Shmoop

  www.shmoop.com
  www.shmoop.com

Shmoop Reviews

Updated December 13, 2014
Updated December 13, 2014
18 Reviews
3.5
18 Reviews
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David Siminoff
4 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Fun side gig!

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

    I have been working at Shmoop as a contractor (less than an year)

    Pros

    Fun people to work with, very communicative when you have questions, can be flexible about deadlines with enough advance notice, assignments allow you to use your expertise and creativity, great way to get experience working in content development, can work from home

    Cons

    Pay per project may be considered low, depending on how much time projects take to complete; assignments requiring LaTeX coding can be particularly tedious to complete

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Great startup for young writers

    • Culture & Values
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Shmoop as a contractor (more than an year)

    Pros

    Shmoop works on a very specific model, and their projects for writers are best for graduate students and others looking for side, freelance work. If you stick with them long enough and prove your worth, the pay is very acceptable. Great people to work with, and plenty of opportunity to learn a lot.

    Cons

    Some communication and organization issues, but they are a rapidly growing company, so some of that is expected.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    Tons of work, little pay, zero support

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

    I have been working at Shmoop part-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Working online, on your own time

    Cons

    Writing for Shmoop was a largely negative experience. The standard of work requested is high (which it should be as we're talking about student education here). However, the expectations are vague and for my part, the assigned editor did not reply to emails, did not give feedback and generally provided very little support. Work was required to be in on or before the deadline (again, as it should be) but without answers to critical questions, that work then needed to be revised and modified (feedback you'd get just shy of the invoice deadline and so you scramble to get it done so you can get paid on time). The result is that the tasks take far longer than they should and that the number of hours required to do the job increases. Since you aren't paid by the hour, but by the project, there isn't much you can do to improve your ability to work efficiently and you might be told your payments will have to wait until next month as the revisions weren't done or worse, the feedback wasn't provided until after the billing deadline passed. In the end, the hourly rate of pay is so low that it isn't worth the hassle of dealing with the absent editorial staff.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Writers need better support, editors need to reply to emails promptly and include feedback. Writers and editors need better training on the goals for the project.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    Fun company to work for

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

    I worked at Shmoop as a contractor (more than an year)

    Pros

    Flexible and intelligent editors and liaisons, always available to discuss the work.
    Student focused values.
    Fair compensation.
    Editors will give you some latitude in choosing what books for you to write on. You can get into a pretty good set-up with how you write your module, which can help your workflow.

    Cons

    The work can get a little formulaic; the work is fairly compensate, though it becomes a little boring after the first few modules, and then the compensation doesn't seem to fit so well. Module is fixed; some areas are less interesting and harder to do than others.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 2 people found this helpful  

    Needs to pay at least twice as much

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

    I have been working at Shmoop as a contractor

    Pros

    The two best things about being a freelance writer for Shmoop are the amount you learn the excellent editors. They're encouraging, responsive, and fun, and they always pay on time. However, the pay is abysmal. On average, you can expect to make about $900 (before taxes) for every 20-25k words you write. For the education level and quality they want, they should be paying a minimum of four times that. For the amount you have to write every month just to pay your bills, you could be cranking out a novel. I find myself getting very discouraged and feeling undervalued.

    Cons

    The pay rate is terrible.

  7.  

    Great experience!

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

    I have been working at Shmoop as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    Excellent culture. Great experience overall, and much room for growth in the future too. Would recommend to anyone.

    Cons

    Salary is not too great, although definitely reasonable.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 2 people found this helpful  

    very low pay for contract writers

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    Former Employee - Curriculum Writer
    Former Employee - Curriculum Writer

    I worked at Shmoop as a contractor (less than an year)

    Pros

    work is interesting, telecommuting is supported, opportunity to contribute to education (do non-corporate work, in other words), they seem organized

    Cons

    Pay for contract writers is VERY low. Writing courses for Shmoop might be a decent gig for a starving grad student, but professional instructional designers should look elsewhere

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I didn't work with them long enough to presume to advise management. I assume they have their staffing model figured out and that the it's just a coincidence that they have a lot of open writer positions on their site and offer such low payment to writers.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 4 people found this helpful  

    Ridiculously low pay.

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

    I worked at Shmoop as a contractor (less than an year)

    Pros

    Shmoop is fun. If you're a witty guy or gal, you'll appreciate the opportunity to tell a lot of silly jokes. High standards.

    Cons

    The pay for content writing is ridiculously, almost hilariously low. The company wants folks with incredible content and pedagogical knowledge, with advanced degrees from elite schools, and yet their freelancer pay works out to about minimum wage or less. Tried to negotiate salary a bit, but was shot down immediately. I've been in this industry a while, and Shmoop's compensation is the absolute LOWEST of the seven ed tech companies I've contracted for.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You cannot retain high-quality people who will produce high-quality content without paying them a fair wage.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 2 people found this helpful  

    Did some content writing - didn't get paid enough

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

    I worked at Shmoop as a contractor (less than an year)

    Pros

    My editor was very helpful and friendly. I worked from home and set my own schedule.

    Cons

    The pay was very low. I would estimate that I got paid less than minimum wage for the two contracts jobs I took on. Perhaps if you were really fast or did more contracts you could get it above minimum wage, but it's not really worth it.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pay content writers more.

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

    The experience of working for Shmoop is a lot of fun!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Content Writer in Orlando, FL
    Current Employee - Content Writer in Orlando, FL

    I have been working at Shmoop as a contractor (less than an year)

    Pros

    The ability to complete assignments on your time while laughing and reviewing fundamental topics you've studied in school.

    Cons

    Compensation is low when you look at the time it takes to put a whole module together.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Invest in quality rather than quantity– pay people with higher-holding degrees more compensation will encourage them to devote more time to your company.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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