All Star Directories, Inc.
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All Star Directories, Inc. Reviews

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Doug Brown
15 Ratings
  • A company in freefall

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    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Business in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Business in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at All Star Directories, Inc. full-time (More than 3 years)


    The non-managerial staff are pleasant and mostly friendly. All Star has been ridiculously overstaffed for years, so if you find a job there, your biggest challenge will be to look busy and attend a lot of roundabout meetings with little value or purpose. This is a business on training wheels, and has been for years. If you can create the appearance of giving 110% while only giving 50%, this is the place for you! And yes, as many others point out: there's occasionally cake and whatnot.


    The management of this business is awful, both in business acumen and leadership skills. The industry is under intense scrutiny. This scrutiny is warranted. All Star's customers profit off of student loans taken out by people who cannot afford it. As the government and general public become increasingly aware of this predatory scheme, the for-profits that pay All Star's bills have become financially threatened. It's fair to say that it's looking bearish. Management at this company loves to be praised. They love to say that All Star is the best place they've ever worked. They view themselves as magnanimous. But they're more than happy to force out anyone who doesn't pay sufficient homage to the top leadership. Anyone who ruffles any feathers is unceremoniously dismissed. This is not uncommon. This company also likes to view itself as a vibrant tech company with dynamic ideas and amazing growth potential. As a result, the company has a staff far larger than it needs. This means the company is at constant risk of having to lay off employees when there's a downturn in revenues. It's happened two times that I'm aware of. Lead Gen is small potatoes, and could probably be run far more profitably with a quarter of the staff. The marketing department has a bloated staff all trying to fulfill their delusional vision of working at a "cool" tech company with a flashy website. All of this is done without taking stock of whether it makes any business sense to do so. Vanity is a major factor, but it's also vital to keep their minds off how it is that they actually make their money: by delivering down-on-their-luck prospective students to ruthless predators in as large a volume as they can muster. It's a reality that's hard to face, and much of the energy exerted at All Star is intended to make the staff feel like they're doing noble work instead of facing the ugly truth. Because of the constant attempts to internally paint All Star as doing virtuous work despite the reality, anyone who works there for more than a few months is either: more than happy to drink the Kool Aid (and isn't very bright); are privately aware of the scam and feel invariably guilty about it; or they're just as cutthroat as All Star's customers.

    Advice to Management

    If you're going to be ruthless predators like the clients you serve, then just cut the staff down and make the company lean. Lead gen isn't hard. You can do it with a much smaller staff. And if you want to do truly virtuous work instead of just deluding yourselves, then you need to get out of for-profit education lead gen entirely.

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