International Baccalaureate Reviews | Glassdoor

International Baccalaureate Reviews

Updated April 25, 2017
70 reviews

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2.1
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International Baccalaureate Director General Siva Kumari
Siva Kumari
38 Ratings

70 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • There are opportunities to travel internationally (in 10 reviews)

  • Work/life balance that is highly encouraged at all levels (in 5 reviews)

Cons
  • The DG and the senior leadership seem to have no idea which direction they are going (in 11 reviews)

  • Senior Leaders are leaving (the senior leadership team is down to 2 C-suite level members and the DG) (in 6 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (7)

    "A Great Organization with a Great Mission"

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

    I have been working at International Baccalaureate full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    The mission. Senior management and staff who are passionate about the mission. Work/life balance that is highly encouraged at all levels. Excellent benefits. Gorgeous office space with lots of lounge space to work, rest, lunch, meet, socialize. Fun and positive office environment. In-office video conference facilities are great options to conference calls and help save in travel costs.

    Competitive salary. Wonderful office location near subway, bus, major highways, restaurants and shopping.

    Plenty of opportunity for internal staff development and promotion. If you're looking for a career with a conscience, you'll find a great mission and a wonderful place to work here.

    Cons

    It's disheartening and disappointing that some from among our staff would choose to post anonymously with such negativity and vitriol on this website, instead of utilizing our internal Ombudsman and HR to share their challenges. It's surprising to read these posts, not least because the incredible amount of negativity evidenced in them is not at all on display in our offices.

    Advice to Management

    Consider making schools visits part of the new staff on-boarding process, and perhaps also as a once-yearly objective for all existing staff. These visits are a great way to remind us all whom we're serving, and why we're working so hard. IB students and teachers are inspiring, and these visits are a great way to bring to life the mission of the IB to new and existing staff.

    International Baccalaureate Response

    Dec 14, 2016 – International Baccalaureate

    Thank you for posting this review. The International Baccalaureate is proud of the many committed colleagues who work here. We recognize their hard work and their intelligent insights and ... More


  2. Helpful (23)

    "Heart Breaking, Soul Destroying, Intellectually Bankrupt"

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

    I worked at International Baccalaureate full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Working with IB World Schools. A privilege to witness the IB in action and the amazing transformation and work of IB students of all ages. Staff members. Assistants, Associates, Managers and front line Heads are some of the most dedicated, passionate, intelligent and entertaining people one could call colleagues. Truly inspiring, a great team, a pleasure to work with.

    Cons

    The Senior Leadership Team (SLT) are intellectually bankrupt. And as a consequence they have hired a set of Heads/Directors unqualified for their roles to cover up for their inadequacies. At their best the SLT are a team befuddled, ignorant, ill-informed and lacking any inspirational qualities. At their worst they are incompetent, incapable, inconsistent, unknowledgeable, unprincipled, destructive and inward looking. A complete lack of humanism, awareness, compassion, competency, clarity and vision has created a toxic environment among staff. Fear, uncertainty and self preservation has emerged as a result of SLT's "leadership" at the heart of the organization. The SLT is neither capable or committed to leading effectively and rationally and as the competent staff leave over time the organization is left with the meek, the mediocre and the amateur.

    Advice to Management

    The Board needs to act fast. They need to start operating as if they are accountable to virtual shareholders, (i.e students) and stop acting as prima-donnas flying round the world Business Class, staying at fancy hotels and having fancy dinners. Butting into operations when some self-serving opportunity arises. The bowing and scrapping that occurs by SLT members around the Board is embarrassing. Take charge, make change, listen to the knowledgeable and experienced staff that are left. Lead by example.


  3. Helpful (24)

    "Coordinator"

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

    I worked at International Baccalaureate (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    (1) Good health benefits. Minimal costs to the employee. Health benefits include mental health services, which are available at a minimal costs.
    (2) Staff: The people that you work with are truly great. You will enjoy spending time with them during work and outside of work. People within the office become friends. Staff within the organization joined because of the mission and stay because of the mission. Many comments may appear negative towards the current leadership and environment, however it's truly because current and former employees of the organization truly care about the organization and the schools.
    (3) Good office environment: There is time available to socialize with colleagues as well as participate in activities outside of the office together.

    Cons

    Senior Leadership (the SLT)

    Senior Leadership is completely inept at leading the organization, making strategic decisions, and addressing real concerns of staff and schools. The Senior leaders are completely out of touch with the many issues that schools are facing and seem uninterested in hearing from the frontline staff directly. Particular leaders are more interested in hiring new people with nebulous roles and job descriptions as opposed to focusing on the daily operations of the organization.


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  5. Helpful (18)

    "Great Mission, Horrible Internal Execution/Management/Operations"

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

    Pros

    Nice Offices, Freebies in kitchen, Travel to Europe/Asia/Latin America (if you're in the inner circles), A Few good employees struggling to be positive.

    Cons

    A Management structure dominated by Academics lacking Business, Finance, HR, Operational, IT, Programme Management, Governance skills....and refuse to acknowledge (or know) their deficiencies. There are people their in positions of authority that treat the organization like their personal playground, because they are part of the 'Clique'. Damaging lives, careers and the organization for their own pleasures.... One 'Supervisor' or 'Lead' in the Project Office/SDE is KNOWN by Everyone to be a negative destructive force. She has a Constant revolving door of staff who come to work under her and leave shortly thereafter because of her utter lack of professionalism, back stabbing, vindictiveness and gossiping. BUT, she is friends with the Director General...so she is 'Untouchable'...while the Organization Suffers.
    Communication is lacking between staff to staff...management to staff...projects to stakeholders. Competent contractors/employees become targets for removal because they expose the underbelly of the beast. The truth is best kept under the rug, apparently.
    Nothing in the organization operates like you would expect from the outside, based on the size and final product. Mismanaged at Every turn and level....except for a few.

    Advice to Management

    Hire Real Managers that have Proven Operational skills and experience. Let the Academics focus on Academics and have Business Managers deal with the Business/Human Resources.
    If you have a manager/supervisor/lead that has endless short-term constant turnover of headcount direct reports...Then Something is Wrong with the Manager!!

    International Baccalaureate Response

    Aug 3, 2016 – International Baccalaureate

    Response from Dr Siva Kumari, Director General Dear anonymous: I’m taking your feedback very seriously, although I wish you had given it earlier, and internally. That way, we’d have had the ... More


  6. Helpful (12)

    "Ok for entry level but do not stay long"

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

    I worked at International Baccalaureate full-time

    Pros

    Coworkers an office environment were great. Great benefits and vacation time. Opportunity to travel

    Cons

    No advancement potential. Despite being a global organization, there is little ability to move with the company for lower ranked position and there was definitely a favoritism towards the European office or staff that came from there. The systems are poor, IB keeps trying to create their own when there are great systems out there to purchase that work. It made the work 10x harder


  7. Helpful (24)

    "Struggling"

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

    I worked at International Baccalaureate full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Office is cool and located in a great place. The mission is great. The global reach of the IB is appealing.

    Cons

    Struggling at the management level. Managers, Directors, VP's having palpable difficulty in setting direction, hiring and retaining staff, and working with other units. These problems are deep enough that they will take a few years to resolve. Don't expect a quick turnaround.

    Keeping talented staff is a particular problem as top quality employees leave for better work environments.

    **Good departments: Professional Development, Marketing, Translation, Web, Development, Programme management (DP, MYP, PYP, IBCC).

    **Departments to avoid: Publishing, Operations, Communications, IT, HR, Business analysis/process, Project Management

    Advice to Management

    The CEO is recruited from the education sector, and struggles with managing a modern multi-national company and delivering on the core CEO tasks of strategy, vision, recruiting talent at top management positions, and improving the employee experience.

    CEO Is known to be hot and cold in relationships with staff (be forewarned) which can create tension when interacting with her.


  8. Helpful (20)

    "Crumbling beneath our feet"

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

    I have been working at International Baccalaureate full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Nice office, good benefits, colleagues - in general - are there for the mission, dedicated, hard working and smart. Travel perks for some.

    Cons

    There is a poison that has seeped into the organisation, which has turned it into a place of fear. Constant change without a plan seems to be driving the organisation into the ground. Everyone seems to be seeking employment elsewhere.

    Advice to Management

    Whatever you are doing, it's not working. The change in this organisation is dramatic, and this dark period, and the damage you are doing, is your doing.

    International Baccalaureate Response

    Sep 22, 2016 – International Baccalaureate

    Thank you for your comment. We are reorganizing the IB to improve our service to schools, and we recognize that for some colleagues, change is hard. We will always try to retain our best people and ... More


  9. Helpful (14)

    "Great mission, poor delivery"

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

    I have been working at International Baccalaureate (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great organizational mission and educational programs. Highly engaged workforce. Friendly colleagues. International staff. Comfortable and nice facilities.

    Cons

    Senior leadership team unable to address organizational issues in effective ways. Decision making processes that don´t include information and recommendations provided by front line service providers. High staff turnover. Poor communication strategies. Non competitive salaries.

    Advice to Management

    Start an effective organizational change process with a 360 assessment of the leadership team. Implement a leadership development program aimed at establishing a more democratic and collaborative leadership style and philosophy.

    International Baccalaureate Response

    Jun 14, 2016 – International Baccalaureate

    Thank you for your comments. We are working hard to make the organization better able to deliver our mission, building on the great commitment of our community, including our colleagues within the ... More


  10. Helpful (11)

    "Constant Chaotic Changes"

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

    Pros

    Benefits, international staff, PD opportunities

    Cons

    Poor management, constant change, lack of direction, lack of faith in management, lack of transparency

    Advice to Management

    Be more transparent, less hierarchical, hire according to the employee profile or

    International Baccalaureate Response

    Apr 18, 2016 – International Baccalaureate

    We're glad that you found the international nature of the IB, as well as its benefits and PD opportunities, a positive experience. Yes, we have been going through a period of intensive change. Our ... More


  11. Helpful (19)

    "Steady decline last couple of years"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Bethesda, MD
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Bethesda, MD
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at International Baccalaureate full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    As others have mentioned: unity around the mission, a lot of really intelligent, motivated, and kind individuals that I've formed lasting friendships with. Good benefits (paid time off and health insurance) and some employees get lots of opportunities to travel internationally. Nice office space.

    Cons

    IB has been obsessed with growth (at an unsustainable rate) over the past several years. Did some re-organization of divisions and recruited new division leadership, (top 5-10 employees in an org of about 700) hiring mediocre corporate types to fill some of these roles. Uninformed decisions were then made by these people behind closed doors, without consulting those who carry out the work on a daily basis, interact with stakeholders, and are very skilled at their jobs.

    Unsurprisingly, the organization took an employee engagement survey in late 2015 which had abysmal results. Ratings in almost every aspect of working at our organization went down, by a lot - both compared to IB's own ratings on the same survey in 2012, as well as when compared to other non-profit organizations. Some areas that employees gave the worst ratings to are: "organizational culture" (mostly, how management interact with staff), "reward and recognition"; "strategy, goals and planning"; and "effectiveness and empowerment."

    To address this, senior management again went into meetings to come up with "action plans" that they tell us will be revealed soon. Go figure.

    The sense of hierarchy and preferential treatment according to pay grade is real, and it's unfair. Hard working people are laid off because a senior leadership officer decides to make some cuts after mere months of working at IB, meanwhile other senior managers get by with delegating nearly all their work to their employees while spending most of their time calling unnecessary lunch meetings with the young women in the office. It's very disappointing how the work environment has declined.

    Advice to Management

    more advice to HR: vet your hires more thoroughly, and capitalize on the rich pool of talent and IB knowledge within the organization

    International Baccalaureate Response

    Apr 18, 2016 – International Baccalaureate

    Thank you for your review. As you say, the IB has many highly-motivated, intelligent people who work really hard to deliver our mission--making a better world through education. We try to ensure that ... More


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