From Pittsburgh, PA — 03/12/2008
First of all, to all the people complaining about "part-time" jobs in retail stores having low-pay, not enough hours, and terrible commutes, stop it... you aren't forced to work in these stores, and if you really want to make a dollar go look for something else. It's a part-time job!! Take the experience and run with it... As far as AEO Corporate, it is a fantastic place to work. Yes, you will read all large specialty retail companies having long hours and lack of a personal life, but you know what, that's the culture and the ever-changing landscape of the business. I've worked for another direct competitor to AE, and it isn't even a comparison. We promote from within, train those people to succeed, and watch them bring their own individual talents to the business. True, we may not have the best looking stores (or even the most competent employees and managers running those stores), but that's a challenge to overcome in the coming years. We are a company that believes in a work/life balance (even though some people would argue that) but you're not going to get anywhere in life being a "clock-puncher", putting your 40 hours in a week and going home. As in any job, you have to be good at it to maintain job security, but you will not be fired for making a mistake. Obviously, constant mistakes will lead to your potential termination (no kidding), as it would in any full-time career. The biggest benefit working at AE is the casual work attire I wear everyday (jeans, chucks, t's, etc...). We're not hardcore "You Must Wear AE at all Times!!" like other retailers, so long as you don't emblazon your chest with another competitor's logo. Pay is very competitive, as I was ushered away from my previous corporate retail job with my current salary & subsequent promotions. The brand new corporate office in Pittsburgh's South Side Works is beautiful (albeit being in Pittsburgh), and is still growing. On the downside, Pittsburgh isn't the most glamorous place to live. It has surpassed Seattle as the most precipitous city in the US, it is landlocked (I do not consider 3 Rivers as "water", thank you very much), and for those of us from the Coast, it definitely is a change. It does have it's nice areas though (Shadyside & South Side) as do all cities. All in all, I would recommend AE to anyone who has a passion to do new things, work in an environment that cultivates creativity, and be at the forefront in the growing & constantly changing landscape of specialty retailing. Remember, it's not what you have to do everyday at work, it's what you get to do!