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CEA Study Abroad Reviews

Updated February 8, 2018
27 reviews

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Brian J. Boubek
22 Ratings

27 Employee Reviews

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  1. "The best work environment I've experienced so far"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Site Specialist in Scottsdale, AZ
    Former Employee - Site Specialist in Scottsdale, AZ
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at CEA Study Abroad full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    -Management genuinely cares about your success and well being.
    -Provides all the necessary support and resources to achieve success.
    -Work environment is engaging, friendly, and team driven.
    -Employees equate individual success with the success of the team
    -Individual recognition for outstanding employees
    -Great benefits and monthly activities.
    -Management wants you to know the structure and transparency of the organization .

    Cons

    None. There isn't much else you can ask for in a company.

    Advice to Management

    Continue valuing team work and being transparent with employees.


  2. "Sad to be leaving my CEA Family"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Phoenix, AZ
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Phoenix, AZ
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at CEA Study Abroad full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    I have loved my time here at CEA and am sad to be leaving. I have made some great friends and connections with those I have worked with throughout my time here. It is upsetting to see negative reviews from people who just were NOT team players and who were NOT good for our culture. CEA incorporated the core values and this is seen in everything that we do with our students and how our leadership leads. I'm proud to have worked for a business that has such a big heart and dedication with our students, Universities and all interactions, but still manages to know how to measure us and train up for success.

    Cons

    None here, everyone has been amazing to me and I'm grateful for the opportunities I have been given because of CEA.

    Advice to Management

    A tuition reimbursement program would be amazing for those of us still looking to complete our graduate degrees or other higher Ed program. Keep the working form home option, everyone loves this and it makes CEA better for offering this option.

  3. Helpful (16)

    "A toxic, money-hungry, failing company with questionable business practices"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Enrollment in Phoenix, AZ
    Former Employee - Enrollment in Phoenix, AZ
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at CEA Study Abroad full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    The entry level employees CEA hires are passionate and usually working in higher education for the right reasons.

    Cons

    While CEA pretends to be an organization that "puts people first," the truth is that the only goal is to get as much money as possible through aggressive sales techniques, misleading information, non-refundable deposits, and fine print that tricks students into losing large sums of money. The enrollment department is shifting from students with real college degrees and higher education experience to call center employees and students that attended and worked at online, for-profit, scam colleges. While some programs offer a solid experience, many of the programs are designed to be as cheap as possible for the most profit imaginable, while coaxing students into maximizing federal loan money to pay off program prices with no regard to the spiraling debt many of their "prospective students" will fall into. Middle management and up foster a cutthroat, harmful environment. Enrollment Leadership constantly berates their employees for "unprofessionalism," like speaking negatively about students and parents, while exhibiting the exact same behaviors. They create a hostile work environment for anyone that doesn't drink their kool-aid of immoral education practices. After recent HR leadership left, they were praised for hiring "over 80 new employees" in a year and a half, when in reality the red flags of that level of turn over (in a home office of roughly 150 people) should have been alarming. HR exhibits constant unprofessionalism, encouraging employees to come speak with them and holding open forums to express concerns, while using those meeting to gather evidence to hold against employees for future witch-hunts. The enrollment department alone has seen an almost 100% turnover in the last 6-12 months. The executive leadership is a tense environment of blame, yelling, and hostility. Current employees have been asked by Vice-Presidents their age in job interviews, and those Vice-Presidents have made disparaging remarks about people's genders in semi-open environments. The workplace is tense and uncomfortable most of the time, with employees being fired on a regular basis and quitting even more regularly. The most unfortunate part of all of this is that none of it will change until there is a new CEO because he is the first to blame, to yell, and to encourage these questionable practices. If you currently work there, I recommend you get out as soon as you can. If you are pursuing employment at CEA, I suggest you run as far away as you can. To anyone working there that thinks this is normal office culture because either you came straight out of college or your previous job was worse, I just want to apologize for what you’re being put through. No one deserves what CEA does to its employees, and no student deserves to pay so much for such a lackluster program.

    Advice to Management

    Advice to anyone: get out while you can, and don't look back.


  4. Helpful (2)

    "Viewpoint from someone with workplace tenure"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Admissions Counselor in Phoenix, AZ
    Current Employee - Admissions Counselor in Phoenix, AZ
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at CEA Study Abroad full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Not only does CEA Executive Leadership get "it" but my manager do too! While there are many moving parts at CEA and the growing pains that come with them, many of the immature employees you see writing reviews here have no previous "real world" experience to base their viewpoints from. The CEO is engaged so much that he actually came to a team meeting to deliver his vision and direction for the team along with a show of solidarity with my managers, that was a first for me in my many years of experience. CEA offers monthly happy hours, volunteer hours that are paid by the company, and we just concluded a CEA hosted Thanksgiving Lunch. CEA has been great to me and I look forward to the future here.

    Cons

    I had to learn a completely new product even though I was not new to admissions. The on-the-job training was good but the development of more formal training could help anyone coming in that does not have previous admission experience.

    Advice to Management

    Keep driving forward! You are great at what you do. Anyone who is afraid of change will likely be afraid of you, but CEA needs the change you are bringing so please do not let up. You cannot let a few people derail you vision and drive. Many of us in the department are only here because of you so please do not get discouraged, we support you day in and day out.


  5. Helpful (11)

    "A company in decline"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Admissions in Phoenix, AZ
    Current Employee - Admissions in Phoenix, AZ
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at CEA Study Abroad full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Whatever positives there used to be working at CEA they have been pushed out and replaced with a mantra of more money at any cost.

    Cons

    What is best for the student has gone out the window. It is a now a cut throat office. Values listed are all for show.

    Advice to Management

    When a department fails, you don't blame the staff, you blame the leadership. You are approaching 100% turnover in less than 12 months and falling short of goals. Maybe your new direction needs correcting.


  6. Helpful (5)

    "Mandatory Sunday shifts"

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

    I have been working at CEA Study Abroad full-time

    Pros

    Some of the remaining staff are deeply invested in saving CEA

    Cons

    Supervisors routinely yell at staff in front of others. HR meetings and supposedly anonymous surveys are for dirt gathering on staff for management and executives. Any complaints will be used against you in disciplinary meetings.

    Advice to Management

    When you begin hemorrhaging staff, as you have over the last year, there is no one to blame but leadership.

    CEA Study Abroad Response

    Nov 6, 2017 – Vice President of Human Resources & People Operations

    Thank you for your feedback. CEA values everyone at our organization and is proud of the way we align our work schedules with core values. As we strive to “Be One Team,” CEA sometimes calls upon team... More


  7. Helpful (15)

    "A Sorority Work Environment With a Reality Show Outcome"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Middle Management in Phoenix, AZ
    Current Employee - Middle Management in Phoenix, AZ
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at CEA Study Abroad full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    The mission of the CEO & Founder is interesting and admirable - send students abroad to experience a semester or two in another country while continuing their college education. This is the selling point to bring new employees into CEA. Also, if you are a woman or affiliate best with a female dominated culture, joining CEA is a win-win and you can enjoy the cultural feminism that dominates and defines the work culture here. If you are intimidated by men who speak for themselves and think for themselves and, are applauded for doing so (in the same way women are here), than this is the work culture and environment for you! The female chauvinism is rich at CEA, where most of the women and LGBTQ employees embrace replicating male chauvinism and older misogynist stereotypes, of which most men have successfully worked to eradicate from their mindsets and actions. Yes, if you enjoy working with women and extreme-LGBTQ community (who most culturally resemble a sorority of people who are aimed at hindering male progress) than this is the work culture for you!

    Cons

    Sexism is about exclusion and unequal power in society. The CEA culture of sexism towards men has successfully done this by excluding the CEO (who is a dominant male) from employee interactions; firing a lot of straight men that are professional, driven and intelligent and; hiring, retaining, and nurturing employees who are feminist and sexist, of whom scoff at the idea of a professional male (who is a non-G in LGBTQ) working with them. This environment is polarizing and alarming as I have watched successful and well-spoken men enter CEA, only to be shamed and outcasted for just being a non-G man. Masculinity in CEA is considered toxic and this mindset (and the day-to-day actions that occur as of a result) dramatically declines the diversity of women and men in this workforce. While the leaders and long term employees here have been cordial over these last few years, they all encourage an environment of female domination which does not meet any true standard of employee diverseness. Yes, they have hired some men but most of them identify with a culturally female personality (the overreacting-sensationalist-Birdcage “G" in LBGTQ). The men at CEA that are not in the “G" category are stifled quickly and generally are very docile and soft spoken; perceived as cowering and walking on eggshells with their words and actions (constantly). While I have seen male after male be outcasted and fired here, the biggest shinning example of the feminist culture at CEA was the day after the 2016 Presidential election, where CEA offered onsite professional counseling for Hillary Clinton supporters who were grieving that she did not win (I voted for Hillary, by the way).

    Advice to Management

    My advice to management is to begin to eradicate the female chauvinism that exists in the CEA culture. This includes defining what sexism (towards both men and women) is, what female and male chauvinism is and, how it negatively impacts the CEA culture and in today's society. Then, work towards truly diversifying your employee pool by recruiting and culturally embracing all types of personalities that live in men and women in this modern society. Lastly, as an employee of many years, it would be professionally impactful to my growth to see more men (that don’t identify with the current feminist work culture here) in leadership roles. As a growing and educated female professional, I am afraid that the sexism that occurs towards men here has placed me in an echo chamber of feminism and female chauvinism.

    CEA Study Abroad Response

    Jun 13, 2017 – director of human resources

    Thank you for taking the time to voice your concerns and to provide detailed feedback. We respect your perspective, value your contribution, and hope you will continue in your role at CEA. As our... More

  8. Helpful (3)

    "Great Company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Phoenix, AZ
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Phoenix, AZ
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at CEA Study Abroad full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Everyone seems to be passionate about the mission to provide students with a life changing study/internship abroad experience. Great coworkers and fun environment. Also they are family friendly and good about work-life balance. Opportunity to work remote on occasion depending on your role. Good job of creating a culture based on well defined values. Management is open to new ideas and easily approachable. Definitely one of the better companies that I've worked for in my long career.

    Cons

    Fast pace and constant change means dealing with some ambiguity but that's true in most organizations these days.

    CEA Study Abroad Response

    Feb 23, 2017 – director of human resources

    Thank you for your comments. You hit the nail on the head—we are passionate about what we do! That passion leads us to implement new ideas quickly, so we can offer more students the cultural and... More


  9. Helpful (5)

    "Mixed Feelings"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Phoenix, AZ
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Phoenix, AZ
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at CEA Study Abroad full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Co-workers are amazing - smart, well-educated, passionate about what they do. CEA's study abroad/internship programs are high-quality and staff truly cares about students and works hard to ensure they have a successful experience. When left alone to actually do the work and follow strategy and plans, staff works really well as a team.

    Cons

    Priorities change constantly...like sometimes day-to-day. This makes it very difficult to see anything through and to know what works and what doesn't. Time constraints on projects can be unrealistic. This creates a lot of (completely avoidable) stress for employees. I saw many really talented people leave due to this type of stuff in the almost 3 years I worked here.

    Advice to Management

    Trust your staff and let them do what they were hired to do. There are many talented and experienced people at CEA - let them use that experience and skill to do what they know how to do and tune out voices from other departments that do not have the same experience/knowledge/expertise... just because someone's voice is loud doesn't mean that what they're saying is valuable, effective or even relevant. Consider seeing ideas through and giving campaigns time to work before having a knee-jerk, "this isn't working, let's completely switch directions" reaction.

    CEA Study Abroad Response

    Feb 23, 2017 – director of human resources

    Thank you for your comments. In response to feedback we received via an employee survey, we’re working to ensure more voices are heard in idea generation and development meetings. This collaboration... More


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Supportive, Committed and Fulfilling"

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

    I have been working at CEA Study Abroad full-time

    Pros

    My own experience of the leadership at CEA is that they are consciously focused on exploring and supporting creative new ideas. They recognize the positive impact they can have on creating fulfilling opportunities for their staff by simply encouraging innovative thinking and authentically exploring how they can positively impact CEA.

    I have also been truly impressed with the work the organization has put into getting clear on its values and then measuring success based on those values. It is rare to see an organization be so actively connected, on a weekly basis, to its values.

    I have really appreciated the energy and enthusiasm of CEA's international staff as well. They are a fun and dynamic team.

    Cons

    We are challenged by being in a position of barely staying ahead of the sales cycles, which can be stressful at times. But having worked with other companies and organizations in different fields, this challenge is no more extreme than any others I've experienced.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to move CEA forward by seeking ideas and solutions from all levels and areas of the organization. Embrace the creativity and continue in your commitment to open communication and teamwork at the leadership level.

    CEA Study Abroad Response

    Mar 15, 2017 – director of human resources

    Thank you for your feedback! Yes, isn’t it refreshing to know that everyone in the organization, including the leadership team, is consistently focused on new ideas (#ThinkForward)?! It’s what has... More


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