The Campus Special

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The Campus Special Reviews

Updated Jul 22, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

4.0 244 reviews

80% Approve of the CEO

The Campus Special President & CEO Chau Nguyen

Chau Nguyen

(117 ratings)

79% of employees recommend this company to a friend

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Hooked me up with career partners so I am set for when I graduate(in 36 reviews)

  • And the training conference in Chicago is a lot of fun(in 31 reviews)


Cons
  • Long hours, challenging situations, but overall- it is definitely worth the stress(in 25 reviews)

  • Most jobs are 9-5pm so its something that really gets you ready for when you get a full time job after graduation(in 10 reviews)

11 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews
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    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

    3 people found this helpful  

    Only do it if you don't expect to make a lot!

    Account Executive (Current Employee)

    Pros1. You're team members are completely AWESOME and you will probably make a lot of good friends in Chicago if you're sociable. I'm still friends with a few of my fellow interns
    2. You become incredibly familiar with your town/ city.

    Cons1. If you're not in a "college town" don't expect to make a lot of money, if any. Be prepared to have financial support from your parents.
    2. Because of my optimism of making more money, I'm literally struggling to pay all of my bills. It was such a horrible mistake!
    3. Long hours! It's not the typical 40 hr/wk. It'll be more like 60+

    The list goes on, but pretty much everything that is repeated in prior negative reviews is true!

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

    7 people found this helpful  

    Just Don't Do it

    Account Executive (Former Employee)

    ProsPros: Chau is amazing and will even text you on your first day, whenever you make a sale, and is extremely accessible. Inspirational man who is truly motivating and admirable.
    - Helps with confidence and approaching random strangers
    - Management IS always there for you
    - If you are in a great college town, where students are always driving to go out to eat, live mainly off campus, this could work for you. if not ......good luck
    - Great motivational prizes, bonuses, career partners.
    - I loved my team, we became friends in Chicago and still see each other all the time

    Cons1. First I'll start by saying the job description said 35-40 hours a week - fine! perfect! totally doable. However, you have conference calls after the work day ends and then spend hours logging your entire day into a database. Additionally you are encouraged to hit 5 places after 5PM, and be on your merry way at 8:45 Friday mornings. So tiring and emotionally draining and way more than 40 hours a week.
    2. The pay is crap. Especially with payment plans I had fellow interns making 16 dollars a month from some sales. And you're constantly chasing owners around and filling up your tank at LEAST once a week.
    3. Additionally, managers will tell you to lie with offers and deadlines being "today only" and that spots are first come first serve. Most business owners have done it in the past and do not really care at all to buy until the end of July when they see what competitors have bought. I also couldn't bring myself to lie about the promises of returns these owners would see and was sometimes disgusted with myself when I would walk out of businesses for the little bit that I did lie/over exaggerate
    4. I was told to go back to a place that had UNDER 5 COUPON REDEMPTIONS. Would anyone in their right mind feel comfortable going back somewhere and try to sell thousands of dollars in advertising to a company that CS failed them before? And managers always have a "perfect way" to go back; but really it is just embarrassing and a waste of interns time.
    5. Being in a renewal market sounds promising - until you realize that the prior interns have screwed you over by lying to business owners, selling to business owners that won't thrive from the product, or even just that business owners don't see any return.
    6. I honestly felt like managers were brainwashing me at some points in that their company was perfect and that I would not thrive in the future without this internship, and that my peers were just getting by waitressing and lounging by the pool; and it was me that would surpass them later in life due to this "experience" (when in reality I go to a very competitive school and all my friends have full time internships with companies such as the Big 4 companies, as well as many other impressive companies, and HAVE FUN with what they are doing!)
    7. Career Partners is dangled in front of your face like a carrot to a donkey. When I interviewed for this, I was told that once the internship was over that my resume would automatically be sent out to over 100 companies. However, on the LAST day of training we found out that there is a sales limit to hitting Career Partners. I also found out that they raised the quota by $5000 from last year and was extremely annoyed since the old quota still seemed high to me. Additionally, they include pictures of all of their career partners ever, even if some major companies aren't with them this current year.
    8. Constantly bashing the competitors, which they claim is a dying product however such competitors pays their interns $200/ week. Interesting.
    9. Managers call every 5 mins and turn every situation into something positive about campus special. Everything seems so scripted and phony and I truly wish I could have a real, down to earth convo with my manager because they are all friendly people....but it just seemed so fake.

    Only take this position if you have an indestructible backbone and your parents to help support you through the summer.

    Advice to Senior ManagementMore on-site training in college towns
    Have a draw system of $200 a week like Around Campus does.

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

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

    12 people found this helpful  

    The Campus Special can be a great experience but can also be a nightmare.

    Account Executive Intern (Current Employee) Carbondale, IL

    Pros1. The all expenses conference- It really makes you feel like a young professional instead of a college student. It is a great place to network with career partners (this year they added a career fair) and other students across the country. Overall a really cool experience.

    2. Some aspects of the company culture are really cool. Your managers are very reachable and seem like they are always trying to motivate you. Chau, the CEO, gets on your levels and tries to be a CEO that isn't behind the scenes but it more interactive with all parts of the company.

    3. You'll make money- IF you work hard AND are in a good market that isn't divided too many times.

    ConsI had a really bad experience with Campus Special. I did not seek out this internship because as a sophomore, I didn't think I needed an internship yet. My manager personally emailed me and recommended I apply. So I did, and within a week, I had three interviews and was hired on the spot. I turned down three other jobs I had lined up for the summer for this. I am used to working hard (2-5 jobs) every summer to pay my car or my debts since I turned 16. I thought if I worked hard I would make at least the lower end of the "average pay"($2,500) which would make up for not working my other jobs.

    Keep in mind that if the minimum wage is 8.25 and you are working 40 hours a week, you would walk away with $3,960 at the end of the summer (this is a 12 week program)

    When I was hired, I made the assumption I was the only intern hired in my college town of 26,000. This was my mistake. Keep in mind, my university has a declining enrollment and the region it is in is known to be poor and economically struggling. Maybe ONE more intern would have been okay, but no, they hired FOUR.

    I met another group at the conference with my same manager. Their "intern team" has three people. Their territory was Tampa, Florida, which has a population exceeding 360,000 people.

    I'm not making excuses, I am telling the facts here.

    Technically I am still employed at this internship but not for much longer because financially I can't do it. I am now in a very stressful financial situation, looking for another job, and locked into my summer lease.

    Some people who go to college in large towns, large cities, or rich suburbs might see a pretty dollar and much success out of this internship. For others, Campus Special can be dishonest to you and screw you over by over-saturating your market.

    Emotionally, I can take being said "no" to by business owners but my self esteem can't take working my butt off an entire summer and then getting nothing but disappointment out of it. When I can't make my situation better and am running out of businesses to go to by week three(they require you to make 30 in person business calls a day), I have a problem.

    Other issues I have:

    1. The attitude with this company might appeal to some but to others it is over exaggerated and just juvenile. I was on the fence about it but honestly I felt like I was surrounded by a bunch of obnoxious sports fans . The higher-ups in this company try to show the interns how hip they are to a ridiculous degree. They literally sent out a video of themselves shot gunning red bulls. My manager said he doesn't even drink red bull and might be wired on this particular day...meaning he was told/forced to do it and wasn't doing it out of free will.

    2. They act like every other college student who isn't doing this internship is partying or at the pool. WRONG. I sacrificed for this internship and have worked my butt off 60+ hours a week during every summer I was old enough to work. People can't just go to college anymore and not work. That's a mislead stereotype they promote and act like you are so much better for doing this internship.

    3. Before they sell you the products, the (over)sell the internship. As a college student ready to put good experience on a resume, they take advantage of you. It IS too good to be true. Considering I was ASKED to apply, it can't be that good of an internship.

    4. They WILL ask you to lie when selling their product. They act like it is a white lie but a lie is a lie. They want you to fake deadlines and act like you were the biggest fan of this product since first day of freshman year even if you were not at all.

    5. In some markets, their products/mediums just don't work. They never even train you on that. They give you testimonials for a few college but not your market. What works great in Kansas might not work great somewhere else, for example.

    6. Even when a renewal or non-renewal client gives perfectly good reasons why they can't buy (I just can't afford it because I just had a baby and have to pay more mangers, I can't even pay my employees, we ran the same coupon in the newspaper and got more of those returned to our business) they INSIST you go back five times. At some point you will feel like you are harassing people into buying instead of doing your job.

    7. It is ALL commission based so they don't compensate you for gas or your efforts even if you are trying hard without getting sales. I LOST money while doing this internship because I was driving to businesses. I tried to walk most of the time but when I started feeling drained because it is 90 degrees out or I'm getting harassed, then I tend to want to drive more.

    8. They expect you to feel comfortable talking, venting, and relying on your manager who you've only talked to on the phone a handful of times before the internship and met in person at the three day conference. You really can't develop a working relationship that way. Maybe that model works for some but not for most.

    9. They will send you tips but you really don't get much hands on training. The hands on training IS the internship and the managers are in a different time zone in Atlanta. While it's fine and dandy to be available via phone, this internship lacks the in person aspect.

    10. They will basically promote the idea to work all the time,work past the designated hours, and sacrifice all other aspects of your life. This work hard mentality has pros and cons but I rather see a company promote life BALANCE and efficiency. They say "work hard, play later," a saying that is promoted in grades schools, but when do they play? My manager told me he hasn't spent time with his wife because he is working late every night and works on weekends. No one regrets working hard but people DO regret not spending enough time with loved ones on their death beds.

    Advice to Senior ManagementPLEASE be honest and upfront about everything when you interview intern candidates especially in regards to the fraction of territory they end up getting instead of the whole college town.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

  1. We want your feedback – Are these company reviews helpful to you?  Yes | No
    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
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    • Disapproves of CEO

    6 people found this helpful  

    Great Internship, Horrible Corporate Office (Take advantage of the Career Partners program!!)

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsThe summer internship is a lot of hard work, but it is worth it. The experience gained and lessons learned are unmatched. You must be ready to put in long hours and always go the extra mile.

    I was also fortunate enough to have a manager that helped me develop professionally and personally. I got SO lucky!

    The corporate office.. not so much.

    ConsThe corporate office is a ridiculous mess. The job presented to potential employees is not actually what those people will be doing. Company culture is a joke because the CEO and current upper management only cares about numbers.

    Maybe in years past it was a place of fun times and family values, but those days are definitely over.

    Don't let the talks about your future, your potential and the money you COULD be making fool you. The goals set are not realistic. You are set up for failure.

    Advice to Senior ManagementYour employees are people not numbers. You hand picked them. You know their personalities, strengths, weaknesses, and potential. Stop pretending to be their best friend after not speaking with them for weeks. Stop making them explain themselves for not hitting goals that were never reachable in the first place.

    If they are happy, they will perform. Bring back the people who care. Don't be fake.
    Stop setting them up for failure.

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

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    5 people found this helpful  

    DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME IF YOU'RE NOT IN A TOP MARKET

    Account Executive (Former Employee)

    Pros-awesome conference to travel to meet all other interns
    -made some of my closest friends working there
    -able to have "business" know-how as an intern
    -teaches sales marketing tools
    -not many levels of hierarchy
    -weekly "pump up" phone calls
    -database of employers who are looking for sales people fresh out of school

    Cons-product is not worth the money in all markets
    -mgmt not very supportive or helpful
    -mgmt only concerned about the money you make them, not about you or your customers and concerns
    -depending on where you live you'll spend more money travelling to talk to business owners than you'll actually make that summer

    Advice to Senior ManagementLower your prices, make the product more valuable in smaller/less financially solvent markets

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

    8 people found this helpful  

    If you want a summer of frustration, this is the internship for you!

    Account Executive (Current Employee) Grand Rapids, MI

    ProsI am really struggling coming up with pros for this company.. I can only think of two.

    -Free trip to Chicago that is pretty fun
          They fly you out there, supply you with breakfast and lunch each day (the food isn't very good. It is a bagged lunch that tasted like it had sat there for a long time, don't get excited.), and you make some really awesome friends! Friends I gained from this internship I have stayed in contact with.. and I think most people feel the same way I do.

    -Somewhat of a paid internship
         When I say somewhat, it's because they really only pay you if you stay right on top of them. I am pretty sure I had to email payroll a million times to even get paid this summer. When they do pay you, it's not very much. Don't think you'll get rich this summer from this internship.

    ConsFor starters, let me be very clear about something: I like to think that I am a good employee. I have good work ethic and when I am making money, I will go above and beyond to do a good job. This past summer was my last summer before I graduate, so when I received the email from Campus Special about an open internship position I was so excited. My initial thought was "Oh my gosh, this is exactly what I have been looking for!" No. No. No. NO.
    Here are some cons:

    -You are very mislead from the beginning.

       Income:
         When they first call you, they claim their interns make $3,000+ every summer. NOT TRUE. I only know one person that made it somewhat close to that and she was amazing at this! I know a girl that had to sell HER CAR to stay afloat. Do you seriously want to go through that? I quit my job to do this internship this past summer. The first week i made two sales.. the next two or three weeks I made ZERO sales (this happens a lot) and I was trying EXTREMELY hard. For those two/three weeks, I spent money on gas driving around trying to make sales while not having any source of income. I had to get a part time job as well during the summer so I could afford to eat. My parents don't spoon feed me, so I had to do something.

    The summer is over and at this point, they still owe me about 300 bucks.. I emailed payroll a couple days ago..

      Career Partners:
         During the convention in Chicago, they make it seem like it is really easy to get free trips, ipads, all this. It's not. They also claim all these companies will want you JUST because you worked for them. Also false. If you read through the reviews on this website you will see a lot of interns saying that no companies have reached out or responded to them. Oh the lies..

    -Harassment all summer long
         Campus Special wants to control your life. They want you to work 40 hours a week, 9-5 every day. If you take the position, except to eat and breathe this company. My manager would call me at 9 AM every single morning and if I didn't answer because I was already out on the job or leaving my house, she would leave voicemail after voicemail. I would call her back, and I am pretty sure we would talk almost 10 times a day even if I had nothing to say. She would call to "check in". I personally think it was more of harassing me until I drown in her phone calls.. I drowned so many times

    It's never over. You have to do distribution during the school year when you're already stressed out from classes, and not just once but twice. Twice. I literally can't wait to graduate so I never have to hear the name Campus Special again. Praise the Lord.

    If you want an internship that you can learn from, do not take this one. I have two internships under my belt at this point, and I feel that I need another one (in Advertising) because this one only taught me patience.. and to never take a commission only job ever again. I regret taking this internship over anything. I was a server before, and I would rather serve ungrateful customers all day every day then do this.

    Advice to Senior ManagementI honestly think organization is a big part of keeping a company afloat. With this organization, Campus Special will not be around very long. Organize something! The only time it was organized was at the training conference, and I think that was only to make us think they were like that.
    Also- pay your interns on time. We are college kids. We need money for rent, food, and four tanks of gas a week to do our freaking job. Come on.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    8 people found this helpful  

    High School Cult

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsYou work in a very young and upbeat environment. It is a very exciting atmosphere. It will teach young people a very good work ethic.

    ConsIt reminds me of high school as the place is allowed to be filled with unproductive gossip about others in the work place. The regional sales managers are usually picked form the top sellers which most are NOT equity to manage ANYONE. This company is EXTREMELY unorganized which makes your job difficult. There are an issues with the company's database very frequently.

    The sales rep are pay pennies and most average about $2400 (10%) for the summer which may only pay for gas. Even If two reps make a sale together only one can get the commission.

    The management is entitled and often rude. Cannot disclose more for anonymity purposes.

    Advice to Senior ManagementI not sure if the care.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    7 people found this helpful  

    Not for everyone. Or even most people.

    Account Executive (Current Employee)

    ProsPaid trip to Chicago. Great networking there. Fun, interactive training, company looks good from the outside. When you do well you get recognized. Managers usually willing to help with the sale.

    ConsSmall markets make selling this product nearly impossible. Management bombards you with success stories from big schools (I'm talking U of I, Ohio, etc. the BIG ones). When sales aren't made then management gets a lot less friendly. You can work 8am-8pm and not make a sale, and even though at the beginning of the internship they claim it is about 'working hard, the experience' at the end of the day if you work your hardest and don't make a sale, things get pretty cold. I don't appreciate being called weak, or being told I should've been fired by now. What kind of job is this? I you don't get your sales, they take your renewals away and pass them on to their inside sales. So you can kiss your hopes of making any money goodbye after that. Compensation for sales is 10%, so that's great for schools that have business that will pay for expensive advertising like digital signage and whatnot, but doesn't do much for students working at small universities where businesses can hardly afford the $1000 coupon. 10% barely covers gas.

    I guess what I'm saying is, be prepared to work your ass off. And if you're from a big school, congratulations, you're going to have a good summer. If you're from a small school, good luck. It's going to be a terrible, emotionally draining, discouraging ride.

    Advice to Senior ManagementDon't take sales away from your interns. Seriously? You're going to stoop to name calling, and blaming the interns, rather than admitting some markets aren't as good as others? Look at the statistics of the area, or better yet come see them yourself before you start claiming that the interns aren't trying hard enough, or must be doing things wrong or slacking off and that's why sales aren't being made.

    Up your commission rate. 10% is barely enough to pay off the cost of gas to visit 30-45 places a day as you demand. Or compensate for gas. Visit te places you're having interns sell at, so you can understand. Don't preach from your desk in the land of happiness and air conditioning. See it. Then help interns work around the obstacles of a small, poor market.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    5 people found this helpful  

    Account Executive

    Account Executive (Former Employee) Tucson, AZ

    ProsReal world experience. Learn sales process and how to be effective in personal selling.

    ConsProduct/service is not as popular as management makes you believe. Managers are misleading at times.

    Advice to Senior ManagementBe more transparent and honest with your interns from the get-go.

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

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

    2 people found this helpful  

    Account Executive

    Account Executive (Former Employee) Amherst, NY

    ProsGreat hands on real world experience internship
    Coupons can be a relative way to increase business traffic
    Motivational management and training conference
    Career partner opportunity (Once they reach decent profitability in said market)

    ConsNew markets can be ridiculously tough to break into
    No physical manager present in day-to-day operations
    Not enough local research from management to successfully bust into the market

    Advice to Senior ManagementIf you are recruiting for a new market, you should ensure that the team will sustain itself through the summer, working alone in a new market is probably one of the hardest and biggest drains on motivation that one could ever face in the job experience. Every seasoned sales person I spoke to, whether it was pharma products or manufacturing equipment said that is a huge mistake. Please better recruiting efforts, do not put more emphasis/value on the appearance of your prospective candidates than their actual intelligence and work ethic, it proved wrong in my markets scenario.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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