Coursera

  www.coursera.org
  www.coursera.org
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36 people found this helpful  

Cultural nightmare, leadership disaster, and no moral compass

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

I worked at Coursera

Pros

It's fun to be a part of a rocket ship, especially one that is viewed so positively by the public and the press.

Cons

Two co-CEOs with too much ego to realize neither is qualified to run a company leads to the worst leadership team ever. The situation is so bad, in fact, that their investor (KPCB) forced on them another executive - so now they have two CEOs and a President. The culture is so bad that other than the original students (at Stanford) under Daphne and Andrew (in the CS department), most early employees leave as soon as they hit their one year vesting cliff. Since so many employees leave in disgust, the leadership has begun request they sign a Non-Disparagement Agreement.

Although the company built its reputation on a veneer of social impact and the motto of "Do what's best for the student," they've done nothing to back it up and lacks any clear mission statement. Leadership has been brought in from YouTube and NetFlix, and even at 50+ people, there are only three educators on staff. Although classes remain free, no effort has been spent to improve - or even measure - student learning or outcomes, and Coursera ignores even the most basic fact of education - that students do not learn by watching videos and regurgitating facts. Then again, with a completion rate below 5% for most classes, it's not clear people even succeed in watching the videos.

Doesn't Recommend
Neutral Outlook
Disapproves of CEO

6 Other Employee Reviews for Coursera (View Most Recent)

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  1. 2 people found this helpful  

    Best place I've ever worked

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

    I have been working at Coursera full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Two things: People and mission. I've had the pleasure of working alongside some of the smartest, most creative, and — most importantly — most caring people I've known. Fun, quirky culture that values good ideas and strong execution.

    Cons

    Cons would probably apply to any startup of a similar size. The company has changed a lot, reorganized, shifted directions. Wouldn't call this a "con" per se, just a reality of working at an organization at this stage.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The company's organic culture is amazing. As the company grows, however, it will be important to think more deliberately about how we can maintain the open, quirky, and caring feel of the company.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 3 people found this helpful  

    An amazing summer internship

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Software Engineer Intern in Mountain View, CA
    Former Employee - Software Engineer Intern in Mountain View, CA

    I worked at Coursera as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    Spectacular Mission
    Tons of responsibility
    The smartest people I've ever worked with
    Great office/company culture
    A bunch of great perks and free food

    I learned a ridiculous amount at Coursera because of great mentors and their willingness to give interns a lot of responsibility. As an intern I did basically the same job as a full-time employee and was an integral part of the team rather than just a satellite. Courserans are as friendly as they are brilliant and I wouldn't have wanted to spend the summer any other way.

    Cons

    It was a great summer, nothing really to complain about. If anything, a few more intern events would have been awesome, I really enjoyed the sailing outing.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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