Projects Coordinator (Former Employee) – Washington, DC – August 31, 2019
Working at the East-West Center has been a great opportunity to learn new skills in the nonprofits industry, whether it be project management, research, events, partnerships, communications, fellowships, etc. It's also been a fruitful environment to learn more about US-Asia relations and make contacts across industries, with some potential to travel.
However, I do not recommend working at the organization. As a whole, the East-West Center is lacking in any sort of strategic vision/goals for what they would like to achieve. As such, there are persistent management issues at every level. Top that with internal politics, interesting personalities, and an organization resistant to change, it's a recipe for an unsupportive, pessimistic, and stifling workplace culture.
Here are some issues to note for the Washington, DC office that stem from the Center’s lack in strategic goals: (1) your job title/description will not even be remotely close to what you do in the day-to-day of your position; (2) your scope of work is subject to change without room to negotiate for additional compensation for additional responsibility; (3) you will not be trained, therefore you will enter the organization without having a clear understanding of what is expected of you and how your job/work will contribute to the organization; (4) expect feedback to be inconsistent and contradictory.
If you’re applying for a coordinating role with a Master’s degree, you will be starting at GS-7-1, even though most federal organizations in the DMV area start at GS-9 for that level of education. There is alsomore... hardly any upward mobility in this organization. You can start out as a Projects Coordinator and move up to Program Coordinator, but that’s the end of the ladder in terms of long-term professional development. My coworkers and interns made this a bearable experience, but I don’t recommend anyone to work here long term.less
Research Intern (Former Employee) – Washington, DC – April 1, 2019
Management wanted the internship to be a learning experience for the interns, which was great. They were also very supportive of helping interns in their efforts to secure internship positions after the internship at East-West had expired.
The work environment was very collaborative and interns were allowed to research regions or issues that were the most interesting to them.