33 Universal Reviews

Updated December 26, 2014
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  1. 1 person found this helpful

    so far so good, glad to be a part of a growing company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Reporter in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Reporter in New York, NY

    I have been working at 33 Universal full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    I've been working for 33 Universal for over one year. I wasn't ready to post a review until I have worked long enough to feel confident in putting our my recommendation in writing. Some of the negative reviews I read sound pretty hateful, but I can kind of guess who those people could be since most of the staff in the company do not seem to think that way, at least not out loud.

    As a writer, I am given creative freedom which I appreciate. The news so far is pretty neutral. Honestly, I don't care what my ceo's religion is, because that is their personal belief. I mean, if Steve Jobs was a Buddhist, does that mean that I should not work for Apple since I don't practice buddhism myself? When has this world become so narrow?

    After 1 year of working here, I can say I like it here. I saw firsthand the company's shift from no health insurance to health insurance, from a small coffee pot to an espresso machine. Seems like they are growing more staff also. I guess that is a good sign!

    Cons

    I wish there was a clearer way to grow in the company with raises and promotions.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  2. 1 person found this helpful

    The worst working experience I had to endure

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Freelance Writer in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Freelance Writer in New York, NY

    I worked at 33 Universal full-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    There are no pros that I can remember. The downtown area where the office is located is nice. That's it.

    Cons

    Leadership is young and inexperienced. Everything is very shady. The company serves to finance some Korean cult. Try to avoid! It definitely won't help your CV.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Become honest and transparent. Stop lying.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  3. Can't Complain! Good Experience to Kick Off Career

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Writer in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Writer in New York, NY

    I have been working at 33 Universal full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    I was at first hesitant to work at this place since the reviews on glass door were not that good, but I also realized that reviews are usually written by people who have strong complaints. I figured, there are probably many people who just find the company just fine but didn't bother to write a review. As a fresh graduate, I knew that finding a job would be hard so I applied to many places including 33 Universal, and they were one of the first to provide me an opportunity to kick start my journalism career. To be honest, I am quite thankful! I was informed in the interview that they are a start up company so I know that I should be not expect them to be perfect. So far, the experience has been pleasant. Can't complain for having a job when I know some many people struggling to find a job!

    Cons

    There is a big focus on traffic, which can sometimes take away from the content, but I understand that every newspaper needs readership. So I can't really complain.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Would like some more company activities together

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
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  5. 3 people found this helpful

    HORRIBLE, Seriously Horrible

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

    I have been working at 33 Universal full-time

    Pros

    Pros....Let me think... still thinking... there's a lot of bars nearby for days when I need a drink because this place gets on my nerves so bad

    Cons

    Hours are long, no vacation, no holidays, very very low pay. People have been leaving left and right, health insurance sucks, HR doesn't pay on time, you're treated like a typing machine and you're numbers better be high or else. Work on weekends and still low pay. kitchen is never stocked, management is horrible. They go after recent grads and ppl desperate for work

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    RE-DO EVERYTHING. GIVE EMPLOYEES REASON TO STAY AT THIS PLACE, THAT'S WHY EVERYONE IS LEAVING

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  6. 3 people found this helpful

    Don't Let Them Take Advantage of You

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

    I have been working at 33 Universal as a contractor

    Pros

    The hours are super flexible. You can work remotely. A great part-time job.

    Cons

    The pay is horrible. For part-time writers you have to write over 100 articles a month to make $1000 that month. Plus, the company guidelines are always changing.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The salary should be hourly and above minimum wage.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
  7. 8 people found this helpful

    The Cult Starts Here

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Editor in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Editor in New York, NY

    I have been working at 33 Universal full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Paychecks (in the random instances they arrive on time).
    Air.
    Lectures from your cult-member CEO about how he knows more about journalism than you (he doesn't; he never even completed college).

    Cons

    33 Universal, its partners and sites (Ibt Times, Newsweek, Latin Post, Latinos Post, Music Times, Design Times, Fashion Times, etc.) might look like the nadir of Buzzfeed clickbait styled "journalism," but it's even worse than it seems: the sites are actually all a moneymaking venture for the South Korean cult of David Jang and Olivet "University" in California. Just Google Search: "David Jang" + "33 universal" + "cult" and find out for yourself.

    Don't believe a word the company tries to sell you, you're nothing more than a typing machine covered in skin to them. You will never receive a raise here. You will work six days a week, every week, without overtime. You will work every holiday (christmas, thanksgiving, new years, July 4) unless you use your "vacation time," which at every other company would be referred to as "federal holidays." You will write about the latest Selena Gomez album, tie in Justin Bieber's name for keywording's sake, you will source the article from 5 different equally terrible websites, and you will LIKE it dammit.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Quit.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  8. 4 people found this helpful

    Make sure to do your research

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Reporter in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Reporter in New York, NY

    I worked at 33 Universal full-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    Free coffee
    No real management/supervision
    No accountability, which allows you to screw up without anyone caring
    Air conditioning in the office

    Cons

    It is imperative that anyone considering working for 33 Universal, IBT or any of their many affiliate companies/websites should read the reports by The Guardian and Mother Jones written recently about how the company -- which now owns Newsweek.

    Those of us who have worked for 33 Universal in the past were and are aware of many of the revelations made in these articles (as well as those made by similar publications around the same time).

    It's not just the company's egregiously poor journalism, total lack of fact-checking or minimal use of copyediting. It's the fact that they can knowingly take advantage of their workers and "interns" the way they do.

    Working for 33 Universal will not only NOT help your career, but it will indeed hinder it. It will be a blot on your resume. Better to be a bartender and keep looking for a more substantial job elsewhere in the city or online.

    If you don't trust the MANY negative reviews of those of us who have worked there, go into the office and take a look for yourself. Beyond the smoke-screen of the nice building and relatively nice office, you'll meet the most vapid people you've ever seen typing as fast as they can, "repurposing" whatever other articles they can find in order to make their impossible quotas for the day.

    If you actually like what you see, you may very well be the exact kind of zombie worker they're looking to exploit.

    If you don't, run! You CAN do better!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Come clean.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  9. 4 people found this helpful

    The worst work experience I have ever endured

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

    I worked at 33 Universal full-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    The only nice aspect of this job had nothing to do with the job itself. The building is in a very cool part of Manhattan, fun stuff to do after work, if you could afford to do it, which you won't be able to because the pay is so poor.

    Cons

    I could probably write 100 items, but here is a short list. The gist is do not work here unless you are starving to death.

    Low Pay
    No benefits
    Expected to work all hours of the day and weekends
    Upper management lies constantly. Sometimes they say your site is owned by 33 Universal, sometimes not. Somehow all the sites are all connected to the very shady IB Times group of websites.
    One person writes under several fake names to create the idea the place is fully staffed
    Unrealistic goals set for writers
    Management constantly threatens to fire you if numbers are not at or above goals
    No pay stubs, I had no idea if my money is going to the government or if the company is keeping it
    No real reporting is done, no interviews are conducted they do not even give you a phone
    Very high turnover

    Just like the reviews for IB Times, 33 Universal has a huge amount of floor space in a nice building, but it is sparsely staffed and all those there just sit and type. Nobody talks to each other. I've worked in newsrooms for 30 years and never saw anything like it. The lack of a telephone contributed to this as we were not expected to make any calls for stories because they were all rewrites.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop lying. Those working at this company are not stupid. We see through every lie, we know there will never be benefits, we know half the staff does not really exists, we know we will never be able to do real reporting here. If you were upfront about all this the job would still suck, but at least we would all go in knowing the truth.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  10. 5 people found this helpful

    You'll never be able to work up at this place.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Reporter in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Reporter in New York, NY

    I worked at 33 Universal full-time

    Pros

    Ability to choose your own beat, friendly writing staff, nice office location

    Cons

    Low pay, no benefits, very few paid sick days and holidays, no half-days ever, vacation days accrued every few months

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pay your employees more and give them medical benefits, AT LEAST

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
  11. 6 people found this helpful

    Welcome to the Paragraph Factory

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Staff Writer in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Staff Writer in New York, NY

    I have been working at 33 Universal full-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    Autonomy
    No Management / Oversight
    Can work remotely

    Cons

    No Management / Oversight
    33 Universal operates dozens of news websites, but has no understanding of journalism, ethics, reporting or news writing.
    The "General Manager" lies, is evasive and keeps you in the dark
    No holidays or sick days
    No health, dental, eye, life insurance or 401k
    Writing staff is mostly young, inexperienced writers and beginning journalists who need direction, which the company does not care to provide

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    To succeed you need to honestly attempt to make a valuable contribution to journalism and the Internet at large. Your absolute lack of credibility shows through the lackluster product you put out. Make the job attractive with good benefits and holidays to lure in talented writers and editors, then treat them like humans so they don't leave for a better job at the first opportunity.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

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