General Assembly Reviews | Glassdoor

General Assembly Reviews

Updated June 15, 2017
164 reviews

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Full-time Part-time

3.9
Star Star Star Star Star
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Jake Schwartz
72 Ratings

164 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • Work/Life balance is HARD for the first couple classes as an instructor (in 13 reviews)

  • Heavy work load- it's one of those jobs where you feel married to your job- that's the life of a startup with some growing pains (in 9 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Instructor"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Instructor in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Instructor in Seattle, WA

    I worked at General Assembly full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great flexibility with what you want to teach in the classroom. Good flexibility on hours if you can sort things out with coworkers.

    Cons

    Not enough communication between campuses. Each city is a silo. Global management talks to much about sharing "process" without showing results.


  2. "Excellent Workplace for Digital Skills Instructors"

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

    I have been working at General Assembly (More than a year)

    Pros

    Very professional coworkers and a uniting philosophy of entrepreneurship. There is a high expectation of instructors that comes with a lot of support.

    Cons

    The hours can vary between intense Immersive courses and intermittent part-time workshops.

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the good work!


  3. Helpful (10)

    "Potentially Trump University 2.0"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at General Assembly full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Nice offices and free coffee. Ability to take classes/workshops/courses for free. GA used to be an amazing place to work with really smart, motivated people focused on changing lives.

    Excellent benefits

    Cons

    The experiences that you have at will largely depend on what part of the business you are in. If you are on the "campus" side of the business (you directly interface with students) you're going to have a bad time. GA has raised way too much money and has incredibly aggressive goals to hit. As such, the focus on quality and delivering on our promises has nosedived as the C-suite scrambles to make a return for their investors.

    Pay is very low on the campus side and hours can be tough. With "admissions" (AKA sales) compensation stemming from the number of students they can enroll, GA is rapidly approaching Trump University levels of moral ambiguity.

    HR is extremely involved in everything, (more so than anywhere else I've ever worked) and unfortunately they're largely incompetent.

    Young, inexperienced managers and no real upward growth on most teams.

    Advice to Management

    Focus on the students. If student quality continues to drop and placement levels continue to fall, all the sales in the world won't save you.


  4. "A Challenge Like No Other But So Fulfilling!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Admissions Producer in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Admissions Producer in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at General Assembly full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    The employees and the students are fantastic! I had the privilege of working with a great group of individuals. Strong team environment. Everyone works together and cohesively to get things done but at times it feels that they're still in 'start-up' mode. Those that do well are acknowledged appropriately and everyone is valued. Love the fact that they moved to an unlimited vacation day policy! Health & wellness and work/life balance are strongly encouraged. Very open to working from home/remotely as long as you use it sparingly as it is important to maintain a presence onsite. GA is a special place to work! If you're creative, strategic and a team player you'll do very well there.

    Cons

    Employee workspace is shared which can be distracting especially if you're used to having your own work area.

    Advice to Management

    Try harder keeping your eyes on the ground--stay on the pulse of the type of talent that employers are looking for. Make sure you do all of your research before rushing new course launches particularly for your Immersive programs. Try harder with connecting with corporations looking for GA-type talent before the competition does. Understand that each of your markets have competitors of varying sizes and market dominance and give those campuses adequate resources to effectively manage that. Lastly, it would have been nice to have met Jake in person. :-(


  5. "Great Bootcamp"

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

    I worked at General Assembly full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Environment is great for studying, many people there to help you, great people who work there

    Cons

    Not 24 hrs like some other places but that is because of location


  6. Helpful (6)

    "not a smart career move"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at General Assembly full-time

    Pros

    worthwhile mission, good brand, some very talented employees

    Cons

    some management speaking from two sides of their mouths, shocking lack of management skills from key leaders. no comms between some departments creates waste as does constantly shifting goals

    Advice to Management

    focus on basics such as fixing the varying transparency coming from the executive teams


  7. Helpful (3)

    "Been here a while... the company is evolving."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Instructional Lead in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Instructional Lead in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at General Assembly full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    I really love this place.

    Life as an employee in recent times [late 2016] has been amazing. Best group of people you could ever work with. Rewarding doesn't begin to describe the experience of being an instructor.

    CEO's recent transparency with his employees (small meetings, monthly) are awesome. They've literally crushed huge problems/obstacles we've been facing. He listens, changes happen, life is good.

    Many reviews here are out of date. Most, if not all of the complaints I see have been fixed/solved in the last few months.

    This part is pro/con:
    Work/Life balance is HARD for the first couple classes as an instructor. As you build your material, teach it 3, 4, 5 times... it gets easier. Rather than building lesson plans.. you are reviewing lesson plans that have been finely tuned 5x over.

    Cons

    Communication internally between departments is... something.
    Honestly, messenger pigeons could be a solution.

    This part is pro/con:
    Work/Life balance is HARD for the first couple classes as an instructor. As you build your material, teach it 3, 4, 5 times... it gets easier. Rather than building lesson plans.. you are reviewing lesson plans that have been finely tuned 5x over.

    Advice to Management

    Trust the people on the front lines. We trust you. :)


  8. Helpful (2)

    "General Assembly"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Product Designer in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Product Designer in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at General Assembly full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    The GA community is great. Tons of smart and able individuals and really great company culture vibes.

    Cons

    Managers are under qualified and communication/transparency gets lost from the top down.


  9. "Senior Software Engineer"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at General Assembly (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Ownership, respect, intelligent teams, good pay

    Cons

    None that I can think of.


  10. Helpful (4)

    "Everyone here wants to see students succeed."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Lead Instructor in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Lead Instructor in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at General Assembly full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Some Pros:
    - Really committed people.
    - We all fight any battle possible to see students succeed.
    - Teaching is very rewarding.
    - You help change people's life. Sometimes this is enough to stay positive and ignore any other negative thing in the job.
    - GA really cares for student diversity. They go above and beyond to create a safe space for everyone.

    Cons

    Some Cons:
    - Upper management lacks strategies for "what if" scenarios for their decisions.
    - Lead Instructors have very little work-life balance.
    - Very rudimentary logistical tools for a company that has been in the bootcamp business for a while now. (Google sheets all over the place)
    - Not a clear career path for Lead Instructors.

    Advice to Management

    Awesome student experiences are what will guarantee the success of GA in the long run. Do not sacrifice their experience, their education, their future. In moments of tightening expenses, look elsewhere, don't cheapen out the experience for the students. The effects of a poor experience reach beyond a bad word of mouth for the company, it actually affects the individual's readiness and confidence to get a job after graduation.

    Lead Instructors are GA to the students. Invest in them. Talk to them. Include them in your decisions. If you are serious about putting the student first.


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