Year Up Reviews | Glassdoor

Year Up Reviews

Updated March 21, 2019
217 reviews

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3.4
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Year Up Founder and CEO Gerald Chertavian
Gerald Chertavian
144 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • "Bad work/life balance, could pay more for amount of work expected, favoritism" (in 23 reviews)

  • "After all, this is a non-profit in Seattle" (in 11 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "work to close the opportunity divide."

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

    I have been working at Year Up full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Health Benefits, Culture, Mission, Salary, Non-Profit

    Cons

    Very great company to work for non cons to mention

    Advice to Management

    NA


  2. "Great Benefits"

    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 Year Up full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Free Healthcare, Professional Development Funds, Committed Employees

    Cons

    If you are do not hold a senior level manager title your professional opinion or expertise is not respected.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to "line staff" or "non people managers. Not just on surveys, have conversations face to face regarding decisions for site operations. Staff come with a wealth of knowledge. They often know more then senior managers based on previous work experience and because they are on the ground doing the work.

  3. "Cool spot."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Operations Manager
    Current Employee - Operations Manager
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Year Up part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Cool place with excellent students and staff.
    Diverse environment.
    Room for lots of growth.

    Cons

    Super long hours and mediocre pay.


  4. Helpful (5)

    "YUC"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Year Up full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    • Diverse work staff
    • Excellent benefits
    • WFH schedules
    • The students!

    Cons

    • Incredibly high expectations
    • Strict formal business attire dress code
    • Currently undergoing an "exciting" (read: turbulent) stage of growth with several growing pains
    • Work/life balance isn't so great
    • The feedback culture is almost exclusively focused on criticism, not praise.

    Advice to Management

    The PTC model is half-baked. Acknowledge it. It would do far better for employee morale than putting a band-aid on every fire with smiles. The growth metrics to be attained for the Blue Meridian investment isn't as attainable as we'd like to believe. We are admitting students who aren't ready for the program, partnering with colleges that don't take us seriously, and all of the effects trickle down through each department causing stress.

    Also, praise your employees and value them just as regularly as you're quick to provide "feedback" (read: criticism) to them.


  5. Helpful (2)

    "Steep decline of a great mission"

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

    I have been working at Year Up full-time

    Pros

    The most amazingly talented students and hard-working colleagues. The model is a great mission unfortunately there’s very little left of that in present day

    Cons

    The most amazingly talented students and hard-working colleagues. The model is a great mission (unfortunately there’s very little left of that in present day)

    Advice to Management

    *Stop hiring to the board decks. ED’s and decision-makers need to come from social enterprise work. Leave the corporate things to the corporate partnership people but have every single thing and program run by people trained and skilled and dedicated in the work of closing the opportunity divide.
    *Start unpacking for real white privilege. Diversity work is not left of the people of color it is the work of the white people, almost all of whom are in leader ship. It was such an on healthy culture of trying to hire for diversity get understanding nothing about white privilege in all of those people that work in management and even some in program.
    * when you make a decision that affects program be sure to pull in the partners from program. Whoever made the decision to dismantle the core and hand off the number one most important part of the program - 99% of student time is soent with instructors, Learning so much more than just technical skills - to community colleges could not have asked educators, instructors and those skilled in the field .
    * The favoritism and inconsistent hiring practices must be looked at from an outside lands. It’s kind of sick and incredibly demoralizing.
    *You don’t have an exit interview strategy in place. Forget glass door here, you should have a thoughtful and compensatory exit interview protocol so you can learn from those leaving the organization weather by choice or not. Where is the responsibility on hiring managers when someone doesn’t work out in less than a year? Who is training hiring managers? Who is fully understanding what it takes to hire onboard develop and retain new staff? How much of someone’s plate has been set aside for this important project?


  6. Helpful (3)

    "On the decline"

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

    I worked at Year Up full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    The most wonderful students and colleagues. A chance to make a real difference in the lives of young people. Great health insurance & money for professional development and training.

    Cons

    No longer interested in social justice or economic justice. They treat students like a product to be served to corporate customers. They push assimilation into white corporate structures. They teach an idea of professionalism that ultimately says to students "be more like white people." They are willing to dilute the quality of our training and prep to grow faster and faster and they do not value to work of the on the ground staff. If you're a director or work at national, maybe your experience can be good.

    Advice to Management

    Stop running the organization as a business. Bigger is not always better. Core conversions is a mistake and you'll look back and see that. Hire leaders who have a proven record success in social change: retiring banking VPs are not the leaders you need.


  7. "Professional, very supportive"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Year Up full-time

    Pros

    Year Up can teach you a lot. Being professional, being mindful. This place is awesome and the staff there really cares. Year Up will work with you if meet half them half way.

    Cons

    Must be able to leave work and balance life

  8. Helpful (8)

    "Mass Exodus.....and national is silent."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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 Year Up full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    There are some experienced and well-qualified individuals that are passionate about the mission

    Observable growth from students

    Cons

    • Clueless senior leadership

    • Decisions are made without full context and staff are told to “make it work”

    • The executive director and senior director both need attention and to hear their title spoken OFTEN

    • Even though Year Up is a feedback culture, the feedback given to senior leadership is used against you and your remaining time is made unbearable—hostile and toxic work environment. I have witnessed (former) colleagues ignored, mistreated, and pushed out of the door.

    • If you don’t appease senior leadership, they will give you the silent treatment.

    • Ill-equipped Individuals are promoted and then are responsible for managing processes AND people, neither of which are successfully executed.

    • Decisions are made and the population that the organization serves is not considered and the students suffer severely as a result.

    • The mission is often sacrificed to “make the numbers” and as a result, some students are sent to corporate partners and are not setup for success. It was once stated by senior leadership, “sometimes you have to sacrifice one or two for the good of the group.”

    • Staff members are kept on staff after committing acts when students are fired for less.

    • Inconsistent expectations for staff and leadership as people decide to work from home multiple times each week.

    • Performance reviews are laughable when individuals who have never done the work tell you how to do the work.

    Advice to Management

    Fully support the mission, or find new jobs.

    Echoing the prior reviews, national needs to intervene soon; do more than a workshop or send an email; and NO MORE SURVEYS (we are over them....and you do nothing with our responses.)

    Focus on the mission or you will continue to lose valuable staff that actually do their job

    Start hiring people who are qualified and can do the work, not just someone you can steamroll.

    In my short time with the organization, I have yet to see the revolving door stop spinning. People are leaving faster than the leadership team chooses work from home days.

    Year Up Response

    Feb 8, 2019 – Senior Director of Talent Acquisition

    Thank you for your review. We are concerned about the challenges referenced at Year Up, and would like to ensure we can understand the context for your concerns so we may take steps to address them... More


  9. Helpful (3)

    "It is what it is"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Student Services in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Student Services in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Year Up full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Virtuous mission goal. Dedicated direct service staff.

    Cons

    Disingenuous leadership. Uses energy and commitment of new staff while underpaying and overworking them with no clear pathway to promotion or recognition of labor.

    Advice to Management

    Find leadership that have demonstrated commitment to social justice goals rather than leadership that demonstrate commitment to the organization/CEO.


  10. Helpful (2)

    "going the wrong way"

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

    I have been working at Year Up full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    - an important mission
    - opportunity to have a real impact
    - talented colleagues
    - inspiring students

    Cons

    - strategic direction reflects a lack of understanding of the communities that we serve and allegiance to market forces. this is fine and the prerogative of senior leaders, but it takes us further from our aim of closing the opportunity divide.
    - clear preference towards white leadership
    - data driven seems to mean chase the numbers no matter what it takes. sometimes doesn't get us to the right outcomes.
    - no work-life balance: regular demand to work 60-80 hour weeks. Expectation that you are "always on.
    - Managers have no idea how to delegate, so everyone is expected to manage up to management and penalized if they do not or cannot.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to staff, students and alumni who have been ringing the alarm for some time. remember Gerald's words that young adults are our primary stakeholders. Open yourself to new models for leadership. Train managers and hold them accountable to specific behavioral and performance standards.