City Year Reviews

Updated July 26, 2014
Updated July 26, 2014
176 Reviews
3.6
176 Reviews
Rating Trends

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City Year President Michael Brown
Michael Brown
88 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Love the idea of the company and you can be touched by the stories from the corps members (in 15 reviews)

  • 5,550 AmeriCorps Education Award (in 10 reviews)


Cons
  • Long hours worked with little recognition for efforts (in 40 reviews)

  • Also - if Corps members around you decide to be negative, it's hard to fight it (in 32 reviews)

More Highlights

24 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1.  

    Organization was a joke, but working with students was rewarding

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

    I worked at City Year full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Mentoring and tutoring students was one of the greatest rewards at this job. The students were grateful to have someone closer to their age that was invested in their progress and educational future.

    Cons

    The organization is too focused on growth and should be spending its resources on training and current employee support. Every service project that was attempted was much more of a photo op than a project meant to do any good. Additionally, the "culture" of this organization was oppressive and belittling--we were constantly forced to do chants and cheers in front of students as well as have a forced, hokey positive persona.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Focus on crafting an organizational culture that is based more on skills and actions rather than promoting those who are the loudest chanters and performers.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Great mission - smart leaders, but poor HR practices

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA

    I worked at City Year full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    The work this organization does is amazing. They have focused their impact in recent years and it is great to see the impact they have with children and in communities. I worked in the Boston headquarters and found most other HQ employees to be as passionate as those in the communities.

    Cons

    While the leadership team is made up of very smart people, the HR practices can be disheartening - preferential hiring/promotions based on history rather than skills / recent contributions / capability. Poor judgment around setting up effective department structures.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Find a strong, professional head of HR to change the way you hire and manage your talent. Focus on talent, not history with the organization. Reward individuals with strong performance and manage the performance of those who are lacking.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    Great Service and experience.. Horribly inept organization

    Former Employee - Corps Member  in  Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Corps Member in Washington, DC

    I worked at City Year full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Working with the kids. Extremely eye-opening and positive experience with the children.

    Cons

    Anything that has to do with the program was horrendous. From the creepy CEO, who hits on the young women relentlessly, to the ridiculously under-qualified staff; City Year is a farce of an organization. The road to hell is paved in good intentions.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Quit.

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  5.  

    Ups and Downs

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Corps Member  in  Orlando, FL
    Current Employee - Corps Member in Orlando, FL

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

    Pros

    Great relationship building and invaluable experiences

    Cons

    Petty Work environment during training. Upper-management does not treat Corps-members like adults. Pay is very little for working so hard. Allotted very little time to spend with family.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    I expected more

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

    I worked at City Year

    Pros

    Very socially conscious, very connected to the community, and the potential to do substantial good for people who need it. Can be very demanding, but in a good way. Relatively easy to see the impact of your work.

    Cons

    A lot varies depending on what city you're in. From what I've heard, some cities have fantastic staff and team members, whereas others have hired team members that are extremely unprofessional on a daily basis. At my site, I never had a problem with any of the staff: they were all fantastic, really approachable people, who were always willing to help out or provide guidance in terms of my objectives.

    Having said that, you get worked like a dog if you're a team member (I can't say for staff, but I can imagine it'd be similar). Expect weekend work and overtime.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I'd suggest a no-tolerance policy for team members regarding behavior and professionalism.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    It's not what you know, it's who brown noses

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Accounting  in  Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Accounting in Boston, MA

    I worked at City Year full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Love the idea of the company and you can be touched by the stories from the corps members.

    Cons

    As mentioned in many posts, you need to be someone's best buddy in order to get anywhere in this company. No recognition for your hard work. Sr Management could care less about the folks doing the work. The turn over is high due to "talented terrors" or "friends" being promoted to positions they have no idea how to do.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take a look at your turn over rate. That says a lot on your company.

    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    City Year: A Cult

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Manchester, NH
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Manchester, NH

    I worked at City Year full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    You meet a great group of individuals who are untied for a common cause

    Cons

    Poorly organized; no infra-structure; all activities are dictated by a little hand book; work weeks are over 50 hours for no reason; no work life balance - they "0wn" you; borderline unethical treatment of staff and funders.The culture encourages 60 hour work weeks for positions that need no more than 37.5 hours. Corps members who come through the ranks and are promoted into positions are then hired on aren't qualified to do their jobs. When they leave, it will be a rude wake-up call in the workforce.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You are doing the corps members and staff a large disservice thinking that long hours means high quality work is being accomplished. You would be better off investing in solid systems and people with no how which would enable you to reduce your administrative work force. Sites need to work smarter not harder. The culture encourages 60 hour work weeks for positions that need no more than 37.5 hours. Corps members who come through the ranks and are promoted into positions are then hired on aren't qualified to do their jobs. When they leave, it will be a rude wake-up call in the workforce.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    company mantra focuses on appearances and doesn't address real issues.

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

    I worked at City Year full-time

    Pros

    If you work with the right people the experience can be tolerable to great. Some mid-level managers are really sharp and care about their employees.

    Cons

    Not sure what to emphasize or where to begin; I could spend days on this. The review about Senior Leadership favoritism is absolutely true: the team has nearly doubled the last 4 years, and they are all 'yes' men who've been there forever. Rather than listing all the cons, I think I'll conclude by saying that there is a huge mantra of hiding problems rather than addressing them. They claim to be a data-driven organization but have few data, and a lot of it isn't that positive. They claim "diversity" to be one of their most precious values, but their Senior Leadership is 90% white, and I've yet to see more than hot air on the topic.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You guys need new blood: fresh faces, new ideas.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10.  

    Lots of room for leadership development but favoritism and lack of expectations are often seen.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Columbus, OH
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Columbus, OH

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

    Pros

    Working with the students and seeing their success is truly rewarding. Community service is also nice as well as getting the true "team player" experience. Leadership development comes from community outreach, leading projects and creating thorough lesson plans for students.

    Cons

    The work life balance is tough. The service year is very demanding and the stipend is rough. Forbearance is only allowed for federal loans, not private. The education award received cannot be used on private loans either.

    Team issues tend to be "swept under the rug" and support can feel less than what is needed in situations for senior corps members. Expectations are sometimes null and void in order to give corps members chance after chance to grow within the "character building" process. This can bring teams down and lower productivity.

    The line between professionalism and unprofessionalism is often crossed. Attention to uniform parts, language, punctuality, are treated with a slap on the wrist.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be very careful when interviewing potential candidates. Make sure people are absolutely positive that they want to give up a year of their life for service. Expectations for data entry and general professionalism need to be higher and enforced better.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 2 people found this helpful  

    Great mission but horrible leadership

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

    I worked at City Year full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Some good people, mission in theory is great. Pay is way above most non-profits.

    Cons

    Poor leadership to the top level. I worked for Boston H.Q. and there are a lot of unethical things going on. Folks are screamed at outright in the workplace and management answers to no one.
    As mentioned in other reviews, there is an endemic lack of respect for co-workers and Executive management is treated like royalty coming even with their own "handlers".
    Should be an idealistic nonprof but it is more like a large corporation where everyone in upper management is worried about their own kingdom rather than the common good. The business model is to show donors the young faces of Corps. Members with school kids- which sells! Sadly, they do little to make a change but they get the money which is what counts for them.
    Work there if you don’t really care about the mission and do not care about a respectful workplace since it does pay well. However, if you are truly looking for a good work environment- RUN!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get new leadership! The young idealist kids make CY sadly, they are paid virtually nothing. Whereas management makes way too much - Double compared to local non-profits.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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