EF Education First Reviews | Glassdoor

EF Education First Reviews

Updated January 16, 2019
1,527 reviews

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3.5
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EF Education First CEO Eddie Hult
Eddie Hult
522 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • "Fantastic work environment with lots of opportunities to travel and meet amazing people" (in 75 reviews)

  • "Great Work Environment, Good Benefits" (in 136 reviews)

Cons
  • "Work-life balance can be difficult" (in 58 reviews)

  • "Long hours, vacations days were often blocked off during affordable travel dates" (in 83 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Featured Review

    "Inspiring mission, incredible opportunities to see the world while developing your skills"

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

    I have been working at EF Education First full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    - Everything we do at EF is about helping people build bridges across borders and cultures, spark mutual understanding, and create new opportunities. It's a mission that feels incredibly relevant right now.
    - Travel opportunities: I spent more than 3 months traveling abroad last year to some of the most amazing places including Spain, Sweden, UK, France, and Germany. Everyone travels once a year, most travel far more than that.
    - The people. EF people make coming into work every day energizing and fun.
    - The benefits. Probably among the best on offer in Greater Boston.

    Cons

    - EF isn't for everyone; and in particular, folks who are looking for lots of structure and a clear path to promotion on an annual or semi-annual basis. People who aren't a good EF fit probably won't be happy here.

    Advice to Management

    Keep it up! Staff events and professional development opportunities were fantastic in 2018. Not surprising that EF consistently ranks in the top 2 on the Globe's Top Places to Work list.

    EF Education First Response

    Jan 14, 2019 – Senior Director of People Operations

    Thank you for this feedback! Our mission, people, professional development and benefits and perks are the most common things our staff refer to when they talk about why they love working here. I... More


  2. "Great Place to Work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Office culture is amazing - tons of friendly, hard-working professionals. It's a great place to start and advance your career.

    Great perks too! Travel, fitness classes, language classes. Lots of opportunities to meet others and network.

    Cons

    During the busy season, hours can be long.

    Advice to Management

    Keep it up!

  3. "Tour Consultant"

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

    I have been working at EF Education First full-time

    Pros

    Young company, great travel perks, fun environment and culture

    Cons

    Little movement available, salary does not compensate for the work you put in


  4. "Ok for short term"

    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
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at EF Education First part-time

    Pros

    Free rent , nice staff, good students

    Cons

    Poorly managed and inconsistent administration


  5. "Employee Culture"

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

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

    Pros

    Excellent Employee culture for recent grads! There is a lot of emphasize on employment development and growth in the first few years of your career

    Cons

    There is not a great work/life balance. Those that are incredibly successful are working nights, weekends, etc to achieve their success

    Advice to Management

    Find ways to invest in staff that allow a better balance between their in-work and outside of work passions


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Great Place to Work"

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

    I have been working at EF Education First full-time

    Pros

    - great culture; strong belief in the mission
     - real focus on building employee strengths
     - growth businesses

    Cons

    - compensation is low vs. market (but benefits are good)


  7. Helpful (5)

    "Beware, Young Applicants"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at EF Education First full-time

    Pros

    Cool building and casual dress code

    Cons

    Many people feel underpaid for the amount that they work - and many feel constantly overworked. Management lacks transparency in their expectations for you, and this isn’t just high level managers, but direct superiors. It’s very easy to be suckered in by the “paid travel” perk, but it is very possible that you won’t travel at all. Finally, bias and cliques are very alive here, and if the “big happy family” idea seems to good to be true, you’re right. Overall, EF presents a very attractive picture to younger applicants in particular, as they hire them in large groups to compensate for the high turnover. Remember that this is a place of business and has its faults, stressors, and ugly secrets just like anywhere else.

    EF Education First Response

    Jan 14, 2019 – Senior Director of People Operations

    It is true that we work hard at EF, but we also endeavor to help staff balance their professional and personal interests by offering a variety of opportunities to learn (through professional... More

  8. "Resident Advisor"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Resident Advisor in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Resident Advisor in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Flexible for part time work while you go to school. One to Two 6-11pm shifts mon-fri + every other weekend. Positive environment + free rent, i'm not complaining!

    Cons

    You work where you live so you never quite have peace of mind. If the school staff are disorganized, makes the RA's job more difficult. No real room to move up unless you get pulled into school staff position. Even then, you work really hard for not a lot of money.

    Advice to Management

    Make sure you're organized and communicate (especially if residence is separate from the school.


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Great culture"

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

    I have been working at EF Education First full-time

    Pros

    Great place to work for
    Great benefits and perks
    Energetic young crowd

    Cons

    Underpay employees
    Uses benefits tactics to underpay employees
    Very limited career growth
    Too much techology and tools
    Very unorganized and poor interdepartmental communication

    Advice to Management

    Fight for good talent, benefits don't put food on the table
    Be clear about opportunities your team members can grow into


  10. "AVOID AT ALL COSTS"

    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 EF Education First full-time

    Pros

    You'll receive a paid-for Z visa.

    Cons

    IN MY WILDEST IMAGINATION, I COULD NOT IMAGINE A WORSE COMPANY TO WORK FOR.
    Yeah, you'll get a visa, but YOU WILL NOT GET ANYTHING ELSE. Here is what you will receive:
    - Terrible compensation, especially when compared to other positions in the city/company. EF preys on newcomers to China that do not know the value of their labour/time.
    - Terrible management. Your managers will have been promoted to their roles simple because they were the only ones to last 5+ years with EF. ALL are incompetent; none will help you.
    - "Advancement opportunities" are a complete and utter joke. They will tell you how 'valued' and 'appreciated' you are, how 'invested' in your future they are; they're not. A huge part of their corporate culture is stringing people along with empty promises of promotion.
    - Once you leave the company, even if you complete your contract, you are dead to them. They will not help in in any way, shape or form.
    - There was a reason that out of the 12 teachers at my centre that were there when I arrived, only 2 of us completed our contracts: our manager. At no point during my time with the company did anyone from upper management make any effort to improve conditions. Complaints were blatantly ignored (multiple conversations by myself and others with upper management figures were disregarded and ineffective). When I requested an interview with HR at the end of my contract, I never heard back.
    - Oh, and I have to ensure that I mention that your centre WILL HAVE NO HR. If you have ANY complaints, concerns, questions, your resource is supposed to be your "recruiter" (who I can almost guarantee will have quit a few months into your contract), which leaves you with very few options. Your recruiter will be based in Shanghai and unable to affect change in another city and your manager is absolutely free to ignore whatever it is you have to say.
    Ultimately: There are SO MANY INCREDIBLE FIRMS TO WORK FOR IN CHINA THAT ARE NOT THIS ONE. Do not get caught up in the, "McDonald's of Training Centres" and a) kid yourself about a future within the company and b) sell yourself short. There is no reason for you, a qualified Native-speaker, to have to settle for working here. You can do better; I HOPE YOU DO BETTER.

    EF Education First Response

    Jan 8, 2019 – Vice President

    Thank you for your post. We are sorry to hear that you had a negative experience, and did not feel there were opportunities for advancement. We encourage people to grow with EF, and have a number of... More