Wikistrat Reviews | Glassdoor

Wikistrat Reviews

Updated March 23, 2017
35 reviews

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4.2
Star Star Star Star Star
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Joel Zamel
21 Ratings

35 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Communication and networking with experts around the world is very easy (in 3 reviews)

  • Since joining the network I have had the pleasure of working with many of the leading thinkers in the International Relations sphere (in 4 reviews)

Cons
  • No pay and very limited interaction with real people (in 8 reviews)

  • It is important to understand that working with Wikistrat is not full-time employment - all of the experts at Wikistrat have (in 6 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Review"

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

    I have been working at Wikistrat full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    A place that feels like a small family, awesome people that really cares about you

    Cons

    Not enough resources invested on tech devision


  2. "Researcher"

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

    I worked at Wikistrat part-time

    Pros

    Cool ability to collaborate with smart and sometimes brilliant people worlwide

    Cons

    Not enough forward movement on research/analyst levels, 0 monetary incentive, very few fringe benefits

    Advice to Management

    Actually try to build a real farm system. I understand it's not a traditional analysis outfit, but you're basically getting the bulk of some pretty amazing work on the backs on unpaid staffers and barely rewarding them with anything.


  3. "Researcher"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - BD Center of Excellence Specialist At EY in Tucson, AZ
    Current Employee - BD Center of Excellence Specialist At EY in Tucson, AZ
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Wikistrat part-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    - Great platform for networking, connecting, and working with like-minded professionals across a variety of métiers and in multiplicity of roles
    - Superb way to enhance one's personal knowledge capacity and stay up to date with revolving and evolving ideas and theories if are actively engaged in the company's unique method of 'collaborative competition'
    - Opportunities to collaborate with senior professionals
    - Is a great open forum for debate to work through real-time, ongoing situations in international relations and geopolitics

    Cons

    - Compensation not equitable to the amount of time one commits to doing the work, even if it is done on a part-time, casual basis as the platform allows one to
    - Sometimes one's voice can get lost among all the talented professionals contributing to what is, for all intensive purposes, a private-sector open-source intelligence analytical space
    - Because of the unique way that the platform engages its analysts by their accrual of 'points', sometimes the discussions can devolve from substantiated debate to trivial point-making, which in and of itself is not necessarily a bad thing. But when more time is spent doing this simply to accrue personal points or praise points, this can detract from the overall point of one contributing to the organization, which is to ultimately provide innovative, extremely well-thought out and sourced deliverables to clients.

    Advice to Management

    The senior management within this very fun and disruptive company should seek to engage more members in active client engagements, such as in war gaming simulations and report writing. This would allow for a more diversity of thought, and keep members interested and active in the platform, and would not necessarily dilute the analyses as they could of course always be edited for clarity.

    Furthermore, more funds should be dolled out to members for their active participation, even if they are small amounts. Again, this would contribute to the overall aim of the company, which is to provide unique, thought-provoking reports and analyses on global affairs. If members are not actively engaged or leave the platform because they believe that they and their opinion are not being valued, figuratively and literally, then there is potential for a large information gap that could be utilized by the organization towards achieving these end goals for clients.


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  5. "Great experience"

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

    Pros

    Huge network of experts
    Flexible hours
    Research oriented training
    Great support
    Userfriendly portal
    Vibrant community of researchers
    Challenging duties

    Cons

    Nothing in particular. the experience was pleasant.

    Advice to Management

    More simulations for interns


  6. "Great Experience"

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

    I have been working at Wikistrat part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Interesting discussion topics, friendly and knowledgeable community, great overall experience

    Cons

    little to no compensation.


  7. "Realistic Expectations for Wikistrat"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Current Employee - Researcher
    Current Employee - Researcher

    Pros

    Wikistrat is a great learning tool. You will conduct research and write on a wide variety of geopolitical topics. It is a great way to sharpen your analytical skills while discussing current events, international crises, and long-term global problems. You also get to work with world-renowned scholars and analysts, so you can make some great connections.

    Cons

    It is unlikely you will make any money from Wikistrat. If you reach a certain rank, you can become eligible for cash prizes or commissions for client work, but you will not be able to make a living on your work for Wikistrat.

    Advice to Management

    Wikistrat should recruit new researchers by marketing the site as a learning tool instead of marketing it as a job. I would suggest implementing a mentor system into your website. Place interns or new researchers with high-ranking analysts to work on projects together. It would be a great learning experience for new analysts, and it would be a great way to recruit new analysts to the site.


  8. "Great place to hone analysis skills"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Wikistrat full-time

    Pros

    - Knowledgeable, passionate and professional analysts
    - Opportunities to work on cutting edge analyses with Wikistrat's expansive community
    - Great consulting, research and analysis experience
    - Friendly and open-minded community of analysts and an incredible management team

    Cons

    - Most work is done remotely, limiting face-to-face interaction
    - The vast number of analysts renders some projects convoluted
    - It can be difficult to have your work noticed due to the sheer number of participants in a given project


  9. "Interesting concept but unhelpful"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    Current Employee - Analyst
    Current Employee - Analyst
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Easy to join. Possibly good for interns or people w/o substantial work experience.

    Cons

    No pay. Very little quality control. It seems as if anyone can join the 'elite' network. Have been very unimpressed with the quality of 'discussions' in the simulations. The people that have the most points or the most active are not necessarily the ones with the best analysis. A lot of people reply to threads and just put in news links. That is not analysis. Simulations do not lead to any written analysis like a research paper and even if it did, as a contributing analyst, you would not be able to publish it or use it as a writing sample. Absolutely no upward mobility as a contributing analyst, in my opinion. The company is basically getting free ideas from the analysts.

    Advice to Management

    Pay people for their work.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Innovative consulting firm"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Supervisor and Contributing Analyst
    Current Employee - Supervisor and Contributing Analyst
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Working with Wikistrat first as a contributing analyst and then later as a project supervisor has been a tremendously rewarding experience.

    In joining Wikistrat, you become a member of a large but select pool of elite analysts with access to the Wikistrat platform. From Wikistrat's platform, you have access to a wide range of projects, with topics covering everything from emerging markets to technological trends to counter-terrorism strategy. You then have the ability to pursue whichever projects you are most interested in, creating reports and briefs based on your research, often in collaboration with other experts. In the process, you will often learn much more about the topic at hand, given the sheer volume & quality of work produced by the Wikistrat expert community on the topic. You will also meet other experts - both you academics and professionals looking to cut their teeth in consulting, and senior experts with extensive experience in govt, academia, or the private sector. For this reason, Wikistrat is an unparalleled networking opportunity.

    Another strength of the Wikistrat system is that working with a "crowd" of experts will push you as an analyst & thinker. We're all fallible - at some point, you will likely draft an entry or report that is fundamentally flawed in some way - you'll also come across other analysts' work that may have significant analytic flaws of its own. The virtue of the Wikistrat system is that the crowd (as well as the leadership team) will vet this work - commenting, editing, etc. to either refine or refocus the project. You'll learn to be open to constructive criticism, to rethink your assumptions, to scrutinize your sources, and to challenge the assumptions of others - these things are a crucial part of working with the Wikistrat system.

    You may also be called on to participate in even more exclusive projects for clients, which generally involve remuneration. These projects, again, are a great chance to learn, explore new ideas, present your research, and work with other experts to produce useful content.

    Overall - partnering up with Wikistrat is a great experience. You essentially become part of an exclusive network of experts with access to a wide range of projects. This gives you a great chance to a) learn more about a host of topics, b) develop your own work & research in collaboration with other experts, c) network with other analysts, and d) bolster your skills as a critical thinker.

    Cons

    Some individuals in the past have joined Wikistrat with somewhat unrealistic expectations about the experience. It is important to understand that working with Wikistrat is not full-time employment - all of the experts at Wikistrat have full-time jobs or studies elsewhere - although becoming a member of the Wikistrat network can lead to opportunities to work on client projects which offer monetary prizes.


  11. Helpful (3)

    "An Excellent and Rewarding Opportunity for Geopolitical/Economic Analysts"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Researcher (Entry-Level Analyst) and Supervisor in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Researcher (Entry-Level Analyst) and Supervisor in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Wikistrat part-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Working at Wikistrat is one of the most edifying and professionally beneficial experiences I have ever had, and I believe that those reviewers who have written about/had negative experiences either did not join Wikistrat with the right expectations or did not put in enough effort/time to recognize the benefits it has to offer.

    Being an analyst at Wikistrat should not be thought of as a job -- rather, imagine it as being a member of an elite circle of experts, analysts, scholars and similarly driven professionals (both young and old) in the fields of politics, international relations, security/military affairs, technology, and global trends. By working at Wikistrat, you gain the opportunity to conduct political/geopolitical/economic analysis within a forum of incredibly intelligent thinkers -- and you get to do so whenever you would like. Those who perform especially well get paid, and also are offered publication opportunities (such as blog posts, reports, and so on) -- but these opportunities should be thought of as a bonus to the networking and educational benefits of being a Wikistrat Analyst.

    When first starting out at Wikistart, you will likely only be able to access unpaid simulations and forums where you can discuss, think through,and forecast geopolitical trends and developments with other analysts. Conducting research on a given topic and presenting your ideas to the community is an unparalleled opportunity to grow as a political/geopolitical/economic analyst, and the discussions and debates are always stimulating and edifying. You will also have the opportunity to be awarded with cash prizes at the end of each month if you prove yourself to be particularly thoughtful and hardworking in these otherwise unpaid simulations.

    Once you have proven yourself to the staff and community, you will be brought on to even greater opportunities -- paid simulations with high ranking clients such as the U.S. Department of Defense, Deloitte, and NATO.

    To put these benefits into perspective, I started working at Wikistrat as a Researcher (the lowest ranking/entry-level position, barring internships) in July and made a consistent effort to serve as a thoughtful and hardworking analyst (probably putting in 15-20 hours a week). By August, I had been offered roles in paid simulations and had my analysis published on Wikistrat's website as well as in reports. These benefits were all in addition to gaining numerous contacts -- both experts, renowned academics/members of international political circles, and young professionals like myself -- and learning a great deal through both my own research and the wisdom of other analysts.

    The bottom-line is that Wikistrat is an unparalled opportunity for young professionals, and an edifying, enjoyable, and rewarding community from which analysts can earn side income. I would recommend Wikistart to anyone professionally/academically interested in political analysis, international affairs, military affairs, economics, and global trends.

    Cons

    In my experiences, the cons have been extremely minimal -- especially in light of the benefits. Sometimes, the analysis put forward by analysts is uninspiring or simply unfounded/incorrect -- but there is always engaging discussion taking place. On one occasion, I have experienced an analyst with a rude temperament, but staff and management are very astute at quickly flagging and resolving these issues.

    Advice to Management

    Perhaps find ways to engage with the community even more deeply -- though you are not doing anything wrong (and have always done an excellent job in my experience), I believe that hosting conferences, seminars, etc. would be a great step forward as the company develops.



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