Columbia College Chicago Employee Reviews

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String of Job Cuts/No Fund Raising Income/Enrollment Down
Director (Former Employee) –  Chicago, ILOctober 26, 2015
From all-time enrollment high in 2009, the college has dipped in student count, employee count and reputation in the past three years.

Good management and vision is sorely lacking here. More than two years after new CEO's arrival in July 2013, Columbia's enrollment is nearing a 10-year low. Strong experienced leadership is lacking at all the C-suite levels. Student recruitment is continuing a downward spiral. And paranoia has filled the staff and faculty ranks. Co-workers care about the institution but often spend the day discussing where the next program or employee cuts will be made after severe cuts the past year and early retirement packages extended in spring 2015 to help shore up financial blood loss with no fund raising efforts to back fill budgets.

Benefits are exceptional and low cost; however, salaries are well below national averages and below Chicago educational comps.

A typical day at work involved reading The Columbia Chronicle for the latest scoop on administrative issues, reorgs, and leadership snafus as the leadership takes on "Redefining Greatness" as smoke and mirrors motto for the sinking ship aka "right sizing" efforts.

The most difficult part of the job is watching long-timers try to rally liberal arts students - to stay in school while they accrue massive student debt, leaving Columbia among the highest rates of student loan default in the country. The college also has one of the lower graduation rates in the country.
Pros
Benefits at low cost; core of caring employees; good work/life balance 9-5 schedules;
Cons
Poor inexperienced leadership at senior level, string of funding and job cuts, student debt and low graduation rates as poor recuitment selling points
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Engaging Internship in Which my Opinions are Valued
Ms. Fit Magazine Editorial Intern (Current Employee) –  ChicagoJune 6, 2013
I work primarily from home, which saves me a considerable amount of travel time and cost, as well as allows me to create my own hours. I have a lot of freedom like that in this internship because my employer trusts me to do a good job.

This is an editorial internship, so I edit two to three pieces for our quarterly magazine. For our last issue I worked with four different editors, adding my opinions to their conversation with authors. All the editors I worked with were impressed with my diligence, so this issue I'm working alone with two contributors, as well as writing my own feature piece. This has been the most fulfilling part of the internship so far; it helped me realize that I want to go into editing as a career.

My day-to-day duties are more marketing-based. I manage Ms. Fit's social media presence, and I've learned that frequency, post time, and phrasing within posts is important not only to entice people to click on our posts, but to direct traffic to the Ms. Fit Web site. Another way I direct traffic to the site is by compiling a bi-weekly list of feminist and women's sports links.

I'll be sad when this internship ends, but I've gained valuable experience and a close friendship with the editor-in-chief, who, beyond being a good friend, is an important connection in the Chicago publishing and literary communities.
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Awesome experiences
Student Anchor/Reporter (Former Employee) –  Chicago, ILAugust 5, 2014
During my time as a student at Columbia College Chicago, I learned a lot. I was not an employee but I was a student. The experience of working a live news show was just like working in a real newsroom. It was fast paced, energetic, hectic and overall a great experience that I believe has prepared me well for a career in television. For every live news show, we picked stories and split responsibilities of writing, editing, cutting teases, doing SOT'S and VOSOT's. Before a show, the classroom was typically very busy with some people writing and others cutting video or working or loading the shows into the computer. I worked with a great, talented group of individuals and alternated duties throughout the weeks of the semester. The hardest part of the job was technical difficulties with shooting and editing and having to put everything together with a tight deadline. The most enjoyable part of the job was doing what I love most-performing. There was nothing more rewarding than anchoring or reporting and knowing that people enjoyed it. I truly feel ready and think that experience shaped me for the best.
Pros
great team and lots of experience.
Cons
technical difficulties, challenging deadlines.
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Practical, forward-thinking training.
Follett Fellow (Former Employee) –  Chicago, ILMarch 20, 2014
Columbia chose me for the Follett Fellowship, which covered my entire tuition expense for the MFA program. Based on the strength of my writing portfolio, I was given the opportunity to work one-on-one with visiting novelists, agents, and editors. What Columbia offers is real-world training for the circumstances writers will face when they graduate and move on.
The total immersion in the writing life that Columbia creates is what spurs fast growth in the skill, judgment, and critical ability of its writers. Weaknesses, cliches, and the common flaws of new writers are culled with speed and grace.
The student who handles the rigors of the MFA program will emerge as an enriched, productive writer ready to handle today's changing job market.
Pros
practical experience, sense of community.
Cons
cost is above median.
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Creative, productive and encouraging work day.
Teachers Assistant (Former Employee) –  Chicago, ILAugust 21, 2012
A typical day would consist of assisting students and professors with lighting equipment and demonstrations. Putting together all printed material for professors and management. Daily inventory of office supplies and equipment. Ordering supplies. Maintenance of all studio lighting and equipment. Learning and discovering new lighting techniques. Working with Photoshop, Illustrator, Capture
One Pro, Bridge, Light Room, Publisher, Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Wacom tablet etc. Maintaining daily studio appearance.
Working with professors and employees to create a productive creative atmosphere. Working with creative professionals within today's photography industry.
The most enjoyably part of my job was to be able to resolve lighting issues and work through different lighting techniques to ultimately create the perfect image. Being able to fix equipment myself without having to send things out for repairs. Training new hires.
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Science and Exploration
STEM Researcher & Instructor (Former Employee) –  Chicago, ILJuly 30, 2013
If you're a teaching candidate, leadership, curriculum and instruction specialist, or instructional designer looking for opportunities in STEM education programs, then Columbia College Chicago's Science Institute might be the place to "cut your teeth" in. I had practically no experience with teaching STEM-related subjects but learned an abundance of great interdisciplinary strategies while working for the program for nearly 2 years. The greatest challenge is probably learning higher level mathematics and science if you're not strong in those subjects. For me this was easy my challenge was in convincing young learners that learning and doing STEM-related projects is actually fun!
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Productive, Fun and creative atmosphere that allowed two students to bring about change on college campus.
Creator/Student Producer (Former Employee) –  Chicago, ILApril 3, 2012
Columbia College is an arts school that I am an Alum of I went to my advisor my first year there seeking for change from that point AdStock was birth. My former professor believe in the vision that was created at hand and gave me and my co producer 100% freedom to create a long lasting event that's still prevalent on campus today. We creating and alliance with professionals to come meet with students in a relax environment to provide critics and input.
Pros
meeting with professional in the industry, free food, networking
Cons
n/a
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Great networking space
Student Worker (Former Employee) –  Chicago. ILFebruary 12, 2015
- Typical day at will be sitting at the front desk taking calls, taking appointments for Gigi Posejpal through the phone or walk in students or out posting posters.
- I have learnt how to interact with many different personalities.
- I have a great boss and her name is Gigi Posejpal.
- My co-workers are always fun. We still talk even after I graduated.
- Hardest part of my job is going out to post posters in the crazy winter weather.
- Most enjoyable part of my job is that we are a family at where we work. We are very supportive of each other even between employers and employees.
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The joys of responsibility
Student Work Aid (Current Employee) –  72 East 11th Street Chicago ILJuly 31, 2015
There's never a dull day when it comes to being a full time student, now couple that with being a work aid for the Major department in which you're studying to get a degree.You have first hand to be as involved as possible. In addition, working in a small team for everything teaches you first hand how responsibility and accountability works. Task to bee done, must be done because there is an entire team of faculty and students depending on you to hold up your end for the good of the production. You become a direct reflection of the department in the eyes of your professors and peers.
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Productive Workplace
Office Assistant (Former Employee) –  Chicago, ILJuly 28, 2015
Working in the Department of Development was a great experience. It gave me basic Administration training and also helped me gain some experience with different data entry and constituent programs. Workers are typically quiet and keep to themselves, considering their workload was much bigger than mine, but everyone was always nice, respectful, and appreciative of my assistance. Altogether, it was a great experience!
Pros
Hour-long paid break for lunch, entry level experience
Cons
I couldn't stay after I graduated considering I was no longer a student
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Enjoyable part of working at Columbia College
Coordinator/Student Instructor (Current Employee) –  Chicago, ILDecember 9, 2012
At Columbia College Chicago's Math and Science Department, the staff and student interns make you feel right at home. My job consist of teaching at various elementary schools around the Chicago land under the Scientist for Tomorrow program.I teach lessons that incorporates science, math, technology and engineering by building either solar cars, musical instruments and robobugs. It is an exciting job since you work with students from different ages.
Pros
working with children, learning science
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Supportive and empowering managment
Office Manager (Former Employee) –  Academic AdvisingNovember 5, 2014
I learned a lot in working in the Academic Advising office at Columbia College and have been able to carry it over to other parts of my life.
Columbia College was a very supportive work environment and the management there was attentive to the needs of the staff outside of work and cared a great deal for the employees. This created high morale and made it easy to come to work everyday.
Pros
compassionate and empowering management
Cons
pay could be better as well as adjunct faculty incentives
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A great school to attend, but not a great company to work for
Client Services Consultant / Media Service Manager (Former Employee) –  Chicago, ILOctober 5, 2015
It is a great first job for a college graduate with no work experience or real world expectations. The work load is heavy; there is no department support regarding incidents. There are more work tickets created than staff to address the requests.
Pros
Tuition Reimbursement, Discounted Services
Cons
Large work loads with no administrative support
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A wonderful work place
Orientation Leader (Former Employee) –  Chicago, ILMay 20, 2015
I really enjoyed working for my school. The environment was nice. I had wonderful co-workers. Management was a little wonky at times, but it ended up working for what we had to do. The pay was the downside. It was below minimum, but since it was a stipend, they could get away with it.
Pros
free lunch, meet new people
Cons
the pay
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A great place to get an Education
Associate Professor - Film/Video (Former Employee) –  Chicago, ILNovember 10, 2013
Diversity of subjects, people and opportunities
Anything you'd want to learn is right there
Solid Managers for the most part with a drive to educate
Hardest part - Open Admissions policy
Best thing about it seeing people learn from your work efforts
Pros
diversity of subjects, people and opportunities
Cons
teachers union
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An open admissions college with a great philosophy of inclusion
Adjunct Faculty (Current Employee) –  Chicago, ILMarch 6, 2015
It is a hub of people united by the love for a craft. It has respect for the independence of cathedra, and a focus on the student success.
The open admissions policy allows the thriving of diversity in students and outcomes.
Pros
well equipped facilities. full interdisciplinary access in the student body.
Cons
no benefits for adjunct faculty.
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Fun and productive environment
Teacher/Office Assistant (Former Employee) –  Los Angeles, CADecember 3, 2015
I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Columbia College Chicago's Semester in LA program. Those who worked there always communicated their expectations and needs and were quick to help explain or provide assistant if I ever had any questions or concerns.
Pros
educational outings
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A ethnic atmosphere
Student Worker Receptionist (Former Employee) –  ChicagoJuly 29, 2013
Student employment is a great way to make money while on campus and working on your degree. They work around your classes so work and school don't become one bug hassle. There are many departments to work for and each with their unique staff.
Pros
lots of connections, great staff
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Productive working environment with tremendous growth opportunity
Administrative Asst (Former Employee) –  Chicago, ILDecember 27, 2012
Columbia College Chicago is one of the premiere colleges of the arts in the Midwest. It has tremendous growth and upside. In my time there, I had a world of growth in my life. It was truly and enriching place to work.
Pros
salary, benefit growth opportunities and working envrionment
Cons
n/a
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Fun to work in T
Executive Producer (Former Employee) –  Chicago, ILMay 18, 2015
Facilitate and Supervise all phases of Production. Recruit and integrate student volunteers into workflow.
Distribute workload among 14 staff members. Act as a liaison between the Television Office and Frequency
Television Staff.
Pros
Great work environment, rewarding
Cons
No room for advancement
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Overall rating

4.5
Based on 48 reviews
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