CEA Study Abroad Reviews | Glassdoor

CEA Study Abroad Reviews

Updated August 3, 2017
22 reviews

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3.1
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Brian J. Boubek
17 Ratings

22 Employee Reviews

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  1. 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


  2. "Transitioning away from the values that made it great toward profits first, last and always."

    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 CEA Study Abroad full-time

    Pros

    The vast majority of the non-executive staff are deeply passionate about what they do and making sure every student is supported and taken care of.

    Cons

    There is a faction of the executive staff that has restricted access to the CEO and convinced him that managing through fear and desperation is what is needed to increase profits.

    Advice to Management

    CEA was started to redefine the student experience in getting abroad and increase access and diversity. The point was to not be the companies that have had a stranglehold on the industry and provide a take it or leave it attitude with students and rely on the financially elite to attend.

  3. Helpful (11)

    "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


  4. Helpful (3)

    "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


  5. 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


  6. Helpful (3)

    "Enjoyable and gratifying"

    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

    CEA does a really great job onboarding its employees, I was given four weeks to become familiar with the company, its processes and its people. Everyone is very approachable and happy to help if there are ever any questions or concerns. I enjoy seeing the work that I am doing making a difference in the company.

    Cons

    Deadlines for projects can sometimes be a little tight due to working around the student sales cycle.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to make employees feel valued and part of the "big picture".

    CEA Study Abroad Response

    Feb 3, 2017 – director of human resources

    Thank you for the positive feedback and for pointing out areas of opportunity. Our onboarding process is designed to ensure that our employees feel set up for success; they learn about our programs... More


  7. Helpful (7)

    "Good starting place, not good environment"

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

    Pros

    Colleagues are passionate about service they provide to college students

    Cons

    Understaffed departments, HR and service teams try too hard to push company culture which leads to fake enthusiasm and if you do have an HR issue, it is not handled professionally. CEO and Executive leadership leaves something to be desired, if someone throws a large enough fit, they will get what they want at everyone else's expense. Processes are changed constantly which means employees do not get the chance to try and test what actually works. Decisions within the company whether strategic or tactical are not made with data to back them up, rather because someone thought it would be nice or are made within days without thinking about outcomes. CEO and brother are either hardly in the office, or don't bother to be available/don't care to know what the teams are dealing with. There is zero strategy, only putting fires out as they arise.

    Advice to Management

    Take time to understand what the company is currently dealing with and listen to the industry trends. CEA is falling behind it's competition.

    CEA Study Abroad Response

    Feb 23, 2017 – director of human resources

    Thank you for your comments. We’re sorry to hear that you felt the energy and enthusiasm behind the Values rollout was unauthentic. In truth, we’ve received the opposite feedback. As we mention in... More

  8. Helpful (1)

    "A great stepping stone"

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

    Pros

    Great culture, dedicated coworkers, and the student experience really is solid.

    Cons

    Upper management is a little detached from the process.

    Advice to Management

    Take in more feedback from lower level employees.

    CEA Study Abroad Response

    Feb 3, 2017 – director of human resources

    Thank you for your review! We agree: our employees make CEA a great place to work because we’re like-minded in our values and pursuit of helping students have the academic and cultural experience of... More


  9. Helpful (5)

    "Trying to Improve"

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

    I worked at CEA Study Abroad full-time

    Pros

    CEA hires incredible talent and has tremendous potential. Overall it's a very passion driven company. The lower level teams and management are extremely impressive. The mission of this company is incredible and so are the people working here. The product and study abroad opportunities are very good which makes it an easy company to support and love.

    Cons

    This can be a difficult employer to stay at for a long time. You have to be self-driven for career development and advancement typically is available only through turn over. (Turn over is another constant trouble.) There is frequent re-organization and quick/rash decision being made from some of the upper management/VP levels/CEO. Clear and honest communication throughout the organization is lacking.

    CEA Study Abroad Response

    May 30, 2016 – director of human resources

    Thank you for your review and noticing we are trying!! We agree: our employees are awesome, passionate, talented professionals and what we do is pretty cool! We understand that development is... More


  10. Helpful (8)

    "Definitely not a rising star!"

    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
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    The only redeeming quality of the company is the on-the-ground do-all-the-work employees that are passionate about study abroad.

    Cons

    Not a rising star! There seems to have been a directive to have someone write positive reviews to give the appearance that the company is a great place to work. Insulting to those that can read between the lines. Leadership is inexperienced and are "yes" people to the CEO. They are also micro-managers and cannot make decisions to save their lives. The leadership is leadership in title only - they have no real authority to made decisions They act as more administrative assistants to the CEO. Focus and priorities of the company change on a daily basis (often multiple times in a day) so there is never a sense of accomplishment because one can never complete a task. Middle management also lacks experience. I stay to watch the circus.

    Advice to Management

    Advice to management is pointless. As mentioned in this post and others, leadership has no real authority.

    CEA Study Abroad Response

    Apr 27, 2016 – director of human resources

    Thank you for your review; we appreciate you reading our other reviews and responses. Of course, we think we’re a great organization so that’s why our responses point out the positive progress we’ve... More


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