AKQA
3.0 of 5 161 reviews
www.akqa.com San Francisco, CA 1000 to 5000 Employees

AKQA Reviews

Updated Apr 14, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.0 161 reviews

                             

50% Approve of the CEO

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Ajaz Ahmed

(18 ratings)

52% of employees recommend this company to a friend
161 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
  • "Great clients with awesome budgets"
    in 12 reviews
Cons:
  • "The work/life balance and the expectations set on the employees are unrealistic"
    in 20 reviews
  • "Long hours (9am until 9pm and one day at weekends not uncommon)"
    in 17 reviews
  • Show more review highlights

Reviews

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Good place for a short time

Creative Developer (Former Employee)
San Francisco, CA (US)

I worked at AKQA as a contractor for less than a year

ProsUsing news libraries and working on various projects!

ConsThere is a big gap between the managers and developers. You get the feeling that all they care is to make the customer happy nothing else.

Advice to Senior ManagementPay more attention to the work everyone is doing not just a small group.

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1 person found this helpful  

Tech has good process, Design has less process, Upper management is honing skills, Salary is very competitive

Technology (Current Employee)
New York, NY (US)

I have been working at AKQA full-time for more than a year

ProsRelatively lenient regarding vacation. Salary is great and they will listen to your demands during reviews, but you must be up front and firm (like anywhere). The culture is great, at least twice a month there are off parties with a full bar and catering. Company communicates future vision well and explains their yearly goals 3 times per year. They have a yearly holiday outing that can get rowdy, but it's fun. There is a good balance between the upper management and lower management, you never feel like they are "better" than you but rather on the same page.

ConsNeed help improving process for creative division. Relatively high turn over. Projects can be demanding with some long work days and even weekends, but they compensate that with an extra free day here or there (but make sure they know you are working extra because they wont keep track of it). Verizon client can be a bit annoying, but there are new fresh clients to keep you busy when you've finished a Verizon project.

Advice to Senior ManagementImprove the process within your division to help collaboration between each division and their constituent groups.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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fast-paced and inspirational

Senior Account Manager (Current Employee)
London, England (UK)

I have been working at AKQA full-time for more than 3 years

ProsIf you want to work with some of best clients around on some truly innovative and inspirational projects, this is the place for you.

ConsIf you want a life outside of work, or a sensible hourly wage once you take into account overtime, look elsewhere...

Advice to Senior ManagementValue your employees more.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Big brands, great experience, opens doors

Creative (Former Employee)
San Francisco, CA (US)

I worked at AKQA full-time for more than a year

ProsYou get to work with some very talented people.
The brands and projects are world-class.
You can make a name for yourself if you work hard.
Opens a lot of doors and good industry recognition.

ConsThere is a lot of movement within the company, can be unsettling.
You can float by if you don't apply yourself.
Sometimes negative attitude from coworkers.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Miserable. I regret my decision to work here.

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at AKQA full-time for less than a year

ProsSome really great individuals. Reasonably close to public transit. The vending machine is subsidized. You get to say you work on "cool" brands. You are allowed one piece of free fruit every afternoon.

ConsThe majority of people I work with are unhappy and/or looking for employment elsewhere.

As other reviewers have mentioned, expectations are unrealistic. Plan on spending all your nights and weekends working, or have your "dedication" questioned. Management makes little to no investment in the development of individuals or the cultivation of teams. There is neither training nor mentorship for junior team members. Atmosphere is one of bullying and intimidation, particularly among senior management.

Advice to Senior ManagementIf you're fine with your high turnover rate, continue what you're doing. Smoothies, a few yoga classes and some quippy emails are no panacea for the deep problems facing this 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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nice people to spend ALL of your time with

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

I worked at AKQA

ProsNice people who work really hard and will put all of their time into their work.

ConsZero work/life balance, so be prepared to spend all of your time with these nice people. Raises and bonuses rarely happen despite the competitive industry and all the best people end up leaving once they figure it out. It is a shame because there are great people who work there and great pieces of business to work on.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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A company at the top of its game. Work hard, play hard. It's a journey.

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
London, England (UK)

I have been working at AKQA full-time for more than 5 years

ProsYou will work with some of the best talent in the industry. It's inspiring to work alongside these people. I've been in meetings and the level of expertise and thinking is exceptional.
If you want to travel to work in other offices you can. I've had the chance to travel the world with AKQA.
Variety; one day you'll be brainstorming the future for a top automotive client. The next day you might be figuring out how a new technology is relevant for retail.
Very very client focused, you work closely with them nearly everyday.
Good culture, lots of cool people, work hard and play hard.
I've learnt more at AKQA than anywhere else in my whole career.

ConsAny journey worth taking is never easy. If you want a job where you sit back and watch the day go by then AKQA isn't for you.
If you want to get stuck in, be part of the team and contribute then it is the place for you.

Advice to Senior ManagementDo more company wide events for staff

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

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AKQA is great, MSA (Media / Search / Analytics) is AWESOME

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at AKQA full-time for more than 3 years

ProsIncredibly intelligent colleagues, interesting work on great brands, cutting-edge technology application, and fun/friendly environment. It will challenge you but you will be better for it!

ConsDifficult to get account and PM teams to respect hard work and scope appropriately. Some projects are not set up for success because of bad foundation/scope, otherwise teams are smart and work is good.

Advice to Senior ManagementRespect the teams that are contributing to data, technology, analytics, insights more. Let the best performers lead the team more, because the client services team usually sucks at it.

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

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A good jumping off point.

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at AKQA full-time for more than a year

ProsYou'll get to work on some massive clients and work with some great people. It's a good vibe in a fun environment.

ConsIt can be very political. There's a lot of "High-level thinking" without a lot of actual work from the top. This creates a trickle down effect of sorts and creates inefficiencies, and not the most impressive work.

Advice to Senior ManagementLook out for your lower ranks.

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

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Overrated

Account Executive (Current Employee)

I have been working at AKQA full-time for more than a year

ProsGreat people to work with. Cool office and culture, with some industry perks.

ConsOver worked and underpaid. No support from management, and you are basically expected to do your job as best you can and thats it.

Advice to Senior ManagementSupport and LEAD your teams.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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