Apollo Education Group

  www.apollo.edu
  www.apollo.edu

Apollo Education Group Reviews in San Francisco, CA

Updated December 2, 2014
Updated December 2, 2014
337 Reviews
2.7
337 Reviews
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Apollo Education Group Director, Chief Executive Officer Gregory W. Cappelli
Gregory W. Cappelli
122 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • work/life balance was always good, kind of depends on which manager you have (in 25 reviews)

  • Great benefits, somewhat flexible schedule, plenty of vacation accumulation if you've been here as long as I have (in 17 reviews)


Cons
  • Recently, the company's flagship, the University of Phoenix, was put on Notice by the Higher Learning Commission (in 8 reviews)

  • Upper management is so adept to change that these changes seem to have no rhyme or reason (in 12 reviews)

More Highlights

14 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1.  

    Premise: start-up within a large company. Reality: bloat, bureaucracy, lack of focus and leadership

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

    I worked at Apollo Education Group full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Tackling an important market segment: higher ed, jobs, skills. Good people, great location (downtown SF). The product team members were smart and hardworking. There's a huge disconnect between this 'start-up' group and the main organization. And the acquisition and integration of a small (real) startup made the situation more complicated, confusing and disorganized.

    Cons

    Weak Senior management. Lots of wasted effort, time, money while they try to get their act together.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop promoting people who haven't proven themselves as managers or leaders

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Good people dealing with systemic company issues

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

    I worked at Apollo Education Group full-time

    Pros

    Really good people in San Francisco office who bring a wealth of experience (marketing, creative, strategic, digital) to the table. Good downtown office location close to all public transportation. The new Phoenix offices are nice and overall the employees there are a close knit group who support each other. It is one of the few large employers in Arizona to offer domestic partner benefits, so there is a good diversity of employees.

    Cons

    At the heart of the issue, this is a company divided between corporate and education foci and goals. Corporate and the myriad educational campuses/offices across the country see things differently and they clash. The company is mired in its 1980s mindset when University of Phoenix was a leader and game changer in online higher ed for working adults. Now it's an also-ran locked in battle with the federal government for bad business practices, using an outdated learning platform and refusing to change longstanding practices (e.g. Learning Teams) that are causing students to leave. Well-respected brick & mortar universities are offering many of the same distance learning options that University of Phoenix pioneered, and offering a good reputation and state of the art online tools. Rather than focus on core business issues, the execs create chaos by changing out key positions every year or two (3 CMOs in 3 years, firing the very well-respected University President). With each change, there are cascading effects such as reorgs and changes in employee policy (eg. work from home suddenly not allowed). HR in Phoenix is housed behind a locked door with a single land line phone placed outside the door, on which an employee has to dial an exact extension to receive an answer. As of 2014 there were no guidelines for titles and salaries so a Director might be someone with a few years experience and no direct reports, or might be someone with decades of experience managing a team of people. There have been years of lay offs with very little communication from the top, so there is an overriding feel of paranoia and waiting for the next round of lay offs. It's a work situation guaranteed to bring out the worst in people.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take a hard look at business practices and decades-old assumptions about the company and product(s). Hire Executive Communication professionals to assist the CEO and others over-communicate with the employees. This is essential when a company is experiencing ongoing turmoil.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 2 people found this helpful  

    Bad Culture

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Director in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Director in San Francisco, CA

    I worked at Apollo Education Group full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Good work life balance and benefits are adequate.

    Cons

    Apollo is a dying company with no true business model to turn things around. The culture is toxix

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5.  

    NOT for creative people

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Designer in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Designer in San Francisco, CA

    I worked at Apollo Education Group full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Um. At a loss, here.

    Cons

    Processes get in the way of good creative thinking. Creative management do not stand behind their team. Creative resource management is totally unqualified to match talent to creative projects.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get a backbone. Be honest. Be transparent with team.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 3 people found this helpful  

    Opportunity Squandered

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Product Manager in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Product Manager in San Francisco, CA

    I worked at Apollo Education Group full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    The San Francisco Apollo Group office was an amazing place to work in 2009. The recently formed Product Strategy and Development group was staffed with incredibly smart, well-intentioned academic and technology professionals who had the mandate to "reinvent education for the 21st century." Unfortunately, this well-funded opportunity to truly move the needle on big problems in education was utterly squandered by an executive management team that was simply incapable of articulating a coherent business strategy. And as the bottom began to fall out of the for-profit education sector, the company flailed from one ill-conceived initiative and corresponding “re-org” to another. While churning through countless millions, the company began losing all of its top talent in the most dramatic brain drain I have ever witnessed at a large company. Rather than address these strategic and operational issues, the company did what every poorly managed company does - embark on a death spiral of cost cutting that continues to this day (going so far as to recently inform employes that they are now required to supply their own plastic cutlery in the break rooms!)

    Cons

    I can’t think of a more demoralizing, soul-crushing place to work than in the Technology division at Apollo Group these days. Well okay, I suppose spending your time in a University of Phoenix call center trying to convince prospective students that their degree will have any value is probably more degrading. But not by much.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Learn how to formulate a business strategy (by first understanding what a strategy actually is). And return your ill-gotten, undeserved gains to Apollo Group shareholders.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    From cutting edge innovation to cutting budgets to the bone.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Product Manager in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Product Manager in San Francisco, CA

    I worked at Apollo Education Group full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Very smart people; desire for technological innovation; great benefits; flexible schedules and telecommute possibilities; an important mission and compelling corporate story.

    Cons

    They've been hit by regulatory pressure and significant market competition and need to stay nimble and make drastic changes to stay competitive.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take the company private again to focus on long-term strategy and move away from the tyranny of the quarterly shareholder earnings report.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 2 people found this helpful  

    Bloated executive team that doesn't manage well

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Director, Marketing in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Director, Marketing in San Francisco, CA

    I have been working at Apollo Education Group full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Smart people, decent pay, nice office location

    Cons

    Lack of strategy, too many executives

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Let go of folks that aren't necessary. Manage the middle managers better.

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

    Tough place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Product Manager in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Product Manager in San Francisco, CA

    I have been working at Apollo Education Group full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Have some really bright individual contributors who are trying to do the right things to open access to education.

    Cons

    Strategy and leadership are ever changing which makes for a difficult environment when playing in an area of the economy that is undergoing such radical shifts. Accountability is an issue and management seems to be willing to make lots of bets but there doesn't appear to be a real drive for excellence. Hard to see this business returning to its glory years unless there are radical and immediate changes at the top and in strategy.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Choose a strategy, select leaders who are capable of executing on that strategy, and hold leaders accountable. Too many dreams and not enough reality. Figure out your value prop, resource it with the best and brightest, and cut all the rest.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    Good Salary and hours

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Art Director in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Art Director in San Francisco, CA

    I have been working at Apollo Education Group full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    The workload and schedules allow for a good work - life balance. The compensation and benefits are pretty good as well.

    Cons

    Can be unorganized and less than most challenging work. Corporate brand restricts creative flow and new ideas.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Apollo Tech, Apollo Innovation: Welcome to a Wold Class Web Analytics Department

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Web Analytics Intern in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Web Analytics Intern in San Francisco, CA

    I have been working at Apollo Education Group as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    Working in the department of digital analytics and consumer insight I was privelaged to work with some of the best web analytics professionals in the world. My direct boss, provided plenty of direction and gave me tons of autonomy to get my work done and work on special scripting projects which I enjoyed. I also worked closely with the GA implementation manager, logical architecture consultants, the entire product analytics team, web marketing analysts, and developers. Working here has by far been the most rewarding yet challenging role I've ever been in.

    Cons

    Enterprise-wide re-orgs, consistent lay-offs, and ultra-bureaucratic IT department. This is typical of many large enterprises and also related to the current state of the economy and nature of the changing online education business.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Please continue to hire more interns, but also make the hiring process more challenging. As you

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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