Art Institute of Chicago Reviews | Glassdoor

Art Institute of Chicago Reviews

Updated September 22, 2017
112 reviews

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3.5
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James Rondeau
5 Ratings

112 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Work/Life balance was at least good (in 4 reviews)

  • Once employed permanently and full time, the school tries to keep you with good benefits (in 6 reviews)

Cons
  • Low pay, as reflective in a non-profit (in 9 reviews)

  • Pay reflects that which is typical for arts non-profits: low (in 7 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (1)

    "A nightmare"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Adjunct Assistant Professor in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Adjunct Assistant Professor in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    Exciting place to be and work because of the museum.

    Cons

    Administration needs an overhaul -- male dominated: bullies and tough guys...age of darkness paradigm as a necessity for personal advancement among administrators...this place ruins lives. no compassion. Work there at your peril. If you are an instructor or an adjunct you are in deep trouble and your days will be numbered.

    Advice to Management

    Find your heart, soul, humility and compassion. Get off your high horse. Look at the websites and jaundiced links of your staff.


  2. "repotism rules, might makes right...Old boys network persists..."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Professor in North Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Professor in North Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at Art Institute of Chicago full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    where are your connections? Does your spouse need a job? We'll give slide your spouse into a partime position if you take on a tenure track....

    Cons

    Your secrets are safe with us. Transparency is a myth.

    Advice to Management

    Look at your legacy. Consider your karma. Find your humanity. Look within.

  3. Helpful (1)

    "love the students, hate the admin"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Art Institute of Chicago full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Students are great. Some of the best and most talented in the country.

    Cons

    Administration is a nightmare, especially the admissions department. Constant bickering between departments and no coordination with the museum of the same name. Wasteful spending of students already outrageous tuition. Out of touch with reality of art. Only care about $$$.

    Advice to Management

    End the silos and departmentalization, lower tuition.


  4. "Visitor Services"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Art Institute of Chicago (More than a year)

    Pros

    Free admission to parks in Chicago , saic school remission program, discounts

    Cons

    Low Pay, micromanagement, and stress, terrible rules, managers don't get along, and can't get help when asked.

    Advice to Management

    If your employees are constantly going to HR about managers begging for help...it's obviously a problem, and employees want to feel appreciated, management need to make ppl feel happy about working there for little pay ...and not stressed while wanting to work there.


  5. Helpful (4)

    "Warehouse Wasteland"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Warehouse Retail Assistant in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Warehouse Retail Assistant in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Art Institute of Chicago part-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Free access to the museum itself, and access to other cultural centers around the city.
    Don't think that the horrible situation in the warehouse is the same throughout the Institute, which is a well-respected and beloved institution in Chicago.

    Cons

    Sexist, racist, and sometimes cruel management.
    Verbally abused and cursed at daily, and told that we are expendable.
    A generally hostile environment in which employees are tense, if not afraid for their jobs.
    HR did not take complaints seriously, despite admitting that similar complaints had been made in the past.

    Advice to Management

    Treat employees with respect instead of immediate hostility. Better communication with the main offices to prevent isolation. Sensitivity classes and anger management.


  6. "Pure Chaos"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Art Institute of Chicago part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Access to state of the art facilities. Some very enjoyable peers and creative people.

    Cons

    I worked within three different departments at SAIC and under qualified people held management positions in every one of them. Positions are heavily promoted from within and external applicants have little chance of getting an interview. I found the overall work environment to be split between highly enjoyable peers to extremely caddy colleagues. Salaries are very low unless you can break into a top position. I think this leads to the toxic office environment because employees can become very competitive.


  7. "Sales Associate"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Art Institute of Chicago full-time

    Pros

    Nice co-workers, good PTO (if you can afford to take vacation with the horrible pay), good health insurance

    Cons

    - Horrible management; managers micromanage and are extremely condescending.
    - Extremely high turn over rate; I worked there for over a year and saw 25 people get hired and quit. One woman quit after the 3rd day of training.
    - Unrealistic sales goals; Goals of 40-60K each month selling magnets and postcards
    - Low pay; with taxes, insurance, and CTA taken out of my paycheck, I averaged ~16-18K/year. But at one point I did get a .24 cent/hr raise (followed by our hours cut a week later!) - yay....
    - No room for promotion; a co-worker with a very good education (PhD) met with a woman in another department and was told "We don't hire shop staff people"

    Advice to Management

    - You are the manager of a museum GIFT shop. We are not high end like Barney's or Saks. Stop treating your employees poorly just so you feel like you have control of your life.

  8. Helpful (1)

    "Intern"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    While most of the staff are pleasant and nice on the front, there is definitely a sense of competive spirit as a collective whole and amongst individuals. This can work as a pro and con.

    Cons

    Yes, agree with previous comment the place is "highly inbred." Most employees have ties to SAIC or AIC. Collegial atmosphere may be a bit clicky.

    Despite Trip Advisor's ranking as #1 museum in world, the employee experience may be lacking compared to the visitor experience. There are some communication issues regarding interdepartamental policies and procedures that suprised me. This may be somewhat unavoidable as a large institute.

    Difficult to get useful feedback on performance upon completion of projects. Also, certain departments may not provide as much mentorship to interns.

    Advice to Management

    Watch out for intentional snubbing and competition among employees. This is especially true among the temporary employees looking to get hired permanently.


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Work here if you like low paychecks."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Administration in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Administration in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Art Institute of Chicago full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Lots of Paid Time Off and free access to museums across the nation. Bragging rights. Free classes at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

    Cons

    Low, low paycheck (unless you've worked there for 20 years). Everyone is over-worked because there aren't enough employees in their departments.

    Advice to Management

    Pay your employees the industry-standard for what they do! IT, accounting, etc.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "At least the Benefits are good"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook

    I have been working at Art Institute of Chicago full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Insurance, retirement, plenty of vacation time, discounts

    Cons

    Staff is not friendly at all, benefits are only good because of legality issues because most upper management could care less about any of the "lower level " employees, the pay is not good at all for the amount of work required. As far as warehouse specifics VERY UNPROFESSIONAL MANAGEMENT(majorly advise against working here, the treatment is border line illegal), warehouse staff is not included in art institute employee related events, no room for growth here. HR is not very good here either. Staff is constantly changing.

    Advice to Management

    Major needs for improvement with managing staff some sort of training would be nice.


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