The Art Institutes Reviews

Updated May 18, 2015
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2.6
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The Art Institutes President George Sebolt
George Sebolt
2 Ratings

Pros
  • Working with students who all have a similar and positive life goal (in 3 reviews)

  • Flexibility, decent pay, fun job, great people (in 4 reviews)

Cons
  • Micro-management, lack of work life balance, lack of communication from executives, and poor management (in 5 reviews)

  • High targets & high turnover, change in management style, no job security (in 6 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

18 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (1)

    Amazing experience to launch a career (at a small price)

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Assistant Director of Admissions in Houston, TX
    Former Employee - Assistant Director of Admissions in Houston, TX

    I worked at The Art Institutes

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    You will learn a ton in this job -- recruiting, interviewing, reaching goals, teamwork/leadership, problem solving, sales, relationship building, adaptability, time management... The Houston location has a beautiful school, successful programs and wonderful faculty. There is work-life balance in the sense that when you go home, you don't take your work with you. However, when you are in the office, you really need to know how to manage your time and work very hard. I don't think I would have the career I have today if it weren't for my time here.

    Cons

    Proprietary school systems like the Art Institutes often receive bad press. Some of it is rightfully earned, and some not. Still, it is a big hit to employees' morale to hear negative things about your employer and the type of work you are doing. It is ALL about hitting your numbers (getting a certain number of students each start date) which means you sometimes have students sign up who probably shouldn't. In other words, unlike other respectable institutions of higher education, it's not about finding the best and most qualified student; it's about finding any student you can to sign on the dotted line and fork over a non-refundable $50 applicant fee. Of course, there are plenty of Admissions representatives who do their job well... and right... and only sign up students in good conscious. Doing it that way, however, takes much longer to hit your goals than just letting any old Joe Schmuck in the door. There were definitely Admissions reps who would persuade a student to sign up who they KNEW couldn't afford the tuition and/or wouldn't excel, but they did it anyway to hit their goals. It just made you feel icky sometimes.

    Advice to Management

    The management team at the Houston location is actually pretty good. I received a ton of mentorship and professional development. I also worked hard and hit goals -- if you aren't hitting your goals, your manager will breathe down your neck.


  2. Helpful (1)

    Good stepping stone, great people

    Former Employee - Assistant Director of Admissions in Houston, TX
    Former Employee - Assistant Director of Admissions in Houston, TX

    I worked at The Art Institutes full-time

    Pros

    Good starting pay and raise structure
    Great people and fun environment
    Nice campus to show to prospective students

    Cons

    Stress creating pressure to bring in students
    Knowing lots of students will not succeed and will be in debt with nothing to show for it.
    The school attracts students that do not have the drive or resources to stick it out. There are success stories though.

    Advice to Management

    Less focus on profit and more focus on building the quality of the school to attract more dependable and high achieving students.


  3. Interesting...

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Assistant Director of Admissions in Houston, TX
    Former Employee - Assistant Director of Admissions in Houston, TX

    I worked at The Art Institutes full-time

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

    Pros

    ...
    Hold your breath while I try to create the PC answer required for this field.

    Cons

    If you are under the age of say about 45, looking to have a family, or just basic work-life balance this place will completely rob you of the possibly to do so. Management is either aloof or micromanages through fear inducing tactics.

    Advice to Management

    Manage "up", stop all pass aggressive commentary, and research educational leadership skills (then apply them to your approach w/ staff).


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  5. Decent

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Assistant Director of Admissions in Houston, TX
    Current Employee - Assistant Director of Admissions in Houston, TX

    I have been working at The Art Institutes full-time (More than 5 years)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Friendly creative people, they made the job bearable. We had fun and accomplished goals. it's definitely not for those who get stressed easily.

    Cons

    Monotony, expectations were very high for pay at the time. It is very much a sales job and you have to be comfortable with that. The numbers are not a recommendation.


  6. Great Commitment to Teaching Students in the Profession of Design

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Adjunct Professor in Houston, TX
    Current Employee - Adjunct Professor in Houston, TX

    I have been working at The Art Institutes part-time (Less than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Great deal of schedule flexibility and meaningful department teaching collaboration. Department management is very keen to growing the program and recruiting a quality teaching team.

    Cons

    They need a better internal computer system for teaching management. Very difficult to manage and access. Wireless system is lacking.


  7. Good but not good.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Assistant Director of Admissions in Houston, TX
    Former Employee - Assistant Director of Admissions in Houston, TX

    I worked at The Art Institutes full-time (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    You get to meet families and students, and you get to help them through their admissions process.
    Co-workers are awesome people and fun to work with.
    Pay is great.
    Benefits are really good, medical, dental and vision, and life insurance.

    Cons

    Micromanagament especially if you dont make your application goals.
    Hours are bad for people that have families.
    Needed to work some saturdays each month.
    Sales job in the end, can be frustrating when you cannot get the customers you need.

    Advice to Management

    Maybe less micromanaging would help employers work more on their own and feel more confident in doing their job.


  8. Helpful (1)

    Great co-workers, but horrible job design for admissions.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Assistant Director of Admissions in Houston, TX
    Former Employee - Assistant Director of Admissions in Houston, TX

    I worked at The Art Institutes full-time (More than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    Great co-workers and free food whenever breakfast/lunch was catered.

    Cons

    Job design. They say it is not a "sales" job, but you are required to start a certain number of students per quarter, regardless if they were a good fit for the school or not. The last year I was there, they said they couldn't give any raises for the following year due to financial cuts, etc. Low employee morale.


  9. Helpful (1)

    Glad that's over

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Assistant Director of Admissions in Houston, TX
    Former Employee - Assistant Director of Admissions in Houston, TX

    I worked at The Art Institutes full-time (More than a year)

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

    Pros

    The admissions staff is great and the staff in general is very friendly and approachable. You get to work with a lot of nice people who are, in most cases, genuinely interested in helping students. Some students are truly gifted/ talented. The Houston campus is very nice in terms of the equipment and resources offered to students.

    Cons

    Too many to list here. This is a for-profit college, which means that nothing is considered useful unless it directly correlates with money. Everything and everyone that's not absolutely essential has been cut.

    No overtime pay for Saturdays worked. The "expectation" is that you leave early the next Tuesday so that your hours never exceed 40. And you will work 2-3 Saturdays every month. Along with 2-3 nights that you're in the office until 7 or 8 every week.

    No one thinks you're working unless the work is quantifiable. Emails don't count. Office work doesn't count. The only thing that counts is how many phone calls, interviews, applications, and starts you had for a given amount of time. Then do it all over again tomorrow because what you did today won't count anymore.

    High turnover. No genuine concern for the staff or the students. Lots of fake enthusiasm. Students are almost forced to start during whenever the next start is, even if the classes already started. Wanna drop and add/drop already passed? Sorry. You now owe the school money. Even if you were only in class once or twice.

    Some students are very creative and maybe should be in an arts school. Many students "think" they're creative, but are really just lost and/or lazy. You get to call and harass all off them all day long.

    Not really much opportunity for advancement at the campus level.

    There isn't much integrity left, there's definitely no respect, and it's probably going to keep getting worse.

    Advice to Management

    Advice? Management doesn't care to make any realistic changes. But if anything, I'd say -- stop hiring outside consultants that convince you that your people are ineffective, and instead build rapport. Have high standards for the school/ students and the results will follow. Lastly, people will go to the moon and back for you if they trust, respect, and like you.


  10. Helpful (1)

    Do not work here.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Assistant Director of Admissions in Houston, TX
    Former Employee - Assistant Director of Admissions in Houston, TX

    I worked at The Art Institutes full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    Besides a decent salary, there are no pros.

    Cons

    You are only as good as your last week of production. Management creates a facade that they care about you in the beginning, but that's just to get you to work harder. You will be fired in a heartbeat if you are not producing every single week. The schedule is not good if you have a family and only got worse over the year I worked there, as the number of saturdays we were required to work each month increased. You are pressured to enroll students in to programs they clearly cannot afford, with an unclear return on their investment. I was a very good Assistant Director of Admissions that was consistently ranked in the top 10, but it is not worth it. The job is a dead end.

    Advice to Management

    If I gave advice it would be disregarded by management, so why give it?


  11. OK place for teaching part-time

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Contractor - Adjunct Instructor in Houston, TX
    Current Contractor - Adjunct Instructor in Houston, TX

    I have been working at The Art Institutes as a contractor (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    I enjoy quite a bit of freedom as to how I teach and grade. Students are motivated but often under prepared. Facilities are new and colleagues are friendly. School goes by quarter system so I get to refine the syllabus every 12 weeks. There is free parking and can contribute to 401K.

    Cons

    Like any adjunct teaching, there is not enough money if you rely only on this income. They can cut class any time. There is no office for instructors, just cubicles, which most part-time instructors don't even bother to visit. It's quite hard to feel like you are part of the team when you just go and teach your classes and leave.



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