The Advisory Board Company Reviews | Glassdoor

The Advisory Board Company Reviews

Updated September 23, 2017
780 reviews

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3.5
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The Advisory Board Company CEO and Director Robert W. Musslewhite
Robert W. Musslewhite
464 Ratings

780 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Work-life balance is very good, which i highly appreciate (in 118 reviews)

  • Great benefits including 21 days off (in 51 reviews)

Cons
  • Work life balance in the Consulting business does not exist, this is not true of all divisions (in 66 reviews)

  • Pay is well below industry average, at least for entry level roles (in 30 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Featured Review

    Helpful (42)

    "Meaningful work in a changing market"

    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 The Advisory Board Company full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    I've been with the firm long enough to understand how things actually work internally, but not so long that I'm insulated from the realities of working elsewhere. I've waited to post a review until I felt like I could lay out both the positives and negatives of working here, because both exist.

    No review is going to be comprehensive, but overall the biggest positives of ABC are:

    1. We do genuinely meaningful work in health care and higher education, and the vast majority of employees/leaders are truly bought in to the mission. There's a real sense of purpose among the groups I've been exposed to (which is a lot of them across both businesses and multiple locations), and not the kind of manufactured kool-aid drinking you might see behind a new widget for a banking company. People come (and stay) at ABC because they believe the firm's work has a real and lasting impact on people's lives. And it does.

    2. Generally speaking, the people are incredible. Even negative reviews seem to agree, and while there are young managers in some places, the firm invests heavily in providing growth opportunities and the training to level up in your career. Everyone's mileage will vary, but I've had the best managers of my career at ABC and have been given more autonomy to be creative (while getting my job done) here than anywhere else I've worked.

    3. The culture is authentic. The firm's proud of it and isn't shy about selling it, but the community- and wellness-focused culture is real and goes deep. Employees really do volunteer during the work day. People do, in general, have flexibility in their work schedule to balance it with the demands of personal life. We get an insane amount of PTO which we are actually encouraged to use, and the other benefits support a strong work/life balance.

    4. There's a lot of opportunity to grow and advance. ABC's products and services span a wide range, and charting a path through different departments/positions is encouraged and supported. The firm sells that to potential candidates, and I was skeptical that it would really be something they support, but I've seen it happen regularly at very junior and very senior levels. They can't/won't create dream jobs out of thin air, but both business leaders and HR seem to genuinely believe that helping employees move into new roles aligned with their interests is good for business and good for employees.

    Cons

    Is it perfect? Of course not. Some downsides and challenges are:

    1. The organizational structure is downright complicated. Some of this seems to be because of the way the company has grown over time, but it's hard (particularly as a new employee) to have a strong grasp of how all the pieces fit together. If your role doesn't require exposure to other parts of the business, you probably won't know much about it unless you go out of your way to learn. That said, in an effort address the org complexity as well as the slow growth on the health care side of the business...

    2. ...the health care side of the business restructured and roles were eliminated. This was hard and kind of scary, and I personally had friends and colleagues who were affected. That said, I think most people could see a strategic shift for health care was long overdue, and senior leadership has been falling all over itself in eagerness to explain the strategy and how it will streamline and focus the business on the path back to growth. In general there's a lot of uncertainty in the health care market post-election (potential repeal of ACA, etc.), so it's a challenging time to be in this business and ABC's going to have to place the right bets in a dynamic environment. The education part of the business seems to growing like crazy.

    3. If you aren't based in DC, your reality is (by default) going to be a little different. You aren't going to have as many executive visits/presentations, and you may be a remote participant in some of the large-scale things that go on at the DC headquarters. Each non-DC office seems to have its own local thing going, and in some ways that uniqueness is fun, but the groups can also feel isolated. That may be more a reality of a geographically dispersed business than something particular to ABC, but it's worth noting.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to (over)communicate the new health care strategy and be transparent on how we're doing against it, continue to invest in career development for employees, continue focusing on work/life balance, and continue to be mission-driven (again, it's why people come and why people stay).


  2. "Senior Consultant"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Consultant in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Senior Consultant in Washington, DC
    Recommends

    I have been working at The Advisory Board Company full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Collaborative, innovative, career development

    Cons

    Unpredictable with Optum acquisition

  3. "Long time employee"

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

    I have been working at The Advisory Board Company full-time

    Pros

    People, culture, challenging work and an absolutely wonderful environment

    Cons

    Recent news of acquisition has caused a lot of angst, causes worry that the things that make this place so wonderful may go away

    Advice to Management

    Over-invest in ensuring culture is maintained in the transition to come.


  4. "Great Place To Launch a Career"

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

    I worked at The Advisory Board Company full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Good benefits, smart and committed colleagues, nice offices

    Cons

    None that I remember 5 years on.


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Product"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at The Advisory Board Company full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Flexible hours, amazing PTO policy, super smart people, offices are in a great location, some opportunity for advancement.

    Cons

    Salary bands have little transparency, pay below market value, short on resources, difficult to get ahead at times, take too much time to make decisions, and struggles to make the right investments.


  6. Helpful (3)

    "You get what you're paid for"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at The Advisory Board Company full-time

    Pros

    Great work-life balance, good upward mobility

    Cons

    Salaries are pretty low. DC is expensive

    Advice to Management

    You keep talking about "our people make us who we are" and "we want good people". Well, if you'd pay more you'd get good people.


  7. "ABC"

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

    I have been working at The Advisory Board Company full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Young workforce, flexible hours, relaxed work environment

    Cons

    Must be in seat for a year min to move into another (most likely lateral) position

  8. Helpful (2)

    "Entry level workers are underpaid, overqualified, and have limited growth potential."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Sales and Marketing Associate in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Sales and Marketing Associate in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at The Advisory Board Company full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Fantastic company culture in terms of volunteerism/giving back to the community and benefits are stellar. They are working towards increasing diversity initiatives (currently not a diverse workforce), which is a step in the right direction. Large LGBTQ+ population.

    Cons

    Lack of transparency in terms of job descriptions and with regards to movement within the company (I.e. Management says you can move positions after 8-12 months but then keep you from applying internally and once you finally can apply, getting in seat takes an additional 6 months so your "8 month" grunt job just took 2 years of you life). Pay is well below industry average, at least for entry level roles. And you are paid less if you are promoted internally, as compared with external hires. Get your experience elsewhere and THEN apply for a non entry level job.

    Advice to Management

    Stop hiring over qualified candidates to entry-level positions at $41k/year and certainly stop promising them the ability to move within the company after a certain number of months. Or just start paying MAs more to keep up with the industry.


  9. "It's an alright place to work"

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

    I worked at The Advisory Board Company full-time

    Pros

    Great work life balance, given significant paid time off

    Cons

    Salaries are too low, but they were re-adjusting when i left


  10. "There are Pros and Cons..."

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

    I have been working at The Advisory Board Company full-time

    Pros

    - People
    - Benefits
    - Location
    - Work/Personal Life Balance

    Cons

    - Growth takes a while
    - Moving into a new position is more about who you know than if you're qualified
    - Pay isn't the best so they try to compensate for it with great benefits


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