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Thread: Aeon

  1. #1
    Senior Member shindayou's Avatar
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    Default Aeon

    I applied for Aeon and went through the whole interview process and also got an offer for placement. As I went down the laundry list of things about the company, I realized this was not the company I wanted to devote my time to while living abroad in Japan.
    First of all, they are explicit you do NOT speak any Japanese. There work days and hours are Tues-Sat 12-10pm or 11-9pm, possibly later.
    You are required to sell textbooks to students, even if the student does not need the next level. It's a money making scheme they would like you to use often.
    You are required to go out and hand out fliers about the company on your spare time. i.e. you aren't paid for it.
    Your mode of dress is professional 100% of the time and therefore that can eat at any budget if you have a hard time finding cheap professional clothes. (this is sort of picky on my part)
    There is a lot of things I could continue on about the company, but I just realized Aeon was definitely not the route for me.
    My friend also got hired by them and since he was a May graduate, they were not going to place him until he received his proof of his degree.
    When he contacted them with this information, they now say they will now start looking for placement that will probably occur in October/November, most likely December.
    They made it clear at the interview that May graduates were going to be placed in August/September.

    Overall, I didn't like this company. But, for others it might be their cup of tea.

    I am going with an ALT company called Joytalk in the Kanto region. So far, it's very much similar to JET, but a bit less pay.

  2. #2

    Default

    I've done a year of AEON... so I wanted to talk about my experiences.

    First of all, they are explicit you do NOT speak any Japanese. There work days and hours are Tues-Sat 12-10pm or 11-9pm, possibly later.
    These points are both characteristic of eikaiwa.

    They're paying you to teach English conversation, so inside the classroom you have to speak English only. I don't see what's so unreasonable about this. Outside of classes, at social functions and whatnot, or in the staffroom, there's nothing to stop you from speaking Japanese.

    The majority of my students were businessmen or college students and so the school operating hours are designed so that people can go after work or after classes, or on Saturdays when they're not working.

    You are required to sell textbooks to students, even if the student does not need the next level. It's a money making scheme they would like you to use often.
    AEON's a private English "school" operating first and foremost to make a profit, not as an educational facility. I know it sounds really harsh and you're probably thinking: "I'm just a teacher, the students trust me, etc." but every week in the teachers meeting they're going to whine about how you're not meeting your targets, so for your own sake you should try and sell.

    Some of the materials are interesting, but I agree that they're overpriced.

    You are required to go out and hand out fliers about the company on your spare time. i.e. you aren't paid for it.
    Heehee. I didn't have to do this. But I had to fold the bloody things, and certainly not during break time! Only if I had an office hour or if a class got cancelled. I'd rather be handing out fliers than folding hundreds of them.

    Your mode of dress is professional 100% of the time and therefore that can eat at any budget if you have a hard time finding cheap professional clothes. (this is sort of picky on my part)
    This kind of relates to my previous sentence, but in any sales role you are expected to look sharp, because you're selling something.

    Anyway shindayou, if you were looking for a teaching job, you probably made the right decision when you turned down AEON. However, my overall experience with them wasn't horrible (although I decided not to continue after a year) and some of my friends renewed their contracts because they loved it. We found that the experience you have really depends on the Management of your school.
    :smt006

  3. #3
    Senior Member shindayou's Avatar
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    Default

    Fair enough. I'm glad someone got something good out of it.

    But, I will reiterate that they said NO English.
    They made it clear at the info session and interview that we were not to speak Japanese at ANY time with our customers. That includes outside of the classroom.

    Like I said before as well, if this is your cup of tea, go for it and enjoy it. But, I felt like working those hours and not really being able to interact with my students even in their own language is a downer.

    That said, I am sure there are many people who have worked at Aeon and enjoyed it. My experience and my friend's experience have been less than satisfactory, so I'm just giving my side of my experience.

    I feel bad being one of those people who always has to post the negative about programs, because when researching all the other companies, that's all I ever came across. There was a good review sprinkled in with all the DON'T DO IT posts only every once in a while.
    So, for anyone considering an eikaiwa or whatever you plan to do, everyone on this board has been helpful in making it clear that everything in every single company is ESID.

    Accept NOVA.

    :P

  4. #4

    Default

    Also remember that people are far less likely to go on gaijinpot and write stories about how much they like their company. They only go to complain so we get the horror stories.

    There are plenty of people I'm sure that are very happy with AEON. I know a guy that works for geos and seems to like it, and I know another guy that's going to be with AEON and seems pretty happy with them so far.

  5. #5
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    Default

    I interviewed with AEON, and was offered a second interview the following day but turned it down since I had a JET offer in my inbox when I got back to my hotel.

    The only thing I really disliked about AEON was having to wear the company allegiance pin, and ALWAYS have a suitcoat with me regardless of if I would've needed it or not.

    The company is definitely a sales gig, as it's a company and not a government deal like JET, so yeah sales can basically blow if it's not your thing. The hours suck but again, like mentioned it is for people to come after school/work--the benefit to this is that the students give a shit about learning English, whereas many of our JET students couldn't give two shits (my Kasumi SHS fishing track kids...) so that is definitely a perk. You also get your own classroom with AEON, another perk over JET.

    Yes the pay blows, and the "bonus" at the end of the contract really only serves to pay for your flight out of what amounts to a dead end job, but if you want to be in a big city and can accept the fact that everyday the hours between 12-9 will blow ass but the other 15 will be awesome since you can live someplace like Tokyo, then AEON isn't a bad choice.

    You just can't let yourself rot away and quickly find yourself tied to Japan with a wife and kid and a dead-end eikaiwa job and a hole in your resume since you've spent the last 10 years earning 250k as a groveling gaijin monkey.

    Eikaiwa suck, plain and simple, though AEON and GEOS are the lesser of the evils---there are FAR FAR FAR worse companies to go with--if you're going to go eikaiwa, these are the two to go with. Eikaiwa are great if you are a fresh graduate looking to go to Japan not so much for teaching experience but more for just having a good time for a few years, sampling the culture, sampling the women, and learning the language before returning home to go to grad school or something else where international experience will help get you in the door.

    Eikaiwa: come for a good time, not for a long time.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Aeon

    I'm bumping this thread because I have an interview offer with AEON. I was originally of the JET or bust mentality, but after failing to get an interview with JET, I'm not sure how practical it is throw all my hopes in to one place that already rejected me once.

    I understand from this forum that JET has better remuneration, less hours a week, generally superior working conditions, and a better support network. Which is fine, but if I wanted an easier job I'd stay here in America and get an IT sector job.

    How many hours of teaching a day do you typically do with AEON? Their on-site propaganda isn't extremely clear about this, other than saying "no more" than 25 hours a week. Is AEON really just a book selling company that happens to do in-house teaching? Their site doesn't let on much towards that.

  7. #7
    Senior Member reed's Avatar
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    With eikaiwa, "hours per week" mean classroom hours. Typical lessons are about 45 minutes, and you'll need to prepare for them in the 15 minutes prior to or after another lesson, or during your 30 minute lunch. Two lessons are 90 minutes, or 1.5 classroom hours. In this way you can easily teach 5 or 6 classes in a day without breaking the 25 hour "limit". Teachers usually have between 5 and 8 classes per day regardless of contract agreement. It bears mentioning that AEON classes can run throughout the day -- students will buy "packages" that allow them to sit in on any lesson, regardless of level, so they will attend the entire day or sometimes come every day for several hours, sitting in your classroom while you prepare for the next group of students to enter. You'll also be required to perform impromptu demo lessons in the lobby for prospective adult and child students, which are usually about 30 minutes. These are not classroom hours.
    Last edited by reed; January 31st, 2009 at 09:08.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Saitaman's Avatar
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    Default

    I interviewed with Aeon a few years ago, creepy is what they are. If you want to join a cult, there are plenty to choose from:
    Raelism, Branch Dividian, Aum Shinrikyo, The Order of the Solar Temple, LDS, Church of Scientology, The Green Party, all of which would be more fun than the Church of Aeon.

  9. #9
    Али Димаев AliDimayev's Avatar
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    Default Re: Aeon

    I have to wear a suit coat at all times at my school. Except in the hot weather.
    <a href=http://www.ithinkimlost.com/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=3134&dateline=1245615339 target=_blank>http://www.ithinkimlost.com/image.ph...ine=1245615339</a>
    Quote Originally Posted by Hyakuman View Post
    As usual, you all (Aliを除く) have your heads up your asses.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Aeon

    Well that about answers my question. More reading on Aeon and other eikaiwas leaves me with the distinct impression that they aren't necessarily about intercultural exchange or education for the sake of much but business. Which is fine, but I guess that really isn't my thing. The "English bubble" doesn't much appeal to me either.

    Now I feel sort of bad for wasting their time. "JET or bust" it is.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by LostInTranslation View Post
    Well that about answers my question. More reading on Aeon and other eikaiwas leaves me with the distinct impression that they aren't necessarily about intercultural exchange or education for the sake of much but business. Which is fine, but I guess that really isn't my thing. The "English bubble" doesn't much appeal to me either.

    Now I feel sort of bad for wasting their time. "JET or bust" it is.
    It is deeply bizarre and quite perverse that I would in effect promote my former and much-despised employer, but I would add that Interac is not in the same category as Aeon and Nova. It's basically Private JET, with a more cumbersome organization and worse compensation. But an ALT is an ALT. I similarly wanted that sort of job, and so I applied to JET and Interac.

  12. #12
    FiercestCalm
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    Default Re: Aeon

    I went to the AEON group meeting today, and got asked back for an interview tomorrow. I was expecting something a lot worse since I read this thread, but it seemed like a pretty standard info session, if a bit long. After learning more about them I feel more comfortable interviewing, since they were formally near the bottom of the list... above Interac. Now I might like them a little more.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FiercestCalm View Post
    I went to the AEON group meeting today, and got asked back for an interview tomorrow.
    I had an interview with JET and a group interview with AEON. AEON didn't offer me a personal interview, should I be worried? I think my JET interview went well but if AEON didn't offer me an interview... that's pretty bad (however, I didn't want to work for them anyway, I was ready to walk out halfway during their cult session).

  14. #14
    Senior Member Saitaman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Aeon

    i think AEON and JET use different criteria for hiring, I think the AEON people are kinda stupid actually on how they do things, but maybe they have their reasons.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Saitaman View Post
    i think AEON and JET use different criteria for hiring, I think the AEON people are kinda stupid actually on how they do things, but maybe they have their reasons.
    i was kinda insulted how they review everyone's application and recommendation letters in only a timed 20 minutes span and they didn't even look at me during my presentation which i spent hours preparing.

    but before they handed out the envelopes regarding your fate they did give a quick sermon to our group about the economy not being good, try again in 5-6 months, blah blah

    just hearing the jokes here about eikaiwas only looking for a pulse in candidates and me not getting an interview with them scares me a bit about JET....

  16. #16
    Senior Member Saitaman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Aeon

    I don`t think you will be judged the same way by JET as you are by AEON. I am not saying whether not you will get into JET, but I wouldn`t use a failed Aeon interview as a measure of your chances of getting into the JET program.

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    thanks. i hope they aren't looking for the same thing (whatever that may be).
    Last edited by triumphtr79; March 16th, 2009 at 23:40.

  18. #18
    FiercestCalm
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    Default Re: Aeon

    I would second all this no AEON does not equal no JET business. AEON doesn't interview you at all before they decide who comes back, so it seems really arbitrary, like how genki you were during your sample lesson and how much they liked your essay.

  19. #19
    Site Owner curtaineater's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FiercestCalm View Post
    I would second all this no AEON does not equal no JET business. AEON doesn't interview you at all before they decide who comes back, so it seems really arbitrary, like how genki you were during your sample lesson and how much they liked your essay.
    to be fair, it seems just as arbitrary as how JET runs things, maybe even less so. JET interviews don't even involve any teaching demos. once its broken down they both base interviews off a bunch of paperwork, like any job.
    always a JETsmaid, never a JET.

  20. #20
    FiercestCalm
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    Default Re: Aeon

    I guess it does make sense, though, since the JET program is more about living/thriving in Japan and happening to help out at schools and AEON is more about teaching all the time.

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