Sponsors For Educational Opportunity Reviews | Glassdoor

Sponsors For Educational Opportunity Reviews

Updated December 1, 2017
28 reviews

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2.5
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William A. Good­loe
14 Ratings

28 Employee Reviews

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  1. "Mentor"

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

    I worked at Sponsors For Educational Opportunity part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    I was a mentor for an 11th grader. I liked meeting him and assisting him with his college applications. I liked how organized SEO was with doing the mentoring sessions. I liked how they also gave mentors opportunities to grow as professional (networking events, newsletter updates, etc. ). I would definitely apply to be a mentor.

    Cons

    Wish we had more time to meet one on one with the kids. We only met them during their 11th grade. They don’t have mentoring for 12 th. Makes sense since they’re working more on getting into college.


  2. Helpful (9)

    "Echoing everyone else"

    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
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Sponsors For Educational Opportunity full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Some really great peers that you’ll love, as most people said the students are incredible, you’ll learn a lot

    Cons

    You’ll learn a lot by being thrown into the fire and constantly having to navigate ancient office politics. There are a handful of great managers but the majority of upper management take advantage of staff and make you work all the time without recognition. The feeling across all departments is that staff are overworked, under paid, and that nothing changes despite overwhelming outcry (see all the recent reviews). Most staff do not talk to HR because they are terrified of retribution (something managers hint at) and many of us can’t use our past supervisors as a reference for the same reason. Turnover is high and the organization doesn’t acknowledge it.

    Advice to Management

    The only people leaving positive reviews are part time educators or volunteer mentors. It’s time to make changes at the top and overhaul the org, otherwise it might not have a long future and the work you do is really important. Staff are at the end of their rope.

  3. Helpful (8)

    "Stressed Everyday and Overworked"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Sponsors For Educational Opportunity full-time

    Pros

    The programs and the help it provides the students

    Cons

    Long work hours and poor management

    Advice to Management

    Show staff appreciation and offer better work life balance


  4. "Instructor"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Sponsors For Educational Opportunity part-time

    Pros

    Great team to work with; lots of administrative and instructional support provided. For me personally, this is an ideal part-time position as it allows me to remain connected to young people (as an instructor) - given that I am not longer in the classroom at my regular 9-5

    Cons

    There isn't much time to really connect with other educators.


  5. Helpful (8)

    "Abuse of power that has has thrived over many years across all programs"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Sponsors For Educational Opportunity full-time

    Pros

    Echo previous statements of full-time staff - the mission of the organization and working with students across all programs - and when management go on vacations

    Cons

    Not much to say that hasn’t already been said. It is frustrating the harassment and emotional abuse continue with no action by the board of directors. A close look at the toxic environment aligns with a less active chairman and the same senior/executive management still in power.

    Management rules by fear. Total and complete lack of transparency exists which is evident to our students and partners. Staff are explicitly told not to board members. Most staff trust each other but there are those who use management abuse of power to throw fellow staff under the bus to advance their own position.

    It is disheartening that no attempts are being made to solve the cancer that exists within the organization which is felt across all programs.

    The organization does not value the staff or program alumni and management put their own needs first. A non-profit needs to thrive to survive but not at the sacrifice of the alumni and staff. They believe they are above laws protecting employee rights who are VP and above. Senior management should be shown the door when they believe it acceptable to yell at staff members in a room filled with interns.

    Vacation, sick, holidays are fair game for management to demand you work at a moments notice. However, the reverse is not true for management.

    You don’t dare expose a friendship with other staff. To management, it is viewed as collusion or sharing of information. VP and above want everyone separate for better control and micromanagement.

    There will continue to be no action to improve the working environment, it will continue to be revolving door of staff and dismissal of those who expose the truth.

    Advice to Management

    Management will not listen to advice until EEOC investigates or a public lawsuit is filed, and not swept under the rug through intimidation, money and non-disclosures.


  6. Helpful (8)

    "Do not work at SEO"

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

    I worked at Sponsors For Educational Opportunity full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    The contributions of the founder, alumni and most staff members are selfless and honorable.

    Cons

    Executive management swapped program responsibilities which created chaos, and based on the recent reviews, continues to stay that course. The career program is at the mercy of executive and senior staff/alumnus who withhold information and are purposeful in isolating staff. They make sweeping changes lacking knowledge or having researched the impact to the program. Hiring decisions are made based on the key connections an applicant can bring to SEO opposed to experience or skills. The program itself has been damaged at the hands of executive management.

    Executive and some senior staff make derogatory, discriminatory comments about staff to other staff to forge alliances. Executive management and a senior manager are unclear about their objectives, expectations, or priorities. They lack flexibility and empathy with staff requests. Yet office rules don’t apply to them. They are controlling, demanding, impulsive, egocentric with an inflated sense of entitlement. You will be constantly judged and manipulated. New demands are urgent and often unreasonable.

    No effort is made to understand grievances and management is vindictive to those who express them. They do not like being confronted with the truth. Intimidation is a tool to force staff to resign or you will be used as a scapegoat.

    Do not accept a job at SEO. You will suffer the consequences to your physical well-being due to overwork, inability to take a vacation and emotional abuse.

    Advice to Management

    I concur with the recommendations of previous reviewers. The Board of Directors needs to have a third-party investigate the grievances and speak to every staff member. If an internal investigation is conducted, staff will remain silent in fear of losing their jobs. The board needs to restore the reputation of SEO to remain competitive and begin with new leadership.


  7. Helpful (10)

    "If I wanted a part in the Hunger Games, I would've starred in the movie, not come to HS Scholars."

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

    I worked at Sponsors For Educational Opportunity full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Working with the Scholars throughout the week, and seeing them throughout the office.

    Cons

    I would never recommend any aspiring youth development professional to work here. This place is rotten--and the other reviews are exposing SEO for the work environments they have been allowing to fester for years. Very little are happy to work at SEO, and it shows in larger team meetings, and interactions among staff. Everyone is always, 'great', and 'love to work with my kids', but inside..they are probably looking for the next job to hightail it out of there. I've since left, but I keep hearing that people keep disappearing...both in College and HS Scholars and in HS, some have gotten fired in the past couple of months--both under one manager, who is newer I believe, and probably speaks more to their incompetence as a manager than whatever was the reason they were both fired during the same season. On top of that, they continuous lie about the reason for why staff have moved on. Some people get the carpet rolled out on departure, others just get the boot. Scary stuff. Sends one message: get in line, or get out.

    HS Scholars felt as if you always had to watch your back and do your best to always disarm people so they like you. Some people are great it, others don't play the game so well, and that seems to determine the fall of promotions, opportunities and etc. at SEO. The amount of fake conversations, praise and rah-rah in team meetings was tiring, and I was sick of watching it. No one seems to actually enjoy it, but they play politics to survive--or be the next face in the sky who's on their way out.

    HS Scholars wears you out--the hours 10-7 p.m. are too much and are the minimum of what you'll work. No work/life balance, and you always feel like you're at work. Most staff are out of there 8-9 p.m. some nights, and they work hard to produce good programming for the Scholars. But again, some rise to the top and others don't. Some of the managers in the office seem to pull their weight--others seem to lean heavily on their staff to make them look good. These are not just observations, gossip runs rampant in SEO, so everyone knows the deal in some way or another after some time.

    To be honest, I wouldn't look twice at SEO after seeing all these reviews.

    Advice to Management

    HS Scholars needs to evaluate their good staff, and make sure they keep them, and believe if someone is working their now and is past a year, trust that they are probably putting in work to make this place still run. Appreciate them, give them what they need to stay. But, run them away SEO, and who will run this program? I heard some teams still can't find program managers for months now? Wonder why! Reevaluate yourselves. Seems like bad news is catching up to HS.

  8. "Great place to work!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Comp & Benefits
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Sponsors For Educational Opportunity part-time

    Pros

    Students, staff, pay, co-teachers, pay

    Cons

    That you can't teach there full-time


  9. Helpful (15)

    "Don’t Accept An Offer Here - Toxic Work Environment and Managers across all programs (Career, Law and Scholars)"

    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 Sponsors For Educational Opportunity full-time

    Pros

    Working with youth/young professionals at a critical stage in their academic/career development. The soul and mission of the organization started off as a good thing, but has been currupted into an organization I no longer recognize.

    Cons

    Where should I start? The first thing I would say is seriously evaluate accepting an offer from this place. If you have any other options, take something else. You will be overworked, and be expected to do the workload of 3+ people. Given the noble mission of the organization, I was initially willing to take on the heavy workload, but it became impossible to do so in such a toxic work environment. You will be micromanaged and your work will be picked apart and your every suggestion or pushback will be questioned and scrutinized. Management is always right and employees are expected to be robots executing orders without questioning or pushback. Employee moral is very low, and employee turnover is very high. Senior management has no concern for the physical, mental and emotional well-being of employees. Employees are pushed out/demoted or let go for political reasons, and the remaining employees all know they cannot go to HR to report the terrible/toxic working conditions. Employees are constantly living in fear of being fired. Managers threaten employees about going to HR or make claims about how it won’t “help.” Employees do not report misconduct and everything that happens here because they are afraid of retaliation. Employees are encouraged to overlook harassment, discriminating comments, actions and jokes. The strong performers who have other options for employment don’t stick around this place. In the years that I worked there (not many) I saw entire teams (strong performers) leave the organization, and then the new hires also leave because of how terrible management and working conditions are. You will be expected to create and revamp programs under unrealistic timelines and without the propoper support or resources. Do yourself a favor, don’t accept a job offer here.

    ZERO opportunities for professional development. You will be guilted into not taking vacation, or made to feel like a slacker if you do take vacation or don’t work crazy long hours.

    Advice to Management

    Respect your employees, and create a better work environment. Hire managers who know how to manage people. Change the senior leadership ranks.


  10. Helpful (13)

    "A non-profit organization where management is vindictive, lacks integrity and loyalty is a one-way highway"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Sponsors For Educational Opportunity full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    The pros are consistent across all programs. The mission of the organization and working with the students. There were short periods of time with strong staff committed to the mission of the organization.

    Cons

    I worked with all the SEO programs as a mentor, program manager/recruiting and management. The low morale, harassment/bullying and chaos which is the product of inept senior management exclusive of the CEO.

    Employees are subjected to almost disrespectful treatment by senior management/management. Management staff have undergone professional coaching/counseling to quiet the storm from employee complaints. The outcome from coaching lasts a maximum of one week and then the previous toxic management behavior continues until the next referral. Managers should be good coaches but how can they be good coaches if they continually must be coached and monitored by outside professional coaches.

    Senior management/management are elitist and self-centered whose individual performance/goals are the focus as opposed to those of the organization.
    The accepted toxic practices and negative work environment make daily work burdensome. Key information is withheld with more time spent on decoding any communication shared with staff than actual work. Management has a compulsive need to always be right and a staff member will never hear an apology due to a sense of personal accountability but rather blame on everyone else.

    Promotions are not given based on merit/performance. Promotions are given by pandering to senior management who are either unable to see through the cloud of false flattery by certain staff or do not perform due diligence on the actual work accomplished for full-cycles.

    Certain management staff play the martyr because they want to move up in the organization. Decisions are made in an autocratic style. An overly critical, manipulative management fixated on short-term results created a fear mongering work environment.

    There were no opportunities for professional development or growth. It was a continuous series of putting out fires or crisis management. Micromanagement and bullying are productivity killers. Management does not adhere to the employee manual but rather the 48 Laws of Power with Law 17 being the overall objective.

    I am appreciative of the opportunities that the organization has provided to college students which has opened doors. When I worked at SEO and from what I read and hear about the work environment demonstrates the organization's lack of humanity and losing the soul of the mission.

    Advice to Management

    The work environment of a non-profit should generate enthusiasm, innovation and loyalty. Changes in management and management style need to be made across the company. You need to be consistent with policies and transparent to create trust.


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