The Advisory Board Company Reviews | Glassdoor

The Advisory Board Company Reviews

Updated June 21, 2017
735 reviews

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735 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Work-life balance is very good, which i highly appreciate (in 107 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. Helpful (1)

    "Great company"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Director in Royal Oak, MI
    Current Employee - Director in Royal Oak, MI
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Culture, flexible work schedule, great products and sales strategy

    Cons

    internal politics, promotions and bonuses are not customized to the employee or the product. If you get on a bad product you won't make any money.


  2. Helpful (3)

    "Crimson is not what it used to be..."

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

    I worked at The Advisory Board Company full-time

    Pros

    Flexible work schedules (generally, but manager-dependent); working from home; opportunity to propose/own initiatives above and beyond normal day-to-day work; good benefits; ample opportunities for collaboration with other teams; historically, very talented and smart people

    Cons

    Company culture and morale are both at all-time lows, especially in the healthcare IT division; salaries are low at associate/senior associate/associate director levels, relative to other IT firms in the area; cost-cutting measures and hiring freezes have taken out a lot of the fun in working there, leading to attrition; many senior managers are "lifers" from the main D.C. office with backgrounds in research/consulting - their skills don't seem to translate as well to managing the software business

    Advice to Management

    Figure out how to attract top talent again; bring in outside leadership from the broader IT world to more effectively run technology operations

  3. "Project Manager and Business Analyst for the implementation of technology."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Business Analyst in Alexandria, VA
    Current Employee - Senior Business Analyst in Alexandria, VA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    The autonomy you have to manage your projects and do things your way. The Advisory Board has a certain way of doing things and clients appreciate it.

    Cons

    Young company that is not tech, but trying to compete in tech. Leadership is not super strong; not sure folks really know what they're doing. The salaries are not too competitive.


  4. "Too Ambitious For Own Good"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    - Great energy and company culture

    Cons

    - Vague in their hiring/interviews, I was hired to be a communications liaison and the position shifted into high level sales and retention, which was never communicated during interview.
    - Company hires ambitiously and then reduces force heavily as their stock prices fluctuate.
    - Little care for work/life balance of their managers / sales managers


  5. Helpful (2)

    "Healthcare business is winding down"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

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

    Pros

    Paid time-off of 25 days

    Cons

    Too many management layers in the technology front

    Advice to Management

    Try to reduce your management layers. All the healthcare management folks are jumping into higher education business. Failed management in healthcare is moving to pollute the growing business in higher education.


  6. "Associate Director"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate Director in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Associate Director 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

    Great support, excellent professional level and team, great place to work.

    Cons

    I performed in Latin America and we felt quite isolated from the headquarters organisation.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Product Management Analyst"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    IF your team/manager is good,you could learn and grow here (wasn't so in my case, unfortunately)

    Cons

    My experience working here has been thoroughly negative! I had the worst manager ever, who made my experience working here pathetic! She was highly unprofessional and very critical of my work. She never gave even a single positive feedback! Extremely toxic work culture!
    Even Career Management was useless, they had biased opinions and wouldn't listen to anyone else. All they do is judge people and not give them a single opportunity to learn.

    Advice to Management

    Learn to trust and listen to your employees, rather than basing futile conclusions on one person's opinion.

  8. Helpful (8)

    "Market Research and Account Management"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at The Advisory Board Company full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    The perks of working at the Advisory Board Company include:

    -Pretty decent health insurance and maternity leave benefits

    -Benefits that start immediately when you're hired (no 30-day trial or waiting period)

    -A generous amount of time off (20-25 days) at even the most junior levels

    -A lot of free food and other incentives if you work in revenue-generating departments (i.e., Marketing or Account Management)

    Cons

    The most important thing for anyone to understand about working at ABC is that your success in the company is certainly not dependent on your intelligence, work ethic, or dedication. The key to success at the Advisory Board Company is blending in with the crowd. Go to all of the happy hours, laugh at everyone's jokes, do the majority of your work and find good excuses for what you didn't accomplish, and you'll be golden. Put your head down, work your tail off, improve processes, increase revenue for your department, and you might as well quit while you're behind. In a more specific sense, here are what I’d consider to be the most important key points for you to know before accepting a position at the Advisory Board Company:

    -In most cases, the culture of ABC is a fraud. The company likes to boast its involvement in community service projects, “100% participation” they say to the investors and potential clients. What they won’t tell you is that they will count ANYTHING as community service (just bring in a single can of Spaghetti O's and you're a winner!) They also won't boast that those community service efforts are internally incentivized. Departments will have competitions for canned food drives, pro-bono offerings, etc. And the winners don't just get to feel good about doing something for the community. They get a buffet of free food, a day off, etc. Employees are also constantly complaining about the members/clients, laughing at them and discussing ways to manipulate them into a new contract. I once overheard a conversation where the person in charge of purchasing the membership left abruptly after signing the contract, and the person that replaced her never got informed about the membership. My colleagues would joke about how that member was paying for something they never used, and when I suggested telling the member so they could either cancel their membership or start using it to get something out of it, everyone laughed at me and replied, "Why would we do that? It will only lead to us either losing money, or having to do more work." Unfortunately, conversations like that are more common than not.

    -Top management is comprised of people who wouldn't be able to secure a job at the same management level (or probably even several below) at any other company. Almost all of them (especially in the DC office) have gotten to the top purely from being at the company for 15-30 years. And when you incorporate the rapid growth of ABC, it only furthered their quick jump to the top. They lead, but don't listen. They act compassionate, but behind closed doors will jest at anyone who disagrees with them or threatens their intelligence by actually knowing what they're talking about. Because of my past positions, I was a firsthand witness to this on a weekly basis. At one point I was asked to impersonate someone for a credit card company, and refused saying it was illegal and I wouldn’t compromise my morals for anyone, even if it meant losing my job. Another time I was asked to forge a signature on a client contract. Again, denying to do such a thing didn’t win me any promotions.

    -Middle management receives only a few hours of training (about half a day), and that training has no follow-up process to ensure that managers are continuously learning how to help their teams. I've seen one nightmare situation after another where employees leave the firm, because they're in emotionally abusive relationships with their managers.

    -The review process is a semi-annual review cycle that, despite the complaints among a large percent of employees, remains to be more of a degrading process than a helpful one. Each grid is divided into categories, and for 2.5 years I had a review grid with an entire category (20% of the overall grade) that, "didn't apply" to my position. So each review cycle I would receive the grade just above failing for that category. The logic behind it? My managers informed me that they couldn't grade me on something that didn't apply to my role. It didn't matter that I proposed rewriting the review grid (since there was no firm-wide standard for what review grids had to look like). I even came up with a new review grid based on positions similar to mine in other departments in the firm. However, in my entire 2.5 years in that position, it never got changed, so I was never able to get any kind of promotion.

    -Career Management (ABC's version of HR) will lie to you during the hiring process. They did it to me and almost every other associate-level (the most junior level at the company) employee that I spoke to. Almost each job title has a "senior" version that comes with an increase in pay (between $3,000-$5,000 per year). When I was offered my first job at the company and expressed my hesitation to take the position since it only paid $30,000 flat, the CM representative told me that as long as I did my job well, I would get an additional $3k in the first 3 months. Not only did that not happen in my entire 2.5 years in that role, I later discovered that hardly any manager will offer you that "bonus" in the first 6 months, and usually not even within the first year. Despite taking this information to CM on several occasions, when I left the firm in late 2016 this was still happening to new hires.

    -Layoffs are so frequent that finding job security is only easy for those naive enough to think they can't fall victim to the layoffs. Unless you're in top management, you're fair game. I have known employees who came back from maternity leave to have no job. I've known employees who worked for the company for over 6 years and had to leave overnight, at no fault of their own. I've seen every Associate-level employee in two different departments get laid off, while the two leaders of each of those departments got promotions.

    -While the company boasts an amazing work/life balance, and you may be lucky enough to get a manager who tells you to go home at end of business and not work late, that doesn't change your work load. When employees get laid off, fired, go on maternity leave, take 2 weeks of PTO, etc. that work doesn't just disappear; it gets put on your shoulders. Sound reasonable? Almost every employee that took the last Employee Engagement survey at the company last year said that they were overworked. The culture of ABC is so meeting-heavy that most employees will spend the majority of every day in back-to-back meetings, leaving little to no time for actual work. And the percent of meetings that are actually beneficial to the work are so few and far between, that it can drive you up the wall. Thinking about skipping a meeting so you can meet your deadlines and not have to stay late or work on the weekends? Prepare to be hounded for it. After all, misery loves company.

    Advice to Management

    -Start being honest with your clients, your employees, and yourselves (i.e., form the morals you claim to have).

    -Require all managers (from top to bottom) to attend bi-annual managerial training, with one full week of training when they are first hired in a managerial position.

    -Stop rewarding top management with salary increases and trips to the Bahamas in 5-star resorts for them and their families, and increase the salaries of those who actually do the work that has earned the Advisory Board Company the reputation that it has.


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Senior consultant"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Consultant in San Diego, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Consultant in San Diego, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    work life balance work life

    Cons

    low low low low salary


  10. Helpful (5)

    "Great company and people, poor coordination"

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

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

    Pros

    The Advisory Board has a great culture with a great set of coworkers. I have yet to meet anyone working here that I have not liked.

    Cons

    For several positions, the salary is below market average. There is also high employee churn in specific roles.

    There is a persistent issue of poor interdepartmental communication which causes problems to compound. This get exemplified with the oftentimes present lack of technical knowledge in some managerial roles. Sharing data and insights tends to become an arduous process and too much time is resultantly spent on explaining simple technical concepts or helping to perform simple pivot table transformations.


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