Center for Cultural Interchange

  www.cci-exchange.org
  www.cci-exchange.org

Center for Cultural Interchange Reviews

Updated October 31, 2014
Updated October 31, 2014
8 Reviews
2.6
8 Reviews
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Laura Rose
2 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Cool environment, a lot of potential for learning and creativity, but easy to get burnt out.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at Center for Cultural Interchange full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Good mission, interesting co-workers and office location, fun travel opportunities, reasonable time off and flexibility with hours, creativity encouraged, upper management is reasonably approachable (on-site), holiday bonuses when company doing well.

    Cons

    Easy to be over-worked, New/better ideas may not come to fruition because whoever has the idea (unless they are upper management) is expected to make an idea happen on their own--possibly via an inefficient committee--and still do everything else they were doing. Not enough staff hired in general to do everything well in a 40-hour week, leaving employees to get burnt out and quit. When someone does quit it seems like the people left have to scramble to manage things and hire/train a new person, without there being a pool of internal candidates. Too often there are committees set up with unclear goals for projects that either 1. Are not well thought out and end up wasting time or 2. Should be handled by a dedicated staff person, 3. Should be delayed so more focus can be put on existing projects

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Focus on depth rather than breadth. Hire more staff. Rein in plans and think about developing and improving existing programs and processes before moving on to the next thing. If the next thing is important, then dedicate the resources, time and staff to doing that, and consider if there are foundational things that need to be done first before jumping into a new endeavor. Also, as a non profit there should be more investment put into fundraising and grants--if our mission is so important shouldn't there be donors willing to support it? Finally, senior management needs to check themselves when they sort of indirectly "complain" about all of the meetings and travel they "have" to do. Many coordinators, managers, and even assistants work their butts off without the benefit of the high salary, flexibility, and the more frequent and comparatively luxurious travel opportunities that senior management has. Those at the top should be capable of managing their own schedule, delegating and in some cases declining appointments and travel if interfering with their ability to support their staff, rather than giving off an air of "I'm so busy and so important".

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    OK place to start, but should move on quickly

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

    I worked at Center for Cultural Interchange full-time

    Pros

    A rather low-stress work environment with generally nice people working in the main office in Chicago. Various fun perks (yearly travel, holiday party, etc.) are welcome, but don't make up for downside.

    Cons

    Compensation is very uncompetitive and there are not many training/career development opportunities. While there are occasional opportunities for internal advancement, the process is not very transparent and office-politics seems to play a big role. Furthermore, it felt that there was a lack of support for certain departments as management focused their time - and diverted resources - to pet-projects.

    Separately, I was surprised to see a different review claim the organization is tech-orientated; I personally have the opposite view and believe they are several years behind competitors and are very slow to adopt to what are now rather basic tech/online apps, etc.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Invest more in developing employees. Also, there is a rather big disconnect between the staff at the main Chicago office and in the field. More transparency should be encouraged. Also, most lower-management are actually just administrators; which is fine, but should probably be more up-front to potential new employees.

    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3.  

    Personal choice of whether it's worth it to you

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

    I worked at Center for Cultural Interchange full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Travel through work is great for certain kinds of young people.

    Cons

    They consider travel for work a benefit that makes up for low wages and little potential for promotion. It's a personal choice if you value travel more than salary and growth, many people at the company do.

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  5.  

    - bllj

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

    I worked at Center for Cultural Interchange full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Tech-oriented. No red tape. Opportunities for travel.

    Cons

    Salary is way too low for the work that staff do.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Value all of your employees

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    Former Administrative Assistant

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

    I worked at Center for Cultural Interchange

    Pros

    The office space is nice, colleagues are nice for the most part, and the Greenheart initiative makes it unique.

    Cons

    Most program managers/supervisors have no prior experience managing others and cannot effectively run their programs without burning out employees.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take more management training courses, treat employees fairly. Set your employees up to succeed, not fail. Make the working environment transparent and cooperative, not secretive and competitive.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    Extremely good practical experience and insight into visa sponsorship world

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Administrative Assistant in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Administrative Assistant in Chicago, IL

    I worked at Center for Cultural Interchange full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Exposed to a variety of different tasks, great feeling of contributing to something that is helping people, relaxed atmosphere (for the most part), team is very cool (in general)

    Cons

    Management is not good, pay is extremely low, no cultivation and challenging of employees who perform well

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Learn to cultivate and challenge your talent and be able to recognize it when its working for you

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  8.  

    Don't expect much...

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at Center for Cultural Interchange

    Pros

    -Great co-workers. You'll want to have a beer with them.
    -An appropriate amount of independence, no micromanaging
    -great opportunities to travel state-side and beyond

    Cons

    - extremely low salary...and you'll be on salary and expected to work well over 40hrs during peak season
    -very poor benefits, somehow their "HR manager" thought the benefits were great because they paid so much for them but trust me, it's hardly worth it. My public university student insurance was loads better.
    -they do business under the guise of cultural exchange, but they are really only about the money. They work to get foreign students to pay a program fee with the implication that they'll get a lot in return (great experience of living and studying abroad, learning English, meeting people, having a sponsor who cares...) but they really don't care much once the program fee is paid and they're here in the country.
    -hardly any screening of host families or host employers.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pay your employees a fair salary. Why so many females at CCI? Because you can pay them less? I understand that women still make cents to the dollar but you don't have to celebrate the philosophy.

    Doesn't Recommend
  9.  

    Overall a good place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Manager in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Manager in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at Center for Cultural Interchange

    Pros

    great office culture, positive work environment, founder and CEO listen to people's opinions and ideas and make everyone feel important, upper level management understand personal life is important, good benefits, admirable mission statement

    Cons

    not many opportunities for advancement or personal growth, so many working parts to the organization with new initiatives being started all the time and not enough human bandwidth to really make each of those initiatives successfull

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    create more opportunities for personal growth to ensure employees remain motivated, stimulated and engaged.

    Recommends

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