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Great mind-opening work experience for a fresh college grad; rough work/life balance

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
Former Employee - Corps Member  in  Los Angeles, CA
Former Employee - Corps Member in Los Angeles, CA

I worked at City Year full-time for more than a year

Pros

-You'll be given many opportunities to manage and lead peers. You'll frequently feel a bit in-over-your head, dealing with the unexpected crises that come with working in an urban school, but if you can take the pressure you'll learn a lot. Technically I have a BA degree but in terms of the "real world," my real education came from my corps year.
-CY works on a front line of one of America's biggest social justice issues. The fulfillment that comes from this cannot be overstated. Every job I've had since has felt empty in comparison.
-Your coworkers, including upper management at the site, will be some of the most amazing human beings you'll meet. It takes a certain quality of person to do this kind of work long-term.

Cons

-It's tough to say whether the City Year "culture" is a pro or a con, a lot of what makes the experience unique comes from their CY lingo, team chants, etc. For the most part I got a kick out of it but the slim majority of my coworkers found it belittling. You're told to be professional one minute then do banana jumping jacks the next.
-Work/life balance is non-existent and the tasks occasionally unfocused. You'll show up at 7am, stay at school until 5-7pm, then half the time have some additional misc. task to be done at the downtown office (long commute?) until even later. The heavy teamwork emphasis can make this uncomfortable for those who just don't have that amount of time on their hands. 60hr work weeks are the norm.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Quality > quantity.

Recommends
Positive Outlook
Approves of CEO

Other Reviews for City Year

  1.  

    It's hard to imagine working for a better organization

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

    I have been working at City Year full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    It's a really positive and team oriented culture, very supportive of people's personal and professional development. I've found many opportunities for leadership and growth, enjoyed my work and my team, and made some great friends along the way. The work is inspiring because the organization has a great mission that has become more focused over the years, and gradually the organization has become better run, better resourced, and more aligned overall. I have referred several friends to apply because I believe it's such a great place to work.

    Cons

    People put their all into the work which leaves little room for work life balance. There is some disconnect between staff at local sites versus HQ. Growth opportunities can be somewhat dependent on openings when other people leave, and although they try to reward hard workers with more responsibility, almost everyone is underpaid, typical of the nonprofit sector. The staff overall is young, which can be fun and energetic, but sometimes lacking in perspective.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    There is a long way to go to figure out better communication and alignment between sites and HQ. Site staff often feel under-resourced and over-pressured by HQ staff. The budget and compensation structure is really inconsistent from site to site, but there is a general consensus that people could use more resources.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    city year review

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at City Year

    Pros

    good resume builder, connections to graduate school, and education, scholarship at the end of service

    Cons

    long hours, ineffective training, crazy culture, working with difficult students and staff

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