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Academy of Art University Employee Reviews about "work environment"

Updated Jan 9, 2021

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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 "work environment"

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    1. 5.0
      Current Employee, less than 1 year

      Great Working Atmosphere

      Jan 9, 2021 - Teacher Assistant in Houston, TX
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Great work environment and supporting team.

      Cons

      Working with children can be stressful, but that is in any place.

      Be the first to find this review helpful
    2. 3.0
      Current Employee, more than 1 year

      Enforces "Self-Starter" Attitude

      Dec 1, 2020 - Undergraduate Student Services Advisor in San Francisco, CA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      - Learned a lot about how to communicate across different departments (i.e. Admin, Financial, Academic) - Team dynamic is amazing

      Cons

      - High stress work environment - Little to no professional development opportunities

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    3. 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.

    4. 4.0
      Current Employee, more than 8 years

      Amazing Opportunities

      Apr 14, 2019 - Adjunct Faculty in San Francisco, CA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      * Learn from & rub elbows with top experts in various artistic fields * Meet up-and-coming artists from all over the world * Enjoy an bustling work environment downtown

      Cons

      * With a scattered, urban campus, it can be difficult to feel a sense of connection at times.

      1 person found this review helpful

      Academy of Art University Response

      Talent Success Team

      Thank you for the feedback. We are committed to providing a unique environment that offers education from leading artists and designers. Glad you have been able to develop professionally and learn while working alongside some of the best talent in the industry. Stay connected with the University by frequently visiting our online newspaper at www.artunews.com

    5. 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.

    6. 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.

      Continue reading
      7 people found this review helpful
    7. 1.0
      Current Employee

      Company values? Company values itself above all else.

      Aug 26, 2014 - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Excellent peers and middle managers eager to go the extra mile and do a great job. Great team with which employees and middle managers solve complicated, often politically charged problems. Decent benefits package and hours.

      Cons

      Company values? Company values itself only, not the people who who work for it. Narcissistic upper managers, VPs, and ineffective HR department join forces to protect each other as often (and it is often) as needed. Massive turnover as a result. Inability or lack of desire (probably a little bit of both) to make positive change to work environment or morale. Those at the bottom and in the middle left to do it themselves.

      Continue reading
      7 people found this review helpful
    8. 3.0
      Current Employee, less than 1 year

      Administrator

      Mar 28, 2018 - Administrative Employee 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Many employees are passionate about art and this spills into their desire to do a good job at work. Depending on the direct supervisor, it's possible to maintain a relatively positive work environment. Directly supporting students can be inspiring. Great work life balance because the school does not support overtime. Most admin roles are hourly.

      Cons

      The Executive Office is scrambling to make budget cuts and many key players treat the school directors with demeaning disrespect. The school practices favoritism and navigating the politics within a for-profit school is eye opening. The school's reputation is plummeting. Admin roles at the school, like most schools, do not provide a livable wage. No apparent opportunities for growth.

      Continue reading
      2 people found this review helpful

      Academy of Art University Response

      Talent Success Team

      Your thoughtful feedback is greatly appreciated. Our Academic Administrative teams are essential to the operations of our respective schools and, because of your significance, we aim to provide upward mobility for you at the Academy. Please contact HR Recruitment at 415-618-6339 if you are interested in exploring other options within our University.

    9. 1.0
      Former Employee, less than 1 year

      Admin

      Aug 5, 2015 - Academic Administrator in San Francisco, CA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      NOTHING - STAY AWAY. I'm surprised that this "University" is still in business. Elisa Stephens and her frienemy cronies use AAU as a personal resource and are entirely money focused. They do not invest in their workforce and skimp on needed materials, students are viewed as walking money bags, and employee abuse is rampant. If you see a good review of AAU it's from a "favorite" who is stupid enough to be easily molded by the President's office and cruel enough to indiscriminately attack anyone who they perceive to be in their way.

      Cons

      EVERYTHING - I wish I could give AAU negative stars. I started looking for a new job on my 2nd day of employment. While I was at AAU I continually reached out to HR to report employee abuses and was given a vague promise that the work environment would be improved and to just be patient. HR was more concerned about protecting Elisa Stephens than improving an abusive work environment.

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      4 people found this review helpful
    10. 3.0
      Former Employee

      Decent pay but environment is unsatisfying.

      Sep 29, 2010 -  in San Francisco, CA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Decent pay with higher than normal industry rates in higher education. Great co-workers and some great students and faculty go here. If you do your work, management will leave you alone.

      Cons

      Work environment is daunting. All of my coworkers had a lot of complaints about AAU and how they did not feel like they were respected and how seniority overrides propriety in conflicts. Co workers always complain about how issues are addressed but never resolved. Only 10 days of vacation a year (maximum of 20 overall) and they always want you to work Christmas eve. Be prepared to work like crazy around the start of each semester.

      Continue reading
      2 people found this review helpful
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