World Learning

  www.worldlearning.org
  www.worldlearning.org

World Learning Reviews

Updated October 17, 2014
Updated October 17, 2014
14 Reviews
2.9
14 Reviews
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Donald Steinberg
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Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    I interned for World Learning in the summer of 2013.

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at World Learning

    Pros

    I liked this internship because, unlike other internships, I was given substantive work and real responsibilities. The environment in the office is very congenial, and there are people from all different kinds of backgrounds.

    Cons

    I was given a large amount of high priority work early on with relatively little guidance. Also, there is not very much interaction between project teams, which can feel a little isolating.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Streamline the intern experience, as my experience was very different from those of other interns

  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Paid Internship with Problems

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Intern in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Intern in Washington, DC

    I worked at World Learning as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    - It pays (up to $1,500 a month before tax)
    - You get to work with various teams

    Cons

    - There is a lot of work to do but it's mostly boring work like assembling folders and booking travel
    - Depending on which team you're working with, you'll either have people who are interested in helping you learn or others who are just looking for a workhorse to take care of the boring parts of their jobs

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The problems could be fixed easily by creating a tiered system that allows interns to work on progressively more challenging tasks.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 2 people found this helpful  

    Idealism is inconvenient; innovation, bad for business.

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

    I worked at World Learning as an intern (more than an year)

    Pros

    WL does positively impact people around the world. As a former program participant, people from World Learning inspired me to take the direction that I am heading in today. You can be in a position to pass on that change as well, if you can hold onto your idealism long enough.

    It pays, if you negotiate that as part of your internship.

    As an intern, I had very little supervision, and gained valuable experience through setting my own projects. However, I also had to remind management that I was there, and ready to help and learn.

    Cons

    Workplace atmosphere ranges from cliquey and insincere to outright backstabbing, usually among the younger program associates and officers, but extending to management as well. There is a tradition of bad communication between the DC and Vermont offices, as well as between the different branches of the organization. Many people will talk about forging better connections, but immediately fall back on petty blaming and eye-rolling as soon as the audio/visual on the videoconference is cut. Management has stated on several occasions that team dynamics and positivity are not a priority, and low team morale is a big problem. In the industry, World Learning has a consistent reputation for attracting brilliant young leaders and breaking them within a year—these people then stagger off to competing organizations without exit surveys, incentives to stay, or gratitude for work well done.

    While remote staff have the benefit of minimal supervision, there is also very little understanding or demonstrated appreciation from managers of what remote staff do in the field. Remote staff sometimes have considerable difficulty getting permission to enter the office, accessing HR benefits, and communicating with other team members. Good work by remote staff, even groundbreaking and demonstrably successful work that increases numbers and business, either goes unnoticed or will sometimes be misattributed to office staff. Office work is valued higher than field work, and faces that are seen around the office are much more likely to be hired and promoted than voices on weekly conference calls.

    Hiring practices across the board are suspect, with a years-long trend of hiring managers promoting or hiring roommates, friends, and people with VIP or VIP family status. Interns can and do work for a year without being seriously considered for open positions, which go to newcomers or outsiders.

    There were several instances of ideas and work being stolen from lower-level employees and attributed to managers. Innovators and creative thinkers will be met with resistance and a reminder to stick to the status quo, while later, the same proposed ideas will be adopted without credit to the original proposer.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Behind the scenes, World Learning does not practice the ideals that it markets to its students and program participants. The organization lacks openness, responsible leadership, creativity, a drive to learn and grow, and positive communication methods. Inspirational people and hard workers who are dedicated to the cause are leaving in droves, exhausted and frustrated by World Learning's small resources and large bureaucracy, and are seeking refuge with competitors. World Learning should reward loyalty and good work, promote from within, focus on people first and numbers second (as numbers will naturally improve with happy, supported employees), and return to their mission statement.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
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  5.  

    Exciting opportunity to be part of international education. Terrible management.

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at World Learning

    Pros

    Room for creativity, chance to travel all over the world, great colleagues

    Cons

    Ridiculous management practices as the organization goes through a restructuring process.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Respect your employees.

  6. 3 people found this helpful  

    Potentially good NGO that doesn't practice what it preaches

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

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

    Pros

    Casual work environment, Meaningful work, good benefits for full-time staff. Summer VT based youth - staff receives amazing training. The organization has some very inspirational people in it. World wide network.

    Cons

    Pay is below average for the field. There is no real room to advance in the organization unless you are the personal friend of the hiring manager, regardless of qualifications. Managers are resistant to change and many folks who have been there for too long seem beaten down by the corporate nature of the system.

    Interns can spend up to a year in the service of World Learning and be dismissed without even a proper review or recognition.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    We watch a lot of good people with good ideas get frustrated and leave the organization. We need to 1. Pay these people properly for the work they do and 2. Provide incentives for them by giving them the opportunities and training that can make them more valuable to us, and in their own careers. 3. Generally put more value on loyalty.

    Additionally, we should communicate better between departments and the separate VT and DC offices. I've seem many crisis that could have been avoided and time that has been wasted because of strained relations and "silo" style departments.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 2 people found this helpful  

    Great organization to start your career in international development

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

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

    Pros

    You will have the opportunity to work with some really great, passionate, and enthusiastic people. The culture of World Learning in DC is friendly, inviting, and non-competitive. They value hard work and the staff regardless of level. There is room for personal and professional growth in the organization, especially if you start off as an intern or Program Assistant. You can make your way up to Program and Senior Program Officer with time and dedication. Depending on the team and project there is opportunity to travel internationally which has its perks. There is always international groups coming and going in the office so you also meet very interesting people around the world. Vacation and benefits are good, and salary is competitive to DC development orgs. World Learning recognizes all national holidays and is even closed for the whole week of Christmas to New Years, so you don't have to use any vacation time.

    Cons

    Many times there is a culture of favoritism shown by senior management. It would be wise to get on the good side of the managers and directors early on. You do have fend and lookout for yourself, so if you want a raise or title change then you have to go after it. If you want to be noticed, then you need to make it apparent to do so.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  8. 2 people found this helpful  

    Forward-focused organization with a friendly culture

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Program Officer in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Program Officer in Washington, DC

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

    Pros

    It's great to work for an organization working for positive change in the world. Projects involve people from all over the world, and the people who work here are interesting, fun, and extremely competent. Lots of opportunities for professional development, lots of internal mobility. Positive, fun work environment.

    Cons

    The structure of projects means that people advance only to fill vacancies, and some projects don't have much turnover at the program officer level. You need to show initiative in order to advance. Entry-level pay is modest but comparable to other organizations.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The organization should expend more resources to expand: for example, currently the proposal development team is small, so program staff often write proposals. Sometimes there aren't enough people to write proposals for projects that would expand the scope of World Learning's work.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. 2 people found this helpful  

    Bad pay, no room to move, poor management

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Program Officer in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Program Officer in Washington, DC

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

    Pros

    casual work atmosphere, no micromanagement, good work/life balance, interesting work

    Cons

    Bad pay - not on par with competitors
    No room to move (unless you are buddy-buddy with your manager which is rare)
    Poor management

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Promote from within.

    It's such a shame when I see our wonderful interns (that we don't even pay) aren't selected to be entry level! So many things are wrong with that.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    waste of time

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at World Learning

    Pros

    a place for summer time

    Cons

    no further career development and promotion

  11.  

    Great first job in DC; fun workplace with education exchange programs

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Program Associate in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Program Associate in Washington, DC

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

    Pros

    Enjoyed meeting all the international participants; lots of young people make for a fun environment; learn about ECA programs up close; gain understanding about international exchanges

    Cons

    Salaries in this field in general are just low, and this is on par. Also, it can take a while to advance beyond your initial hiring position

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Give associates more responsibilities and opportunities to exercise creativity or practice writing skills

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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