Academy of Art University Reviews | Glassdoor

Academy of Art University Reviews

Updated February 19, 2017
357 reviews

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357 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Pay is decent for those just starting their career (in 15 reviews)

  • You also have the opportunity to experience an urban campus and San Francisco is a wonderful city to work in (in 17 reviews)

Cons
  • Since I started working, I do see that there's still a lot of room for growth and improvement (in 17 reviews)

  • Very toxic environment driven by upper management behavior (in 31 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (10)

    "I wish I could give them negative stars!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Admissions Representative in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Admissions Representative in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Academy of Art University full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Your amazing, talented coworkers (who will all quit before you do) and the experience you can add to your resume

    Cons

    -EVERYTHING, seriously. I STILL get anxiety when I think about my time here.
    -Sadly, every single person here is miserable, depressed, overworked, undervalued, overwhelmed and you will quickly notice and understand why if you move forward.
    -There is NO academic or advising aspects to the admissions representative role this is purely a SALES position.
    -The entire job consists of making sales calls/replying to emails and hoping you get applications and registrations
    -If you do not produce you will be micromanaged until you feel suffocated.
    -Favoritism is rampant and your few coworkers that do well will receive special treatment.
    -Management does not care for the students like you do, all they see is $$$$ (It is for-profit education)
    -If you are looking for a long term career, great environment, mentally challenging role, flexibility, equality, really care about students, want a 401K, want good benefits DO NOT take this toxic position. And if you do...good luck.

    Advice to Management

    There is no point in saying anything to the management here. I look forward to the day where AAU shuts down and students are able to attend an art school that actually cares about their success.


  2. Helpful (5)

    "Accounts Payable Specialist"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Accounts Payable Specialist in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Accounts Payable Specialist in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Academy of Art University (Less than a year)

    Pros

    NONE. ABSOLUTELY NONE. THERE IS NOT A SINGLE THING TO LIKE ABOUT ANYTHING ABOUT THIS JOB. RUN AWAY, RUN

    Cons

    The team sits down at 8:00 AM and gets up at 5:00 PM. No one talks to each other and the environememt is so hostile that you just cannot continue working. No laptops and the pay is a joke. Two people have been working for more than 10 years as AP Specialists. That talks about the ambition. And ofcourse the pay, ABSOLUTE JOKE.

    Advice to Management

    Make sure that you help people and not treat them as robots.


  3. "Resident Assistant"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Academy of Art University part-time

    Pros

    Great staff and work environment.

    Cons

    Very time consuming at times.


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  5. Helpful (6)

    "Great co-workers, horrible company"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Great co-workers, pretty much it

    Cons

    Bad management, high turnover, low morale, out of touch with modern work culture, President is typical entitled SF socialite who thinks rules don't apply to her

    Advice to Management

    You need to run Academy like a real school and not a money machine. Shame on you for treating students and their loans like a never-ending piggy bank.


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Lead Metal Shop Technician"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Lead Metal Shop Technician in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Lead Metal Shop Technician in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Academy of Art University full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Fairly flexible. Good core values, solid staff. I found the location very easy to get to and an overall enjoyable atmosphere for work.

    Cons

    Hard to access perks. Hard to advance. Lack of motivation to excel. Management was lacking clear focus. It was difficult to establish a routine.

    Advice to Management

    Clearer focus on employee advancement and make access to perks (i.e. free classes) easier.


  7. Helpful (9)

    "Basically, if you do not like it here, leave"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Undergraduate Admissions Representative
    Former Employee - Undergraduate Admissions Representative
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Academy of Art University (Less than a year)

    Pros

    - Coworkers who are all on the same page with you (talented and hard working individuals)
    - Experience in a Higher Education setting
    - Transportation benefits (Free shuttle service)
    - Free class per semester (I heard if you claim the class on your taxes they will take a lot out of your returns)

    Cons

    - BEWARE! The managers say to not be afraid to let them know what you think and feel because if you do you will be putting a huge target on your back for them to keep their eyes on you. Do not trust them!
    - HIGH TURN AROUND - People start leaving on the second week of training or once they realize this is a business orientated job they start looking immediately
    - MICROMANAGED on your calls, call times, enrollments, registrations, attendance, dress code, and the way you speak with students (That's right they listen to your calls)
    - LOW MORALE - Everyone is miserable but the only few who have worked here for years/decade and I feel the only reason why some of them don't fight the system is because they are getting paid more that the starting salary.
    - BUSINESS - This school treats the students like numbers. They don't care as long as they are raking in their student loans and guaranteed financial aid
    - DO NOT SPEAK UP - They don't like hearing input or anything that goes against the grain. Just be quiet, get the paycheck and work your schedule.
    - FAVORITISM - It is apparent who is favored and who is not.
    - NO CHANGE/HOPE - This place does not see the issues even when it is presented to them in front of their faces. They will make you feel intimidated and as if you do not matter in their company. They do not value their employees hence the high turn around. Reps who have been here for years/decade mentioned that they hear all sorts of complaints and it hasn't been the first time (I wouldn't mind either if I was getting paid near 70-80K). They react and twist your words against you to make you feel undermined.
    - Quotes from other reps:
     "You need to learn what to ignore and take in", "If you aren't happy with the position, leave", "Be careful want you post on Glassdoor (Or any job sites where you can write a review)", "Oh, they don't like it when you speak up", and my personal favorite "This is not a number based job, the results show in your students"

    Advice to Management

    If you see that people are all leaving for the same reasons, wouldn't you think that it would be your system/ management, rather than the people who are leaving? Just a thought.


  8. Helpful (3)

    "Overall, pretty comfortable as an admissions representative"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Admissions Representative in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Admissions Representative in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at Academy of Art University (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Really great pay for the job itself, A lot of experience in education which is good for a resume, working with students has its ups and downs but allows you to act quickly resulting in great problem-solving skills, benefits package available, 10 vacation days and one floating holiday

    Cons

    The 11am-8pm shift is unnecessary (there are literally no calls that come in after 6, let people leave then), the environment is more salesy than they like to believe- a lot of admissions representatives are awarded more perks based on their enrollment numbers and you can clearly see favoritism, the expectation to hand-hold the students- there's a clear difference between helping them with the enrollment process and babysitting them, a lot of stuff is expected of the admissions representatives in regards to damage control but when reaching out for help managers act annoyed with you
    No match on 401K from what I understand

    Advice to Management

    cut the 11-8 shift, it's really, really unnecessary
    Make your employees feel more appreciated by letting them know even in the most stressful moments, they're making a difference in someone's lives
    Stop making the favoritism so abundantly clear- we know it happens, but clear signs of it divides teams (such as letting reps take vacations during the blackout periods but other reps don't get allowed that)


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Low Pay, Little Support From Central Office"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Academy of Art University part-time

    Pros

    Some inspiring and talented students, and a good place to get new perspective on your craft by teaching it. Great department directors.

    Cons

    Low pay and virtually no support, at least to the Advertising Department, from the main office. BYOEverything.

    Advice to Management

    Don't be so stingy with your faculty. If you can pay more, you'll attract better instructors, which will help build more career-ready students.


  10. Helpful (3)

    "Run away!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Academy of Art University (Less than a year)

    Pros

    This may differ by department, but you will meet the best people you could ever work with. Everybody is open, respectful, and nice. They make this place bearable.

    Depending on where you work, the location could also be a plus. Transportation benefits are nice, I guess, but they're also standard at every workplace. I usually leave by the time I am supposed to. I don't work 12 hour days.

    Cons

    This is very long, hence the list. The cons far outweigh the pros. Remember, this is a toxic for-profit university!

    - The obvious point: it's more about money than the students.
    - Turnover rate is very high -- huge red flag.
    - You are seen as a cog in a machine. Your performance is measured constantly, but you receive minimal support from upper management for the work you do. Other places do this well; constant support and flexibility. This is not one of those places.
    - Extreme micromanagement about performance.
    - Absolutely no room for growth.
    - Lack of transparency re: salaries and business practices.
    - No financial support. We are expected to buy everything ourselves. We don't get tea or coffee.
    - No work culture. No fun. We come in, we work, we go home. Everybody is jaded.
    - No communication at all.

    Advice to Management

    Can we get coffee machines? When will you actually listen to us? When will you truly care about your employees?


  11. Helpful (3)

    "No respect for employees"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    great to be around some really talented and driven individuals, that goes for faculty and students.

    Cons

    Upper management was awful, disrespectful.

    Advice to Management

    Respect your employees, they are human



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