Black & Veatch Employee Reviews

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  • Job Security/Advancement
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Not fun place to work
Resident Construction Inspector (Former Employee), Manhattan, NYAugust 30, 2013
Never enough time to do the real work required of an engineer. Too many company requests and directives. Not much support from the company. The BV supplied computer was a nightmare as there was no internet cable only an undependable air card. Never had printer software installed on the BV laptop so you needed to use a flash drive on PRINTER. JOB SITE DID NOT HAVE WORKING PHONES ...SO YOU Had to use your cell phone to get things done. Never had my own desk. Pop quiz drug screenings with two day notices. The home office in Kansas had no idea what a hardship it was to take the screening in a different part of Manhattan and then walk back to your job site and still do an entire days work. Not a friendly place to work. Typical day: prepare daily report written in a log book and also electronically, same with logs , Worked in a large trailer and outdoors. GC never gave a heads-up a day in advance on equipment and material deliveries coming onsite and leaving the site...all of which needed to be tracked and photographed. The photos needed to be labeled with one of 2 contract #'s, location and date plus a description. Some people worked much harder than others as this was a joint venture job between 3 companies. Inspections for work done by several contractors....none of which advised the construction manager they would be on site or they were on site. Lack of control! The hardest part of the job was being AT ALL Places at all times and still doing the paper work. This was a 2man job but the client did not want to spend the money. The only joy was taking a required 1/2 hour for lunch – more... ...so 8hr pay for being there 8 1/2 hours. Even on OT it was straight pay and I worked thru lunch most of the time. Safety classes once a month with lunch thrown in and a certificate a couple of weeks later. The GC hated the CM.
a couple of the co-workers were good people.....but most are still engineers with no personality

Bottom line: you are a tool in a tool drawer.. – less
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Good starting point, but jump ship ASAP.
Project Facilitator (Current Employee), Overland Park KSMarch 22, 2013
Pros: location, schedule
Cons: management doesn't care, no advancement, co-workers rude, etc.
Started as a contractor, took a year to be converted to perm employee. Increase was only .50, annual increase the following year, even with the best rating you can get, still only .50. But it's not even the pay that is the issue. The pay for my position was acceptable. But as many others have pointed out, the problem is with management, especially if you're in the telecom department. Management does not care, they're totally disconnected from everyone below them ( the ones doing the actual work). If you have an issue with a co-worker..they won't help you. My job itself I love.But the lack of involvement and caring from management is horrible, makes you not want to even come to work! Advancement chance is zero. ( at least in telecom ). If you have a lot of work to do don't expect your manager to approve Overtime, they'll do everything within their power to make sure you never get any overtime. Exact words my manager said "I don't believe in overtime". Bottom line is, if you need a job then this place is ok to start at, but keep looking elsewhere while employed here and get out as soon as you find something else. I can't speak for any other department here other than telecom, I've heard if you get into any other department it's completely different. So stay away from telecom at Black and Veatch or if you accept a position in telecom be sure to keep looking! Be prepared to have some backstabbing, gossiping, rude co workers too...Been here over 2 years...time for me to move on ASAP!

April 4, 2013

Yes

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Beware of B&V Wireless Telecom
Engineer (Former Employee), KSNovember 7, 2012
Pros: not many
Cons: everything
I wouldn't go as far as saying the company is corrupt as some of the other reviews, but management is so diabolically bad that the entire company is one giant mismanaged disaster. Pay levels are generally at the bottom of any industry average, and the company provides very little incentives to stick around. No training is provided, and there are few opportunities for internal advancement. The company culture is obsessed with hiring externally, and only hiring personal contacts, rather than promoting internally from within the company or vetting anyone properly. In other words, you're stuck at whatever job you get hired at, if you're even lucky enough to get hired in the first place. The only way to get promoted is to quit, work for a competitor, and wait for B&V to try and hire you back. Favoritism rules, and most of the 'leadership' shuns new ideas. They are stuck doing things the only way they know how (which hasn't worked before), and they only want to hire people they know from previous. Hence the company is stuck in the past and can't progress like most competitive companies. Their long term work is questoinable as well, as they only have one big client (AT&T), and even with that being said they still can't manage the work effectively. In time even this work will fade away, and BV Telecom will inevitably have to shrink. Only work for this company if you need a paycheck. If you already have a decent job, don't even consider working here.

April 4, 2013

My experience exactly. I think they are close to losing AT&T for performance reasons. Go ahead AT&T pull the plug on this one.

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Wireless Telecom Project Coordinator
Telecom Project Coordinator (Former Employee), Denver, COFebruary 23, 2015
Pros: enthusiasum to learn new technologies as well as new business procedures.
With a combination of instinct, integrity, trustworthiness, and an openness to learn anything new in any project I’m assigned to. I work hard to complete various assignments and do so with the utmost enthusiasm. I am goal oriented as well as being a team player. I am always punctual, as well as being easygoing and enjoy smiling and laughing. I have demonstrated a strong desire for advancement in the wireless telecommunication arena as well as to be always professional and attentive. Diligent in studying for advancing certifications, attention to detail, devoted to work, but being a real people person. I am well organized, and I keep a sharp eye on the bottom line. I realize too that good customer relations are what make or break a relationship with vendors and clients. I suppose doing well in a career is easy if you are, driven in equal measure by both quality and efficiency with a strong desire to learn and grow further into the future.
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Contract - Long waiting period to be hired perm
Closeout Administrator (Former Employee), San Diego, CAApril 11, 2014
Pros: nice office, nice people, centrally located
Cons: no advancement and if you're new, you have to start at the bottom and that's closeouts
Worked in the San Diego office for over 7 months waiting to be converted permanently while everyone else was having their paperwork processed. So one foot was already out the door then my supervisor who has no idea how to manage threatened me with my job. According to her findings, I wasn't closing out enough projects from the previous years. These projects were horribly neglected and half of the backup documentation was missing. So how does one closeout a site without the proper backup? We were told to close them out anyway, only to have them rejected by corporate. It was a job going nowhere so I ended up leaving. Not worth staying when you have no idea when your last day will be. Overall, good company to work for if you are already permanent and NOT in closeouts. It's a horrible dept to be in.
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Horrible
Site acquisition (Former Employee), KansasMarch 28, 2013
Pros: some decent co workers who are stressed beyond belief
Cons: turn over rate, management, dysfunction, no direction, pay, benefits, in general their telecom division
Little to no direction on everything, management is terrible and absent from work regularly, co workers are decent but rightfully stressed, turn over rate is by far the worst I've seen in all my years of working for different companies. Everyone that is good at what they do leaves the first chance they get to work elsewhere, and new employees rarely last through the first 6 months because management is just that terrible. Management takes no fault in their mess ups and are the first to put the blame on the little guys and then fire them. No one, even management has worked for BV telecom for more than 5 years. Run do not walk away from this company, and if they want to hire you as a contract employee I'd say no and wait for something else....you won't regret not working for this company.

April 4, 2013

There seems to be a trend to these comments for the wireless group. Natural selection is worst than karma.

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Love this job
Engineering Technician (Current Employee), Overland Park, KSJuly 15, 2015
Pros: Great hours, great staff, great enviornment
Cons: None so far
I have always wanted to work for Black and Veach since I was in highschool.


On a daily basis, I would get to work and look for projects to start working on. Once I have a site I would look over the site and check if there were and redlines. If there were no redlines I would review the site to check for any errors that I could find. Next was pushing the site to the next phase and making sure it goes through all its checks so the site could go out on that day.

Everyone that I work with is great. From the moment I was hired, people provided me with assistance without hesitation. No one was ever frustrated with me when I asked questions, and they even taught me things for future problems that could occur. I love my work environment and the people make it that much better.
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Worst place I have ever worked.
Accountant (Former Employee), Overland Park, KSJune 18, 2013
Pros: nothing
Cons: everything
There is little to no direction on everything, lack of system trainings, and management is terrible and absent from work regularly. Co-workers are nice but rightfully stressed, turn over rate is by far the worst I've seen in all my years working at different companies. Individuals who is good at what they do, will leave at the first chance they get to work elsewhere and new employees rarely last through the first 6 months because management is just that horrible (no clear guidance, managerial skills, and leadership). Management takes no fault in their own mess ups and are the first to put the blame on the little guys and fire them. Work is provided with no clear direction or guidance. Run, do not walk away from this company. You will regret working for this company.
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Great place to work
Telecommunication Design Engineer Technician 1 (Current Employee), Denver, COJune 17, 2014
please see resume and all in one packet I have provided
Black & Veatch (Fortune 500 Company-Global Leader in Engineering & Telecommunications) 02/17/14 Present Full Time (Contract Position)
Telecommunication Design Engineer Technician 1
Working directly under the direction of lead engineers within a team of 5 designers.
Constructing AutoCAD drawings for AT&T’s modification to cellular towers and upgrade to LTE 4G. Creating zoning, construction and detailed electrical drawings.
Creating dynamic blocks and templates.
High level of attention to detail and accuracy is required.
Working in a very fast paced team environment.
Working with a wide range of computer programs, AutoCAD MEP, BlueBeam, Microsoft Office WebTop , and Quickbase data.
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Run!
Recruiter (Current Employee), AtlantaMay 29, 2013
Pros: friendly employees, wages, environment
Cons: management, workload, office is ugly, lack of direction, no vision, nor tools provided to do work that's needed, stress level
Black & Veatch (Overland Contracting) has lots of solid people working within the organization but everyone is way overworked, underpaid, no clear vision, nor are the plans in place to get to where they need to be. Each function could add at least 4 other people for the workload they currently have and wonder why people are stressed or miss things.

Not for the creative, think outside of the box employees. New ideas are squashed and what makes it worse is the mother ship, Black & Veatch who uses old systems, old ways of thinking about problems and doesn't allow for creativity in solving problems or processes.

Not the place for the faint of heart!!!
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Corporate Cliche
Recruiter (Former Employee), Overland Park, KSApril 7, 2015
You know all the horror stories about Corporations? They're alive and well at B&V. I worked in HR and sat right next to the EEOC Specialist who received phone calls from internal employees needing help with difficult situations. The scary thing was, she didn't help these employees so much as ran upstairs to the lawyers for CYA advice. After a few more meetings these employees who were promised help if only they called, were suddenly fired, demoted, or bullied until they quit. I saw it happen over and over and over again.

The unofficial Personnel company motto? Nothing personal.

Without giving out sensitive information, I'll just say I've never worked at more unethical company, and I've worked in the corporate world for nearly 3 decades. HR is always vicious, but B&V took to an all time low.
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Challenging and rewarding
Senior Project Controls Analyst (Current Employee), JohannesburgJune 18, 2015
Most days involve the application of advanced project controls techniques and analyses in support of the client’s outage management projects and in providing a transfer of skill and knowledge in the fields of project management, outage planning and scheduling. Sometimes I work autonomously but mostly as part of a small dedicated team in the field, which is fully supported by our management team based in Johannesburg. The hardest part of the job is managing the on site culture in respect of trying to improve procedures and processes to deliver more effective and efficient outcomes to the clients objectives. It is extremely satisfying when this is achieved.
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Supportive and team oriented place to work
Wireless Lead Construction Manager (Current Employee), Pittsburgh,PAMay 5, 2015
Pros: Free breakfast or lunch once a week / extremely safety conscious
Cons: Long work days due to current project
Typical day at work resumes after I get home in the evenings due to size of current project.


Learned how to deal with difficult situations.

Really respect and like my local upper Leadership.

Coworkers are some of the best in the telecommunications

Hardest part of the job is not being able to be proactive due to the changing scope of current project. I always like to be a step ahead and it is difficult to achieive in my current situation.

Most enjoyable is to see a project thru from start to finish ( building or upgrading a cell site/tower)
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Worked for Black & Veatch as a non-employee.
Contract Position (Former Employee), Burr Ridge, ILMay 10, 2013
Pros: learning new skills; computer programs.
Cons: temporary position so there were no benefits.
A typical day at work was sitting in front of a computer and pulling legal documents from several different databases owned by the client contracted with Black & Veatch. Then saving and renaming all pertinent information in a separate database for the client's legal department to review.
I learned about leases, subleases, engineering documentation as well as state and federal regulatory protocol.
The hardest part of this job was learning the computer programs but after the first week it was fine. It was easier than I thought it would be.
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Well-Rounded and Visible
Project Support Assistant (Current Employee), Overland Park, KSJanuary 23, 2015
Pros: new opportunities, growth, variety of work
As a Project Support Assistant, visibility in the company is high. I assist anywhere from high level executives and department managers as well as project managers and engineers on a daily basis. Opportunities to train and learn on the job allows for personal and professional growth. A typical day includes working on travel arrangements, editing reports, word processing and formatting, proofreading, engineering specifications, scheduling meetings and special events, assisting with charitable events, producing correspondence, managing calendars and more.
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Good company with typical bureaucratic systems
Strategic Initiatives Manager (Current Employee), Lake Bluff, ILMarch 27, 2015
Pros: Midwestern values and integrity
Cons: Mediocre pay, benefits and promotion opportunities
Your experience will depend on your supervisor's competence. In my case, my supervisor is not a good communicator nor very strong manager.

I am a self-starter, and therefore work on my own a lot without a lot of direction. I do not view a path towards accelerating my career here however, only because my boss doesn't know how to fully leverage my skills to help him grow our business group.

I feel like I could stay here forever if I wasn't very ambitious and make a decent living, but that is not my goal.
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This is a review from a contract engineer perspective
Structural Engineer I (Former Employee), Overland Park, KSJanuary 19, 2016
Pros: Work atmosphere was great and the people were good.
Cons: No chance for advancement
The company is great and the people I worked with were wonderful, however, as a contract engineer you feel that you are treated different and there is no chance of advancement. The first six months were good, however, after that I was going to work not knowing if I was going to stay till the end of the day or I will be let go. I was one of the top performers on the project and I wasn't let go till the last group but still it wasn't a pleasant experience going to work being worried that this might be the last day.
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Excellent company with a wide variety of projects
Civil Engineer (Current Employee), Columbia, MDNovember 23, 2015
Pros: Mobile work stations, ability to work from home or other offices
Cons: Horrible benefits
Great company with a lot of new work coming in. Some of the clients, however, make the schedules pretty aggressive, causing some frantic deadlines. Good co-workers with good attitudes and strong work ethics. The size of the company allows employees to feel safe during lull periods, as well as a lot of support during the busy times (extra support staff). A lot of older employees with a lot of knowledge teaches the younger employees. With the large amount of older employees, room for advancement is present
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Project Management company
PM (Former Employee), San DiegoNovember 16, 2014
Pros: good pay
Cons: work with bullies
The company as a whole is excellent. The Local leadership or lack there of leaves much to be desired. If you are not part of the good ole boy network, expect to be intimidated into submission. If you do not conform to their style, you will be forced out of the company. The local leadership uses the same tactics with the general contractors that perform the work, they intimidate them into over committing to the schedule or they get blacklisted and will not be given anymore work. GC's are required to buy lunches and provide gifts to employee parties to be used a raffles gifts in exchange for work.
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Some Locations are better than others
Market Manager (Current Employee), SD/LVSeptember 4, 2015
Pros: Great Benefits, salary, and internal traning
Cons: The '"In Crowd" seems to be protected when found wrong
The Turf Director in the San Diego Office creates and promotes a unhealthy and hostile work environment. Shoot first and aim later mentality. Job security is seemingly nonexistent. The "open door" policy was more used against you than to help you.

Other work locations were very much fun and challenging with a great management system in place. The Corporate mission statement is very much in focus. Would be a great career environment unless you work in the San Diego/Las Vegas joint office.
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Headquarters
11401 Lamar Ave.
Overland Park KS, United States 66211
Revenue
$1bn to $5bn (CAD)
Employees
5,001 to 10,000
Industry
Links
Black & Veatch website