Callison Employee Reviews

2.9
Overall rating
Based on 10 reviews
Ratings breakdown
51
43
31
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2.0
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stifling place to work
Office Administrator (Former Employee) –  Seattle, WAJanuary 16, 2016
no creativity, strict work structure, terrible social environment. Super corporate and bland. If donuts once a month is all you need to be happy choose this company
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2.0
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Good compensation for no job security
Associate (Former Employee) –  DallasOctober 16, 2015
Local management are very nice and supportive. Almost too nice. Constructive criticism/feedback was limited and often came when it was too late to make corrections. While supervising leadership was approachable and encouraging, an employees value is calculated by higher management using billable rates and project efficiency and not by general value added. For example, you could spend hours of overtime hours working in the office, but end up on the chopping block if that work is not considered billable.
The company is very generous in compensation and benefits. This generosity also increases the chance that the company will be over their quarterly budget and cuts will be made. They become short staffed, so the cycle continues.
The HR department works heavily on creating team building opportunities, but those opportunities are often in conflict with tight project deadlines and emphasis on maintaining a billable rate quota.
Anyone interested in working here should know that the design teams are friendly and talented, and they make an effort to make everyone feel like family. However, don't make yourself at home for at least a year. I strongly advised to have a plan B in place and I strongly discourage anyone from making major purchases dependent on your new salary.
They are currently experiencing the growing pains of being acquired by another company and merging with another large architecture firm. When the process first started, the process was fairly transparent and upbeat. However, I noticed a large shift in staff moral towards the negative as layoffs were made
  more... quietly, large decisions were made with vague explanations, and when team leaders/management began showing higher than normal signs of stress and anxiety.
Callison has a lot going for it, so if it can find a balanced ratio of employees to active projects, it has the potential to be a great place to work. For the sake of the company and the great people that work there, I hope they find their stride soon.
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Pros
People, Benefits, Downtown location, Quality Design
Cons
High employee turnover
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2.0
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Great for graduates, but no growth potential
Associate (Current Employee) –  Seattle, WAJuly 12, 2015
The "revolving door" culture makes this company ideal for new graduates to learn the ropes, but is detrimental in the long run. When your supervisor clearly has it worse than you at no fault of his own, the motivation to take risks and seek promotions is non-existent.
Pros
-Huge firm with many different parallel departments if you are looking for a change in pace, Free coffee
Cons
-No investment in its employees, Detached upper management, Work is monotonous, Work flow is years behind the curve technologically
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4.0
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Large, corporate Architectural firm with great people
Associate (Former Employee) –  Seattle, WAJuly 9, 2015
Mostly dealt with production work in cranking out construction drawings but it was part of the learning process. The studio group I worked in however was fun and supportive. They were actively keen on mentorship and project success for all members of the studio.
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3.0
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A training ground for future architects and designers
Support Member (Former Employee) –  Seattle, WAApril 9, 2014
This was my introduction into the architectural industry. What I have learned is that domestic architectural design projects have been in decline for many years, and most of the major design activity is happening in the Middle East and China. To their advantage, the firm has pursued global work for quite some time. The challenge now is to reestablish the firm in the domestic market by pursuing rollout or retail rebranding work.

The hardest aspects of the job:
- Figuring out which projects are cleared for public knowledge
- Finding the right people who have the authority to discuss project details
- Discovering how involved the practice was for any given project (e.g., which project phases did Callison participate in? Who was deemed the architect of record?)
- Locating background information and images for completed projects
Pros
Annual bonus, the Seattle office is in the heart of the retail district, the firm is proactively nurturing a younger generation of designers and architects
Cons
No 401K matching benefits, no work processes mandated by leadership, most projects are under NDA so there is minimal opportunity to market projects, tribal knowledge has been lost
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4.0
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Highly creative workplace
Director of Human Resources (Current Employee) –  Dallas, TXFebruary 12, 2014
Callison is full of creative individuals, whether it is strictly design, or managing teams. It is always fun at Callison
Pros
Projects, coworkers
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4.0
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Dallas office is full of great people
manager (Former Employee) –  Dallas, TXDecember 2, 2013
Company provides a lot of learning opportunities. Jobs are subject to economy of course. The loss of a large client results in the loss of jobs, unfortunately.

Benefits are good including 401k match.
Pros
Lots of Lunch and Learns
Cons
Easy to lose your job with the economy
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1.0
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Worst Architecture Firm to Work For
Senior Interior Designer (Former Employee) –  Seattle, WAFebruary 24, 2013
You will never advance while you work for this corporate owned monstrosity. And everyone here is just as angry and incompetent with design and management. You will produce nothing of value while they expect you to stay all hours of the night. ZERO LIFE WORK BALANCE. Management in god awful from the top tier down to your daily project manager/ architect. There are a few gems of people who work here, but when push comes to shove its dog eat dog. Oh... and your pay will be below average while you slave away and they hire and fire just to get someone cheaper even after all your dedication. This sounds written out of anger... but just... DON'T. The day I quit was one of the happiest day of my life.
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5.0
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Callison is a great company.
Receptionist (Current Employee) –  Seattle, WAJanuary 12, 2013
During a typical day I would answer the phones, do computer work, and go on various projects such as cleaning kitchens and conference rooms, maintaining automobile fleet, and telephone projects. The work place is very professional.
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