Art Institute of Chicago Reviews

Updated Aug 6, 2020

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3.4
54%
Recommend to a Friend
51%
Approve of CEO
Art Institute of Chicago President James Rondeau (no image)
James Rondeau
22 Ratings
Pros
  • "Great way to talk and get insight from museum visitors(in 35 reviews)

  • "Great benefits and creative work environment(in 11 reviews)

Cons
  • "Have absolutely no contact with other departments in the museum(in 24 reviews)

  • "Low pay bracket, but can also look at it as being paid to learn(in 17 reviews)

More Pros and Cons
  1. "Committed staff and people-centered education programs"

    5.0
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 

    I have been working at Art Institute of Chicago part-time for more than a year

    Pros

    I love the staff in the Learning and Public Engagement Department. They are innovative, caring, empathetic, and many are committed to questioning societal power structures.

    Cons

    Full-time positions rarely open up.

  2. "A good way to gather skills"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Rover 
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Art Institute of Chicago part-time for less than a year

    Pros

    - semi-flexible schedule - interesting place to work -assignments can fit to what skills you have - part time to full time positions possible -free access to Chicago museums +discounts

    Cons

    - Pay varies on assignment - In school, some professors are extremely rude and disrespectful to admin staff - Waiting period between assignments vary in time


  3. "Awkward organizational structure; position was misrepresented in interview"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Assistant Director in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Art Institute of Chicago full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    My experience with executive leadership was largely positive, particularly External Affairs. The department is full of good thinkers and communicators who can implement both creative and formal approaches. My hiring manager, a VP, was reasonable and excellent at what she does.

    Cons

    The organizational formatting among teams is awkward. Within a couple of months my direct-report was changed, where I was reporting to a Director vs. a VP. I experienced lots of micro-management from individuals with minimal development experience. Referencing past experience was consistently disregarded. There is little room to grow.

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  4. "Horrible place to wok"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Staff in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Art Institute of Chicago full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Great Location and PTO Time offering

    Cons

    Racist, Biased, Sexist, Non-Inclusive practices

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  5. "It’s either really fast or really slow"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Visitor Services Assistant 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Art Institute of Chicago full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Being behind the scenes at the museum and a lot of interesting co-workers. A few weeks of PTO, sales incentives $, good/great health insurance, tuition remission, not challenging.

    Cons

    Too many entitled people, customers and co-workers. There are great people that work there, but on days when there’s no one coming in, it sucks being trapped next to some hipster kid from Glenview who just got their BFA and whose eyes stay permanently rolled.

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  6. "not a forever job"

    3.0
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee 

    I worked at Art Institute of Chicago full-time

    Pros

    worked in ticketing, great staff, great PTO program

    Cons

    management could really cate less about employees, rarely engaged us for opinions on departmental structure, events, it was a hot mess

  7. Helpful (3)

    "Lucky to have left"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Guest Service Associate 
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Art Institute of Chicago full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    You work within one of the world's greatest collections of art and get ample opportunity to explore it and learn from experts on the collection. Fairly generous PTO for all full-time employees - no matter their salary - but only if you have an accommodating supervisor. Health benefits are available for all full-time employees. I was lucky enough to have quality co-workers.

    Cons

    The Department of Visitor Services (DOVS) is wildly mismanaged. They have their entire mission backward, sales being the number one goal with guest experience coming second or even further down. This being considered a full-time position is also bologna. You are lucky to reach 34 hours a week and since it is paid hourly, that cuts heavily into wages. Almost all employees in the DOVS must work weekends with little to no flexibility to change days off. No holidays off besides Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years Day. And probably my biggest qualm with the position, no ability to move up or out. Department of Visitor Services is a dead end. The rest of the museum's departments seem to look down on DOVS and don't want to hire out of it despite the AIC claiming they give priority to current employees. And DOVS offers very little is upward movement within the department by way of titles or skills to gain. Once you know the job, that is it. If you are hoping this position could lead to other opportunities within the museum, it won't and if it does it may take years, which simply is not worth the trouble. Working within DOVS is like working on a tight rope balancing the museum's drive for more sales and trying to not get yelled at by guests and members. DOVS really tarnishes the reputation of what I once believed to be an outstanding institution.

  8. Helpful (11)

    "Beautiful Dream that Becomes Disillusioning"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Marketing Assistant in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Art Institute of Chicago full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Incredible experiences, creative environment, interactions and opportunities to work and learn from artists, curators, conservators, and more. Real responsibility and positive challenges to learn leadership and grow as a professional.

    Cons

    Responsibility is not correlated to advancement or salary. Understaffed departments cause extreme burnout and low office morale. You start fresh faced, give everything you have, get ground to a nub and then kicked out the door.

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  9. "Volunteer at the Art Institute"

    5.0
    • Culture & Values
    Current Employee - Volunteer in Chicago, IL
    Recommends

    I have been working at Art Institute of Chicago part-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Great way to talk and get insight from museum visitors

    Cons

    No office space for volunteers to interact

  10. Helpful (1)

    "Insanely low salaries, great coworkers"

    4.0
    Current Employee - Photographer 

    I have been working at Art Institute of Chicago full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Great coworkers, a lot of PTO, surrounded by art

    Cons

    Low pay, no room to advance/increase salary

Found 161 reviews