Cambridge Educational Services Reviews | Glassdoor

Cambridge Educational Services Reviews

Updated March 1, 2017
25 reviews

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1.9
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David P. Waldherr
17 Ratings

25 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (5)

    "Good test prep company, treats its employees with respect and gives them teaching freedom."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - SAT Instructor in Jersey City, NJ
    Former Employee - SAT Instructor in Jersey City, NJ
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Cambridge Educational Services part-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    I worked as an SAT instructor for a CES class, and as an instructor had flexibility with what I taught. CES provided materials and suggestions, but ultimately gave responsibility to instructors, which I appreciated.

    Cons

    At times seemed a bit disorganized. It took a while to receive paychecks. In my opinion, the CES SAT Study Guide isn't the best sourcebook for teaching material. I ended up using material from Collegeboard's Official Study Guide.


  2. Helpful (10)

    "Cambridge is Plan C for your Employment - Take it only if you need experience"

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

    I have been working at Cambridge Educational Services full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Awesome coworkers help keep those angry feelings in check. Also get free lunch once a week.

    Cons

    Micro-managing company president, no managers, low pay, mediocre benefits, too many useless meetings, job titles mean nothing

    Advice to Management

    It's too hard for the president to micromanage everything. The company needs middle management to keep all the departments on the same page. The president is the reason this company will never grow beyond 30 or so people is because he can't trust other people to do a good job. I honestly feel the market and product Cambridge Educational Services had is good and they could be MUCH bigger company under different management.


  3. Helpful (13)

    "Frustrating"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Intern in Des Plaines, IL
    Current Employee - Intern in Des Plaines, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Cambridge Educational Services part-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Lunches and the people here are great.

    Cons

    Has to be one of the most frustrating jobs I've ever worked at.


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  5. Helpful (16)

    "It's a revolving door of frustration and humiliation"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Sales in Des Plaines, IL
    Former Employee - Sales in Des Plaines, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Cambridge Educational Services full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Payroll is timely.

    Cons

    I am not sure why anyone stays here for more than a few months. The previous reviews say it all, so I won't beat a dead horse. Feel free to read them if you want to hear horror story after horror story.

    To be hired here you need to have scored extremely high on your SATs and you'll most likely have to take it again before being hired. So, while the employees are smart, the CEO (owner) never allows anyone to use that innate intelligence to better his company because he is myopically focused on micro managing and controlling every aspect of his employees work and lives. Nearly every employee is repeatedly demeaned, humiliated, yelled at, made to work ridiculous hours that they are never truly compensated for, given tasks that have nothing to do with work, made promises that never materialize, and are subjected to endless meetings so he can have metal diarrhea with an audience. As far I can see, all employees here are whipping boys to the CEO and the head of sales. There will be little to no real training and you'll be immediately berated for not knowing how to do your job - assuming someone actually told you what your real job was.

    So, why do a handful of people stay more than a few months? Well, those at the very, very top (typically those over the age of 45 who the CEO cannot berate publicly) tend to stay. But, behind closed doors, they too will tell you how difficult it is to work there. They stay because they need the money. They know that the company does a great job marketing itself but has no true follow through with its customer base; they're left to figure things out on their own.

    Advice to Management

    HIre a CEO from outside your company. Turn the reins over to him or her and step away from the sadistic culture you've created. As another reviewer put it, "The rats are fleeing the ship."


  6. Helpful (7)

    "The Cons sadly outweigh very good Pros"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Des Plaines, IL
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Des Plaines, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Cambridge Educational Services full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    -The community of employees: if you did not get this from reading the other reviews, you should! If you have the are brave enough to work here, you will find support from other employees and you will definitely need it to survive.
    -The vision and goal of the company is great: It is a shame it is tarnished by the actions of the upper management
    -There are opportunities to travel: Would have loved to explore this option more should the work conditions have been more bearable
    -Birthdays! :)

    Cons

    Honestly, the problems that made this job not worth it all stemmed from the boss. The reason why I personally left was because I felt the life drained out of me by the harangues and harassment of the president. Verbal attacks, which were frequent, quickly became personal and very unprofessional. Any meeting with him present was very uncomfortable and dreaded. This was compounded by extremely high expectations that were constantly in flux due to conflicts of contradictory demands made at different times. Simply trying to comply with his instructions resulted in frustrating circular patterns.

    Also, be careful if you are applying and are unsure of what position to take. Chances are you may get sucked into sales if you are not applying for a position that is clearly not sales. This not only happened to me but a few of my colleagues as well.

    During my final interview before receiving a job offer, I was told by the president that he works people too hard around here to pay them less than what he does. While the pay may be decent, I along with everyone else who has left found it not worth it. You will be worked hard, but what makes it not worth it is the frustration of trying to work with the upper management and bear through the abuse.

    Very few people can stand working here more than a year. It is unfortunate because this place provides a good product and a good service in a good manner, but clients must put up with continually changing staff. I saw 1-2 of my coworkers leave every month and it was sad to see them go.

    I am glad to have left. I have even heard rumors that video cameras were installed to keep watch over employees.


  7. Helpful (3)

    "Entrepreneurs and Thinkers Will Succeed Here!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - School Relations in Des Plaines, IL
    Current Employee - School Relations in Des Plaines, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Cambridge Educational Services full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    - comradery between employees is wonderful
    - Pension received after being vested for 3 years is tops (company sends check based on a % of your salary)
    - Bonuses are unbelievable (achieving sales goals and effort are key) -- not your typical bonus!
    - everyday is different
    - if you like to think on your feet and solve problems, this is the perfect place
    - being independent and a team player is essential for success
    - travel to visit with partners
    - When you produce and show reliability as well as being able to problem solve, you will receive additional responsibility and be compensated accordingly
    - company is loyal to employees that produce
    - Have continued to be successful for 23 years... must be doing something right
    - will be overly prepared for future jobs
    - multi-tasking and time management is key

    Cons

    - sometimes staying late is necessary to complete projects
    - many meetings (although can be necessary in order to ensure successful marketing and product lunches, among many other organizational reasons)


  8. Helpful (9)

    "Avoid at all costs"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Des Plaines, IL
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Des Plaines, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at Cambridge Educational Services full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    The fellow employees are amazing
    -Health insurance from BCBS for full time
    -Nice office building

    Cons

    -Poor pay
    -No upward mobility at all, the position you are hired at will be your final position.
    -Overbearing boss who insults you in front of other employees and expects you to drop everything in your life for him
    -Poor benefits, need to work 1 year to even start getting benefits, any major benefits take 3+ years
    -Excessive meetings
    -CEO Forces employees to go to his lakehouse as a "teamwork" exercise. This included activities where employees were hurt and bleeding, and also had employees of opposite genders do push ups on top of each other.
    -CEO (who you will be in frequent contact with) has severe trust issues
    -Rules in the employee manual change at the will of the CEO, without even anything being put in writing.
    -Frequently pulled to do personal tasks for CEO

    Advice to Management

    Lighten up. Let employees be themselves and have a life of their own. Although they work for your company, they are not personal servants. Let employees enjoy their lunch and not try to force them to eat at their desk. Properly appreciate the long hours employees put in to make this company work.


  9. Helpful (6)

    "It was great!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Des Plaines, IL
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Des Plaines, IL
    Recommends

    Pros

    It's a small company and everyone is very friendly. I met great people and learned how to work in a professional business setting. Things are fast paced and it is required of everyone to be a team player.

    Cons

    The job description was not really clear so I did not know what to expect. Multitasking was key in working at Cambridge.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Internship + part time work"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Cambridge Educational Services part-time

    Pros

    Lots of experience in your field
    Given access to high quality projects
    Can advance if willing to put in the work

    Cons

    Micromanaging
    Needs middle management
    Slow progress because of lack of middle management

    Advice to Management

    More decision making power could be given to dept. heads to advance projects more quickly


  11. Helpful (5)

    "Sabotage"

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

    I worked at Cambridge Educational Services full-time

    Pros

    +The printers
    +You'll get your own office in 2-3 weeks
    +Parking on Saturdays
    +$3 is too expensive for bottled water, free is too cheap, but $.50 is #Goldilocks
    +Free leftovers when someone quits and forgets their old lunch
    +Great for saboteurs looking for stuff to mess up!

    Cons

    -Sales are down a crippling amount in 2016 and Q1 2017
    -You won't learn any real-world skills
    -You will be yelled at, made to cry, debased in front of others
    -You will receive zero training
    -You will be expected to perform better than your predecessor immediately
    -You will be a tenured employee after 3 months (obscenely-high turnover)
    -Not even the best, most loyal employees receive recommendations after leaving
    -CEO's expectations and opinions change so frequently nobody in the office can keep up
    -CEO refuses to change, to innovate, to seriously improve his company
    -Zero middle management
    -Repercussions for negative Glassdoor reviews
    -Expected to work/answer calls/texts at all hours (including Sunday night past 12am)
    -Health plans are terrible
    -You need to work several years before receiving any serious benefits
    -Almost no vacation/time off ("alternate days" are silly and no working from home)
    -Expected to work 50 hours per week with zero overtime compensation

    Advice to Management

    You're trying to drive an overly-moist pineapple upside down cake through an 17" snowdrift on Mars at 88mph to recreate the film Back to the Future. It's just NOT WORKING. Stop hiring under-qualified, inexpensive, right-out-of-college kids for your churn-and-burn HR strategy. Hire mid-level executives who will be able to oversee and grow departments. Delegate responsibility to other executives. Treat employees with respect and stop bad-mouthing/blaming everyone with the door open. News flash: the entire office can hear.


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