EF Education First Reviews | Glassdoor

EF Education First Reviews

Updated May 22, 2017
961 reviews

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3.5
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EF Education First CEO Eddie Hult
Eddie Hult
306 Ratings

961 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • Work life balance can be a little tricky (in 47 reviews)

  • Not a ton of room to grow can have long hours at times (in 56 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (11)

    "A Great First Step, Not A Good Career"

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

    I have been working at EF Education First full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    I genuinely enjoy my colleagues that I work with, and am passionate about the mission of the product and company. My coworkers and I hang out often outside of work, and EF always has other things to get involved with. I've had paid travel opportunities presented on a regular basis. EF has a great benefits package, time off policy, and culture. Office is gorgeous and has both amazing views and natural light.

    Cons

    Very high amount of turnover, which senior management admits is a part of their business model. Generally low salaries for the amount of time spent in the office. Professional development programs are lacking. The open office plan is very loud and can be distracting.

    Advice to Management

    Find amazing people, and fight to retain them. So many hours and resources are spent training new staff that could instead be invested into increasing salaries and professional growth opportunities.


  2. "Travel, Learn, Surround Yourself with Friends"

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

    I have been working at EF Education First full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    - Work with other passionate, adventurous, open-minded people who will inspire you and teach you something new everyday.
    - Travel opportunities
    - Bar at the office-- a dangerously wonderful advantage
    - Depending on your product, there is no hierarchy to contend with. If you have an important question or idea, just go up to your president!
    - If you are a person who really wants to change how things are done, you have an opportunity here. I'm not going to say it's easy, but it's rewarding and very possible.
    - A fun, respectful place to learn and grow
    - Can't emphasize enough: the like-minded people who will quickly become your friends!

    Cons

    - Because there is no hierarchy, it may feel daunting to navigate your career path. If you're someone who just wants to keep enhancing your title, EF is not for you. If you're someone who isn't exactly sure where they want to end up, and is ok putting yourself out there to try different things, then this is perfect! Just don't let yourself feel set back as you try new things.
    - The pay is not great, especially at entry-level.

    Advice to Management

    A lot of managers have earned their titles by working hard in their roles at EF. This is wonderful, and speaks to the opportunities available in the company. However, just because someone was good at their previous role, does not mean they immediately have the tools necessary to manage staff effectively. We have great personalities here- people like their managers, but I think it would be helpful to train management more frequently on things they may not know inherently: how to recognize an employee's potential, how to have difficult conversations, what are different intrinsic motivators to encourage your team, etc. Once middle management is better supported, I think we would feel a huge shift in overall employee stability and happiness.


  3. Helpful (1)

    "Great company"

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

    I have been working at EF Education First full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    I can honestly say that I enjoy coming to work everyday. It is refreshing to work in an environment with passionate and supportive employees. I have been lucky enough to have worked in a few different positions at EF and it was easy to move between roles and have the support from upper management.

    Cons

    As I mentioned above, it was easy to move around to different positions within EF. However, most of these moves were lateral. I have found it difficult to be "promoted" to a senior position.

    Advice to Management

    Since there is so much lateral movement, invest in your employees and give them a reason to not want to work elsewhere, be it for a larger salary or more challenging position.


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  5. "I have found my dream job working at EF Boston!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Copywriter and Content Coordinator in Cambridge, MA
    Current Employee - Copywriter and Content Coordinator in Cambridge, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at EF Education First full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    If you are looking to work for a high-energy, creative and spirited company with those passionate about education, language, travel and cultural exchange, then EF is the place for you. At EF, you have the resources of a multinational company, including incredible benefits and a generous vacation policy (3 weeks in your first year, 4 weeks in your second year, and so on), with the feel of small start-up (you are not lost among the masses and your managers genuinely care about your work-life balance). Other perks include incredible travel incentives, access to free fitness classes within the EF building (yoga, interval training, weightlifting, zumba, etc.), access to a locker room complete with showers and towels, a bar on the first floor that serves both social and business purposes, and fun events during and after-hours. EF employees have a work-hard play hard attitude - they are passionate about their mission of opening up the world through education and know how to have a good time!

    Cons

    EF considers itself "fast, flat and flexible." There is little hierarchy, which means that you have easy access to upper management and your voice is always heard, but it also means that it's difficult to make your way up the EF ladder, and as a result, the employee turnover rate is very high (most employees only work at EF 3-5 years). Those that become managers and directors do so by working hard and proving their loyalty and worth. If all you care about is making a lot of money, then EF is not the place for you. People who work here don't do it for the salary, they do it because they genuinely believe in the benefits of travel and cultural exchange.


  6. "Tour Consultant"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Tour Consultant in Denver, CO
    Current Employee - Tour Consultant in Denver, CO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at EF Education First full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    -THE PEOPLE -- EF is full of openminded, interesting, young people that are truly a joy to work with
    -The Benefits -- great insurance, travel is also an awesome perk, and great PTO
    -Great opportunity to learn many skills
    -Wonderful sales training and onboarding program
    -very independent work environment

    Cons

    - Independent work environment can be a challenge for those that need more guidance
    -a lot of responsibility -- it is a sales role, though individuals cannot succeed without attention to detail or customer service roles

    Advice to Management

    reward successful longevity. give employees a reason to stay


  7. Helpful (3)

    "Great company and opportunities, under the right circumstances"

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

    I worked at EF Education First full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    - Young, inspiring company and mission

    - Engaged, intelligent colleagues, everyone is "plugged in"

    - Significant growth opportunities if you manage to position yourself appropriately

    - Travel opportunities, truly global company

    - Amazing building and location, can't say enough good things about the park, the river, the views, the natural light

    - Amazing vacation policy when compared to US average, starting at 3wks, increasing to 4wks your second year. Many teams also get to experience annual or bi-annual tours to see the product first-hand.

    Cons

    - Very steep pyramidal structure/hierarchy: tons of low paid salespeople at the bottom, and significantly fewer mid and senior-level positions. "Climbing the ladder" is difficult and cutthroat, especially if you start in sales, which results in high turnover. However, if you manage to differentiate yourself, they will provide you with an incredible amount of responsibility and opportunity that I have not seen at any other company.

    - Relatively low pay, take the average for your title/position and geography and subtract ~15%. Note: this has improved slightly but has not been resolved, theres still a stigma associated with working at EF

    - They will milk you for all you're worth, incremental increases in responsibility or title with little or no increase in compensation. Definitely some exits due to "straw that broke the camel's back" scenarios.

    - Private company, lots of opaque business decisions and mandates, if you're someone who constantly asks "why," you might get discouraged.

    Advice to Management

    Find ways to introduce established/industry recognized training programs and educational opportunities for specific roles and departments. The opportunities for inexperienced employees at EF are amazing, but when everyone is trying to "grow into their role," theres no one to learn from and everyone ends up running around with their heads cut off trying to figure things out as they go (tenured employees and managers that have worked their way up through the company may have developed bad habits or incomplete knowledge of their subject area by developing this way). This could be significantly improved with more formal training. Eg. bring in outside consultants, sponsor online training initiatives, start team-specific lending libraries of best sellers in each subject area (sales, marketing, IT, etc). Also, just because an education program isn't "accredited" doesn't mean its not valuable (many "seminars," "bootcamps," etc, aren't accredited). Loosen up on education reimbursement requirements, it'll benefit the employees and the company.


  8. Helpful (1)

    "Great place to work! Awesome mission, company culture & people"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Cambridge, MA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Cambridge, MA
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at EF Education First full-time

    Pros

    -The people who work at EF are incredible. Everyone I have met is friendly and approachable, and the employees here really believe in the mission.
    -The word impossible is not in anyone's vocabulary. If you have a great idea, no matter how crazy it may sound, you are encouraged to turn it into a reality.
    -We help our customers see the world, which is often an amazing, life changing experience for them. It is really special to work for a company that does that.
    -International travel!
    -The office is beautiful and has a restaurant/bar onsite.
    -The company culture is awesome. From fitness classes to summer parties, there is always something fun going on.

    Cons

    Based on some of the other reviews it seems like some employees don't take advantage of everything EF has to offer, which is too bad because it really makes the EF experience that much more unique and fun!


  9. "EF review"

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

    I have been working at EF Education First full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    The culture and community are really great. The company is full of like-minded people working towards the common goal of cultural exchange. We work hard and definitely play hard!

    Cons

    The compensation is not competitive and the turnover rate is very high. It's a fun place to work but it's hard to afford living in this city on the salaries they offer.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Tour Consultant"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Tour Consultant in Cambridge, MA
    Current Employee - Tour Consultant in Cambridge, MA
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at EF Education First (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great culture and awesome place to work right out of school. Generous vacation time and travel benefits.

    Cons

    Inconsistent commission and low base salary. Not a ton of room to grow can have long hours at times.

    Advice to Management

    Provide more opportunity for advancement and make sales and service feel less like a mill house of entry level turnover.


  11. Helpful (1)

    "Fun company, but minimal pay"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Tour Consultant in Cambridge, MA
    Current Employee - Tour Consultant in Cambridge, MA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at EF Education First full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    fun atmosphere, travel perks, cafe/bar in the building

    Cons

    you can make a lot of money if you're a top seller, but not so much if you aren't phenomenal


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