Chicago Zoological Society

  www.czs.org
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Chicago Zoological Society Reviews

Updated Jun 16, 2014

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All Employees Current Employees Only

3.4 9 reviews

60% Approve of the CEO

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Stuart D Strahl

(5 ratings)

43% of employees recommend this company to a friend
9 Employee Reviews
Relevance Date Rating
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    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    lots of fun, but inconsistent by department

    Audience Research (Former Employee) Brookfield, IL

    ProsWorking at the zoo is amazing for all of the obvious reasons - you get to work outside, surrounded by amazing animals and people who care deeply about them. Management is typically friendly and flexible. If you pull together connections with keepers and other staff, you can develop some truly amazing relationships and experiences.

    ConsStaff are often under-qualified because zoos in general wind up with so many applications, despite low wages. There is very, very little room to grow a career unless you are extremely lucky and willing to make very little money. Different departments know little to nothing outside of their immediate area, which can be frustrating for employees and confusing for guests.

    Advice to Senior ManagementGet staff excited again to work at the zoo by offering more behind-the-scenes events and opportunities. Inform the staff about all of the great research and programs going on instead of having so many front-line staff who know little to nothing about the organization. Zoo keepers are great, but your ticket-takers and food servers are interacting with ten times as many visitors as the keepers. If your staff knew more and were consistently excited and approachable, the zoo would be perfect.

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

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    Unreliable Hours and Varying Pay

    Guest Services (Food) (Former Employee) Brookfield, IL

    ProsFree zoo passes, food discounts, fun people, starting pay is above minimum wage, this is the perfect job for a high school student looking to make extra money

    ConsFood service workers have to call everyday to see if they are needed which means work depends on zoo attendance and weather, no set schedule, very few hours, if you will rely on this job for primary income, I advise you to look elsewhere, promoted supervisors don't do anything that a regular employee can't do, have to work outside in crazy heat, was expected to clean, restock, take out trash, serve food, prepare orders, make popcorn, and greet customers at the same time.

    Advice to Senior ManagementTry to hire a janitorial staff for the restaurants located in the park, make more reliable set schedules because calling everyday to find out if I was on "stay-home" was inconvenient, hire the right people for supervising positions

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

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    A great organization with people who care about you and the animals

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsNon-profit environment, discounts, reciprocal membership to Chicago organizations, food on site, learning opportunities

    ConsLimited job advancement, weird hours, outside in the heat or cold a lot, long commute from town, not a lot nearby

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

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    • Disapproves of CEO

     

    Interesting company to work for. Unorganized, and they don't seem to value their employees very much.

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee) Brookfield, IL

    ProsFun work environment, work with good people

    ConsUnorganized, Bad hours, Things are always misplaced or missing in work environment, Bad communication

    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

     

    Manager

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsUnique environment, challenges, ability to support ecological causes

    ConsHighly political culture, change resistant, senior management team discord

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    A fun and energizing place to work, volunteer, and intern

    Audience Research Intern (Former Employee) Brookfield, IL

    ProsWorking at Brookfield Zoo has been a fun and energizing experience from day one. I have been able to work with friendly, motivated people who love their jobs, and have made lasting friendships and contacts here. Every day is different too, which keeps the job even more interesting. The zoo has a very open and inviting environment.

    Cons*I spent three years volunteering, two summers working, and one summer interning at the zoo through high school and college. For me, there are have been no cons.

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

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    Could be such a wonderful place to work!!!!

    Senior Management (Former Employee) Brookfield, IL

    ProsThe animals, conservation, being out with the public, great causes

    ConsSome of the worst senior leaders anywhere. The fun has been removed from what should be an incredible place to work. When educators and bean counters run a guest experience driven business this is the result. Unhappy staff, under-performers, fear of layoff and job loss.

    Advice to Senior ManagementGet some young new energetic talent in upper management that understands you are an entertainment venue, not the educational venue you think you are. There needs to be a mix and customers dont want conservation rammed down their throat. The animal experience is weak at best so compensate with other types of experiences.

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

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    Little opportunity for growth, learning, promotions

    Guest Services (Food) (Current Employee) Brookfield, IL

    ProsFree admission not only to the zoo, but also to other local institutions for you and your family
    Work for a world renowned organization

    ConsWorking in food, there seemed to be some clear racial divide between departments.
    No drug testing = lower quality employees

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    Employees are passionate about their work

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsIt was a pleasure working with others who are so passionate about the mission of the zoo and environmental education

    ConsAs always with nonprofit, resources are limited

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