Working at Collette | Glassdoor

Collette Overview

Pawtucket, RI
501 to 1000 employees
1918
Company - Private
Travel & Tourism
$100 to $500 million (USD) per year
Collette has been a major worldwide tour operator for nearly 100 years and offers more than 160 tours to destinations on all seven continents. It is a third generation, family-owned company headquartered in Pawtucket, Rhode Island with additional divisions in Canada, the United ... Read more

Mission: Our mission is to enhance life's journey by creating extraordinary travel experiences.

Company Updates

  • The safety & security of our guests & employees is critical. Recently, our RI campus conducted an evacuation drill with the help of our employee Emergency Response Team & external agencies. Take a glimpse into the drill! http://glassdoor.com/slink.htm?key=vQ4vD

    Collette Life: Preparing for an Emergency

    Uploaded by Collette on 2017-07-19.

  • Our talented video team travels the world to capture the most amazing travel moments. Read on as the team leader shares his best tips for shooting video like a pro! #WeAreCollette

    How to Shoot Quality Video on Your Phone

    You hold tremendous potential to create fantastic video right in the palm of your hand. Phones these days can take great videos, but there are a few basics you need to know to make sure yours are the best they can be.

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Collette – Why Work For Us?


There’s something “different” about working at Collette – some say it’s in knowing that we are enhancing the lives of others through travel; some say it’s our longevity; and others say it’s the sense of social responsibility we feel in caring for the people in the world around us.  Above all else, we all agree that our team of hard-working, dedicated, welcoming employees is what sets us apart. Our community of employees respects, supports, inspires, and celebrates one another; we are empowered to think differently, to embrace learning, and to be willing to continuously change and grow. Collette fosters an environment that cares more for its employees in mind, body and spirit, promotes more innovative thinking, and encourages a spirit of collaboration to deliver more extraordinary experiences for our guests now and along the journey ahead.  Be a life enhancer. Be more. Be part of something different.

Right now somewhere in the world, a traveler is living a childhood dream or crossing an item off a bucket list in an unbelievable setting.  Each of our talented team members owns a part of this journey, opening up the world to tens of thousands of people. At Collette, we believe that travel is part of a life well-lived, enhancing lives in unexpected ways, and we take incredible pride in the work that we do.    

As we share the world with our guests, we believe in celebrating big and small wins and having fun along the way. Across the organization, team members are quick to recognize one another for a job well done, they are building trusting relationships to become more collaborative, and they are learning to think outside the box to develop innovative approaches to doing business. Employees are encouraged to learn as much as they can, challenge themselves, get involved and be part of our community.  

We often hear that “It just feels different” to work here. We love what we do, we are passionate about enhancing the lives of others and we believe that each member of the team is a piece of the puzzle in delivering extraordinary travel experiences.

As a leader in the tour industry, Collette prides itself on doing what’s right, ethical and honest. We credit our longevity to our commitment to operating with integrity. In our business, we are concerned with the safety of our guests, and the safety of our employees is also always top of mind. We believe we have a shared responsibility to be vigilant and accountable to protect one another. We care more and do more for our partners and travelers, ensuring no detail is overlooked and no experience is missed.  

Just as we create immersive, once-in-a-lifetime experiences for our guests, we are committed to providing our employees with a work environment that feels different – one where employees are cared for in mind, body, and spirit, supported and empowered to explore their own journeys. We take an integrated approach to wellness, supporting all areas of our employees' lives. The entire Collette team is encouraged to become better healthcare consumers, to make smarter financial decisions, and to take action every day to be well. 

We value lifelong learning and continuous development. So, while we provide the tools and resources, employees are accountable to actively engage in their own development. Through our comprehensive onboarding experiences, robust development portal, open-door policy, and performance management practices we support the achievement of individual goals and professional growth.

Collette employees stretching after a class

Just as we are focused on enhancing our travelers’ lives, we are committed to improving the lives of those around us. From the communities in which we work to the distant destinations where we travel, our leaders and employees feel a shared sense of responsibility to care for others and to make the world we travel a better place.  Locally, through paid time each month, employees are empowered to improve the communities around us through grant programs and volunteer opportunities. Through our robust global volunteer programs, employees work together to eradicate hunger and malnutrition, to provide homes to those in need, and to level the playing field for all children. Our goal is to give back to the world that has given us so much. 

Collette Cares team of volunteers

A Story of Hard Work and a Passion for Travel

“Our first office was so tiny that if you took a step backwards, you fell down an open hole that was stairs to the basement. Now we are a worldwide company with offices in the United States, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom.” – Alice I. Sullivan, Chairperson of the Collette Board.

It was a time of great possibilities

Back in 1918, when Jack Collette started Collette Tours, World War I had just ended. The Red Sox had won the World Series and porterhouse steak was 54 cents per pound.

The first Collette tour to ever run was made up of a jitney bus of travelers that left Boston headed for Florida. This three-week adventure cost just $61.50! At that time few could have foreseen that nearly 100 years later, that same company would be taking guests to all seven continents.

From those humble beginnings, Collette began running tours throughout New England and into Canada. Then, in 1927, the company transferred its base of operations to the New England Transportation Company Terminal in Providence, Rhode Island.

It was meant to be

In 1945, Dan Sullivan Sr., who had come home from a wartime commission in the U.S. Army Counter Intelligence Division, started working for New England Transportation. Over the next 15 years, Dan and Jack Collette crossed paths often.

In 1962, looking to retire, Jack made a decision that changed the course of the company – he sold it to Dan and his brother-in-law, Arthur McWilliam.

A vision of the future

This move was not without risk. Dan had six kids at home. But he knew how to take the initiative. As his wife Alice, matriarch of the Sullivan family, says, “Dan absolutely had ambition, vision, and believed in himself.”

Travel takes off

The timing was perfect. The New York World’s Fair of 1964 was around the corner. Dan ended up taking his family to this historic event and it proved to be a turning point for the company.

There, in the shadow of the iconic Unisphere, Dan could see how the world was changing. More people than ever wanted to travel. It was the perfect time to introduce the concept of guided touring. In the coming years, Collette expanded to include tours across the United States and Canada, Europe, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and South America.

Dan’s entrepreneurial spirit carried Collette into a new era, while always remaining true to the things he valued most – personal customer service, convenience and giving back.

Collette is about family

As his family grew, Dan’s children took on active roles in the company – in sales, tour development, marketing, tour guiding, and in its charitable arm. Working with a team of dedicated employees, they all stayed true to the original vision of expanding travel opportunities for everyone. That tradition continued as Dan’s eldest child, Dan Sullivan Jr., took the reins as President and CEO in 1990 – a role he enjoys to this day.

The Collette headquarters is now housed in a building along the Blackstone River, just upstream from where the American Industrial Revolution began. It is a fitting location for a company dedicated to innovation.

When Dan Sullivan, Sr. purchased Collette it was a small company. Now, Collette employs hundreds of people around the world.

So much has changed, but as the company thrives in its third generation of family ownership, the heart and soul of Collette remains the same.

Collette is a place full of enthusiasm. Drive. Innovation. And, most importantly, family.

Collette Reviews

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Collette President Daniel Sullivan Jr
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41 Ratings
  • "Great Company Culture"

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    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Project Manager in Pawtucket, RI
    Current Employee - Project Manager in Pawtucket, RI
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Collette full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Collette puts their money where their mouth is in terms of culture and employee engagement. They work hard to ensure that the culture is not just talked about but exemplified and ingrained in everything we do and how we do it. The product is fun too!

    Cons

    Office location in Pawtucket is segregated across multiple buildings.

    Advice to Management

    Keep living your values and leading by example.

See All 77 Reviews

Collette Photos

Collette photo of: Collette's on-site wellness center
Collette photo of: Learning Summit 2016
Collette photo of: Collaboration in action!
Collette photo of: Collette Cares Community Garden work in the on-site greenhouse
Collette photo of: Enjoying events in the Collette park
Collette photo of: As part of our million meals campaign, Collette employees join together to pack nutritional meals for those in need
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Collette Interviews

Experience

Experience
40%
15%
45%

Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview
80%
5%
5%
5
5

Difficulty

2.8
Average

Difficulty

Hard
Average
Easy
  1.  

    Customer Care Agent Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Pawtucket, RI
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at Collette (Pawtucket, RI) in August 2016.

    Interview

    Enjoyed the process, very smooth and efficient. The thing is though, you need to put effort into pursuing them, like any other job you are pushing for. I applied and never heard back. Applied to a few other jobs at the same time. One of my friends got hired at Collette which made me go "hmm, why haven't I heard back?" But he was persistent, visited them with his resume, and pushed. I tried calling, but only found generic customer service phone numbers, nothing for HR. So I went down and visited with my resume and cover letter but the recruiter was not available at the time, so I left my stuff with the receptionist who was very pleasant and told me she would get it to the recruiter. I got the recruiter's number and called a few days later. Very short conversation, told me she would review my stuff and see if she was interested, and to expect a call back at some point. I honestly didn't expect to hear back so fast, but about 3 hours later she called me to schedule an interview for the following week. I was nervous but it went very well, I met with the recruitment manager and she was very nice and informational, the interview was not at all like some I've had in the past, there was no drilling of ridiculous questions. There was no "what would you do in this crazy scenario" questions, or "if you were a color, which would you be and why?" Nothing crazy, just honest questions that determines what you are like. They asked me why Collette so it helps to know about the company a bit and do your research on the website, your background in customer service and your educational history, strengths and weaknesses, what you have done for disgruntled customers to improve the situation. All very straight questions without tricks. After interviewing with the recruitment manager, she had me sit down with the leads in the department I applied for and chat with them. It was like another mini-interview but even more relaxed. Then they walked me into the call center space and let me sit in on a call that a seasoned employee was taking. I really enjoyed this and it made me feel more confident in the position I applied for. After about 15 minutes they walked me out and told me to follow up with the recruitment manager. Two days later I called and thanked her and let her know I was still very interested in the position. She called me back very quickly, a day or two later, to have a second interview. I think this one was just a formality because this time, the department head I interviewed with told me they really liked me, asked me a few questions I had already answered on my first interview, and it was like a nice conversation. No awkwardness or lack of flow, no questions I had to practice beforehand. It was very short, maybe 10 minutes, and she told me to expect to hear a decision shortly. About 3 days later I received a call inviting me to accept their invitation to be hired, which I accepted, very happily. I am very much anticipating working here. Employees seem happy, they said hello and "can I help you?" everytime I was sitting in the lobby waiting and people seem genuinely happy to be at Collette. I was very pleased at the interview process and how smooth it flowed. But my advice is to reach out to them and do not expect a call back just because you filled out an application.

    Interview Questions

    • How did you handle a disgruntled customer? What is customer service to you? What are your strengths and weaknesses? Why Collette?   Answer Question
See All 20 Interviews

Collette Awards & Accolades

  • Healthiest Employers of Rhode Island, Providence Business News, 2017
  • Wellbeing Award, The North American Employee Engagement Awards, 2017
  • Best Places to Work in Rhode Island (Large), Providence Business News, 2017
  • Human Resources Department of the Year - All Other Industries (Silver), 2017 American Business Awards, 2017
  • Best Places to Work in Rhode Island (Large), Providence Business News, 2016
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