ConnectEDU Reviews | Glassdoor

ConnectEDU Reviews

Updated April 26, 2017
43 reviews

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1.8
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Evan Nisonson
26 Ratings

43 Employee Reviews

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  1. "The Party's O-ver"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at ConnectEDU full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Occasional flashes of opportunistic flair in chasing large state contracts. Many good people brought in to suffer the farcical management of directors and officers. Several promising acquisitions made and then bungled or gutted. Potential for turnaround following sack of founder/wastrel/CEO in spring '13. Inexperienced board-picked successor couldn't stop the spending or grow the revenue; gee-wiz until the brutal end on 4/28/14 when CDU filed for Ch 11- really Ch 7. Everyone everyone in Boston office terminated via cowardly after-hours email, 60+ in all.

    Cons

    Read some of the earlier reviews. You get the gist. Rampant mind-boggling stupidity in pursuit of loose cash at expense of core business.

    Advice to Management

    Directors and big-$$ senior mgrs should contribute to fund assistance to the employees and small investors mauled in this crash.


  2. Helpful (2)

    "Pretty Simple Really ... New Mgmt Team Was Clueless"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Business Analyst in Boston, LA
    Former Employee - Business Analyst in Boston, LA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at ConnectEDU full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    It was a great company, with a great mission, dedicated employees, great customers, and growing. And, then ...

    Cons

    Beyond the posts by the Sr. Mgmt team that ran the Company into the ground (the CEO and the British CFO) or the ones that the mktg dept. posted to try and save face, you'll get the idea. Truth is, the Board didn't have a clue as to what they were doing, they hired a CEO that didn't have a clue as to what he was doing, and the mgmt. team that drove all of the growth in the Company left along with all of the other worthwhile talent. The Board's press release when they announced the new CEO (Evan Nisonson) says it all. And then what happened? You can sum up the new mgmt. team's incompetence in one story - they hired a young lady into the mkting dept., who left her current job to join the team, and then two weeks after she started they laid her off. The then CFO (the good one left along with the rest of the mgmt team) and CEO tried to explain away that the "mistake" was nobody's fault. Exactly the mentality and lack of leadership that ran the Company (previously a growth company) right into the ground. This was a young lady's career. Oh, yea these are the same people that ruined countless other individual's jobs and careers as well.

    Advice to Management

    Own up to your mistakes and the fact that you ran the Company into the ground. The prior mgmt. team drove growth per your own press release. You raised $15M after they left and then ran the business into the ground. And then cowardly fired every employee with an after hours email. Get a spine and stop blaming everyone else for your incompetence and lack of leadership.

  3. Helpful (6)

    "Senior management destined to destroy company"

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

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

    Pros

    - Flexibility in work hours
    - Flexibility in remote/office work
    - Excellent benefits package and perks
    - Opportunity to work on projects to build skills

    Cons

    First, I'd like to address some of the issues brought up with ConnectEDU in a more specific manner. Currently, the mentions of senior management are completely, based on my experiences, true. Senior management fails to provide any real objectives, transparency, or business ethical practices. They are constantly producing more problems than solutions that the talented lower employees have to fix and deal with on a regular basis. Most of the senior managers fail to bring anything real to the table and the current hierarchy of management is absolutely in disarray. Most of the senior managers fail to take responsibility for their poor managing decisions. This is rectified with sporadic lay offs and terminations to lower level employees by selling it to the executive team and board members. Many talented individuals have been released since I have started working here and most as a result of senior management covering their own ass. The majority of senior management is never in the office and when they are, they are either busy having meetings talking about irrelevant, outdated, unobtainable objectives, browsing the internet, or browning it up with executive management. The majority of senior management systemically lies to its employees, its investors, the board, and middle management.

    Middle management has really taken the fall because of poor senior level management. Middle managers are constantly pushing long hours, deal with constantly changing deadlines, communication issues, cross departmental problems, and employee layoffs without formidable notice. Where senior management has failed, middle management is constantly picking up the slack. Middle management constantly and frustratingly argues for more transparency, budget information, and a clear line in the sands. None of these are ever delivered in an informative, professional, or even accurate manner. Senior management continues to provide gaps in communication to lower level managers and employees. As a result, deadlines are constantly communicated to lower level employees last minute, causing a need in flexibility for them to even survive. At this rate, management will never catch up to any of the deadlines set up for them or their departments.The business operates ineffectively the majority of the time simply because of the lack of an effective key business principle; communication. Middle management also faces the wrath of a few select senior level VPs and individuals. As mentioned, a few people parade around calling the shots, poor shots, and both senior management and executive management walk behind with a tail between their legs and a leash around their neck.

    Lower level employees encompass a wide array of talent less to pure genius individuals. Most of us are still here because one or some of the following reasons: We believe in the mission, by providing students opportunities throughout their education and career, We love the flexibility and opportunity to dip into new areas of the business, We make too much money to leave, We are waiting for payouts or bonuses, We are waiting for the company to fail to retire, We are in no position to leave, We can get away with anything short of murder, or we are too misinformed to know what's really going on. Lower employees end up taking the fall administrated down from middle and upper management, so no fault of middle managers. We are constantly seeing our responsibilities changed, deadlines altered, and taking on others who have been let go or left instead of filling in the resource gaps. If you decide to take a position with ConnectEDU, please be aware that the potential to be axed within 3 weeks of starting is overwhelmingly a possibility. We recently took on a group of new hires, a few of which (to my understanding) were let go before their training was even completed. Meanwhile, senior managers never change, middle managers won't because of their commitment and loyalty, and executive levels are sometimes changed but slowly replaced. The on boarding versus departure ratio, is without any fluff, around 1 to 10. With that, as mentioned, for every 10 people that leave, that's usually sprawled about among anyone even remotely qualified to pick up a portion of their job.

    Touching on the professionalism of lay offs and terminations; a number of employees have been let go in the most disgusting of fashions. I personally avoid Human Resources like the plague at every job I ever work because of their two-faced, were here to help bull. But, a number of employees have been being let go mid-week during the middle of the day and being requested to pack their things as everyone in the office just watches. In addition, HR provides an non-existent support system for company moral and employee interest. Events constantly have poor turnout, their newsletter is weak and generic, our monthly meeting provides virtually no information about anything important. We are constantly celebrating everyone's anniversaries at this meeting and fail to have any real discussion about company direction as the office looks more baron every day. Don't rely on HR to take action on your behalf when it comes to conduct adherence, sexual harassment or trouble among coworkers. Since they do such a poor job, they either turn the other cheek or are unable to do anything at the request of senior management. There is a real possibility of violation of state/federal law when it comes to workers rights in relation to sexual harassment and protocol.

    To quickly validate other people's complaints:
    - Yes senior management are constantly lying to their insubordinate(s).
    - The slightest descent to senior management 'ideas' is met with a swift hostile reaction.
    - The CEO constantly asks for the advice of less qualified members of the company
    - The CEO recently has become a puppet leader and fails to accomplish or set standards
    - Executive members (minus the new CFO) are incompetent at making good decisions.
    - Communication is by the far, the worst I have ever seen.

    Advice to Management

    Offer a voluntary resignation of your position with full cooperation in helping train and move in a viable replacement. Also, completely throw out the idea that your ideas are any good. The reason the company is where it stands today is because you fail to realize you have absolutely no understanding of this industry, your employees, the requirements and needs of your client-base, and your own personal misunderstanding on basic business principles. Stop blaming the mishaps of your leadership pit falls on the defenseless and own up to your mistakes.


  4. Helpful (3)

    "Dismal company, environment, and outlook"

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

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

    Pros

    There are a handful of talented and well meaning individuals. Although compensation varies significantly across the organization, it is fair or exceeds market value for many individuals. Since the new CEO/leadership change, the entire staff is lackadaisical which means great work life balance albeit a sad, sad environment. Ed-tech and entrepreneurship are both "hot" right now.

    Cons

    Abysmal senior management that doesn't have the chops to turn this ship around. What they have done is uninspired, alienated, and depressed the entire team. Majority of valuable team members have left, other critical team members are in process to leave, and the remaining are planning their departures or holding on because they are overpaid at ConnectEDU.

    Lack of middle management means that many Managers and Directors are less than 30 years old with ConnectEDU as their only job experience. Frightening.

    Human Resources is the worst. It is truly unimaginable how unproductive, unprofessional, and ridiculous "HR" is. Steer clear of ConnectEDU for this reason alone.

    Advice to Management

    CEO and senior management team should be wiped, except for current CFO.


  5. Helpful (8)

    "RUN AWAY"

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

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

    Pros

    none, best part of the job was leaving

    Cons

    worked at connectedu for over a year. the senior management was TERRIBLE. No one worked together, and there was never a clear vision. Project management/development essentially was buying other companies bc they were incompetent. I would not recommend my worst enemy to work for the company. Everyone knows it is a sinking ship, but are to afraid to jump. HR was everything but helpful, focused on a promoting an "Entrepreneurial Program". Essentially allowing snobby Brown University kids to work on mindless/irrelevant projects.

    Advice to Management

    leave


  6. Helpful (1)

    "ConnectEDU provided me with a healthy dose of tough love"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Manager in Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Manager in Boston, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Prior to layoffs: People, Lots of experience/responsibility given earlier on, Opportunity for big salary increases, Fun/young environment, Some sense of hope

    Post Layoffs: Flexibility

    Cons

    Many employees are actively looking for new jobs (low morale), no career paths, lack of direction, lack of process, sense of doomsday lurking around the corner!

    Advice to Management

    Be quicker to develop and enforce a process from sales through implementation. There are currently too many scattered pieces between all of the products and business units.

    The "sinking ship" could be turned around, but is going to take a lot of time and creative effort.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Open opportunity, fast paced company implementing new strategy"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Manager in Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Manager in Boston, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    - Great, intelligent driven coworkers
    - Tons of opportunity to advance and develop
    - Company through transition period
    - Opportunity to shape future of the company
    - Established in market; valuable products meeting specific needs
    - Seem to have ability to land the big deal

    Cons

    - Tough past few months with a CEO change, total transition in strategy, some great colleagues decicded to move on
    - Challenges implementing new company strategy bu t also opportunity
    - Management could lead execution more; This would help show their commitment to the company

    Advice to Management

    Lead by example and demonstrate investment in the company through dedication, be transparent about ultimate business objectives. This will engage a very talented workforce now and into the future.

  8. Helpful (1)

    "ConnectEDU swings for the fences trying to improve student success and has struggled because it dreams big."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Manager in Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Manager in Boston, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    This is an organization that tries to change the world in meaningful ways. ConnectEDU is "the little engine that could" when it comes to changing the calculus on how education works today. ConnectEDU believes students will attain their education and career goals if they understand how their individual academic performance and their aspirations can be mapped to the right college and career.

    Cons

    The company has always had the vision thing right. It has suffered from a lack of focus and has failed to integrate several acquisitions that allow a student, parent, school administrator, or employer to meet their needs. Recent changes in Management have resulted in discipline and focus that was not there before. These are smart people given time will get it right.

    Advice to Management

    Don't stop thinking big. The change in business strategy has been unsettling for many employees but it is the right one. ConnectEDU has a great foundation of smart, hardworking professionals that can pull this off. They need to stay the course. This is a great company for anyone that believes students can do better and for professionals that thrive in an environment of rapid change.


  9. Helpful (1)

    "A maturing company with lots of potential"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Product Development in Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Product Development in Boston, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    ConnectEDU is poised for growth. It has the feeling of a startup (we have many young and ambitious employees), yet at the same time it has mature products with decent market presence.

    Many software companies go through growing pains before they thrive. The skills required for a young company to test the market and obtain market presence are quite different from the skills required to focus on strengths and scale the business. ConnectEDU finds itself in the middle of this transition.

    Innovation is occurring on both the technology and go-to-market sides of the business. Pay attention to ConnectEDU if you want to learn how a good company becomes great.

    An added bonus is that the educational technology industry is a very exciting place to be.

    Cons

    Employees are experiencing first hand how a good company becomes great but might not see the forest for the trees.

    There are still individuals hanging on to the way things used to be, they don't see that the real growth and excitement is yet to come.

    The business model is currently in transition so organization roles and responsibilities are not as clear as they could be.

    Advice to Management

    Hire some new folks. Stop catering to those that can't to let go.


  10. Helpful (2)

    "Note From Present CEO"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Chief Executive Officer in Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Chief Executive Officer in Boston, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

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

    Pros

    Though challenging, a necessary turnaround has enabled us to refocus around the core values we deliver to our customers: helping students make informed education & career decisions. We have a lot of great talent here. Our people are resourceful, engaged, mission-driven and some of the best I’ve worked with. If you are looking to have a hand in building an organization, this could be the right place for you. Our team is a strong fit for collaborative self-starters who are looking to take ownership, tackle challenges and stop at nothing to solve for our clients’ needs. The work we do is rewarding, and the company culture can be even more enriching if we do some of the heavy lifting together. If you are a current or prospective employee and want more of my perspective here, feel free to reach out to me directly at enisonson@connectedu.com. Happy to discuss.

    Cons

    Historical lack of focus has left employees a bit lost. Past senior management’s disconnection from employees hasn’t helped. We are actively working through both of these as we reorient our organization.

    Advice to Management

    Be present. Be shoulder-to-shoulder with employees to affirm direction and address issues that distract employee purpose. Continue to embrace the talent, ambition and dedication of your employees.


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