IES Abroad Reviews | Glassdoor

IES Abroad Reviews

Updated October 24, 2017
25 reviews

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25 Employee Reviews

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  1. "VP"

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

    I worked at IES Abroad full-time

    Pros

    This is one of the best companies to work for that I have come across. The organization really cares about it's mission and the people that work there. Truly an outstanding organization that I was privileged to work for.

    Cons

    None. This company is truly outstanding in every way.

    Advice to Management

    Just keep doing what you are doing as it is very successful and you are touching lives on a daily basis.


  2. "Good for experience, bad for advancing career"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Program Advisor in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Program Advisor in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at IES Abroad full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    IES is fantastic, people are great to work with and the organization is transparent & goal-oriented.

    Cons

    People leave like clockwork about every 3 years because unless a new position is created, you're not going anywhere. No one higher up is leaving, and professional development is all free activities like attending webinars or the occasional conference in the area.

    Advice to Management

    If you want to keep us, offer meaningful pay increases and training that transfers if we can't move up.

  3. "Great Provider, but Management Change Needed"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Program Manager in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Program Manager in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at IES Abroad full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    IES draws in the fields brightest and best employees. While there I made great friends and grew my professional network. The opportunity to work with students from all over the U.S. and colleagues from all over the world on a daily basis.

    Cons

    As others have noted, there is a disconnect from upper management and day to day work. Creativity and innovation by staff members is not valued and input is not welcome. There is a knee-jerk reaction to financial fluctuations.

    Advice to Management

    Make people feel valued. Investment in your people. Send dedicated employees to the places they are advising students for, provide professional development opportunities, allow for more collaborations between Chicago and abroad centers.


  4. "This is a not-for-profit?!?!"

    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 IES Abroad full-time

    Pros

    Pay was OK. People were ok.

    Cons

    Very hard to be motivated. People at the top just want more money. Board just wants their overseas junkets. Friends who really wanted to do a good job were shot for being the messenger or for having an opinion. My manager was great & got a lot done but the politics & work load were overwhelming & there was NEVER positive feedback for the people in the middle. Or for the people overseas who do the real work.

    Advice to Management

    Go work for corporations & let people who believe in the mission do their job!


  5. Helpful (7)

    "Management is out of touch & out of control"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Anonymous in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at IES Abroad full-time

    Pros

    Great people at the worker level. Committed. Smart.

    Cons

    Management is a white old boys club that cares more about money then students. "Transparency" means believe everything even if it doesn't make sense. Upper management has no idea what people really do. Everyone is suspect. Something goes wrong, look for a scapegoat, and it won't be one of the chosen few working close to those at the top.

    Advice to Management

    Why bother. They won't listen.


  6. Helpful (4)

    "American micromanagement"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous in Vienna, VA
    Current Employee - Anonymous in Vienna, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I have been working at IES Abroad part-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    There are many good employees

    Cons

    The Chicago office controls everything. I saw my colleagues fight to do what they had to do for local laws. The Chicago office didn't seem to understand that laws are different outside the US. We wasted a lot of time and energy.

    Advice to Management

    You are not working in the US everywhere

    IES Abroad Response

    Apr 21, 2017 – Assistant Director of Human Resources

    Thank you for your feedback. As a global organization that is headquartered in Chicago, you are right that strategic decisions originate from the Chicago office. We take into account local laws and... More


  7. Helpful (6)

    "Prepare for frequent and sometimes puzzling strategy shifts"

    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 IES Abroad full-time

    Pros

    Employees are dedicated and most work collaboratively. The employee lunch room is well used to make for great camaraderie. People clear out of the office at 4:30.

    Cons

    Salaries are on the low end of the market and the organization tends to exploit new college graduates in particular. As their strategy shifts, as it does frequently, job security is a big issue. Their habit of laying people off has dragged down morale. People tend to move on after they obtain some experience because of the unstable environment. Their business model of high-end study abroad is being eroded by universities establishing their own, more cost effective, programs.

    Advice to Management

    Be more open and transparent with employees.

    IES Abroad Response

    Oct 4, 2016 – Assistant Director of Human Resources

    Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback. You may not have realized that we pride ourselves in paying competitive salaries—salaries for every position are determined after completing... More

  8. "Great people, great company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at IES Abroad full-time

    Pros

    The people who work at IES Abroad are all very passionate about study abroad and intercultural communication. The mission of the company actually means something to them, which is obvious anytime you talk to an employee. Most people who have worked there for a long time say that they stay because of the other employees.

    Cons

    There was very little room for growth within the company, since it isn't in a growing industry. For most positions, you could only move one step up, into a manager's role. If you want to stay at the company for a long period of time, there are just limited opportunities.

    Advice to Management

    If you want to keep good employees, find additional opportunities for them so that they stay at the company, whether that's more benefits, education, or training.

    IES Abroad Response

    Apr 21, 2017 – Assistant Director of Human Resources

    Our employees are this organization’s biggest asset! We believe in our mission and we’re glad that you experienced that during your time at IES Abroad. One of our organizational goals this year is... More


  9. Helpful (6)

    "meh"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - IT Client Services Technician in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - IT Client Services Technician in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at IES Abroad (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great holiday party, good location, easy to get to from L or Metra

    Cons

    upper management just didn't care about anyone


  10. Helpful (15)

    "Entry Level - No Growth Opportunities"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Program Advisor
    Current Employee - Program Advisor
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at IES Abroad full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great colleagues, good opportunity to gain entry-level study abroad experience. Nice location and work hours. People are passionate and IES Abroad has a bit of name recognition in the full service provider landscape.

    Cons

    There are very limited opportunities for growth. It's a super flat organization with some top-down business decisions that do not fully align with the mission (from CEO, Board and Senior Executives). They have a number of entry-level positions like Program Advisors (Recruiting and Advising), Enrollment Management Specialists (Admissionsl) and Program Associates (Academics Department). These are the employees that generate value and revenue ($80+ million annually), they manage applicants and students (5,000+ annually), carry the IES Abroad brand, face the public and interact with candidates. With no place to grow, they are forced out and the organization loses historical information, relationships built and a qualified workforce. With the high turnover, everyone suffers. I can't even count on my hands and toes how many people have left and the training is not adequate so progress is hard because there are some weak links. The next step up are Director, Dean and AVP positions. Well, there are College Relations Manager positions (account manager/outside sales) but hiring decisions are based on maintaining business relationships with member institutions so a Master's degree, position at a hot target university and a higher ed referral is essential. They used to promote from within more when it was smaller but now ain't nobody got time for that (coaching).

    Advice to Management

    Compensate your workforce better and invest in talent management. As an educational organization, invest in the professional development and continuous learning goals of your employees. The top-down approach to business decisions needs to be re-evaluated because times are changing and if you keep with your traditional approaches, you will always be trying to catch up with others in the field (more than you try to now).


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