The Advisory Board Company Reviews in Washington, DC | Glassdoor

The Advisory Board Company Washington Reviews

Updated April 19, 2017
324 reviews

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Washington, DC

3.2
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The Advisory Board Company CEO and Director Robert W. Musslewhite
Robert W. Musslewhite
211 Ratings

324 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Work-life balance is very good, which i highly appreciate (in 102 reviews)

  • Great benefits including 21 days off (in 45 reviews)

Cons
  • Not good work life balance, you might end up working weekends a couple of times (in 62 reviews)

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

More Pros and Cons

  1. "A company going through growing pains"

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

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

    Pros

    1. Great culture and cares about community around it
    2. Smart colleagues. Interview process is a tough one, so only high caliber people get in
    3. Lateral moves between departments
    4. Handled my lay off very professionally and paid a genorous severance package

    Cons

    1. Company bought too many companies without much planning for integration and how to profit from the same
    2. Currently it is cutting it's expenses to survive, so don't expect too many perks

    Advice to Management

    Learn to accept the reality about finances before it is too late


  2. Helpful (3)

    "Good or bad, ABC will be a place to remember"

    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
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Trendy work environment, great people, met life-long friends, and a great place to learn as a young professional. The benefits were also nice. Fraternity-type culture where loyalty, hard work, and likability is typically rewarded by your direct management. Working on a revenue team early in my tenure, I had the opportunity to go on two exotic work trips that were tons of fun. Various offices with different "vibes" where staff have the opportunity to move around. Also had tons of free food, beer, and happy hours with colleagues.

    Cons

    I had never experienced real stress until working at the Advisory Board. I eventually left the firm because there were no roles that would ultimately provide career fulfillment. Although ABC is in the business of improving healthcare, this passion is not largely shared by its employees which can be a downer for people who are actually passionate about the work the firm does. I worked in a few different roles within 3 years of being at the firm and in every role I experienced burnout. Junior staff have extraordinary workloads for very little compensation. The hazing process felt like it never ended. After my first year with the firm, I vividly remember a colleague breaking down in tears in the office because of the stress/workload that had been piled on her when her manager left the firm. Even after going to management, there was still no resolution for the poor girl.

    There were a few decisions made by management that lowered overall team morale. I witnessed two people get promoted in less than six months of being at the firm (really!?) while others at the same level in the same department who had been in seat for a year were looked over (bummer!). At one point, half of my team was getting paid around $10,000 less that what the other half were paid all while doing the same work. When I brought up the issue to management, they shrugged their shoulders and brushed it under the rug. I also witnessed a husband and wife get hired to be on the same team out of favoritism from the Director which in my opinion was highly unprofessional, especially since good candidates were looked over to make the hire. Once you have a bit of "inside" knowledge at the firm, you'll see that the politics can be quite ridiculous and if you're not in the "in crowd" you will easily be passed over for promotions and looked over by the rest of your colleagues. Management is often times not transparent on the long-term vision of their teams which can also cause one to feel unsure or worried about direction. Though stressful, I do feel that I had an overall positive experience in comparison to many others because I had great relationships with my team management/leadership.

    Advice to Management

    Middle management should stop being ruthless and indifferent to junior staff; it's slowly destroying the reputation of a great company.


  3. Helpful (1)

    "Struggling to find direction"

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

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

    Pros

    5 weeks of vacation; generally great coworkers; flexible work arrangement and opportunities to work remotely.

    Cons

    The last year or so has been really rocky as the healthcare business has under-performed. Numerous benefits have been slashed: no more bonuses for employee referrals, no tuition money for professional development; no holiday party; decreased travel between offices. The biggest pain point to date has been around bonuses. Even if you got promoted this year, you didn't receive all of your bonus. Your bonus potential is sold as a really nice perk for working here, and it feels a bit like the rug has been pulled out from under us.

    Advice to Management

    Separate the health care and higher ed businesses into two companies. Fire any senior executive who's been with the company since the 90s, and replace them with people with industry experience.


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  5. Helpful (1)

    "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
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    flexibility, fun co-workers, young culture,

    Cons

    poor compensation, poor communication, egocentric leadership, constant massive re-orgs, seemingly on a yearly basis, HR is clueless about the racism, bigotism, and sexism that occurs


  6. Helpful (10)

    "Some good people - Lots of internal chaos"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Database Administrator in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Senior Database Administrator in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    The company wants to provide work-life balance and career growth opportunities very badly. They have started several programs to that end.

    Cons

    In the last 2 years of my employment at The Advisory Board Company, they have:
    - lowered their 401k match percentage
    - moved large groups to low-cost communal work spaces
    - done away with or lowered annual raises
    - simplified the employee review process resulting in fewer grades (also a cost-saving measure that prevents raises)
    - Canceled the holiday party, two years in a row
    - Raised the employee contribution for healthcare over 500%
    - Ended employee travel & training or reduced the budgets to where it's impossible
    - Closed 3 offices
    - Laid off hundreds of people
    - Stated their goal of leaving the software market entirely
    - Brought in investors specializing in the sale of companies

    I don't doubt that happiness and career can be found at The Advisory Board Company. That being said, it has become much harder to find there. The business did not compete well in their market and the employees are suffering the burden of that failure.

    Advice to Management

    Be more honest with your employees. Stop hiring too many employees. Stop acquiring start-ups without a decent audit of what it will take to turn their applications around and sell them to Advisory Board clients.


  7. "great company"

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

    I have been working at The Advisory Board Company full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    work life balance, benefits, content, growth

    Cons

    Salary doesn't feel competitive compared to work load and travel

    Advice to Management

    no advice


  8. Helpful (3)

    "Good Entry-Level Job Not Much Room for Growth"

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

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

    Pros

    - Good first job
     - Good skill building
     - Young environment
     - Great onboarding
     - You can tell that people who have been there a long time are VERY enthusiastic and love what they do
     - Very fun incentive trips and incentives in general

    Cons

    - Not a lot of opportunity for mentorship or executive exposure
     - Not a lot of growth opportunity or opportunity for career development
     - Siloed departments - which makes it pretty hard to explore different opportunities at the firm
     - The role is pretty administrative which is downplayed in the interview process

    Advice to Management

    Because a lot of employees come to this job straight out of college, management tends to feed into that maturity level by treating entry-level employees like they are in college instead creating a structured professional environment in which the associates can rise to the occasion. My advice is to challenge the associates, give recognition to top talent, and while the millennial culture can be alluring to incoming associates, it does nothing help their professional development.


  9. "Client-facing roles will make you a polished presenter, faciliator"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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

    Well respected in the industry for the quality of insight and presentation of information. Great working relationships with clients. Great benefits.

    Cons

    Salary bands appear to run fairly wide. Many individuals manage 1 or 2 people in addition to their work; there were few pure manager roles. The implications are that you'll need to be vocal about your support needs; your manager may not recognize if you are sinking or swimming in your workload. This isn't a reason to avoid this company, but something to be aware of.

    Advice to Management

    Provide opportunities for managers and directors to get P/L exposure in the business lines they work in. You may foster greater accountability and decision making.


  10. "Good place to work"

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

    I have been working at The Advisory Board Company full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Not a true meritocracy, but achievements are typically recognized
    Great mentors
    Ability to pivot within the firm

    Cons

    Constant reorganizations (no time for anything to stick)

    Advice to Management

    Give business decisions a chance to pan out


  11. Helpful (4)

    "Good Place to Work But Struggling to Shift Directions"

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

    I worked at The Advisory Board Company full-time

    Pros

    - Good people, particularly if you want a youth-focused environment.

    - Pretty good benefits; 25+ days of PTO once you're past the associate level.

    - Good place to learn for a few years if you want a career as 1) a subject-matter expert in health care or higher education, or 2) an account management-type position in a tech firm.

    - Good reputation in health care and higher education, if you're committed to those industries.

    Cons

    ABC is in some ways a victim of its own success. Its model -- launching many new products and scaling them aggressively for 2 years before the next thing comes along -- was successful for a long time. The market is now vastly more competitive, the firm is bigger and slower, and leadership hasn't figured out how to rebuild the plane (that is, the business) while it's in the air.

    - A culture of rewarding loyalty/tenure mean the company has accumulated many mid-level folks who grew up in the company and need something to do. This, of course, is a great way to retain talent when times are good. It also makes it hard to move fast and innovate, which is particularly harmful given the weak performance of the core business in the last few years. It also means that ambitious "young Turks" find it more difficult to take ownership and get things done as they move into mid-level roles. Many leave for law/business school or other roles at the 3-4 year mark.

    - Slowing growth in the core business means fewer new roles created and longer promotion times, amplifying the problem above.

    - Lack of real technology expertise at senior levels. The C-suite execs have largely grown up at the company and struggle to hire/enfranchise experienced product leaders that could offer badly needed new perspectives.

    - Pay is below-market on the tech side; leadership seems to have a strategy of economizing on staff costs. On the research side, pay is probably appropriate but young employees from prestigious schools compare their salaries unfavorably with classmates who went into consulting, finance, etc.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to pursue "strategic alternatives" like selling the company or taking it private. It's hard to see a feasible path for the current strategy of incremental change.


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