Academy of Art University Employee Reviews about "great people"

Updated Jul 29, 2020

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2.9
35%
Recommend to a Friend
26%
Approve of CEO
Academy of Art University President Elisa Stephens
Elisa Stephens
332 Ratings
Pros
  • "It's located in the beautiful downtown San Francisco with plenty of things to do and places to eat(in 23 reviews)

  • "My manager was one of the few great people in this organization(in 22 reviews)

  • Cons
  • "Upper management and General Managers are not respectful(in 40 reviews)

  • "Ethics aside, the work environment is not that welcoming(in 28 reviews)

  • More Pros and Cons
    Pros & Cons are excerpts from user reviews. They are not authored by Glassdoor.

    Reviews about "great people"

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    1. 5.0
      Current Employee

      Part Time Industrial Design Tutor

      Jan 28, 2016 - Industrial Designer in San Francisco, CA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      This is great part-time opportunity when you if you live closely to the school. Basic materials to teach are provided and other supplies can be compensated for if essential to what you're teaching. The industrial design department faculty is composed of great people too.

      Cons

      Lazy and unmotivated students can sap your energy. Low work shop sign-ins can also result in your tutoring sessions to be cancelled.

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    2. 1.0
      Former Employee, less than 1 year

      the cons outweigh the pros - not worth the 60k

      Mar 9, 2020 - Admissions Representative in San Francisco, CA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      -I learned that I could have a successful career in sales -My manager was one of the few great people in this organization -They pay well for a position where little to no experience is required -The admissions building in fisherman's wharf has a great view of the golden gate bridge

      Cons

      -9am-6pm 3 days a week, 11am-8pm 2 days a week - absolutely no flexibility or exceptions here -very strict about sick time and vacation -expect to sit at your desk all day making calls to high school students who don't know why they are on your list -this is a business, do not except anyone to act as though it is an institution that puts students and education first -the school has a pretty negative reputation that you will have to fight on most calls -management cares a lot of your performance (how many applications and registrations you get) but do not goal accordingly so it challenging to stay motivated -overall negative and toxic work environment - I found it really hard to remain positive in an environment where no one wanted to be there and constantly spoke ill of the organization -little to no opportunities to advance and get promoted

      9 people found this review helpful

      Academy of Art University Response

      Talent Success Team

      Academy of Art University takes pride in knowing that our students are here to invest in themselves and their careers. Our school is the largest private art and design university in the nation and that is largely due to the fact that we are dedicated to providing our students with top-notch equipment and facilities so that they are able to leave our university with the skills needed to succeed in their careers. Our 50,000+ alumni are some of the most successful and sought-after professionals in art and design today. We welcome you to meet some of our alumni by checking out our university webpage at: www.academyart.edu/about-us/alumni. The University is committed to supporting our employees with any concerns they have during employment. HR is only a phone call away. We can always be reached at 415-618-6339.

    3. 3.0
      Former Employee

      Alright

      Jul 29, 2020 - Administrative Assistant 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Great people to work with

      Cons

      Bad management, never know what's going on

      1 person found this review helpful
    4. 1.0
      Former Employee, more than 1 year

      HIGHLY Disappointed

      Oct 1, 2019 - Human Resources Coordinator 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      My co-workers are great people.

      Cons

      Leadership has no interest in improving culture. It is glaringly obvious they do not care about their team or changing the working conditions. There's very little to no opportunity for advancement. They only advance people out of necessity. Please beware as they operate in survival mode. If you are looking for an opportunity to gain experience to advance your career, consider looking at other options. There is no employee recognition, the leadership team is elitist, is not genuine and seems to enjoy having a barrier between themselves and the team. It's odd.

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      3 people found this review helpful
    5. 1.0
      Former Employee, more than 1 year

      Would not recommend

      Feb 20, 2020 - Anonymous Employee 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Met some great people (who all ended up eventually leaving!)

      Cons

      High turnover, terrible management, zero room for creativity within role.

      3 people found this review helpful

      Academy of Art University Response

      Talent Success Team

      We are glad to hear you were able to add to your professional network and form lasting connections during your time at Academy of Art University. The Academy hires a number of professionals on a fixed-term basis each semester. This arrangement enables workers to easily pursue other artistic endeavors, as they desire, and it enables the University to continuously bring in fresh perspective. Although we recognize some turnover is inevitable, we encourage our employees to engage in open communication so that we are able to ensure employee satisfaction and ultimately prevent as much turnover as possible. The University thrives on innovation and welcomes creative input from our students, faculty and staff. We train our Managers to embrace this philosophy as well. Employees should always connect with Human Resources at 415-618-6339 regarding any concerns with their employment and potential opportunities. The University wishes you nothing but success in your ongoing endeavors.

    6. 2.0
      Former Employee, more than 1 year

      I don't know why anyone stays here

      Apr 14, 2019 - Administrative Assistant 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      When working in any creative environment you will meet some great people, and AAU isn't an exception to that. There are some lovely instructors and directors here. There might be opportunities to be promoted because people are always quitting.

      Cons

      Everyone is unhappy. I can't think of a single person who felt good about working here, and because of that you deal with grumpy departments constantly. Promotions happen with seniority, so many higher-ups aren't qualified or good leaders. Lots of archaic systems without any opportunities to innovate or streamline. It doesn't feel like anyone (besides the teaches) cares about the students unless its in regards to their tuition money. The benefits aren't great (no commute reimbursements, bad insurance options) and the pay is low for the area.

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    7. 2.0
      Former Employee, less than 1 year

      Not the best place to work -- maybe if you need experience?

      Apr 18, 2019 - Student Services Advisor in San Francisco, CA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      -Pay isn't terrible -Free class per semester (which is great if you can make time for it) -Great software -Nice facilities that you get to tour when you've just started -Great discounts -Accessible by BART and MUNI, right at Civic Center since I worked at the building on Hayes -A lot of the students I spoke with are really great people

      Cons

      -Student retention is difficult for them because of how expensive tuition is for students. -Management claims to care about students, but really only care about retaining them in order to keep their accreditation (which was on the rocks when I was there). -Management trains advisors to push students who can't afford it to enroll in courses and they really push hard to meet summer enrollment goals. I felt more like an enrollment manager than a student services advisor when I was there. The truth is, students won't graduate on time if they don't take 2 courses per summer semester, but summer courses are all out of pocket for students. Additionally, students who are no longer eligible for Financial Aid because they've failed their courses are pushed to keep enrolling and paying for these courses out-of-pocket even though they'll probably fail again, all to meet goals (pretty shady business practice, right?). -Additionally, there's a lot of pushback from management when students drop summer classes. Advisors are often asked to call students and to push them to enroll, even when students give them pretty good reasons for dropping courses. Instead of training advisors in advising techniques to build plans for students that work for them, they're mostly asked to use sales tactics to get students to enroll. -The institution does not feel like a 'student first' organization, but rather an enrollment/money-making institution. Some students come in with zero art background and limited resources to succeed. The organization attempts to explain itself by saying that it's trying to be accessible to anyone who wants to be in the arts. It seems great, but with so many online students, it's almost impossible for them to connect with their resources. -Another shady practice: students are only able to transfer credits coming in. If they ever leave and return, they're not able to transfer any more of their credits, even if they're basic college classes and not art classes. -Ethics aside, the work environment is not that welcoming. It often doesn't feel like a team, and there's no real human feeling to the workplace, such as team lunches. It's mostly, "Here are lists of students you need to call by this time." -The environment is very much a telemarketing one. There's no real privacy, even when meeting with students, and you're unable to make a connection with your students. -Definitely no professional development and mentorship. -Extremely inflexible work schedule. There was no budging to the 9-6 schedule, unless MAYBE you've been there for a while, regardless of your commute. They put business needs over employee needs without hesitation. -Not to mention that you're not able to use benefits until your trial period is over, which is about 90 days in, and your 401K isn't guaranteed, and you're not eligible for it unless you've been there for a year. -I eventually left because I got another job closer to where I lived, and I was sad to leave some of my students behind. They were pretty frustrated with the high turnover rate of their advisors, something I can't blame them for.

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      4 people found this review helpful

      Academy of Art University Response

      Talent Success Team

      Thank you for sharing your feedback. Our leadership team has since made great strides in emphasizing the importance of teamwork and inclusivity within your former department. We are continuously looking for ways to improve and ensure our University is the best that it can be. We appreciate the time you spent at Academy of Art University and we wish you ongoing success in your new career.

    8. 1.0
      Former Employee, more than 3 years

      Overall - Avoid. Autocratic call center environment with low caliber management and questionable business ethics

      Feb 7, 2019 - Admissions Representative in Oakland, CA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Central Sf location. Steady paycheck while you search for a better employer. If you’re lucky and you perform well your direct manager will leave you alone to get on with the job, most of the time. Lots of great people work here.

      Cons

      Questionable business ethics and Poor management from the top down. Toxic work environment. This business is focused on revenue generation at all costs.

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      7 people found this review helpful
    9. 2.0
      Former Employee, more than 1 year

      A Stepping Stone to the Next Best Thing

      Apr 4, 2013 - Admissions Representative in San Francisco, CA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Salary is sufficient to the cost of living. The location is great. Your co-workers are great people...once you are allowed to talk to them. In all honesty, this place is perfect if you are looking to build your resume or save some money with a decent salary.

      Cons

      The amount of micro-management is ridiculous...almost suffocating. It is to the point where the managers will chide you for long bathroom breaks, 2 minutes over the 15 minutes break and chatting with your neighbor. This is a strict call center where you will be judged on the amount of phone calls you made, how many students you registered and how you 'engaged' a student in their discussion about education. You can tell that most employees are terrified that they will lose their jobs because they called out sick or that their numbers weren't high enough.

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    10. 2.0
      Former Employee, more than 3 years

      Amazing people but executives that don't care

      Jun 3, 2013 - Student Services in San Francisco, CA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Great people work here! The pay is pretty competitive and there is potential for a raise each year. Fun holiday party.

      Cons

      No potential for advancement -- it's a job, not a career. The dress code is ridiculous -- slacks/ties for men, "business casual" for women. This would be fine if we weren't working for an art school in San Francisco (a casual attire start-up hub). Holiday schedule -- You would think that working for a school would grant you time off, but not at AAU. Only 7 holidays + 10 vacation days + 2 floating holidays + 6 sick days. Public schools have way more time off.

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      1 person found this review helpful
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