Council On International Educational Exchange Reviews | Glassdoor

Council On International Educational Exchange Reviews

Updated January 17, 2018
122 reviews

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2.6
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James P. Pellow
79 Ratings

122 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)

  • A non-profit with a mission to promote exchange and study abroad is an exciting proposition (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)

  • CIEE study abroad is rotten to the core, especially the new GI models which are essentially about getting as many bums on seats as possible (in 9 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Program Leader Summer Session 2"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Culture & Values
    • Comp & Benefits
    Former Employee - Program Leader
    Former Employee - Program Leader
    Recommends

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

    Pros

    Great chance to work with students interested in the company's mission of international educational exchange. The month-long program was well organized with the hosting country and the classes, activities, and accommodations were wonderful.

    Cons

    Still a program in its early stages - there were some minimal organizational procedures that could be improve upon, especially when dealing with 40+ high school students.


  2. Helpful (8)

    "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.

  3. Helpful (4)

    "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.


  4. Helpful (9)

    "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.


  5. Helpful (9)

    "Terrible culture, little pay, even less oppurtunity"

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

    I worked at Council On International Educational Exchange full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Great co-workers, good location in Portland’s old port, and a wonderful mission.

    Cons

    I gave 10 years of my life to this company so it’s hard to write this at points because I want that time to mean something. It’s hard to say the current CEO isn’t completely destroying what his predecessor built. All the decent upper management has left, what’s left are yes men and/or awful human beings. Conversations with colleagues are frequently shallow and fake as the stink of office politics is heavy and chokes all sense of enjoyment or satisfaction you may have gotten from your job. Travel is mostly given to a select few, many travel very little, if at all. The pay is awful considering the student debt most are now hired with and the amount of work you put in. Senior management loves to justify minuscule raises and crappy bonuses by reminding employees that it’s a non-profit, but the CEO seems to always have enough money to create another “executive” position with a six figure income.

    Advice to Management

    Fire the CEO. Short of that, take money out of the budget you use to fly your 50 executive VPs all over the world and give your employees actual raises.


  6. Helpful (8)

    "Used to be a wonderful company"

    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

    I worked at Council On International Educational Exchange full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Good Health Insurance Benefits offered, opportunity for travel.

    Cons

    Culture has eroded in past 5+ years. No work life balance, no loyalty. Work too many hours for not nearly enough pay. very high turnover at all levels of organization.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to your people. Respect them and respond to their concerns.


  7. Helpful (8)

    "Great staff, little opportunity"

    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
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    They hire good people and I enjoyed all of my coworkers. Great insurance and time off (on the rare occasion you're allowed to take time off).

    Cons

    There's little to no opportunity to grow in your career here. The expectations are that your job is #1 in your life, more often than not earned vacation time requested is denied, and you're expected to be available/on-call nearly 24/7, for mediocre pay at best. I voluntarily left in a respectful way with plenty of notice, and one of my managers didn't even bother responding to me or saying goodbye after many years of service. There are some good memories here of the people I met, but I deeply regret the years of my life I dedicated so much to CIEE, with little in return.

    Advice to Management

    Value your people not just with words, but with action.

  8. Helpful (8)

    "Nice place to work. Coworkers can be cold."

    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
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Council On International Educational Exchange full-time

    Pros

    Nice building to work in--downtown Portland.

    Cons

    Co-workers who fall into their own clique are sometimes just plain rude and standoffish. Honestly a really odd dynamic in the building. It's easy to feel like you're not part of the team if you don't.

    Advice to Management

    Stop with all of the ridiculous turnover with managers. You are throwing away your best assets. Also, get some people from other departments to meet with each other and help breakdown the interdepartmental barriers. Ridiculous.


  9. Helpful (5)

    "Good exposure, negative experience"

    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

    I worked at Council On International Educational Exchange full-time

    Pros

    Interesting company message and involved in a lot of different programs, although some are notably less established or well-run as others. Still great exposure to a wide range of international education programs in the industry. Genuinely nice staff in administrative/entry level positions.

    Cons

    The initial training and on-boarding was near to nothing. Clear expectations were never set. Goal-setting and growth was brushed aside by my manager. Feedback on performance was deflating, disheartening, and left until the last minute. Upper management frequently responds with knee-jerk reactions and demands immediate results from departments with little input. Few of the executive staff (if any) live and work in Portland ME, but spend funds to travel to the office frequently and frivolously. There were constant firings for mid-level management employees. The company functions like a private organization and is very revenue-driven. They want to compete with other organizations but seem to enter new projects and programs blindly or halfheartedly. There was no exit interview or survey when leaving, no opportunity for reflection or feedback. Glassdoor may be place to air one's grievances but there also no other opportunity to do so elsewhere.


  10. Helpful (10)

    "No credibility in the field of study abroad."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Account Manager in Portland, ME
    Former Employee - Account Manager in Portland, ME
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    The staff overseas who have longevity do their best to provide a positive experience with little support from management. The benefits are strong.

    Cons

    Management of this organization is still floundering years after a new President arrived. He is known to many in the field as the Donald Trump of study abroad-a bully who has lost the best of the field in managers. What he's left with to run the organization is sheep.

    Advice to Management

    Step down and let board hire a qualified President and team. You've already ruined a good company,


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