InsideTrack

  www.insidetrack.com
  www.insidetrack.com

InsideTrack Reviews

Updated October 30, 2014
Updated October 30, 2014
44 Reviews
3.7
44 Reviews
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InsideTrack Chief Executive Officer Pete Wheelan
Pete Wheelan
14 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Amazing interest in the betterment of mankind, from employees to coached and beyond

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Enrolled Student Coach in Nashville, TN
    Current Employee - Enrolled Student Coach in Nashville, TN

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

    Pros

    The supportive environment is unlike any you find elsewhere in the South. The consistent emphasis on professional development and the genuine care and empathy are unparalleled in my work experience, which is fairly extensive given my age. Mission-driven company that leads with its heart and expects all employees to do the same. I truly couldn't be more proud to be an employee of any company.

    Cons

    Lack of concrete timelines or opportunities for advancement, in spite of every imaginable metric in place to measure effectiveness. Pay seems to be basically the only reason anyone ever leaves the company, though. This work is demanding and the compensation needs to reflect that in areas besides the upper reaches of the management structure.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    More support for lower-level management and a more clearly-defined path to advancement within the company. More aggressive expansion of new business. Also figure out how to pay coaches more competitively or we will keep watching great people walk out the door. Keep being transparent!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Change is good?

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Master Coach in Portland, OR
    Former Employee - Master Coach in Portland, OR

    I worked at InsideTrack full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    On-boarding process. High EQ colleagues. Fun, collaborative environment. The company and its mission are exciting, but they seem to get in their own way.

    Cons

    Not as forthcoming as they should be about the "coach" role. It's entry-level, and at its core is a telemarketing job. There has been lots of turnover at every level, most recently at the executive level. Hopefully this signals positive change going forward.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    Great mission, great people, opportunity for right work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Success Coach in Portland, OR
    Current Employee - Success Coach in Portland, OR

    I have been working at InsideTrack full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Wonderful people and fulfilling work. It is finally becoming a place that respects people's need for work-life balance. You will make many friends working here (if you want), and you will learn to be more compassionate and a better communicator.

    Cons

    Very few opportunities for advancement, low pay, monotonous work, poorly trained lower management. No matter how good you get at your job you have the same expectations, with an incentive structure that promotes mediocrity.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Better technology, pay for performance

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Great company, great people, great mission!

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

    I have been working at InsideTrack

    Pros

    Culture, benefits, training and development

    Cons

    Compensation and unpredictable lifecylce for accounts can be a drawback

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 5 people found this helpful  

    A company that lacks transparency while preaching it...

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Success Coach in Portland, OR
    Former Employee - Success Coach in Portland, OR

    I worked at InsideTrack full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    In the first few months, you'll get onboarded by seasoned coaches and managers. A plethora of feel-good vignettes will release the dopamine and give you a sense of mission-driven work in coaching students to "stay in school". It's also a great opportunity to learn more about communication skills on an interpersonal level and a corporate scale. Many account have a lot of client-coach interactions that help new coaches learn how to communicate professionally with a client that's paying hundreds of thousands of dollars for a service. You'll gain a few lines on your resume working here...

    Cons

    Let's cut to the chase. Until very recently, many of the clients of InsideTrack were for-profit schools. InsideTrack is in the business of supporting "retention". The problem with this business plan is that the company provides that service to small community colleges and massive for-profits alike. I was on a corporate for-profit account where I'd hear about our clients regularly lying to students and breaking the law to get students into their programs and take out thousands of dollars of loans just to fail. I'm not saying "gee this person is irresponsible and perhaps shouldn't be in school" unprepared, but "wow, this student is homeless, doesn't own a computer, perhaps lacks basic skills to go to college but had an admissions advisor who buttered them up and made them feel like a bestie" kind of unprepared. In truth, InsideTrack has played a large part in the for-profit college problem. It's essentially an appendage of for-profit schools like DeVry, Capella, and EDMC (all schools we've "coached" at one point or another), and subsidized by the federal government, all the while taking advantage of poor students who mostly end up with no degree and thousands of dollars worth of debt.
    There's no transparency (a word you'll hear often in the world of ITK coaching) around how you are measured for performance. Essentially, ITK is always looking at improving year-over-year retention. We were always trying to beat last year's goals. Despite the fact that students are human beings, you had an allotted number of students who could drop while you still made your retention goal for the semester. After that, you are held accountable if your numbers come in low. It didn't matter if you never made contact with someone on the phone or they were not set up for success. Many clients paid thousands (sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars) for coaching services and the expectation was that goals were met. InsideTrack continues to ask coaches to remove barriers that are far beyond their control for students to be successful. In essence, admissions works to get their quota in, and regardless of the level of readiness of these students who come in the door, coaches have the burden of being held accountable for these students coming back. None of this is told to new coaches. Essentially, these details come in slowly as you receive your first roster and work for your first few months.
    Another component of the weirdness of ITK is it's lack of transparency around salary, wages, and upward mobility. This company built it's wealth off the back of the for-profit college industry. it used to pay coaches with its absurd certification system that is completely worthless outside of the company itself. Some coaches went through this process quickly before the financial regulations came into play a few years ago. Essentially, there are coaches who've been around who make upwards of 50k a year with a bachelor's degree while new coaches start between 34-37k. It's never clear when or if raises take place, and the process is very secretive. Again, no transparency.
    I was always pretty disgusted with the workload of fte. Coaches have huge rosters (sometimes 200 students) while ACD's (managers) would listen to pandora and always squeak through meetings without really accomplishing anything worthwhile. While the employer is at-will, there's a union feel of "putting in your time coaching" and making your way up the ladder. ACD's and CD's make 50-60k a year and the fruits of their labor are difficult to see. Coaches are thrown on the phone with often emotionally unstable students and regularly told after a brutal weeks' work "we'd like to see you do a bit more".
    Within the for-profit context of coaching, there's a wing of coaching services whose role is to support coaches who end up with these emotionally unstable students, or students who are facing life circumstances that make school difficult (in truth, students who should not be in school at this point of their lives). I would regularly talk to homeless students, students in abusive relationships, mentally ill students, and students who were suicidal. There was never any training on this, and there was never any acknowledgement that the population of students we were working with would bring these situations in spades. Self care was difficult because metrics, meetings, phone time, and outbound calls were always the name of the game, and whether or not a coach needed to care for themselves was never made a priority.

    Doesn't Recommend
  7. 2 people found this helpful  

    Think twice before taking a job here.

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

    I worked at InsideTrack full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    The only reason I gave one star to this terrible company is that most of my co-workers were AMAZING people. The company has been able to employ great teachers and counselors because of the high unemployment rate in these professions.

    Cons

    The mission of this company does not match the reality of higher education. Some of the biggest clients are shady for-profit online schools, whose degrees are not highly regarded by hiring managers in the real world. Students are taking out ridiculous amounts of student loans for these degrees. As a coach, you will be expected to convince students to take out more money and continue college when it isn't always in the student's best interest. In fact, your performance review is based on how many people you convince. Don't be fooled by the mission statement and website, the coaching positions are little more than shady sales jobs with an extremely high burnout rate. If you want to work at a glorified call center, this job is for you!!!

    Doesn't Recommend
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Clients

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Manager
    Current Employee - Manager

    I have been working at InsideTrack full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Just wanted to follow up on review below that says we mostly work with "for profit" colleges: not at all true. The majority of our current clients are traditional nonprofit universities and community colleges, as well as non profit adult and professional schools.

    Working at insidetrack can differ greatly depending on which client team/student population you work with. Not everyone is a match for all types. If you stay long enough and are open about your development areas, willing to work you tail end off no matter what team you are on and honest with your managers about fit- you can almost always (with patience) end up matched with a client/student population that meets your strengths.

    Cons

    The current climate for funding of support resources in higher education can lead to shifting contracts with clients despite coaching performance results (retention primarily) far surpassing expectations. This can lead to frequently shifting staffing needs and can be tough on folks who've poured their hearts into students and getting results for clients. It can be hard to surpass an expected goal and not have that mean client renewal or expansion.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    Strong professional development, improving leadership

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

    I have been working at InsideTrack full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    The values of the company are admirable, and most in leadership genuinely share the passion of the newest hire.

    Work-life balance is becoming more and more positive, with flexible scheduling more likely these days.

    Office culture: the people are trained as highly-skilled communicators and among the most tight-knit and caring you could meet. Very self aware, and those who do not fit in with the culture are not ostracized, but welcomed and accommodated. If you make the effort, we're eager to have you. If not, help us find the way. If unwilling, you might not plug in as well and might find your way out, but most people who last a year can find their way through this just fine, leaving on their own terms if at all.

    Good pay in each office, and as long as you're willing to do the job you should be able to keep it and earn modest raises whatever you do.

    Put in 1+ years (during which you get constant professional development) and you can learn the ropes...and the people to know. That is, the people with whom you work make all the difference, and finding your best fit with managers, coaches, etc. should be your first task when you start, besides learning your craft. Advancement and development are available, but require the employee to drive the processes (even those that take time).

    Cons

    Contracts with clients shift business needs and opportunities, so the hiring and promotion processes are never guaranteed. Sometime they take significantly longer than expected; other times multiple leaps up the ladder may be made to meet needs.

    Benefits are okay for single individuals (well covered by the InsideTrack), but expensive (maybe prohibitively so) for families. However, the company does support families through good FMLA, new mother, flex schedule, and related practices.

    Senior managers might fall into the old guard and the outside blood, but these two get along very well with C-level being the best staffed in years. However, old guard can get bogged down in past processes to the detriment of emerging needs, and newer blood can miss the context necessary to learn from our past efforts. To be expected, but it means that we might lose or mishandle some great opportunities. Expecting this to improve in the next 6-12 months.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep an eye to innovation, including innovative ways to utilize staff. You'll lose more talent (into whom you've sunk costs) or continue to under-utilize your staff if tied to closely to traditional staffing for all. It's easiest that way, but not smartest.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 3 people found this helpful  

    Overly idealistic - Only a job for the very outgoing

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Success Coach in Portland, OR
    Former Employee - Success Coach in Portland, OR

    I worked at InsideTrack full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Upper management is very nice. There is an excellent program for coach development. However there is little to no opportunity for growth outside of the coaching position.

    Cons

    The job is VERY emotionally and mentally draining. You are working with mostly for-profit colleges that have a scam reputation. And essentially your job is to keep students enrolled at these schools even if its not in their best interest.

    What InsideTrack does sounds really good on paper. And I'm sure that they have helped a few students along the way. But they are built and funded on the student federal loan bubble that will eventually pop.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    constant change, constant calls

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Prospective Student Coach in Portland, OR
    Current Employee - Prospective Student Coach in Portland, OR

    I have been working at InsideTrack full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    The people I work with are incredible. This company feels very energetic and idealistic. It's a nice mix of people fresh off the college press (like I was) and seasoned veterans of the higher ed community. You will gain killer communication skills, since you will talk with people from all walks off life about very touchy subjects. Lots of autonomy once you become a seasoned or certified "master" coach. Pretty great flexibility with working different hours on different days or working from home a couple days a week.

    Cons

    "Voicemail jail" is real and it's hard. It can be hard calling the same student over and over when you know they don't want to talk. It can also be exhausting to not see the outcomes of your work. I am a PSC and it often takes several months to know if the work you did actually paid off, so you just have to work on faith. The company is very bottom heavy, with very few positions outside of coaching. I would love to try something in HR or training, but there are also probably 100 other coaches right behind me. There are also constant initiatives and surveys that fill my inbox. I feel like the vision of the company is always changing and I have stopped keeping track of the newest "fad" in coach development because it will just change in another 4-6 months.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    There needs to be more structure around team changes. Since we gain and lose accounts all the time, it can be challenging for HR to put everyone in their "homes." However, some people move teams at such a pace that they forget what school they are calling for. There need to be some minimums set in place so that clients have a more consistent team to work with. For instance, a coach (unless the account is cute) needs to stay on one team for at least 4-5 months before they can be considered to move to another team. Also, considering creating more roles for employees that don't necessarily have to be linked to increased compensation. Coaching by itself gets so boring after awhile. I would have settled for another title indicating some type of distinction or management, even without a pay increase. Perhaps a "team coaching quality manager" who is in charge of assigning and reviewing call scores in place of the manager. Or outsourcing some of the manager's duties to a coach and giving them a title. I don't always want more pay, I would just like other skills and job titles to add to my resume.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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