Catalyst Prep Reviews | Glassdoor

Catalyst Prep Reviews

Updated March 27, 2017
51 reviews

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Full-time Part-time

4.8
Star Star Star Star Star
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Jared Friedland
31 Ratings

51 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Frequent one-on-one meetings with the CEO (in 3 reviews)

  • Very satisfying and rewarding work based on the ability to help students get into college and learn important skills (in 4 reviews)

Cons
  • Busy seasons are the Fall and Spring, so it may not be the right fit if you need something year round (in 4 reviews)

  • Dealing with the East Coast quite a bit, the time difference can be an issue (in 3 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Great side gig!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - SAT Tutor in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - SAT Tutor in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Catalyst Prep part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great company to work for as a part-time tutor. The curriculum is very good and parallels the SAT curriculum to a tee, while injecting levity and humor. Training for new and established tutors is also very helpful. CEO Jared Friedland conducts many of these trainings himself. He is a great instructor and really inspires the troops.

    Cons

    Work load for individual prep students varies by season. Sometimes you will have a lot of work and other times will be slow. Materials are also updated frequently.


  2. "Program Advisor Southern CA"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Culture & Values
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Program Advisor in Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - Program Advisor in Los Angeles, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Catalyst Prep full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Really solid total cash compensation with base and commission. Free cardio-boxing/gym membership and lunches.

    Cons

    Can be communication gaps between sales and operations, leading to delays on orders.

    Advice to Management

    More frequent all-team meetings to make sure one team knows what the other team is doing.


  3. "Web and Content Design"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Palos Verdes Estates, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Palos Verdes Estates, CA
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Catalyst Prep full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Constant stream of work, creative projects, ability to work with illustrators, direct feedback from end-users (students), and a fair amount of independence, at least for late-stage projects.

    Cons

    Not too many "cons" except occasionally unrealistic turnaround time for content. Also, CEO is a perfectionist, which is great for customers but challenging for other designers who don't like long hours and countless revisions. Personally, I've made my peace with getting emails at 2 am. And 3 am. And 4 am...

    Advice to Management

    More (or at least realistic) lead time for content projects.


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  5. "Still Plenty of Kinks to Work Out, But Great Co-Workers, Product, and Service"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Program Advisor, Los Angeles in Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - Program Advisor, Los Angeles in Los Angeles, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Catalyst Prep full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    -- High comp relative to other test prep companies

    -- Great leadership and morale

    -- Frequent one-on-one meetings with the CEO

    -- Brand-new custom CRM

    Cons

    -- Can be monotonous

    -- Hard to convince parents/students that are price-sensitive

    -- Challenging to organize day when reaching out to different time zones

    Advice to Management

    -- Adjust sales expectations by month/season

    -- Speed up practice exam turnaround time

    -- Keep up the "in the trenches" hands-on training


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Program Advisor, Nassau County"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Current Employee - Program Advisor, Nassau County in Port Washington, NY
    Current Employee - Program Advisor, Nassau County in Port Washington, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Excellent service that's easy to sell because you know customers are going to benefit once they sign up. Super smart co-workers who don't step on each other's toes because sales territories aren't shared (other than in NV and TX). Comp is high for Ed sales and you get to sit in on classes each fall to see teachers in action.

    Cons

    CEO and Product team constantly rolling out new services/online modules so there are times when a customer will ask about something and you may not know it well enough yet to be able to adequately describe it. Also, being away from the HQ in LA means a lag time in communications.

    Advice to Management

    Open more satellite offices.


  7. "Don't work here"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Program Advisor in Santa Monica, CA
    Former Employee - Program Advisor in Santa Monica, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Catalyst Prep full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Cool coworkers (not managers!) with humorous personalities

    Cons

    For tutors, this is an okay part-time gig. But for a seasoned employee looking to advance in their professional career avoid this company and the program manager role. The list could go on and on. VERY sales heavy. No real training except "make calls". I was good at my job due to the training and development from my previous company - learned nothing here and felt sorry for those that came in with no industry experience. Pay checks were always inconsistent...sometimes the 2-3 days late. No health insurance for some...others were given a monetary stipend for coverage. Dictator-esque management. I was consistently the top sales person month after month, brought in lots of money always over my individual goal and way over. But I was let go for being 12-mins late. Hated this place. Was thrilled to no longer work here. 1 of 2 company mistakes in my professional career. Totally regret working here.

    Advice to Management

    Stop thinking because you WERE successful comedy writers that you can run a company let alone a test-prep company. Somebody go to business school and learn about how to lead, manage, and run an organization. And please pay your employees on time!

    Catalyst Prep Response

    Jul 27, 2016 – CEO

    Thank you for your feedback. I don't typically respond to Glassdoor reviews, but this one is riddled with so many outright lies that I feel the need to do so. Our top two salespersons are still with ... More


  8. "Senior Program Advisor"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Program Advisor in Santa Monica, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Program Advisor in Santa Monica, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Catalyst Prep full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Above all else, upper management appreciates hard work, dedication, and a good attitude. All employees in my department (and others) that demonstrate these capabilities have excelled. Other pros include a great office location, commission structure and friendly work environment. Most importantly, Catalyst allowed me to learn on the job while offering support at every turn. Overall, great experience.

    Cons

    Long hours during the "busy" season and sometimes the office building is freezing because of the air condition. Also, there is no sink in the office.


  9. "Manager of School Partnerships"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Manager of School Partnerships in Kings Park, NY
    Current Employee - Manager of School Partnerships in Kings Park, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Catalyst Prep full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    The entire Catalyst team is great to work with and I can't imagine working with a better outside sales team. Management has done a great job at creating a culture of teamwork where we are able to bounce thoughts and ideas off each other daily. Management is incredibly supportive and approachable.

    Cons

    The time difference can be an issue. With the main office on the West coast and half of the Catalyst team on the East, logistical problems are common.

    Advice to Management

    An East coast office would help in growing the company and eliminating inevitable mistakes when communicating across the country.


  10. Helpful (2)

    "Terrible experience."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Program Advisor in Santa Monica, CA
    Former Employee - Program Advisor in Santa Monica, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Catalyst Prep full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    The location is awesome, close to the beach and across from a beautiful park. They offer a fair benefits package. Nice colleagues.

    Cons

    I don't even know where to begin. I was hired for a position that didn't exist and was expected to work in role I hadn't agreed to. Conversations with upper management were unsuccessful. The initial job offer and commission structure was competitive, but I quickly realized that the goals were unachievable. Out of the five employees I started working with, at least four of us left within a year of each other. My experience wasn't unique.

    Advice to Management

    Stop advertising entry-level sales positions as mid-career, director roles. Be honest and upfront and you'll see better employee retention.


  11. Helpful (2)

    "Director of Instruction"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Director of Instruction in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Director of Instruction in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Catalyst Prep full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Incredibly friendly, fun team to work with (at all staff levels). Truly innovative, groundbreaking curriculum and industry shifting pedagogy that is both enjoyable to engage with and an easy win when training new staff. It is also a pleasure to share ideas with the managment team (this is NOT the norm) and I feel that my thoughts and suggestions are actually taken seriously. Jared, the founder, holds himself accountable for all aspects of the company and is more responsive, authentic and proactive than other leaders I've worked with.

    Cons

    -West vs. East Coast time difference can be a minor challenge
    -Workload is most intense around big test dates

    Advice to Management

    Please clone your West Coast team and transport them to NYC! Kidding aside, a weekly internal newsletter to unite the coasts would be great!


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