The Advisory Board Company Reviews | Glassdoor

The Advisory Board Company Reviews

Updated May 18, 2017
726 reviews

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

726 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Work-life balance is very good, which i highly appreciate (in 106 reviews)

  • Great benefits including 21 days off (in 47 reviews)

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

  • A low starting salary and long hours for entry level jobs (in 28 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Featured Review

    Helpful (22)

    "Meaningful work in a changing market"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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. "Great place to start company"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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

    Intelligent people, great opportunities. Upper management seems to really care about the success of junior staff. Young and fun atmosphere as well.

    Cons

    Variable management, future of company is unclear. Work-life balance can be great, but some managers stick out like sore thumbs.

    Advice to Management

    Put more investment in training your managers before they actually are promoted or become managers.


  3. "Associate"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

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

    Pros

    Company has great work/life balance

    Cons

    There are heavy administrative duties


  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5. "Great place to be right out of college and years down the road!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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

    Pros

    management, work life balance, career pathing, stretch roles, networking

    Cons

    reducing number of office locations


  6. "analyst consulting"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Consultant in Nashville, TN
    Former Employee - Consultant in Nashville, TN
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    ok pay could be better

    Cons

    bad culture toxic culture very favorism

    Advice to Management

    be better


  7. "Membership Advisor"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Membership Advisor in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Membership Advisor in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Lots of great benefits. Work hard play hard. Good office location, and busy days so you are not bored.

    Cons

    Bureaucracy, internal politics. Long hours. Management doesnt always take responsibility for the bad decisions. Recently laid off lots of people.

    Advice to Management

    Accept more responsibility and involve others in the development of the firm. Lots of smart people who work there that are underutilized.


  8. "Great working enivornment"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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

    Pros

    Good employees, time management, salary, movement advancement

    Cons

    Some of the employees are not friendly, keep work areas messy, weekends, holidays


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Condescending Leadership"

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

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

    Pros

    - great coworkers, truly the best thing about ABC
    - great for entry-level as you get a lot of executive exposure early into your career
    - location
    - generous PTO
    - tons of Pro Bono and Community Service opportunities
    - 10 paid hours a month to exercise

    Cons

    I worked at ABC for two years and held two different positions. My first year was incredibly valuable. I learned a ton of professional skills and got unbelievable executive sponsor, even as a executive assistant. I frankly felt guilty moving on to a higher position because i felt so valued an appreciated. Unfortunately, this team is no longer in existence as ABC has gotten rid of all their greatest minds in favor of a restructure, which frankly is not going all that well.
    That being said, my last year at the advisory board was downright miserable.
    I had never been so micromanaged, condescended and down-right walked all over in my life. I witnessed my managers take credit for my ideas and my work and yet have the courage to put me on a development plan because i was not meeting expectations. Leadership is struggling to find direction, therefore are more focused on hitting metrics and pleasing the higher ups than creating career development opportunities for their employees. I would constantly be given tasks with no direction and then would get yelled at because the final product did not meet expectations. and everyone just LOVES throwing people under the bus in order to not take the blame for their incompetence.
    There is also an uncomfortable level between being micromanaged and not being valued at all. Case in point: when i accepted another job offer, i scheduled THREE FIFTEEN MINUTE MEETINGS with my manager's to give her my formal resignation. SHE DID NOT SHOW UP TO ANY OF THEM! Eventually i had to find the Managing Director in the hall and tell her I was leaving. Incredibly unprofessional for people who think they're owners of the truth. The saddest thing is, this behavior will not change. The company is not doing well and ABC is experiencing the highest turnover in its history, yet the leadership that brought this place crumbling to ground is still there. Yup, that's ABC for ya!

    Advice to Management

    Please quit micromanaging employees, putting them on development plans and making them feel unappreciated and completely incompetent. It does nothing for moral and will not help your turnover issue.


  10. "Great place to gain sea legs"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Director in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Senior Director in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at The Advisory Board Company full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    People, culture, experiences beyond your years. There is a true investment in growing staff and giving them new, challenging experiences.

    Cons

    Work life balance in the Consulting business does not exist, this is not true of all divisions. At times there is a missing aspect of transparency (although this is improving)

    Advice to Management

    Time for a large turnover at the senior levels with the upcoming change in control (company has had numerous rough quarters and not one exec with stock options has been let go or seen major change in responsibility)


  11. "Good Entry Level Options"

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

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

    Pros

    - good benefits and work/life balance
    - early career employees have member facing opportunities
    - good mission with possibility for extra PTO if you volunteer

    Cons

    - recent layoffs in health care technology products
    - senior leadership and strategic direction unclear
    - lower pay than competitors


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