Cultural Vistas Reviews | Glassdoor

Cultural Vistas Reviews

Updated July 18, 2017
21 reviews

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3.4
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Linda Boughton
3 Ratings

21 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (2)

    "Best Place I Have Ever Worked At"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Cultural Vistas full-time

    Pros

    - Fantastic colleagues
    - Work-Life Balance (including work from home, flexible scheduling, PTO days)
    - Mission driven organization
    - Most employees really care about each other and the direction of the organization
    - I feel that Senior Management does care about the concerns of all employees and are willing to listen at any time
    - HR and Accounting have really improved lots of support processes during my time here which allows staff to focus on other parts of their job that they enjoy the best (working with and for participants etc)
    - This organization is a lot less hierarchical than other NGOs I have worked at before and definitely way less than the US Fed Gov
    - DC office is new, conveniently located, has great meeting spaces, wonderful IT infrastructure, building has a gym and a rooftop deck

    Cons

    - Retirement benefit could be better, I believe they are a bit lower than similar organizations in DC at least


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Great place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Cultural Vistas full-time

    Pros

    Amazing colleagues, creative work environment, supportive management. I love working in the DC office. There are many fun activities (movie 'night', book club, potlucks). Even though they are extremely busy, the DC Executive Team is always available to talk and provide input/ advice. The Exec staff make work/life balance a priority and really care about all staff. Directors are pretty good too.

    Cons

    HR is detrimental and unhelpful. They seem to make rules based off or individuals and not the organization. Since it is a non- profit, salaries are low and retirement/ tuition reimbursement is really low.

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the great work. You have brought us through some tough financial times and made some difficult decision. Continue the work/life balance focus and allow staff to take on more responsibility. You guys are great! I look forward to coming to 1250 H every day!

  3. "Best Place I Have Ever Worked"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Cultural Vistas full-time

    Pros

    - Fantastic colleagues
    - Work-Life Balance (work from home, paid time off, flexible scheduling)
    - Mission driven organization and the majority of staff care a lot about that mission and therefore are proud of their effort at work
    - Less hierarchical than other similar NGOs I have worked at in the DC area, certainly less hierarchical than the federal government
    - Senior Management team I believe cares a lot about the concerns or thoughts of all employees and are always willing to listen at any time

    Cons

    Retirement benefits I believe are lower than similar organizations in the DC area, I would like to see us increase the benefit to matching up to 5% after two years of working at Cultural Vistas


  4. "Great coworkers, good opportunity to get your career started."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Positive Outlook

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

    Pros

    Coworkers are amazing, intelligent, interesting and passionate. Benefits and PTO are good. People in the NY office tend to stay a while which is not comparable to DC.

    Cons

    Leadership and HR in the DC office are clueless beyond. DC office has flipped over some 3 times in the past 2 years. (NY seems to hold it a lot better.)


  5. Helpful (2)

    "Clueless Management -- but great staff"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Assistant Program Officer in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Assistant Program Officer in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    The staff at Cultural Vistas are great! People are very nice and welcoming. There are a lot of office events and things organized where you get to know one another and I often hung out with many coworkers after work going to happy hours, doing trivia nights and attending other events together. Great PTO benefits. Cultural Vistas is a good place if you want to build your resume but with mostly mundane work.

    Cons

    Staff members come and go and often only stay for 1 to 2 years as after that time you'll be so frustrated with the poor executive team and the HR team that do nothing to change the numerous problems with the company. The management team and directors are completely clueless of all the frustration and issues and when they ask for opinions, they do not listen and nothing changes. Organization puts way too much emphasis on hierarchy, however they almost never seem to promote from within. Often jobs are not posted internally causing HR to be one of the largest problems. While working at Cultural Vistas, for the few years I was there HR was NOT the place to turn to if you had issues and problems as nothing ever was done and staff members are still dropping like flies. Turn over is a huge issue and causes items to get overlooked, things to go undone and causes a lot of work to be thrown on staff that is already to their breaking point with work. You will not be successful if you do not put any investment in staff that do all the leg work. Little to no meaningful progressional development opportunities.

    Advice to Management

    Stop focussing on making money through Train USA and start focusing on building even better and strong programs by getting your staff to stay for longer than one year. Invest in employees.


  6. Helpful (7)

    "Great coworkers, terrible leadership, stagnating company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Program Officer in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Program Officer in New York, NY
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Cultural Vistas full-time

    Pros

    The people I worked with at Cultural Vistas were some of the kindest people I've ever met, and some of them were incredibly intelligent and interesting as well. Everyone really valued the work - no matter what team they were on. On the J-1 (Train USA) team, you have the opportunity to interact with candidate from all over the world and work with amazing clients/partners. When I worked there the work week was 35 hrs, though I've heard that has changed. Relatively cheap benefits plans. Daily flexible scheduling/permitting WFH on occasion.

    Cons

    Mismanaged organization with terrible leadership and HR in my experience. Senior management views the Train USA program specifically as a cash cow rather than an actual program, and doesn't truly value the Train USA staff or participants - only the money of host organization (as evidenced by staff agitating for some of the revenue the department generates, the only revenue the organization, be dedicated to greater resources for their participants and being essentially told that their participants aren't a priority).

    Staff in this department continuously worked longer hours than their counterparts in other departments, and the entire department in NYC (through the Director level) saw complete turnover in 3 years. HR at the org is incredibly unprofessional, borderline illegal at times (e.g. sharing an employee's pregnancy without her permission) and rude at others (yelling at someone during an all-staff meeting) and is difficult to work with on offered benefits.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to your staff, give them more responsibility and let them help carry the organization into the future - you definitely cannot do this on your own.


  7. Helpful (3)

    "Great Employees, Abysmal Management"

    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

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

    Pros

    Cultural Vistas does offer a "foot in the door" to the field of international education, which can be difficult nut to crack at times.

    Cons

    However, once you get in, you will find a management team wholly unable to efficiently and effectively manage employees or provide clear leadership. Turnover with more junior employees is high, and mid-management constantly complains about the disordered leadership. Yes, Cultural Vistas does some great work in the field, but the company itself is woefully mismanaged, to the point where they have experienced a significant budget shortfall due to poor fiscal planning that was composed mainly of wishful thinking. I would be seriously surprised if Cultural Vistas survives in its current form for the long-term, to be completely honest.

    If you want international ed experience, then proceed at your own risk. I wouldn't expect to stay with Cultural Vistas for more than a year or two, if you can take the abysmal management for even that long.

    Advice to Management

    Clear communication to employees (including both company-wide and with direct supervisors); better, more realistic fiscal management; offer substantive professional development opportunities that have actual real-world value.

  8. Helpful (1)

    "Intern"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Great atmosphere, very international company and good benefits

    Cons

    Low salary, little opportunity to grow, miss organized


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Great place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Cultural Vistas full-time

    Pros

    Very supportive, friendly, and casual atmosphere, great benefits

    Cons

    Financial limitations inherent to a non-profit

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the good work!


  10. "Great benefits, not much room for growth"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Cultural Vistas full-time

    Pros

    The company has generous benefits: PTO days given (not accrued), health insurance, vision, dental (free!), many paid holidays, 35 hour work week, flexible schedule, professional development courses, annual cost of living raises/bonuses, and 401K. The pay is on par for nonprofits, however it is also much lower than what you need to survive in NYC and DC. Also, your co-workers will become some of your best friends. Great comradery.

    Cons

    Your overall experience with the company will depend on what department you are in. The Train USA department is generally understaffed and the work they do is repetitive. The department is alright for those needing to start their career in the field, but does not offer any professional development opportunities. Train USA staff are always wanting to apply to other departments, however not all positions are posted internally, and when they are, they are highly competitive.

    Advice to Management

    Train USA staff should not be in the department for more than 3 years, after this time they will burn out. They should be actively recruited for other departments if they want to grow with the company. Also, there should be more opportunities for Train staff to go to conferences and go on trips aboard like other departments do.


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