A review I wrote two years ago. Meant to post online - so here it finally is:
I realized in my first week that this job was not going to be fulfilling in the long run. It is shocking how many employees dislike coming into work every day, and it is shocking how many students are unhappy with their educational experience here in Canada due to LSBF. It is important for me to provide my feedback on all of the alarming things that I have noticed in the span of a months’ time of being here.
Quite quickly, I realized that there was a lack of management and support available. The moment I arrived, I noticed how disorganized upper management is, and the fact that no one seems to know what they are doing. Every major decision that needs to be made or every answer that we so desperately need comes from the UK. I am shocked that there is zero support at this school for staff or students. There is also zero transparency in this company and it certainly causes a lot of stress and backlash for our jobs. We are Student Services, and when students have issues they will automatically come to us for support or advice. The issue is, you and I are not supported or provided with the tools or information that we need to fully support the students. We should be able to go to upper management and receive advice/support/proper information on procedures/etc, in a timely manner whenever we need it. If we were provided with the right information we then would be able to ensure that the students have guidance and correct information at all times. It is unfortunate that we feel limited to do our jobs at best.
I also find it quite frustrating that we did not have an HR person to go to for support or guidance. Who do we go to in order to discuss confidential matters whether it be regarding our pay/contracts/disappointment with management? To be emailing a mysterious inbox and person in the UK is completely absurd. I’m not even sure that we would receive a response if we did send a formal complaint? There have been numerous occasions where I went to discuss my contract, because there was lack of clarity and formality. It took a whole month to receive any sort of response. I sent a total of four emails regarding my questions to only be ignored or pushed aside. This is completely unacceptable and should have been immediately addressed when I asked. There should be a contact that we can speak with at all times when it comes to employee issues, questions, or concerns. I also find it unacceptable that in the case of an emergency or an urgent matter we do not have anyone to go to. As a school, we should be provided with a manual that lists who to contact when and for what, along with emergency protocols and procedures. Otherwise we are left to feel helpless and alone in our roles.
In regards to students: it absolutely breaks my heart that students are often mislead about our programs and the Canadian experience that they will have through LSBF. It is very evident through by the number of upset students that they were told improper/illegal/false information in order to be recruited to this school. I truly think that when students originally think they are coming to LSBF in Canada, they believe they are going to gain this amazing experience, education, valuable high end internship (with pay), etc. The number of students requesting refunds is completely shocking/alarming, yet completely understandable. What an unfortunate thing that the international students have to go through. They leave their home countries for this experience in Canada, and get here to quickly realize that it isn’t at all what they expected. And once students realize this, there is no support or information available to them to find a suitable resolution.
The worst part is – once they realize everything, they can’t even get their money back! They are told they have to contact the UK to get “approved” for a refund, and then don’t hear back! Or they get approved, and then ignored to never receive a penny. The number of students that have contacted us about not receiving a response regarding refunds is ridiculous. There should be firm policies in place regarding refunds that the school actually abides to. How does it make any sense that a student must contact the UK for their money back when they go to school in Canada? Why should a student have to go through such a struggle to get their money back that is rightfully theirs (and we aren’t talking about a small amount of money). This completely gives me and the students the impression that LSBF is a fraudulent company. I do not want to work for a company that is taking advantage of young international students for their money, and giving them zero value in return.
False information told to students that we have noted so far:
-Told they will have a paid internship
-Told that they will have a high end internship with companies like KPMG (without explaining their experience, and skill set needed to do so)
-Told that they are guaranteed a work permit
-Told that they can work while they are in Canada beyond LSBF’s Internship program
-That the internship placement will be directly in Accounting in Finance (The purpose of the Internship program is to give them a Canadian work experience, although I try my best to find a suitable placement with their interests/experiences/skill set, it won’t necessarily be in finance).
I really wanted to make amazing changes to the Internship program so that the students would have a positive experience and feel that they are getting the value that they paid originally. Although I personally feel that the changes I have made to a lot of the workshops along with how I have taken special interests to help students have been positive, I realize that I am very limited to what I can change and do for them because we don’t have the support that we need to fix anything. I really do not feel that anyone truly cares about the students well-being or their overall experience at LSBF. This is something that I cannot stand for. I can’t go into work every day knowing how poorly situations are handled with students, and simply swept under the rug to be ignored.