Academy of Art University

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Academy of Art University Reviews

Updated Jul 24, 2014
Academy of Art University – San Francisco – “Game Lab”

All Employees Current Employees Only

2.2 131 reviews

12% Approve of the CEO

Academy of Art University President Elisa Stephens

Elisa Stephens

(78 ratings)

19% of employees recommend this company to a friend

Review Highlights

Pros
  • The locations in San Francisco are in great buildings and interesting parts of the city(in 8 reviews)

  • Great co workers, opportunity to work with incredible instructors(in 4 reviews)


Cons
  • This happens because upper management do not know the amount of work that is done at the "ground" level(in 15 reviews)

  • This place is the definition of a hostile work environment(in 8 reviews)

131 Employee Reviews
in
    • Culture & Values
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    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    A nice place to work

    Workshop Instructor (Former Employee) San Francisco, CA

    ProsFlexible hours, good location, friendly staff

    ConsGraduate students a little arrogant at times ...

    Advice to Senior ManagementWork on better inter office communication

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
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    • Senior Management
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    • Disapproves of CEO

     

    Layers and Layers of Inefficient Bureaucracy

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee) San Francisco, CA

    ProsI felt a palpable sense of being able to help some students as they negotiated their way through the system. There are some very good, genuine people working here.

    ConsThe top down bureaucracy dictates terms, and it's up to you to deal. Once you get hired in at one role, it's very difficult to move around or get promoted. Budgets can arbitrarily change from semester to semester with no explanation.

    Advice to Senior ManagementThe students and teachers deserve better services and facilities. The layers of bureaucracy are inefficient and having a significant impact on the experience the school provides.

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

    • Culture & Values
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    • Disapproves of CEO

     

    Working for AAU

    Information Technology (Former Employee) San Francisco, CA

    ProsYour peers are great people to work with, can't say that about management.

    ConsThey don't care about their employees only about how much revenue they can produce, therefore, turnover is high.

    Advice to Senior ManagementFocus on employee relationships.

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

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    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Corporate for-profit organization...

    Online Help Desk Technician (Former Employee) San Francisco, CA

    ProsClear corporate structure means you know what you're supposed to do. Encouraged growth, but very difficult to move upwards.

    ConsPoor management; compensation very low; lack of oversight in general. This company operates like afor-profit business and is not so concerned about the well-being of their students as getting paid; it's sad to see.

    Advice to Senior ManagementPay attention to what's going on down the line.

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

    • Culture & Values
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    • No Opinion of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    administrative positions

    Academy Assistant (Current Employee) San Francisco, CA

    ProsThere are about 22 different departments or "schools" within the University. So it is fun and exciting learning about all that the school offers and being that I am interested in many of the arts they provide, I have found it to be riveting to walk around all of the different buildings and meet all of the directors.

    ConsMy pay is not great and I am not doing anything like they said I would. I basically am sitting and searching the web all day or reading a book. When I get assigned to a new department, its the same thing. When I am in the executive office they have NOTHING for me to do. So i find it hard to sit and be satisfied that im not doing anything better with my time. when i got hired they said I would be on salary but I'm on hourly and I only make 16.83 an hour.. that only comes out to 35000 if i work 52 WEEK OF THE YEAR. Thats absolutely ridiculous considering I'm completely over qualified for this job. I have not been paid this poorly since i was 17 and when i got the job they pitched it to be WAY different. I have heard nothing but nasty things about this school since ive worked here from people who have been here for awhile-- Upper management sucks, the schools cheap (even tho they make MILLIONS a year and own a collection of million dollar cars). I'm thinking of leaving because I don't like what I've heard and the little I've experienced

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

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    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Great potential...execution fail

    Anonymous (Former Employee)

    ProsLots of creative talent...great students and working professionals.

    ConsPractically non-existent infrastructure...minimal communication between departments and management. Poor use of resources and personnel.

    Advice to Senior ManagementWork on changing the culture of the organization from one with a lack of trust to empowering the folks you hire.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
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    • Disapproves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Wast of time...

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsWork in SF, BUT this gets old when the pleasure of work is absent. Read the CONS to know why.

    Cons-Little or no opportunity to move up and further your career. Can't really further your life if you can't further your career.
    -WAY, WAY, (did I say way?) too much work for the what they pay you. (This will really affect your job in every way...) This happens because upper management do not know the amount of work that is done at the "ground" level. They pay you by your job tile and not the amount of work you do. Result? They blame you and not themselves because they're one-sided.
    -Wast of time because I could have worked some where else with REAL potential to further my career.
    -Way too much office politics. And that's an understatement.
    -I could go on and on...
    -Don't be surprised, this is just another "for-profit" business in the name of [product]. In this case, it's education. So... at the end of the day, when the dust settles, it's about the money.

    Advice to Senior ManagementI've moved on with my life, but please consider my comments (and everyone else's). You really can't just keep doing the same things over and over and over. We're talking about people here. right?

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

     

    The students are great, but the bureaucracy prevents productivity.

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsYou will be working with well-meaning people who are very friendly.

    ConsThe structure and pace of departmental communications is slow. Inadequate training and safety precautions are provided.

    Advice to Senior ManagementPlease review safety practices in the sculpture department.

    • Culture & Values
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    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    2 people found this helpful  

    Money first, appearances second, students last.

    Admissions Representative (Former Employee)

    ProsSchool is able to afford a lot of great equipment for students.

    ConsCondescending management that will backstab and throw you under the bus in front of everyone if it means it'll ensure favor with those up top or increase personal gains from the situation (shady dealings). I feel bad for students who get convinced into these degrees ... the school has rather predatory admissions practices that aim to earn profits instead of guiding students to what's best for them.

    Advice to Senior ManagementTreat employees and students fairly and with respect! Stop playing favorites and flaunting your wealth in the midst of your overworked, underpaid, and under-appreciated staff.

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

    • Culture & Values
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    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    working at AAU

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsDecent pay, incredible coworkers, good benefits, plugged in to an art community

    Consopportunities for growth, micromanaging, no bonuses

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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