Vista Higher Learning

www.vistahigherlearning.com
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Vista Higher Learning Reviews

Updated February 24, 2015
Updated February 24, 2015
16 Reviews
1.9
16 Reviews
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Jose Blanco
9 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1. 3 people found this helpful  

    Friendly people stifled by bureaucracy.

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

    I worked at Vista Higher Learning full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Great people throughout the company, strong year-over-year growth, lots of learning opportunities depending on the department. Office is in a great location, and the benefits package is above-average. Work/life balance is reasonable as long as you make an effort to leave at 5.

    Cons

    Deadlines are driven by school semesters, so expect an avalanche of work June/July and November/December. CEO doesn't care about employees, which is reflected by the 25%+ turnover rate. "Ask for permission, not forgiveness" culture prevents any sort of creative freedom. People regularly hired as fulltime contractors to save money on salaries.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Give employees more flexibility instead of siloing them into their given roles.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 2 people found this helpful  

    Confused management, lousy compensation.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Software Developer in Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Software Developer in Boston, MA

    I worked at Vista Higher Learning full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    There was a fizzy water machine. Health benefits were decent. Nicest, most genuine HR person I've ever seen.

    Cons

    The CEO had his fingers in everything, could never decide on what he wanted, micromanaged and then blamed others when things weren't delivered on time. Would always intrude on meetings, see the work we were doing and then immediately change the scope of it right when we thought we had reached requirements, had no power to say no.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Decide what you want and then set it in stone for a while. Either that or abandon ship.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 5 people found this helpful  

    Owner and CEO makes what could be a good company bad

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

    I worked at Vista Higher Learning full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Most employees are intelligent and innovative people, with great ideas and good interpersonal skills. There are some very notable exceptions to this (see cons).

    Cons

    Owner and CEO is a nightmare. He does not listen to employees and has no respect for the people who have made the company successful. People are let go at a moment's notice without cause. Whims directly influence policy and upper management is often tasked with carrying out those whims. In my time there entire departments where let go, and the president was also let go. Owner then took on all aspects of the business with no one to stand up to him.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I don't think there is anything that can be done here. Most of the people are good at what they do, but are stuck in an environment that has little to no support.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 4 people found this helpful  

    The pay was terrible and so was the atmosphere.

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

    I worked at Vista Higher Learning

    Pros

    I guess it's better than being unemployed.

    Cons

    Everyone there is miserable. The owner is a tyrant who regularly fires people based on personal whims, so everyone is desperate to please him. The fact that the company owner treats his people like toys to be used and thrown away means that those beneath him feel free to mistreat their direct reports as well.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The dysfunction at this company is so intrinsic that I don't think anything will ever be done to solve any of the real problems there.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 2 people found this helpful  

    Favoritism rules the world at this small language publishing company.

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

    I worked at Vista Higher Learning full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great product and instructional design that fits for all languages for a specialized boutique college textbook publishing company.

    Cons

    Everyone is not treated equal and are subjected to the whims of the CEO with emphasis on what the consultants say to do instead of listening to the employees that are interacting daily with the customer. Some employees get special treatment for no reason while others are targeted with no criteria based on facts or performance. Pricing is out of control with absolutely no relevance to the customer.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Instead of trying to copy the big behemoth publishing companies, trust the folks you have on the ground and listen to them, it could save the company from going down the path that has been forged by out of touch publishing companies. Stop micromanaging and put more emphasis on developing the talent that you have right under your nose. Realize that not all customers are going to be ok with the one choice and be open to new ideas and developing new materials.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 6 people found this helpful  

    Interesting Work, Expanding Company, Scary Management

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

    I worked at Vista Higher Learning full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    The company creates well received products and is growing, which is gratifying for anyone who cares about their work.

    Cons

    As others have mentioned, the company is subject to the whims of the owner, which means that certain decisions can be questionable or worse. However, the biggest con by far is the way that people are let go with no warning. This happens all the time. When coworkers disappear overnight, the mood gets quite grim until some time has passed. And then, just when the last sting has faded from memory a little bit, it happens again.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Continue the drive for excellence but change the way you treat employees. People want to feel valued and definitely not disposable.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 6 people found this helpful  

    Company strategy is based on the whims of the President, employees feel marginalized and undervalued

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

    I worked at Vista Higher Learning full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Nice office, great location, good work-life balance. Coworkers are fantastic, hard-working and smart. Great products.

    Cons

    Total disconnect between upper management and employees, if you're not a favorite of the company president your opinions and expertise are completely dismissed. Good employees are arbitrarily fired while favorites that only get along with upper management hang on. Very political atmosphere leads to seemingly random decisions that nobody supports.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get more in touch with the employees. Morale is in the basement because of firings, bad employees hanging on, arbitrary decisions, office politics, and management has no idea. Consider doing surveys or 360 company reviews to gather more info...and then make changes! Put more value in your employees and their skill sets - they were hired for a reason. Don't make high-handed decisions based on one person's preferences, instead talk to people and gather information to make sure the decision is actually in the best long-term interests of the company.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 4 people found this helpful  

    Growing upwards while still digging themselves into a hole.

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

    I have been working at Vista Higher Learning full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    A lot of the people who work here and aren't in management are very intelligent and interesting people. The products are well-received, and the company has continued growth, which is certainly something to be proud of. It's also a great learning environment - lots of collaboration and interest in sharing knowledge within different departments.

    Cons

    As others have stated, the owner (who recently fired the President and took over, out of the clear blue) very much does whatever he wants. There are large portions of the business that he does not understand, and makes no effort to. He is stubborn and has blinders on.

    As others have said, people are fired with little notice. In my time there, essentially the entire Design Department was let go - twice. The pay is fine, a little on the lower end, but with no job security, no communication, and no real leadership or direction, it wouldn't even matter if it was higher. Tons of micromanaging and favoritism. The company is expanding, but is going dramatically downhill at the same time.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 4 people found this helpful  

    Changes in the last couple years have been detrimental to company moral and productivity

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

    I have been working at Vista Higher Learning

    Pros

    Good products, nice office, good fair benefits. Smart hardworking employees that care about the products.

    Cons

    Little training, expected to multitask everything, cookie cutter micro managers following practices of larger companies that have not had the same success. Owner doesn't seem to care who is fired. Employees are a dime a dozen. Most of us are looking to get out. Lots of pointing the blame on one person to save oneself.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You had and have employees that care and are willing to speak the truth. You need management that inspires loyalty, is motivating and values their employees.. You hire consultants that know only how to stroke egos while your employees can give you the true advice. You need to provide more opportunities for employees to move up. it would be nice if the owner actually got to know his employees.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 5 people found this helpful  

    A lot work, but a lot of satisfaction

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

    I have been working at Vista Higher Learning full-time

    Pros

    Small enough to make a difference
    Some teams are nice and collaborative
    If wiling, you can learn a lot in a short time
    Extremely successful in the publishing industry

    Cons

    Private ownership results in bias and some times illogical decisions
    Not all teams have collaboration in mind to get work done
    Some employees get preferential treatment
    Not everyone is given the opportunity to succeed

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Rules and policies should be for everyone ie working from home
    Stop reminding everyone to follow policies that do not exist
    Some individuals have issues, call out on those individuals, not on everyone to avoid confrontation

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

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