Council On International Educational Exchange Reviews | Glassdoor

Council On International Educational Exchange Reviews

Updated May 5, 2018
132 reviews

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2.5
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James P. Pellow
87 Ratings

132 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Filed all of the necessary paperwork, had the chance to meet great people in the program (in 10 reviews)

  • Premiums for health insurance can be a tad expensive if you have to cover a spouse as well, but still manageable (in 10 reviews)

Cons
  • You'd think that a non-profit in a hip city with a mission to do cool things couldn't lose (in 12 reviews)

  • working long hours and a lot of overtime (in 9 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Director Level position with a international team"

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

    I worked at Council On International Educational Exchange full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    I have a lot of latitudes to create my own programs and teams

    Cons

    Sometimes there was lack of communication between HQ and the centers


  2. Helpful (4)

    "Institutional Relations Manager"

    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 Council On International Educational Exchange full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Opportunity to travel internationally. Work with interesting people.

    Cons

    There is a very stressful work environment

  3. Helpful (4)

    "Recruit Work and Travel applicants from abroad to work at seasonal employers in the US"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - International Recruitment Coordinator in Portland, ME
    Current Employee - International Recruitment Coordinator in Portland, ME
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Council On International Educational Exchange full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great benefits, warm community, positive company values, opportunities to travel

    Cons

    Low salary for long hours, difficult to move into upper management positions, expect mainly lateral moves within the company


  4. Helpful (11)

    "Lacks leadership, vision and authenticity"

    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
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Council On International Educational Exchange full-time

    Pros

    Good Health Insurance, cool co-workers

    Cons

    Absolutely ZERO leadership at the top. CEO and his merry band of cronies are incapable of anything other than smoke and mirrors. The inability to stay with the times through a vision, market analysis and engagement with the students and participants keeps the programs dated, not relevant and not in line with what students are looking for.

    You will work ALL THE TIME for very low salaries. Temporary workers are baited with the promise of a potential job, while everyone is well aware there is a slim chance unless you stay on as a temp for 1-2 years.

    The financial health of the organization is bleak as they have not diversified their income streams. They are in the midst of relocating positions to Boston where the CEO is located. Key upper management are remote and ineffective with this set up.

    Advice to Management

    The Board of Directors needs to pull it together, get rid of the upper management and make CIEE all it has the potential to be.


  5. Helpful (14)

    "Kids for Cash"

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

    I worked at Council On International Educational Exchange full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great location, friendly staff, fun work enviroment

    Cons

    Unfortunately the company no longer lives up to its mission statement. The company is more focused on the sales side (home agencies, employers, educational institutions) rather than the participants - sometimes even putting them in dangerous or risky situations for the sake of a few extra dollars.

    CIEE does not adequately support its participants and will let anybody on the program as long as they have the money to pay the program fees - regardless of their intent, prior indiscretions on the program, and mental/physical health.

    This company does not support its employees- only a select few- and often requires employees to handle stressful situations that go beyond their rank. Managers often play the "blame game"and take little to no accountability for their actions. The company has a team of dedicated employees who really try to go above and beyond but instead of being rewarded with salary increases - they are rewarded with lavish parties and building renovations, which is surely just for the press and a way to bolster the company's image. The company is absolutely obsessed with their image and refuses to acknowledge the fact that most of their lower-level employees need to work 2 jobs in order to keep up with the cost of living in the Portland area. So as an employee of CIEE, you will have the opportunity to drink free beer and eat some free food - then go home to the apartment that you share with 3 other people because you cannot afford it any other way.

    The high school program is particularly a mess. Speaking as a former employee, I would never ever let my child participate in one of CIEE's high school exchange programs. They have very little regard for the participants'well-being (especially emotionally) and do nothing to support host families. They often put host families in very uncomfortable situations that could have been prevented. They let children who are clearly a threat to themselves and others remain on the high school program, as it is the most lucrative for the company.

    There is very little unity within the company and the morale is increasingly low. Your treatment and importance all depends on which floor you work on. Although it can be a fun atmosphere - it reminded me of high school with all of the catty cliques.

    If you want to have a fun year in Portland working in an international setting, this company is for you. However, you will need to put your morals and ethics on the back burner. Don't plan on staying long-term.

    Advice to Management

    Listen and respect your employees. Management is sexist and abrasive at times. I did not feel supported in my job at all.


  6. Helpful (8)

    "Self-appointed CMO Rules by Intimidation"

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

    I have been working at Council On International Educational Exchange full-time

    Pros

    Benefits, peers, work/life balance, travel

    Cons

    Leadership, high turnover, CEO, CMO, lack of people management skills

    Advice to Management

    Tyrant of a CMO who doesn’t listen to her team and turns on them if they speak up against any of her ideas. A lot of time and money is spent chasing her ideas that go nowhere. If she actually tapped into the wealth of knowledge within her own team and stopped playing favorites, she wouldn’t be spending millions on dead ends and bad decisions from a select few.


  7. Helpful (9)

    "Serious management and info structure issues"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Manager
    Former Employee - Manager

    I worked at Council On International Educational Exchange full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Team oriented environment is the only pro to working for this company

    Cons

    Management has it all wrong. Focus is on bottom line with no concern for clients and staff.

    Advice to Management

    Get your act together.

  8. Helpful (13)

    "Manager"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Manager in Portland, ME
    Current Employee - Manager in Portland, ME
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Council On International Educational Exchange full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great co-workers, good benefits, interesting work, occasional travel, nice building,

    Cons

    Poor transparency, senior leadership, and value of staff. Not enough resources or work capacity to meet expected work quality or quantity. Variability across departments and programs is bad for morale.


  9. Helpful (16)

    "CEO is destroying a once-wonderful company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    Former Employee - Study Abroad Advisor in Portland, ME
    Former Employee - Study Abroad Advisor in Portland, ME
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Council On International Educational Exchange full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    For many, on paper this is the "dream job." The employees who seek work at CIEE generally truly believe in its mission with a fervent passion. When I was hired, I believed wholeheartedly that this was the perfect job for me. I was working in study abroad with a region of countries I loved, my fellow teammates were wonderful, I enjoyed getting to know my overseas staff over daily email conversations (and occasionally in person).

    Cons

    Shortly after I began working at CIEE, the new CEO took over and transformed the entire organization into a sales-driven organization that could care less about staff happiness and fulfillment and the quality of our programs and the students we selected to go on them. At one point, we used to read (well, ahem, "skim") student essays about why they wanted to study abroad, we mulled over their GPA and any past disciplinary issues or health issues that might prevent them from being optimal candidates for the particular program they had selected. As time went by, we started to eliminate are application requirements to basic information (God forbid any effort be made into applying to our programs if you can't just apply from your smart phone between classes, right?). Although it's been a few years now since I worked there, I get the sense from the reviews here and the info on the flashy website, that anyone gets accepted so long as you have the cash to pay for your overly priced program. Once I was given bonus money for getting excellent reviews from my students as an advisor, but by the time I departed the company this was no longer factored into my bonus money, as it didn't matter. All bonus money was tied to impossible sales goals. Doesn't that say enough about the company's motivation?

    Work/Life balance was also terrible. I worked frequent long hours, because I cared and got rewarded nothing for it.

    The CEO is running the organization into the ground. Enough has already been said in other reviews, so I will leave it at that. It's sad to see CIEE get destroyed by someone who cares so little about anyone but himself.

    Advice to Management

    Speak up! Raise your voices and get this CEO out sooner than later.


  10. Helpful (8)

    "SCAMMERS"

    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

    Pros

    Probably their ability to partner with a great teaching center in Vietnam. It was mainly all cons. The organization was poor

    Cons

    Absolute trash. I’m really disappointed going through CIEE for their teach abroad program. They were very unorganized and just promoted themselves as a company that wants to help people go abroad but they really just want to take your money. There are better ways of teaching abroad. They told us about our options when it was too late. Their program was priced more than others and I’m not sure what the additional benefits were. Everyone in my program was equally upset and unpleased.


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