Rustic Pathways Reviews

Updated March 30, 2015
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Chris Stakich
5 Ratings

14 Employee Reviews

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  1. Great industry job.

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

    I have been working at Rustic Pathways full-time (More than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Excellent staff, culture, and opportunity. Great travel benefits and a very important mission. I've never worked with so many people that fee so strongly about their job. It's really an exciting company.

    Cons

    We stay busy! The benefits are not as black and white as they are with other companies. Benefits with Rustic Pathways are really fringe benefits that add up significantly, but the immediate benefits (matching 401k etc) are still in development.


  2. Depressing

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Rustic Pathways full-time

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

    Pros

    The people they hire for country director and below roles are fantastic, friendly, worldly people. Everyone has that insatiable love of travel, so it makes for a fun workplace when you are all together. You get to travel a lot and swap responsibilities often enough that you're always engaged.

    Cons

    Most employees are young and eager to travel, and they take advantage of that fact. They'll send you somewhere at the blink of an eye and then change their minds half way through your flight around the world so you see you need to turn around and come home the moment you touch down. They'd rather you have four stops with 10 hour layovers than spend a few more dollars on your ticket that would get you to your destination direct. It's fun to travel spontaneously, but when you are trying to do business, maintain a schedule, get shipments through customs, and not let down the people you are trying to lead, it makes it hard to achieve anything without that stability and support from your management. Staff are excited, and they take it because it means they may get to see the world. The frustration is definitely there, though, but people are too exhausted to do much about it.

    They also give very, very minimal training. They under advertise the responsibilities of the job, don't give staff adequate training to feel comfortable with these new responsibilities before hitting the road, and then wonder why the staff doesn't perform up to scratch. This isn't the fault of the employees because with actual training and a bit more experience, they might be amazing, but they set the employees up for failure. For those willing to learn, if they ask you what you think you need to work on like most managers at jobs do and you're honest, they hold your comments against you. For the favorites, however, they can't do anything wrong.

    Management also is very temperamental, will fire another staff's employee without letting them know, will praise you one day, and decide to let you go the next day without a reason. HR is silent when you need them for help. The support system just isn't there for employees that are running around the world, alone half of the time, trying to manage the safety and happiness of children and successfully represent the business as a responsible entity.

    I've had menial or bad jobs before, but this one was the worst of them all because of how you walk in already having drunk the koolaid. Using that naivety against you so they can spend minimal money on your sanity, push you past all limits by keeping you on call from the moment you wake up at the crack of dawn til the moment you go to bed way past midnight since you're working with timezones all over the world, give a brief training for only a minor part of a very complicated job, and then tell you it's your fault you aren't doing well is just depressing.

    Advice to Management

    Don't take people that are so excited to work for you, that truly believe in what you are selling, and then use that against them as you work them into the ground and give them responsibilities that a single person in no way should shoulder alone, without support. Give training (we're responsible for kids' and fellow staff safety after all), be up front about the responsibilities, treat your employees well, become organized, and act like the 30+ year old company that you are. Fire the management/HR and start from scratch.


  3. Program Leader

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

    I worked at Rustic Pathways (Less than a year)

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Excellent management, service projects were well-manned with locals and students on trips, great accommodations, great food, good mixture of culture. Depends on the program leaders how good of a time the students have. We had great staff so our programs excelled, can't speak for other countries.

    Cons

    Salary not enough for working 24/7 essentially, but we do get all of our expenses paid. Staff were rearranged too much, caused disharmony with certain program leaders.

    Advice to Management

    Let program leaders stay on the program they are most suited for and feel comfortable with. Only bring in new leaders if needed.


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  5. Fun job with perks...but far from perfect

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Program Manager in Willoughby, OH
    Former Employee - Program Manager in Willoughby, OH

    I worked at Rustic Pathways full-time (More than 3 years)

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

    Pros

    Free travel (depending on your position), great group of smart and eager colleagues, safety training, general fun on the job.

    Cons

    Salary is kind of low for the time you have to put in (especially during sales), it's hard to get out of your box, spotty enforcement of rules, there is definitely a club of "cool guys" or favorites that tend to get what they want or at least get away with things other won't, poor communication, HR department is a joke.

    Advice to Management

    Work towards creating a culture that will last. The turn around is too high to create any real depth. Focus on creating meaningful experiences for the clients as opposed to creating higher numbers. Communicate!


  6. Passionate about creating global citizens and empowering teens through thoughtful travel, adventure and service.

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

    I have been working at Rustic Pathways full-time

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    This company is comprised of some of the most incredible, inspirational, passionate, and fun people you have ever met. Working for RP means you have the chance to change the trajectory of our next generation while participating in impactful and sustainable service projects around the world. You have the chance to travel, and connect with a global community, make a difference and grow.

    Cons

    This company is still working out the kinks of a structural overhaul and is feeling some growing pains. Staff can be under appreciated and while it offers a high quality service with a focus on safety and sustainable projects, management is still trying to find a balance somewhere between a "normal" 9-to-5 work environment and giving your life up for the company.

    Advice to Management

    Put more time into building the "family" instead of increasingly allowing the company culture to fade as we grow.


  7. Fast growing company, rough around the edges, but great potential.

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

    I have been working at Rustic Pathways full-time (More than 5 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    * Travel opportunities
    * Ability to be creative and develop areas of interest
    * Rapidly growing company
    * Ability to develop out of the box ideas
    * Great co-workers & company culture
    * 5-6 weeks vacation
    * Flexible working hours, and ability to work from home
    * Telecommuting
    * Great health benefits, including dental, and 401K
    * Great programming, and a constant effort to improve it
    * Leadership

    Cons

    * Lots of un-expected travel / change in plans
    * Organizations structure constantly changing
    * Lots of change in strategy
    * Easily pigeon holed into a specific position
    * Lack of feedback regarding performance
    * Long hours during the summer, and recruitment season

    Advice to Management

    Make decisions based on a set plan, not on what can be perceived as a whim. Be transparent with employees and provide a better picture of the company strategy. Provide greater feedback, both positive and negative, about employee performance. Provide more benefits to seasonal staff.


  8. Great if you love working with kids, Abysmal in every other Aspect

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

    I have been working at Rustic Pathways

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Get to travel to amazing places
    Do things tourists only dream of
    Work with great kids from around the world

    Cons

    Little to no communication between management in country and around the world
    Disorganized at the best of times, Rustic's reputation is kept up by the hard work of counselors, when you need them managers are like ghosts
    "Service Projects" are mediocre at best, mostly not impacting and with shoddy workmanship.
    The Boy's club/Ivy league mentality can be seen and felt all around.
    Shady stories abound

    Rustic does have an amazing marketing team though so despite it all I think it will keep growing exponentially.

    Advice to Management

    Take a look at the higher ups who have ascended simply due to company growth. Many are woefully under-qualified and have no clue what they are doing.. travelers who became big wigs.


  9. Generally rewarding. At times frustrating. Always tiring.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Program Leader in New Orleans, LA
    Former Employee - Program Leader in New Orleans, LA

    I worked at Rustic Pathways full-time (Less than a year)

    Neutral Outlook
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Worked with several really inspiring local organizations dedicated to rebuilding New Orleans. The students were generally appreciative of their experience. And some of the recreational activities were lots of fun (Ex. airboat tour, jazz concerts).

    Cons

    Low wages, zero personal space or time, cramped accommodations, and the regional manager was a poor communicator and ill-prepared to support the program leaders.


  10. Good for short stint, not really a career

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

    I have been working at Rustic Pathways full-time

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    The access to travel is amazing when you work full time here.

    Cons

    Don't be surprised if they tell you sleep on the floor of a co-worker's hotel room or apartment. Really. Also, while the health insurance coverage is good, there is no retirement option--and with salaries running in the low 30s--compensation is hardly generous.

    This is a small company and it feels like one. There are definite favorites amongst employees, which means they are allowed to ignore rules without repercussions. Other folks get fired for minor infractions. It's really stressful.

    Advice to Management

    HR is useless and paychecks are late at least once every six months (hard at this salary level). If you invested a little in your employees, turnover wouldn't be so high, and you'd save money in the long run.


  11. I've never been so disrespected

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Trip Leader/Flight Leader in Willoughby, OH
    Current Employee - Trip Leader/Flight Leader in Willoughby, OH

    I have been working at Rustic Pathways

    Doesn't Recommend
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    Free plane ticket
    During trip, food, housing, travel expenses, & entry to sights and activities are covered

    Cons

    Communication from supervisors is entirely unprofessional and beyond unsatisfactory
    It is ABSOLUTELY IMPOSSIBLE to reach HR, let alone have a mature, professional conversation.
    Payment is unreasonably low for being a trip leader 24/7
    Professional relationships blur into friendships, and as this company claims to be "laid back," higher-ups take advantage of newer employees
    I feel I am being taken advantage of, and am planning to quit and take my services somewhere they will be appreciated
    I am pretty sure they are scamming the young adults they hire as trip leaders because they are new to the work force and won't know the compensation/treatment RP is offering them is actually very unacceptable
    Moreover, what they claim to be "community service" is extremely poorly planned, and the catalogs blatantly lie to prospective customers
    I cannot put in words how truly infuriated I feel when I think of how disrespectful this company has been to me

    Advice to Management

    Offer respect to your employees
    Hire new HR



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