AKQA
2.9 of 5 175 reviews
www.akqa.com San Francisco, CA 1000 to 5000 Employees

AKQA Reviews

Updated Jul 08, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

2.9 175 reviews

                             

48% Approve of the CEO

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Ajaz Ahmed

(23 ratings)

50% of employees recommend this company to a friend
175 Employee Reviews
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Review Highlights

Pros:
  • "You'll get to work on some massive clients and work with some great people"
    in 14 reviews
  • "Lots of great clients, good budget and wonderful people to work with"
    in 13 reviews
Cons:
  • "I know some other departments have a much less favorable work life balance"
    in 21 reviews
  • "Long hours (9am until 9pm and one day at weekends not uncommon)"
    in 18 reviews
  • Show more review highlights

Reviews

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    Awesome company/family

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsThere is nothing better
    Client like their brands
    Lots of nice perks
    great talented people
    Approachable managment

    Consnever enough hours in the day

    Advice to Senior ManagementAgile.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Great team, great technologies

    Senior Software Engineer (Former Employee)
    Berlin (Germany)

    ProsInnovative, Good salaries, nice people to work with

    ConsNot very good technical project management strategies

    Advice to Senior ManagementNot only the manager attitude is important

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    1 person found this helpful  

    Premium from the outside, quick and dirty from the inside

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
    Berlin (Germany)

    ProsSalary, friendly colleagues, tech stack

    ConsThe company only cares for satisfying brands by meeting deadlines, one after another. No consideration usually given to ever-growing technical debts. Getting things done quick and dirty is always preferable over doing things right. Technically incompetent management and so called "architects", very few of them can actually inspire and lead, some lack the very basic social and communication skills.

    Advice to Senior ManagementTry being premium for your own employees, not only for brands. Stop doing quick and dirty work in order to please customers and meet deadlines.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Don't work here.

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsAll the perks of a big company, none of the charms of a small one.

    Big brands. Nice rooftop.

    ConsFundamental lack of leadership and direction.

    No sense of "play" or "fun". Expect to come in and be dazzled, then work like a third world employee in a sweatshop.

    Advice to Senior ManagementPay more attention to your employees, they are your greatest asset.

    Have a clear mission statement and sense of direction for the company - lots of great talent at AKQA but there is no sense of it ever feeling like one unified "company".

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    1 person found this helpful  

    Monotonous, mind numbing place to work.

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
    New York, NY (US)

    ProsPay and people are good. Everyone is friendly, which make it a comfortable place to be.

    ConsWithin a 6 month span I saw 80% of the creatives leave the New York office for other gigs. That says everything you need to know. Why is everyone leaving? The work is mind numbingly boring. Senior leadership caters to what the client wants, which is usually garbage. A paycheck doesn't make up for feeling like you're selling your soul. People that worked here for years left with MAYBE one mediocre book piece to show for it.

    Advice to Senior ManagementRespect and promote your creatives. Push for interesting work. Pitch an interesting client for once instead of another bank. Having "AKQA" on your resume isn't good enough, the only thing that matters is doing good work.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    Project Manager

    Project Manager (Former Employee)
    San Francisco, CA (US)

    Pros1. Great people. Almost everyone is enthusiastic and funny, which makes it easier when you have to work late nights.
    2. Great clients. Having amazing brands on my resume helped me get where I am now.
    3. You can work on any cool project or any cool client. All you have to do is ask and be proactive.

    Cons1. Rotten to the core senior management. My favorite thing was when the senior management promoted themselves after the merger with WPP.
    2. Low pay, long hours, 2 weeks of vacation for the first 2 years. Nobody lasts longer than 2 years btw.
    3. Expect to work on a ton of keynote decks. Unfortunately most of the time the deck ends up being the final deliverable.

    Advice to Senior ManagementTreat your people better.
    Focus on your current clients rather than new business.
    Again, treat your people better.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    Good from far, far from good.

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
    New York, NY (US)

    ProsMost of the people are pretty cool.

    Cons- Account leadership is heavily inexperienced
    - High turnover, can't staff teams properly
    - Account people say 'how high?' every time a client says 'jump'. Lie to people below them. Manage up, only share information with leadership. They come up with the 'story' they will sell everyone.
    - People making the work are always last to know - too late since client already has meeting dates set up on calendar
    - Greedy, only care about trying to get more money and new business, will sell out all the UX, tech and creative teams and make people work crazy hours to put work in front of clients, sometimes they haven't even asked for it.
    - Let good talent go, do nothing to offer people new and exciting work
    - Boring clients in NY, banking and telecom are the only things they can win
    - Innovation is stifled, does not make it past the pitch because the timelines and budgets don't allow for anything but production - Only build websites, not much other work
    - Production vendor project approach
    - Hard to career path, totally chaotic

    Advice to Senior Management- Bring in more inspirational work
    - Treat people less like numbers and more like valued employees
    - Quit setting up your teams to fail on every project/account

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    An okay place to work

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
    New York, NY (US)

    ProsCompany culture is good, the NYC office is smaller, so you get to know almost everyone. They throw monthly parties, bagel Mondays, monthly birthday cakes etc.

    Compensation is average to above average.

    If you like stability, then you should work here. But stability comes at the cost of doing any remotely interesting work at all.

    ConsIf you're a creative, not the most exciting place to work. Not going to work on any "sexy" clients here, a lot of banking, telecom, etc.. The few interesting clients they do have is mostly website work.

    Upward mobility at this company is pretty difficult.

    Account can also be chaotic. Would often receive BLANK briefs, and would have to rely on word of mouth from account on what was needed, only to have the client reject it and say they wanted the exact opposite. This was NORMAL, and incredibly frustrating.

    AKQA prides itself on "innovation". There was little innovation going on here.

    Advice to Senior ManagementFix the account people.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    CV booster but...

    Creative (Current Employee)
    London, England (UK)

    Pros- Projects
    - Brands you work with
    - Colleagues

    Cons- No fair wages
    - Poor senior management

    Advice to Senior ManagementStart caring about your people or it will be really hard to restore their confidence

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Ok company

    Motion Graphics Designer (Former Employee)
    New York, NY (US)

    ProsGood people working in the company.

    ConsBut not a good people management.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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