Bridge International Academies Reviews | Glassdoor.co.uk

Bridge International Academies Reviews

Updated 2 November 2018
159 reviews

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3.9
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Jay Kimmelman
102 Ratings

159 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • "I would definitely recommend Bridge as a great place to work" (in 9 reviews)

  • "A good course-Offering quality education to our children" (in 9 reviews)

Cons
More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (2)

    "A Progressive Company with a Great Mission!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in London, England
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in London, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Bridge International Academies full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Bridge is a forward-thinking company that embraces best-practices and new technologies. They provide me with the support to learn and develop my skills while also giving me the opportunity to tackle meaningful and challenging issues.

    Cons

    The company has employees all over the world so you don't get to physically meet everyone you might be working with.

    Advice to Management

    Keep being open, understanding and flexible!

    Bridge International Academies Response

    5 Sep 2018 – Global Talent Acquisition Manager

    Thanks so much for your open and honest review and glad you are having a great experience at Bridge, long may it continue.

    Thanks,
    Suzanne
    People Team


  2. Helpful (14)

    "Stay Clear!"

    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 Bridge International Academies full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    The People team in London

    Cons

    Before I go in-depth it is vital to point out that the finance team in the U.K. And the People global team lead by Darren (VP of People) from London are absolutely fantastic. IT in the U.K also have some great people!

    Bridge is quite frankly the most hostile and non-collaborative organisation you will find. The irony is, in their employee handbook asking for constructive criticism, pushing back and having new ideas is beyond funny. They hate that. There is no two way back and forth/ideas and working together. It is a case of Shannon thinking she can run every single role and then see who she can pass the blame to when things do not work out. Something she does will say a problem isn't her fault but blame other. True leaders inspire and teach their teams to come to them with great alternatives. Shannon has created an argumentative, hostile, backward thinking organisation. She has people with miss-guided loyalty that shadow her behaviour due to being too scared to make any decision due to how she will react linked with being far too junior in the role and knowing if they went elsewhere they would never get the same pay cheque. This results in the negativity and poor decision making filtering down. I can honestly say if it wasn't for the VP of People, there wouldn't be a Bridge. He upholds the entire company based on his professionalism and true understanding of how to work (something the founders do not have). He also takes calls from us at any time regardless of the time zone differences. Where as Shannon will email people arguing about something so petty a child could manage it, but ignore serious issues because then she can pass blame and make it look like she is in control. She will lie about head count or future roles to get senior people to accept offers at Bridge for them only to find out that this was never the case, thus losing a promised team around them. The founders speak to people like dirt and are lucky to have people actually driven towards trying to make the company work. Shannon actually believes she is the best at every single role in the company and gives ZERO autonomy and when she does the person will likely get an email a few days later with Shannon disagreeing with any decision (which she will deny she ever gave the ok to, or look to blame someone else). She spends money completely in the wrong way e.g staff have to get a bus in an operating country late at night and be slightly at risk to "save money" or stay in bug infested hotels after 20 hour flights but it's ok for her to book 4* hotels in central upmarket Cities and take helicopters to visit academies or Jay spending over 10k a month on a phone bill because he won't look to get a phone contract helping to avoid this. That's investors money down the drain!! Shannon even makes people go to her own daughters ballet when she is " too busy to go" in her absence!!! On induction days of senior people within the company when she is meant to be there, she simply won't turn up. No email, no call, no text.
    Jay will at least give his team the budget to do the work. He still ignores them don't get me wrong. For Shannon, that would be completely alien to her. I am shocked she even has a team around her if she is this super amazing jack of all trades. Why can't she do it all herself? One reason, she sells a dream that doesn't exist. One minute she is world leader of HR/operations/Customer experience and the next she is CEO and the next she completely understands the market and payment for every country and every role.... (odd seeing as pay is so inconsistent, one minute it is $30k to a manager and another manager is $130k for the same role, that she sets!). Even when she reads this now, everyone else at Bridge will be getting blamed and in trouble and she couldn't possibly think that this is her doing and that she is a poor leader.
    I understand she has gone through a lot herself and this isn't a personal attack as deep down she probably isn't a bad person. But that doesn't excuse it from a business point of view. But her sheer lack of business acumen, linked with her disgusting and hostile management style is beyond unfair. I would honestly say, stay as far away from Bridge. Until they change (in all honesty they won't) you skills will be far more valued and utilised else where.

    It's funny how she thinks everyone should take salaries depending on what she wants that day whilst she puts her own expenses through the business, such as first class flights, hotels, helicopters... (don't think investors would approve of that).

    She doesn't sit with her employees in Kenya even though it is an open plan office. Talk about old school way of doing things.

    Anyway, the positives are when she goes offline and isn't trying to interfere the team moral is high and people do great work. But this is nothing to do with her. She doesn't lead people to do so. She is just fortunate there are people more competent than her able to humour her incompetence. It's when she comes into it you have to worry. You will not grow professionally here. You will however develop an understanding of how to liaise with completely difficult and scared people and how to prioritise what will be important in your next role. If you disagree with her, you will be swiftly told it is YOU who doesn't get it!!! It's actually baffling. And if you want quick emails/conversations, be prepared to write a 15000 word essay on each email, this is A) because people are so scared to have any opinion they try cover their backs. But by the end of the email it will not have answered any questions and just gone round in circles. B) people don't understand what it is they are doing/expected of them because Shannon doesn't either!!

    Advice to Management

    They won't listen, so not much point! But if they ever did, try and think of what the goal of the organisation is, and let the staff in the business do their jobs!!!

  3. Helpful (2)

    "People Trying to Do Some Good In the World"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England

    I have been working at Bridge International Academies full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Helping kids get an education that is proven to be better than state schools. Using the up to date and interesting tech to do it.

    Cons

    Growth of the company, opening new schools and in new countries pauses things when it happens.

    Bridge International Academies Response

    11 Jul 2017 – Vice President - HR

    Thanks for your positive thoughts. We are experiencing exponential growth and managing this effectively is often difficult and something that we will get better at moving forward.


  4. Helpful (2)

    "Great Career Progression"

    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 Bridge International Academies full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    I'm able to have a daily impact, influencing the lives of thousands of young children at a huge company of a corporate size without being not run as a stuffy corporate.

    The company is set up to allow employees to thrive within a position to have freedom to propose ideas, have their voice heard and make changes at will.

    Surrounded by smart and inspiring people, I can see myself developing into an emotionally intelligent, effective and eloquent person, something I have not experienced as other companies.

    Cons

    Growing pains - Bridge has come a very long way in a short space of time and cracks are showing, most notably in our largest country Kenya. However, collectively we are learning and pushing forward to create something very special. I'm proud to be part of the journey.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to be more transparent, open and honest in every aspect of the company. Instil trust into every area of the business.

    Bridge International Academies Response

    13 Jul 2017 – Vice President - HR

    Thanks for the positivity! Its great to hear you are still able to make a valuable contribution on a daily basis. That is what many people want in their careers - the opportunity to have an impact... More


  5. Helpful (2)

    "We're giving marginalised people a ticket out of poverty"

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

    I have been working at Bridge International Academies full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Amazing mission to give a great education to poor children - giving them a way out of the poverty cycle

    Cons

    We are a disruptive force in the sector, so some people are uncomfortable about what we do. It's classic disruption, with those who like the status quo throwing stones at Bridge. But the status quo has resulted in 263 million children without a school.

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the great work.

    Bridge International Academies Response

    12 Jul 2017 – Vice President - HR

    Thanks for your comments and great to see that you are enjoying your time at Bridge!


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Great team and environment"

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

    I have been working at Bridge International Academies full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Positive, enthusiastic team members. Highly skilled and knowledgeable individuals, always willing to help.
    No day is the same

    Cons

    Small, fairly new office, can sometimes feel separate from rest of company.

    Bridge International Academies Response

    20 Feb 2017 – Talent Ambassador

    Hello and thank you for your review! Great to hear you feel supported in your role. We're aware working across multiple functions and locations isn't without its difficulties, but at Bridge we love a... More


  7. Helpful (6)

    "Current Employee in the London Office"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Office Manager in London, England
    Current Employee - Office Manager in London, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    If you like a challenge and are happy to be flexible and learn then Bridge is a great place to work. VP's in the London office do their upmost to create an environment that is great to work in and travel opportunities are available to those who want them. The UK team is growing and growing fast but with hardworking individuals who really want to feel that they are making a difference with what they are doing.

    Cons

    Extra benefits available are not competitive

    Bridge International Academies Response

    9 Dec 2016 – Talent Ambassador

    Thank you for your post. Great to hear you're enjoying the work environment in the London office! Making a difference is what we're all about!

  8. Helpful (4)

    "Inspiring place to work"

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

    I have been working at Bridge International Academies full-time

    Pros

    Working in a fast-paced rapidly expanding company was very important to me and Bridge hasn't disappointed. Being surrounded by people at the top of their field is extremely inspiring and I'm looking forward to seeing how the company develops as they expand further. The position is very free and I am able to bring my own ideas.

    Cons

    Nothing negative to mention. Not for people who don't enjoy a challenge and being part of a company's rapid growth.

    Advice to Management

    Continue listening to employees and making a difference.

    Bridge International Academies Response

    29 Jun 2017 – Vice President - HR

    Thank you for taking the time to leave a review, we really appreciate this. Through the internal processes we have like Town Halls and Team Syncs, we will keep listening and improving.


  9. Helpful (8)

    "Awesome challenge"

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

    I have been working at Bridge International Academies full-time

    Pros

    Bridge is a great place to develop yourself. There are plenty of challenges and you're expected to take part in shaping this amazing company. You feel like you're making an impact and that you do is meaningful.

    Cons

    Wish there was more time...

    Advice to Management

    Keep focused on what Bridge is about.

    Bridge International Academies Response

    8 Dec 2016 – Talent Ambassador

    Thank you for your review. Everything we do is driven by our values and mission. Very happy you feel like you are making a meaningful impact.


  10. Helpful (8)

    "Exciting and interesting place to work!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England

    I have been working at Bridge International Academies full-time

    Pros

    I feel I've joined Bridge at a time where I can really help and make an impact. My colleagues are all impressive and I feel a great culture is being developed here in the London office.
    The Senior team here in London was also one of the main reasons I joined Bridge, with a special nod toward the people's person our VP of People, to our visionary CTO and a CFO who is fit to guide Bridge to the next level, I am happy with my decision to join this excellent company.
    Also to think that what we are doing can create change by bringing education to those who normally wouldn't have had a chance makes me very happy indeed.

    Cons

    No real cons as such and any improvements will come with time as more processes etc are put in place.

    Advice to Management

    Keep doing what you are doing with steering the ship in a new and exciting direction!

    Bridge International Academies Response

    8 Dec 2016 – Talent Ambassador

    Thank you for posting your review. Being a fairly new office it is great to hear you feel a strong culture is being developed in the London office. This will continue to develop as we move into our... More


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