The Advisory Board Company Reviews | Glassdoor

The Advisory Board Company Reviews

Updated July 19, 2017
744 reviews

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3.4
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The Advisory Board Company CEO and Director Robert W. Musslewhite
Robert W. Musslewhite
439 Ratings

744 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Work-life balance is very good, which i highly appreciate (in 109 reviews)

  • Great benefits including 21 days off (in 49 reviews)

Cons
  • Work life balance in the Consulting business does not exist, this is not true of all divisions (in 64 reviews)

  • Numbers focused for the entry level position (in 28 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Featured Review

    Helpful (33)

    "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. Helpful (3)

    "Great place to work"

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

    Pros

    a true meritocracy, wonderfully skilled mid-level management, fun intellectual culture to play with ideas (especially in the research areas), many different departments to choose from

    Cons

    pressure to work long hours, pressure to generate 20% profits annually for shareholders means occasionally there is a squeeze to make sure the research result is the best match for the clients, and sometimes you feel the latter (what the clients want to see) is becoming more important than the former (the research itself, the real information and findings).

    Advice to Management

    be careful about the profit motive, i am not a skeptical anti-corporate person but it was unsettling to see the way that research topics and content got "guided" into things that were designed for profit more so than content. has gotten worse in recent years. for example, my colleague was pressured into changing content to make it more "palatable" for the clients. could have been just a bad manager but it is slowly seeping into the culture at large as well.

  3. "great place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Marketing Associate in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Senior Marketing Associate in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    I get to work with a lot of fellow recent college graduates and also get exposure to senior management. I'm trusted to speak with hospital executives. I know this is an entry-level role so it's nice to see my colleagues moving on to other departments after only a year or two. My manager is open with me about seeking a next step and helping me prepare to interview.

    Cons

    This is a sales role so I am on the phone quite often. I have a monthly goal that I'm working towards, and this is the biggest thing I'm evaluated on.

    Advice to Management

    Overall I'm satisfied with the managers that I've worked with. They are supportive of my development, and I know they like working here.


  4. Helpful (1)

    "Good overall"

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

    Pros

    Lots of opportunities to grow in your career if you are a strong performer; work with smart people; interesting work

    Cons

    Long hours; poor training/mentorship; too much short term decision making at times but it's getting better

    Advice to Management

    Invest more in innovating existing products and building a world class development shop; invest more in training employees


  5. "Strong growth trajectory, great managers and mentors to support growth."

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

    Pros

    - Smart, motivated colleagues
    - Attachment to core values
    - Emphasis on community service
    - Opportunities for growth and advancement

    Cons

    =Often silos within the organization - difficulty to keep up with everything going on in various parts of the business.


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Good"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Project Manager in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Project Manager in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Fun place to work. Good opportunities for career growth

    Cons

    At times Management positions have been handed to folks who are at early age of their Professional ladder.

    Advice to Management

    None


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Powerful place to make an impact in healthcare"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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 The Advisory Board Company full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Very customer focused; great place to learn fantastic service
    Sales and marketing is executed at a very high level and provides an opportunity to learn how to sell to executives
    It's a high growth environment that is always changing
    Makes the biggest impact in healthcare of any other consulting, research, technology firm

    Cons

    Matrix organization structure makes for a fluid environment of management that can be difficult for some positions
    The high growth makes the environment somewhat chaotic and demanding at the same time
    Always looking to try something new and sometimes without experienced people who have had success from outside

  8. Helpful (7)

    "There's no better place to find engaging, flexible work"

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

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

    Pros

    - Extremely flexible schedule, PTO benefits, and remote opportunities
    - The company's growth opens up lots of opportunities for new roles
    - The work is meaningful; members see value in our product
    - Very early access to high-level/c-suite members
    - Fantastic health care and marketing bootcamp for anyone looking to work before graduate studies

    Cons

    - Pay could be better
    - Supervisors can be petty and sometimes make decisions based on favoritism
    - Work-life balance is tough in some roles (particularly associate-level)

    Advice to Management

    Boost pay levels for these roles! You're not keeping up with the rest of Washington/peer employers. Yes, it is an employer's market now, but the reputation for low-pay is getting very sticky and will be hard to shake off.

    Make very careful decisions about who gets to take on mid-level management roles. The folks overseeing the associate-level staff set the tone for the firm. They need to be mature, professional, and competent. Elevate people who will be good managers, not people who are good at their job.


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Director"

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

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

    Pros

    Good Benefits. Young, energetic work force. Recognition on Merit. Washington DC headquarters is located in a desirable part of town. A lot of team events and incentive based activities. Fast career growth

    Cons

    Low salaries compared to other similar firms in DC. Inexperienced managers. Although a technology firm, IT infrastructure has issues regularly. Silo-ed teams.

    Advice to Management

    Focus on employee retention as turnover is in the double digits in some verticals/departments. Re-evaluate compensation.


  10. "Great and very good for growth"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Great and very good for growth. I learned a lot during my time there and grew a lot. I would recommend this place for everyone. Great and very good for growth. I learned a lot during my time there and grew a lot. I would recommend this place for everyone.

    Cons

    Maybe I was not paid as well as I would have liked, even though the hours were relatively long and a lot of work


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