Wold Architects Reviews | Glassdoor

Wold Architects Reviews

Updated December 10, 2016
11 reviews

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Full-time Part-time

3.3
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Kevin Sullivan
6 Ratings

11 Employee Reviews

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  1. "Pretty Good"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Saint Paul, MN
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Saint Paul, MN

    Pros

    this was a good company to work for in the city of st paul minneosta

    Cons

    this company in st paul Minnesota didn't pay well at all and had no bonuses

    Advice to Management

    pay well and then you can give more bonuses and things like that to people


  2. "Great learning experience for recent graduates"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Wold provided me a full range of project types and opportunities to work in all phases of design, bidding and CA. Very responsive to professional development needs.

    Cons

    Compensation started relatively low (but improved quickly)


  3. Helpful (1)

    "Long lasting work experience"

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

    Pros

    Great chance to learn all aspects of building and design

    Cons

    As you gain in experience so does the amount of hours you need to put in


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  5. Helpful (1)

    "This is the place to learn and learn."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Architectural Intern
    Current Employee - Architectural Intern
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Wold Architects (More than a year)

    Pros

    The focus at Wold is the client, and that shows in all our work. The design process here is one of constant communication with those we serve, making sure the project actually meets their needs instead of gratifying some on-high design ego. In the end, I believe our ongoing relationships with our clients and their turning to us for repeat work speaks to the success of our model.

    Working at Wold is a fast-paced and full-steam-ahead experience. It is true that the company throws you quickly into the deep end, but that move is what allows an inquisitive and committed employee to quickly work at the heart of interesting projects. The atmosphere is definitely collaboration-heavy and hard-working, and your efforts and talents are immediately taken seriously. This is a great place to work if you want to be effective in your job and be relied upon heavily to accomplish team goals.

    If you approach this place with the right attitude and interest set, the amount of learning you'll do is unbelievable. It is amazing how quickly the environment can transform a newly minted graduate into a knowledgable (and more knowledgeable every day) architectural staff member. Real-world experience with constant interaction with clients and consultants equals big time growth and incredible confidence boosts.

    Cons

    Honestly, one person's cons are another's pros. Some reviews here indicate a dissatisfaction with the amount of responsibility thrust on new hires, and I can see how that pressure and expectation could intimidate some. Going into the interview and career here with a desire for immediately having a hand in steering the projects is important - if you're looking to sit on the sidelines or hide behind others, Wold, frankly, won't be a good fit for you.


  6. Helpful (2)

    "I've learned so much and met many wonderful people (both within Wold and through client connections)"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Architectural Job Captain in Saint Paul, MN
    Current Employee - Architectural Job Captain in Saint Paul, MN
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Wold Architects full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    I fully believe that, with all things in life, you get out what you put in. Finding a good match for your personal values, goals, and lifestyle preferences is important. Overall I have had a very positive experience, but I think I helped create that experience for myself through commitment and working hard to get to know people and the firm.

    There are amazing opportunities to be had at Wold if you are the type of person who is passionate about gaining experience and knowledge. There is plenty of truth to the "you're thrown right in" attitude to many reviews, but this is a pro for me. I like to fully immerse as soon as possible and make meaningful contributions, so this type of "training" fits my personality well. This job rewards those who are not fearful or hesitant to commit and dive in. I have been given more responsibility than I would have imagined a couple years out of school and I continue to learn every day. If working toward a leadership position is a part of your personal career plan, there is certainly plenty of room for that here.

    Others want to help you succeed by being available to help problem-solve, point you to examples, discuss options, etc. There could certainly be a little more done to train new staff on office procedures/rigamarole, and sometimes current staff can be slow to absorb new staff into social circles, etc. Everyone can always use a reminder to think back to when they were new and what made them feel included. The couple people that reached out to me to get to know me, etc. helped me more than any formalized training session ever could.

    The connections I have made at Wold are the most meaningful I have ever made at a job. I have worked primarily in the K-12 Education sector and enjoy being a very small part of the team that supports such an important job - the education of the future generation. I appreciate how hard the partners work to stay on the cutting edge of educational practices and the ability for new staff to help shape their own careers if they are willing to ask. I think that is an important point to reiterate; self-advocacy is an important skill to have at Wold.

    Cons

    As with any job there are of course cons. As I read other reviews on this site I do not have any personal experience with comments as "layoffs constantly" or "no support" - neither of those describe the culture that I am a part of. I have received all the support I have asked for short of having my ARE's paid for. Support of licensure in general is good including providing study materials and helping you get the IDP hours you need (within reason).

    It can be difficult to go against the grain regarding tradition and and the "Wold Way" but I believe headway is made all the time if the right research is done and the right motivations are there. Change for the sake of change is not compelling. "Don't ask the previous generation to change. Ask them to support you as you lead change." I have found this to be instrumental in my career at Wold. You need to be willing to stand up for what you believe for and don't be discouraged if the first reaction is not what you wanted. If something matters to you, take up the torch yourself.

    A fast-paced job with high expectations is nothing short of a requirement for me for a job as the less challenging a job is to me, the less motivated I am. That being said, not everyone thrives under pressure and you need to think about your own values. There are also frequently past 5pm/night meetings that you need to attend if you want to be at "the table" where decisions are made. Walking out the door at 5pm doesn't always happen. That being said, Wold is a collaborative work environment and the entire team should help to meet these goals. At any job failing to plan is planning to fail.

    Advice to Management

    My advice to management would be to continue providing opportunities for those who want them. As the company has grown quickly some of the culture has gotten lost in translation. Taking the time to meet new staff, understand their backgrounds and personal goals, etc. is priceless and immeasurable to employees. Enable people to become more invested by investing in them. Turnover could be reduced by a motivating or meaningful comment here or there and understanding the people behind the production machine.


  7. "You get what you make of it"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Corporate Operations Assistant in Saint Paul, MN
    Former Employee - Corporate Operations Assistant in Saint Paul, MN
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Wold Architects full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Wold is a *very* hardworking atmosphere - right from the jump. They hire people pretty young and give them a lot of responsibility. The opportunities for development, leadership, and career growth are basically endless. There is a high value placed on investment of the management in the staff, and for the person who is willing to grab ahold of that structure and make something great out of it, Wold is an amazing place to be. You have to be willing to engage in the relationships with the same veracity that they will engage you.

    Not every day or everyone is perfect at Wold. Like any company, there are things about it that are amazing and things that need improvement (better benefits, more female leadership). At the end of the day, though, it still is a job and they pay you to do it. When I started, I thought that my salary was a bit low but I very quickly got some substantial raises. The first one I had to ask for, and it was totally worth it. My boss was approachable and very friendly about the process. While I of course wish that the raises had been bigger and faster (who doesn't?) I think they were mostly fine. What is really valuable at Wold is not the money, it's the experience, and they know it.

    The best part - hands down - of my job at Wold was my boss, the COO. He's not a very effusive guy but he is very fair and reasoned. I could always count on him to make the decision that made the most sense. He could improve by being less busy and more available, and that's something he and I talked about a lot. That's probably something every good boss struggles with. He provided me with a good foundation, a safety net, and a ton of freedom to do what I thought made sense. Usually it worked, and when it didn't, I knew I could count on him to help me out of my messes. Because of him, I became a highly valuable and sought-after target when I decided to move across the country; I am now turning down recruitment offers regularly (because I landed a new, unbelievably sweet job).

    Cons

    The expectations are high, and every time you meet them, they get higher. If you are the kind of person that thrives on a fast pace, is looking for a rapidly growing career, and can rise to the challenge, then Wold would be a great place for you. From there, you can either choose to stay and make the best of it for a long time, or you can leave and be an exceptionally competitive candidate. If you are looking for a very standard 9-5 with regular downtime, then this might not be the best fit.

    Advice to Management

    Invest in more of the social aspects of the workplace and encourage staff to grow personally. Provide a variety of opportunities alongside career growth.


  8. Helpful (3)

    "Only if you're desperate"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    You get a lot of experience.

    Cons

    Only work at this company if you want to be severely overworked, underpaid, and sucked into a negative company culture. Management is a mess.

    Advice to Management

    If you want good people, pay them and treat them better.


  9. Helpful (3)

    "DO NOT ACCEPT"

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

    I worked at Wold Architects full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Strong industry knowledge. You are thrown into projects very soon after you start working.

    Cons

    They hire recent graduates for a reason. SIGNIFICANTLY underpaid, in comparison to industry standard. Poor benefits. No opportunities for upward mobility. High turnover. The company is very stuck in the "Wold Way". 50+ hours per week. You are given more work (i.e. "opportunities") with no pay increase or title change.

    Advice to Management

    Be more trustworthy. Do not belittle your staff. People are always listening and observing. Invest some money (God forbid) in your employee retention - getting a candy bar for your 20+ year reunion is just sad.


  10. Helpful (3)

    "No pay. No respect. Not worth it."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Intern in Saint Paul, MN
    Former Employee - Intern in Saint Paul, MN
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Wold Architects full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    You get pushed in right away: on the job training, sink or swim.

    Cons

    No benefits, horrible pay, and you are expected to work an automatic minimum of 45 hours. That is without overtime, bonus, or additional PTO. You also get very little PTO. Very dismissive leadership group. No encouragement for IDP and ARE completion. No support, period.

    Advice to Management

    Value your employees and be respectful to women. Pay your employees what they are worth and give some benefits. There is major discrepancy between leadership and interns...spread the wealth at least a little bit. Acknowledge your staff when you see them; ignoring them and grimacing at them for saying hi in public is not helpful.


  11. Helpful (4)

    "Horrible Pay, Constant Layoffs"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Mechanical Engineer in Saint Paul, MN
    Former Employee - Mechanical Engineer in Saint Paul, MN
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    They brought in beer on Fridays and I liked being able to create the design of a the new building.

    Cons

    Pay is awful and they treat employees like garbage. There was zero training plan and they consistently fired architects with a new employee filling their chair the following Monday.

    Advice to Management

    Value your employees they are the backbone of the company. If you start training and compensating your employees they will stay longer than 2-3 years.



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