Wikistrat Reviews in Washington, DC | Glassdoor

Wikistrat Washington Reviews

Updated December 27, 2016
10 reviews

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Washington, DC

4.4
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Joel Zamel
7 Ratings

10 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. "Great Experience"

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

    I worked at Wikistrat as an intern (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Great community of analysts. Good networking opportunities

    Cons

    No pay. Large community makes it difficult to get contributions noticed


  2. "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


  3. "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


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  5. "This is one aspect of the future"

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

    I have been working at Wikistrat (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    - Crowdsourced consultancy company. The concept is great, you really "live" the wisdom of the crowd.
    - Quality of the analysts
    - Reactivity of the staff
    - Gamification of the platform

    Cons

    - More acknowledgment for the lead analysts, supervisors, and analysts, for their work, would be better. It's improving lately (with the pictures and names of lead analysts, etc.)
    - Don't consider this as a real job. It's a digital freelance activity on the side.
    - Compensation is relatively modest.


  6. "Resume Filler"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Former Intern - Anonymous Intern in Washington, DC
    Former Intern - Anonymous Intern in Washington, DC

    I worked at Wikistrat as an intern (Less than a year)

    Pros

    - Large group of experts
    - Interesting discussions
    - Low demands on interns
    - Something to put on the resume
    - You decide how much effort to put in

    Cons

    - Not the highest quality analysts or analysis
    - No payment
    - Little/No valuable feedback


  7. 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.


  8. Helpful (1)

    "Half Freelance Gig & Half Elite Closed Social Network"

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

    Pros

    Some of the reviews on Glassdoor are a bit misleading. Wikistrat is only part consulting firm. The other part (and the biggest/main/only part for new lower-level analysts) is a closed social network similar to a Facebook or LinkedIn Group, except all the people have been screened for strategic out-of-the-box thinking, you almost never see shameless self-promotional posts, and absolutely never see pictures of cats and your associates' kids. All the discussion is meaningful and much of it from a multi-disciplinary/dimensional perspective you cannot get anywhere else. Analysts get paid for participating in client simulations and the amount is set up front. However, your participation in an internal simulation (i.e., non-client funded/closed social network discussion or brainstorming/forecasting session) only gets you paid if your contribution is remarkable enough for a client to ask to buy it or the management team names you as one of the month's highest performers. Of note, the closed social network portion has some similarities to Global Business Network (before its acquisition by Deloitte) whose network members PAID the equivalent of a year's salary for a research assistant to join the elite community and share their insights and knowledge and take away others' insights and knowledge in return. Wikistrat's elite community, however, is free to join with similar networking and knowledge/creativity-expanding benefits (it is priceless to be able to foresee risks relevant to your day job that otherwise would not be on your radar as well as interact with other creative thinkers from diverse backgrounds to enhance your own analytic abilities and creative thinking), and, as explained above, analysts are paid and NOT PAYING to join.

    Cons

    As some of the negative reviews on Glassdoor suggest, few of the 2,000+ analysts are paying their rent via Wikistrat participation. Moreover, discussion topics are diverse, so it is unlikely there will be something ideally fitting to your expertise every week. Analysts are welcome and even encouraged to expand their knowledge by participating in internal (i.e., non-client) simulations not directly relevant to their expertise; however, in some cases analysts do not do this thoughtfully and frustrate (1) themselves due to lack of monetary rewards and recognition for volumes of less than top caliber work and (2) others who have to read it.

    This points to another con. It is clear that on occasion a mistake is made in inviting an analyst to join. Some senior managers can appear to be strategic thinkers by taking credit for other people's work, and some more junior analysts can appear to be strategic thinkers by parroting professors or colleagues. But the Wikistrat format is not conducive to presenting anyone else's ideas other than your own, and such analysts may post questionable insights before they are weeded out or stop participating on their own. Moreover, occasionally analysts turn out to have very poor online interpersonal skills. The very rare off-color or aggressive analyst is weeded out quickly but perhaps not fast enough to do some first-impression damage to newer analysts.

    Advice to Management

    The similarities between Global Business Network and Wikistrat could be highlighted more to help analysts, especially interns and research analysts (who I suspect are responsible for the majority of the negative reviews on Glassdoor), recognize the gift they are receiving for FREE. Perhaps, "The Art of the Long View: Planning for the Future in an Uncertain World," should be recommended reading for all research analysts and interns and even recommended reading prior to the first interview.


  9. "What a mess"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Intern - Intern Researcher in Washington, DC
    Former Intern - Intern Researcher in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend

    I worked at Wikistrat as an intern (Less than a year)

    Pros

    An easy way for people to interact through a web platform

    Cons

    No one has any idea what the point of most of the reports were, nor who the clients for these reports actually are. Very few supposedly "area specialists" actually know anything about the area that you see them write about, and many of the analysts have no foreign language knowledge beyond English. The best way to describe Wikistrat is a giant pyramid scheme.


  10. "Research Analyst"

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

    I worked at Wikistrat (More than a year)

    Pros

    Free work, easy writing, academic in nature.

    Cons

    no structure, easy to sign up, No pay

    Advice to Management

    None.


  11. "Professionally Rewarding"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Freelancer - Contributing Analyst in Washington, DC
    Current Freelancer - Contributing Analyst in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    I am a Contributing Analyst with Wikistrat. As a young professional, I joined Wikistrat as a way to challenge myself, develop professionally, and get an insider's view of how to approach complex issues. You will find yourself in the middle global conversations on current events at a level you normally wouldn't have access to. It is a unique and diverse population of analysts that have correspondingly diverse, insightful, and creative takes on world affairs.

    One of the most important benefits for me has been learning how to give and receive feedback, feedback from very experienced and qualified people. As a young professional, that is huge. It can be humbling, but I view it as a significant benefit to being a Wikistrat analyst.

    Being part of Wikistrat is also a great way to distinguish yourself. Work that I have contributed has been picked up by bloggers and news outlets, which in itself is exciting.

    Cons

    The drawbacks of participation in Wikistrat simulations, in my view, are primarily associated with the expectations you may have going into it. There are monetary awards and incentives that you may receive from time to time, but it is best to think of those as nice perks and not a primary motivation. My experience has been that I have participated in Wikistrat simulations for almost 3 years, submitting work when I have time–a leisurely level of effort. Even then, I've received financial remuneration twice, in addition to receiving media mentions from outlets who monitor Wikistrat simulations.

    Advice to Management

    I appreciate the continued effort in developing the platform and creating simulations that improve the quality of input. There has been a lot of progress in improving incentives, which goes a long way in preventing analyst fatigue.

    It would be interesting to see what feedback the Wikistrat community might have in terms of building the simulation models themselves–that is to say the analytical framework that shapes the analysis.


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