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  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
Former Employee - Academic Counselor in Pittsburgh, PA
Former Employee - Academic Counselor in Pittsburgh, PA

I worked at Education Management Corporation full-time (more than 3 years)

Doesn't Recommend
Negative Outlook
Disapproves of CEO
Doesn't Recommend
Negative Outlook
Disapproves of CEO

Pros

Benefits were good and it's an office job where it's relatively easy to get hired. A good starting point for fresh grads who can't get hired anywhere else. Some of the people there are awesome but some are very shady. Culture can be relaxed and unprofessional, which can be fun, depending on what team you are on, but can also be a trap to be fired and it can be frustrating to see dance competitions around you when you are scared of losing your job because you couldn't lie well enough to make a student stay in school.

Cons

Management doesn't listen and I honestly think the entire Art Institute Online Division is run by complete morons. They are absolutely out of touch with the actual job, or the realities of said jobs, and promote wasting everyone's time by trying strategies that do not make sense or even work.

In addition, recruiting practices are completely unethical and competition is fostered between departments so that the students suffer. There is a guise of pretending that things are done for students, but really the company is engaged in extreme exploitation of poorer communities. When they get sued for something, they teach their employees how to lie better instead of making actual changes that will help the students.

Almost no one in leadership has any real college experience, only business and Kool Aid drinking experience. The result is a very toxic environment and a big facade that hides unscrupulous business dealings and the drive to do anything to make a quick buck.

Since the turnover is so high, there are ample opportunities for growth or changing positions, but student facing positions are all turning into the same job no matter your title: recruitment. In addition, management is selected based on favorites more than actual skills or qualities that relate to the job.

Morale is extremely low and you would be hard pressed to find any regular level employee who wholeheartedly enjoys their job or wants to stay with the company long term. You are treated like children and micromanaged until you feel like you are in a prison. Managers are trained to come over multiple times a day to check on what you are doing, you are sent lists of people to call, they check all of your dials and listen to every call. There is absolutely no trust that you are a responsible adult who is capable of doing your job. They constantly take any facet of the job that requires any kind of brainpower away from your responsibilities to make you dial more lists.

The company also claims that it is not required to abide by Do Not Call laws if the anyone attended classes there, even for a day. If you try to take a number out of the system you will be in trouble and in risk of violating "compliance." You were often screamed at by students who had asked to be removed repeatedly and no one would take any action. If a student withdrew, they were called 3-5 times per week begging them to return. This is borderline harrassment and you are truly a glorified telemarketer when you work there.

In addition, there is absolutely no flexibility or work/life balance, and the job is extremely stressful. Standards are put on regular employees that are completely disregarded by senior management. Normal employees are not permitted to even speak with middle management outside of work, but senior management enjoys happy hours all the time together. In addition, the president dated her direct report for over a year and they even bought a house together, but he stayed directly under her (no pun intended). Immediately after he transferred brands, an announcement about the crackdown in policy came out. It was transparent and also did not help morale. I get that things happen and people fall in love, but it could have been handled much more professionally, especially considering the fact that a normal employee would be fired in a heartbeat under the same circumstances.

Advice to Management

Change everything you are doing. Start with a real code of ethics and follow it instead of paying lip service to it. Actually put students first. Value talent and stop with the "anyone can do this job" mentality. Be open to constructive feedback and ideas. Stop playing favorites. Also, it's extremely unprofessional for the president of the division to be facebook friends with rank and file employees, which also shows with great obviousness the favoritism that happens. Act professionally and ethically.

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  1. Good job, questionable corporate morals.

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

    I have been working at Education Management Corporation (more than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Flexible schedule, better than average pay

    Cons

    Shady recruiting practice, frequent layoffs

  2. Academic Advisor

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

    I worked at Education Management Corporation

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Nice office with good parking at Chandler location. The people were nice and the building was nice and cool. Mind numbing job.

    Cons

    Horrible management and unethical business practices. Management is always on your tail about getting more students. Micro-managing. No freedom. Stay away.

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