Academy of Art University
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Academy of Art University Employee Reviews

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United States170 reviews
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3.0
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Customer service/Sales role
This is a sales position. The pitch is to potential students to attend Academy of Art University and make it as a star. The odds of making it in entertainment are slim so buyer beware. This is a pressure to sign up new students.
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1.0
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The worst Art School for a teacher and students
12 years, teaching at AAU
I've never received a salary increase, or any form of paid benefits.

Students never receive class materials they've pay for.
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2.0
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The pay is good. That's about it.
They pay well and the benefits are decent. Just don't expect any loyalty or support. Management will throw anyone under the bus while being mystified as to why morale is consistently so low. This is a place where people disappear regularly, either being fired without warning or leaving without bothering to give notice. The focus is solely on short-term metrics, leading to a robbing-Peter-to-pay-Paul situation; they want to pump up admissions so encourage a lot of people to apply that shouldn't, then bemoan a low retention rate as students flunk out.
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2.0
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No work/life balance
It was always so stressful working in a box like space without any air conditioning or a heater. Furthermore, there was no flexibility of working remotely under any circumstances. My manager was so biased and had her mood swings almost every single day. She casually walked in late almost EVERY other day, and never showed up on Mondays but expected all the other team mates to be present on time and at their desk everyday of the week. What was also shocking was the way in which she communicated with her manager, and talked about him behind his back. Overall, the company did not provide a good atmosphere to work and be productive, the manager does not have fixed guidelines on producing quality work and changed her stand as per her likes or dislikes for a team mate.
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1.0
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Worst company to work for
The job was so depressing. No room for growth and no desire to grow with the company. The building was depressing and everything was geared around tricking students into attending the Academy. its all recruiting tbh. I am so happy I have found much better
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4.0
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If you work in the shop, you'll basically stay in the shop
Out of all the shops, I did enjoy the architecture department the best.
The product design was great, but for sure best culture was the one I was in (maybe I'm biased).
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3.0
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A very relaxed workplace when it is not finals week
Overall a very relaxed workplace outside of the Finals week for that semester. Your work may differ from day to day depending on who/when/what needs help with. Hours are set usually at the start of a contract but they are pretty generous with sick days and being late due to transit.
Pros
Relaxed workplace
Cons
Low compensation and semester based short term contracts
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5.0
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Diverse and Innovative
What I learned from being at the Academy of Art University was taking the creative process and learning how to iterate on your ideas. It was a diverse community and innovation was always highly regarded.
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3.0
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Summary
It’s different. The bad would be communizing home after getting off at midnight. Get off at 12AM get home at 1AM. The good would be you get to see and meet diverse group of people.
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5.0
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Fun Environment and Experience
It was a lot of fun and a great work experience photographing different athletes and school events. The work was published on the school's website and other media platforms.
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4.0
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Productive yet friendly work place. Felt like family.
Workplace culture is very collaboration based. Communication is key to successful work, but they make it very easy to communicate and engage with. Loved working there.
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2.0
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for-profit education at its worst
Staff at AAU would often joke that it was a real-estate holding scam with an art problem. Throughout my time there, it was never a secret that AAU would be in the local and national news for all the wrong reasons. Rea-estate misuse, misrepresenting job placement and post-graduation preparedness, and profit prioritized over student interests. I worked for an amazing boss and I had a great team. I credit those individuals with creating a bubble of sanity in an otherwise dysfunctional and toxic company culture.
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3.0
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Fine Art Department was supportive with wonderful colleagues and students
My personal experience was mostly positive. Though my FA director was and still is supportive, job security wasn't there. My classes were slowly taken away one by one due to the department manager who has since been rightly fired. I can't comment on how the department is now, but I hope that it's good. Supportive co-workers (mostly) and the students kept me there for a long time.
Pros
studio access
Cons
no healthcare, no job security, a lot of easily bruised egos running around
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4.0
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Full time student
Full time student in writing for film, television and digital media for the period august 2016-august 2019; obtained bachelor of arts on august 14, 2019
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Official response from Academy of Art University
May 11, 2020
Congratulations on your well-deserved success! We are pleased to know that you enjoyed the learning experience you received at Academy of Art University. We hope you feel proud of your accomplishment. All the best to you in your career.
4.0
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Cooperative Faculty
Good work environment amongst colleagues. Mix of abilities within student population. International Student Population makes for interesting student work.
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Official response from Academy of Art University
May 11, 2020
We are pleased that you enjoy the work environment and our amazing students from all over the world. Because of highly skilled and talented Instructors like you, Academy alumni are some of the most successful and sought-after professionals in art and design today.
2.0
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Monotonous job with poor work culture
Customer service representative = Call center employee. You will be doing the same things everyday, and will be given additional projects to break up the monotony, but without additional compensation until one year of work. Moving to another internal position also requires a minimum of one year at the company.
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5.0
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Productive and fun place to work
The most enjoyable part of the job is teamwork. Even though the work load is divided into different parts, each of us in charge of our main topic. we still have email communications on a daily basis. I also enjoy learning different culture from International Students and my co-workers.
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1.0
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Just Like Disney Land . . .
One of the most horrible places to work. Save yourself a significant portion of your life and don't bother to work at this place if you know exactly what you are getting into. A typical day was a tedious day doing thankless jobs. The training is non-existent if you recall training just being told what to do. . . I learned how much the school is really intended to keep you know who accumulate the money from those students who think they are getting a quality education that's more like snake oil and blood dripping from the bodies of eviscerated babies and lambs being sacrificed . . . There is so much better schools out there, unless you want to support her collection of cars on display : I Management and some of the teachers are full of it, but they come across as pretty ugly and amusingly pathetic. Some of them act like they are working, but get their work done at the last minute to the point of stressing themselves out and then continue to watch movies during the day . . . Some of the staff in some of the departments are nice, but then there are others who come across as pretty dismissive and condescending. I wish I could name them here, but they are located in the top portion of 180 NM building. They act like you are beneath them especially if you just started and are not familiar with the ins and outs of the greedy machinations of this school. There is one director who only comes in like twice a week or none at all and acts like he owns the floor when he walks in. Please, give me a break. . . . It's funny how he and some of the staff act like they are doing interesting - more...
Pros
Health benefits . . .
Cons
Low room for advancement, no growth, tedious administrative roles, uninspiring staff
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4.0
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Constant Production
For years it was a lovely place. It was pleasant until offering ideas to the new executive. If you get a raise you will probably soon be replaced with a cheaper worker.
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Official response from Academy of Art University
May 11, 2020
We appreciate your feedback and are happy to hear you enjoyed your time at the Academy for so many years.
2.0
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Not great
I worked in the equipment checkout in the photography department. They required a degree in photography yet the pay wasn't enough to pay my student loans. The checkout was open for long hours so employees were scheduled in 3 overlapping shifts. My shift schedule would change every few months and would often include morning, afternoon, and evening shifts in the same week which made it harder to get have a decent sleep schedule.

There were month-long unpaid breaks while school was out. So I applied for unemployment every couple of months and my employer made it harder for me to get the unemployment.


My manager was a micro-manager.
Pros
Discounted classes, free food at cafeteria
Cons
low pay, micro-managed
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3.0
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it was ok
Colleagues are great and management as well. Locations are easy to access and central. Focus is on making money and there are a number of lawsuits and Forbes profiles to prove it.
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Official response from Academy of Art University
May 11, 2020
Academy of Art University has called San Francisco home since opening in 1929 and our locations are certainly central to this beautiful city! We are glad to hear you found our campus to be accessible and enjoyed working with your team during your time here.
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Overall rating
3.2
Based on 171 reviews
5
39
4
48
3
30
2
19
1
35
Ratings by category
3.5
Work/Life Balance
2.9
Compensation/Benefits
2.6
Job Security/Advancement
3.0
Management
3.1
Culture
Women's ratings

3.3Fairygodboss Score

67%say women are treated fairly and equally to men

25%would recommend to other women

Fairygodboss provides free job reviews for women, by women.