I was wondering what the deal is with HESS schools in Taipei? I have read a lot of bad stuff about them and wanted to know what is was like if anyone had worked there recently or if you are still working there?
I have not worked there recently, but Hess was my first job in Taiwan many years ago. FWIW, keep an open mind and remember that many stories you will hear (and have read on this website) are highly subjective. I had a very positive experience at Hess - and maybe that was just dumb luck. I worked at the Banquiao cluster, at the main office for a while (I was Hess’s 2nd webmaster), and at the long-defunct Hess computer schools. So much depends on your attitude and goals, and those of the people you report to. Just a friendly reminder
Yes, Hess was very good to me. That was many years ago as well. At the time we had a really fair and balanced management structure. There were effectively two stands of management, “Native” (English) Speakers and local. Each branch had a head teacher “Native” teacher that acted like a shop steward protecting our rights.
For instance, as told to me by head teacher, the branch I was assigned to had to close about a week or so for remodeling or some elective building maintenance. There are a number of conditions like typhoons where you get an unpaid day off, but that was elective closing was not one of them. Our head teacher went to bat for the foreign teachers and won money. The Chinese head teacher did not challenge the closing and her staff got nothing. This was before I came and was told to us over “meeting” of foreign teachers at the local pizza hut one night, so I can’t verify it, but can’t think why someone would make the story up in the first place.
I found Hess a friendly place to work and the training was informative and fun. Karlos, where are you now? Are you in Taiwan? Are you applying from your home country? When I got offered the job over the telephone from Hess, my head teacher (foreigner teacher) called me and described all the bad things. Then the good things and offered to let me talk to other foreigners if I wanted to. I would do as you are doing. Contact current workers and get feedback. As goose egg says. It’s a matter of attitude.
Here is my advice… I would get a job with one of the bigger chains like Hess. Talk to some current employees. If they give you a minimum amount of guaranteed hours, hook you up with affordable housing, give you training… Go for it. It’s an adventure and it’s only a year.
Beware the smaller independent schools run by locals. Especially if you getting a job from abroad. There is a very strong chance that those people will cheat you. I have first hand horror stories of blackmailing my boss to get my withheld tax money back (The old withhold the money, but not report it scam). There are some very good small schools on this island, but use your job at a big stable chain to get accustomed to living here. Good luck.
No matter where you work. You will probably be paid in cash. Make sure that you get a statement each time you get your pay listing you gross and deductions. You may need it. I sure did. (Not for hess. though).