompting.
    Do not tolerate consistently bad attitudes and those who undermine the organization.
    Pay someone what they're worth, and you'll never have to worry if they're doing the best job they can.
    Make employees feel glad to be part of the team by training them appropriately upfront and guiding them into responsibility. Don't throw them in the deep end without any warning and call that management.
    Let people wear jeans whenever they want. It's a marketing agency for goodness sake!
    Exhibit and practice the organizational principles you uphold as part of your company culture.


  2. Helpful (4)

    "Don't be fooled by slick copywriting - this place is dysfunctional!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Art Director in Lombard, IL
    Former Employee - Art Director in Lombard, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Stevens & Tate full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    I worked with some very talented people that I have stayed in contact with throughout my career. There's a bond that develops from knowing that we all survived the horror of working there.

    Cons

    There is no balance. You are expected to give 110% to this company. Management is not progressive This company will never grow beyond what it really is - a mediocre company. Agencies by nature tend to have a higher rate of turn over but the amount of turnover here is excessive and should be a red flag to anyone considering a job here. Don't do it!

    Advice to Management

    There's no advice to give because Dan Gartlan will never change.

  3. "Is your typical internship"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    They try to give you experience that you can apply later in your career. I felt appreciated for my work and all of the employees were very welcoming. My supervisor also made sure to compliment me whenever I did a good job which was encouraging.

    Cons

    They are really trying to develop an internship program. They've only been hiring interns for a couple of years so there are still some things they need to figure out and I can see this being a better internship in the years to come. Like all internships, there are days where you won't have much to work on.


  4. Helpful (1)

    "Great Internship Experience!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    I was given the freedom to grow and make mistakes. I worked on a variety of projects that I was able to add to my portfolio!

    Cons

    Sometimes there wasn't much for me to do so I would just sit there for awhile rather than being able to go home early.


  5. Helpful (6)

    "Run, sprint, dash away from this bully of an agency"

    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 Stevens & Tate full-time

    Pros

    I made some life-long friends with my unappreciated, yet extremely talented co-workers. We leaned on each other for support and encouragement to get through each day. Also, I am impressed with Stevens & Tate's cockroach-like ability to stay in business after consistently losing client after client after client.

    Cons

    Upper-management: Every moment I spent at this agency felt like an out-and-out war between upper-management and staff. Upper-management consists of the most miserable, morally depraved people I have ever had the misfortune of knowing, let alone working with. Staff is made privy to their interoffice affairs and subjected to other unsavory behavior.

    President/CEO: Leading the upper-management team is the co-owner and president, Dan Gartlan, who all problems within the agency lead back to. Always the salesman, Gartlan will sell prospective employees and clients alike on the idea that he is a level-headed, brilliant and fun guy. This could not be further from the truth. Dan uses fear to manage and motive his staff. This results in resentment between both parties and a suppressed, toxic work environment.

    Environment/Culture: Employees were not considered "team players" if they did not stay past 5:00 p.m. everyday, making the idea of "work/life balance" just wishful thinking. Upper-management has no respect for their staff, and it shows with their lack of appreciation and the non-existent raises and bonuses. My co-workers and I created some outstanding pieces of work, but instead of being met with praise, we were only criticized (not constructively) by our supervisors.

    Retention: This agency is a revolving door of people who have realized they made a huge mistake in coming to work here. When someone quits, upper-management will more often than not fail to find a replacement, causing the remaining staff to work under even worse conditions with no compensation for their extra effort or sacrifices.

    Lies: Finally, after reading the other reviews for Stevens & Tate on Glassdoor, I can assure you that all of the positive reviews posted between December 2014-February 2015 are fake and written by upper-management or current staff in an effort to drown out the honest, negative reviews - proving again how corrupt and manipulative this agency is.

    Advice to Management

    Any advice given to management in the past and future has not and will not be taken into consideration. I regret ever minute I spent working for this company, and I only wish I could get back the time I wasted being miserable there.


  6. Helpful (3)

    "Work/Life Balance Does Not Exist Here"

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

    I worked at Stevens & Tate full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Coworkers are the highlight of working here. Those in non-management roles are skilled at what they do and fun to work with.

    Cons

    Management does not encourage a work/life balance, and you are considered "not busy" or "slow" if you take a lunch break or leave at 5p. Raises/fair compensation is few and far between at this agency, though employees are often expected to work long hours and take on many responsibilities outside of their job description. Check your ethics at the door, as there were many unsavory skeletons in this agency's closet.

    Advice to Management

    Fear-based management will never win the hearts or loyalty or your employees. Respect them as skilled humans and you could have employees that stick with your agency much longer.


  7. Helpful (3)

    "Variety is the spice of life...and work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Account Service
    Current Employee - Account Service
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Stevens & Tate full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    There is a great deal of opportunity for growth if you are willing to take on responsibility. One of the great things about working for a small agency is that you are exposed to many areas of the organization and don't get pigeon-holed. If you want to learn about media or sales or social marketing or new trends, you can take the initiative and develop your skills in those areas. Advertising is changing at a rapid pace and the company is racing to keep up, which brings additional opportunities. There is a diverse client base and clients are generally positive and pleasant to work with. That's important when as much of your day is spent dealing with clients as co-workers. The company provides business development and management training. For a suburbanite, the office is in a convenient location near the tollway.

    Cons

    No flex time or working from home. This company believes that the best collaboration occurs when the team is together. So being at the office (when not out at a client meeting) is a must. Hours are strict. You are expected to be at your desk by 8:30 to be ready and available for client calls. And if the client is on the East or West Coast, you may have to be in early or stay late. And there's overtime, not always but some times...but that's true at any advertising agency.

    Advice to Management

    Trust your employees to make good decisions and reward successes.

  8. Helpful (3)

    "Valuable internship experience at a friendly medium-sized agency."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Intern
    Former Employee - Intern
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    I interned at Stevens & Tate in the fall semester. I found the company to be very friendly, most of the staff was pretty outgoing and made effort to make me feel welcome while I was there. The internship was focused on one department, but they allowed me to take on tasks from others. They made an effort to ensure that the internship was matched to my skill set and not busy work or fetching coffee. I was also allowed some freedom in shaping the assignments to my skills and had a surprising degree of control over my projects. I’m glad to have an agency on my resume now and also some new work for my portfolio.

    Cons

    Not a big, flashy agency, but on the plus side I knew everyone's name by the time I left.


  9. Helpful (2)

    "The Advertising Industry Can Be Rewarding But Isn't For Everybody"

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

    I worked at Stevens & Tate full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    • Fantastic co-workers, the employees are welcoming and helpful

    • Continue your growth and development, you are exposed to do work for real clients

    • Great team environment that continues to push everyone to perform their best

    Cons

    • Be prepared to work hard, it's rewarding work and you get what you put into it

    • You don't receive Black Friday off by default

    Advice to Management

    The employees they hire know what they're doing. They are all friendly, open, interesting people who love to talk about their work. The number one complaint that I heard amongst the staff is the hours. You can stay late occasionally based on the complexity of your assigned projects.


  10. Helpful (8)

    "Demeaning management, under-appreciated, toxic environment"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Lombard, IL
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Lombard, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Stevens & Tate full-time

    Pros

    Good advertising experience for entry level

    Cons

    Management will never value their employees, even if you work your butt off
    Toxic environment
    Can turn a very positive person into a very negative and sad person
    No raises (your not worth it) they avoid it like the plague
    Only hire people out of college so they can pay them less
    No training, expectations are unrealistic
    Work life balance- extremely poor- can't leave for doctors appointment (have to use vacation) even if you work overtime quite frequently
    6 days for holidays a year..... that's it.

    Advice to Management

    Appreciate your workers, doesn't have to be through monetary ways, but just a verbal great job once.. ever.. would be appreciated.


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