Custom Learning Designs Reviews | Glassdoor

Custom Learning Designs Reviews

Updated April 27, 2017
21 reviews

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Full-time Part-time

3.4
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Donna Kilcoyne
8 Ratings

21 Employee Reviews

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  1. "Supportive, friendly environment"

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

    I have been working at Custom Learning Designs full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    I have been with CLD for over 7 years and I find everyone at our small company to be very helpful and supportive. We have about 60ish people and almost everyone wants to do a great job and help you succeed. As a project manager, I rely on a lot of people to do their job well and on time and for the most part, that is what I get. We may have the occasional hiccup but everyone works together to resolve the issue. For the most part I work 9-5 M-F with an occasional late night or maybe a weekend once or twice a year. I work at home when I have a doctors appoint or delivery. If the management notices I am very busy, it is not unusual for the to ask me what work they can take off my plate. I really appreciate the support. As a company we do many fun things together and it is not unusual for us to hang out on a Friday night at a local bar. People genuinely like each other.

    Cons

    We service big pharma and some clients can be difficult to please but most are Ok.


  2. Helpful (2)

    "Flexibility; Challenges"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Designer in Belmont, MA
    Former Employee - Designer in Belmont, MA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Custom Learning Designs full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    (This all applies to the "tech" department, which is all designers, illustrators and programmers. Other departments are very separate and differently managed).

    If you're smart, likeable and confident you can really tailor your work to your interests. Unlike large agencies you get a fair amount of creative independence and can make requests about what kinds of projects you take and how you execute them. I learned a lot while I was there because I was given freedom to explore.

    Cons

    Somewhat unsociable and apathetic environment. Frequently resistant to change. Communication also tended towards challengingly indirect and disorganized.

    Advice to Management

    Some of the staff is really great and helped me get things done. Some of the staff really, really did not do their jobs well, or at all, and seemed to lack any incentive to change. I might have been more likely to stay if these people were held to higher standards, and did not frequently make my job quite fustrating.


  3. "Designer"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Free Lance Designer in Geneva, IL
    Former Employee - Free Lance Designer in Geneva, IL
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at Custom Learning Designs full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Freelance designing on a work from home style. Establish your own hours on a flexible schedule. Clients are mostly referred prospects.

    Cons

    Business is sporadic. There are long periods where there is no business. There are periods when you are overwhelmed.

    Advice to Management

    Find a way to generate more business on a consistent pace.


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  5. "Great place to work"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Medical Writer in Belmont, MA
    Former Employee - Medical Writer in Belmont, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at Custom Learning Designs full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    I was a medical writer for CLD for 8 years. I left CLD because my spouse’s job required us to relocate and I do not like to work from home. I prefer to go into an office and collaborate face-to-face with others. I enjoyed my time at CLD. When I started with CLD, I had been doing post-doc work and I was tired of bench work. I had some limited but not extensive writing experience but CLD gave me a chance. I learned so much over the years and I have had the chance to work on so many interesting projects with so many very intelligent and creative people. My manager and my colleagues helped me become a great writer. It takes skill to translate heavy duty medical texts containing lots of jargon into something that keeps a business major’s interest and is easy for them to understand and digest. I had a lot of support getting there. I have had the chance to write for applications used on mobile devices and also to write the dialogue for characters in a story that graphic designers and medical illustrators have brought to life. No job is perfect. Sometimes the clients want things faster than is realistic but I always did the best I could and it always worked out. At CLD, I met many writers with similar backgrounds to mine. Many stayed and became some of my best friends and some found that writing was in the end not something they wanted to do every day for a living. Salary and benefits at CLD seem comparable to elsewhere.

    Cons

    Building's heating and cooling system could use an upgrade. Sometimes it is too hot and sometimes too cold.


  6. "Great place to work if you love to learn and write"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Medical Writer in Belmont, MA
    Current Employee - Senior Medical Writer in Belmont, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Custom Learning Designs full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    I have worked as as a medical writer for over 8 years now. CLD is the perfect place for me as I write every day for a living and I also am constantly learning new topics or different ways of delivering medical content. For example, for a while I wrote on oncology, but more recently I have worked on orphan diseases, diabetes, pathology, heart failure and dermatology. I am constantly reading and writing about new topics. I have written print pieces as well as storyboards for multi-media based pieces. I get a kick out of seeing an animation you envisioned come to life. I have always naturally had a knack for paying attention to detail which is imperative in this company so it comes easily to me so I think that is another reason I fit in here. The company offers a bunch of opportunities to socialize with my fellow co-workers and more recently (past few weeks) had a corn hole contest, a gingerbread house making contest, and a holiday lunch. Most people participate and those that don't want to, don't have to. I like it because writing can be intense and it is good to take a break and talk to my co-workers. Co-workers are very supportive and it is a great bunch of people. The company is not to big or too small which makes for a nice atmosphere.

    Cons

    Clients are for the most part reasonable but every once in a while you work for a client that has unreasonable expectations.

    Advice to Management

    Looking forward to the new lunchroom.


  7. "Team-oriented environment"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Desktop Publisher in Belmont, MA
    Former Employee - Desktop Publisher in Belmont, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Custom Learning Designs (More than a year)

    Pros

    Everyone pitches in to get the projects finished. A general feeling of camaraderie made work easier, and management was very organized.

    Cons

    Work could get monotonous, but atmosphere was always positive. Not a lot of drama - just hard working, friendly, talented people.

    Advice to Management

    I think managers were approachable; the only downside was unavailability due to out-of-office business. I never really had a problem.


  8. "Great Work Environment"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Developer in Belmont, MA
    Former Employee - Software Developer in Belmont, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Custom Learning Designs full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    The company has a strong team environment. There are many talented and dedicated people. Everyone collaborates to meet deadlines and produce quality work. There is a variety of client projects as well as research projects to try new technologies. There are also opportunities for training and to attend developer conferences. Because it is a small company, your work and ideas make a big impact. The PTO policy is very generous.

    Cons

    Tight deadlines can be stressful sometimes, though the team always pulls together and the outcome is rewarding.


  9. "Great place to work - fun people, great teammates"

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

    I have been working at Custom Learning Designs full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    I have been a Project Manager at three different companies. This is by far the best place I have ever worked. The entire company works well together to meet deadlines and to deliver great products. This means I am not begging for help and everyone here helps you both learn and succeed. I love the mix of technology, medicine and training. We create some amazing things and the day flies by. We have informal parties, food trucks and events that give us all a break from the work and a chance to just talk to each other. It is a great place to learn about the Pharma and biotech industry which is interesting and unique and we often learn about new treatments before anyone else does. It is a very intellectually stimulating place to work. We create custom solutions so it is never the same thing over and over again.

    Cons

    It is a small company so there is no big ladder to climb if that is what you are into. You can advance but mostly it is with taking on more things that interest you and teach you new skills or a new role. Pharma clients are demanding which can be a bit challenging but they also have lots of money to spend so the company is very stable.

    Advice to Management

    Love the contests to win iPads. keep them coming.


  10. Helpful (2)

    "Very Supportive Environment"

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

    I have been working at Custom Learning Designs full-time

    Pros

    The company is very team and family-oriented. Working at home is allowed (some employees do so regularly), and the different departments collaborate to produce a great ending product. Even though some of the clients can be demanding, management is generally very supportive of their employees (and it's pretty unlikely that you'll be fired for making a mistake here and there).

    HR throws occasional social gatherings with food trucks, catered food, beer/wine, etc. Several of the employees are pretty social and will occasionally meet for a drink outside of work.

    It's a great company to gain experience in this field (whether an intro to medical writing or the business side of pharma).

    Decent benefits - offers good health insurance (see out-of-pocket cost below), FSA, 401k, etc. as well as PTO that values retaining employees for several years (10-year employees get 6 weeks annually).

    Employees are eligible for a raise every year.

    The company offers incentive programs where employees can reward tokens to each other to be redeemed for gift cards. Occasionally other items are raffled off (iPads, Amazon gift cards, etc.)

    Cons

    Some of the clients can be demanding - while expected in pharma, it can drain on the office morale at times. It's not uncommon that employees have to stay late to meet a client request, and occasional (unpaid) weekend work is necessary (although it will sometimes be comped back as a PTO day).

    The health insurance itself is pretty good, but the out-of-pocket cost is HUGE compared to my previous employers (costs ~$2k-5k annually depending on the plan - not including deductibles and copays).

    The salaries could be higher - it's almost misleading given the high cost of health insurance.

    Not too many opportunities for advancement - most promotions get "senior" in front of the title, but there's very little change in the day-to-day.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to value your employees, but please consider the financial aspect as well.


  11. Helpful (3)

    "Good place to get experience when younger, but not to make a career"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Belmont, MA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Belmont, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Smart, hard-working co-workers, decent benefits, good location, good place to improve certain skills

    Cons

    hard work not really recognized, pay not great, uninspired leadership-no one is a talented on top manager.

    Advice to Management

    agree with person who wrote "I don't think the management is intentionally trying to screw you, I just don't think they know any better." The place just isn't professionally run. Employees really work hard and do good work. Find out how to be more supportive and follow up. Show same work ethic that employees do.


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