Pros: free coffee, team building events, decent benefits, great brand name on your resume
Cons: no work-life balance, little opportunity for advancement, un-competitive salary, self-involved management
While I certainly learned a lot during my tenure at Starbucks Canada, the Canadian division is not a great place to work. Work-life balance is non-existent and anyone below Senior Manager level is treated like a cog in the machine. There is very little room for advancement as the older members of the Marketing team refuse to leave, to the detriment – more... of the organization. Don't be fooled by the title Brand Manager or Assistant Brand Manager - you aren't really managing anything from a marketing perspective and this is not your typical brand management role. The majority of the job is determining what US products to pick up and release in the Canadian market and lots of number crunching. If you're looking to stretch and extend your strategic and creative skills this is not the place for you. This is an operations driven organization so the majority of resources, effort and focus are on developing employees working in the stores. It doesn't really make the "behind the scenes" people feel appreciated or inspired.
Management at Starbucks, while incredibly polite and friendly, are neither overly creative nor inspiring. Looking to be a mover and shaker? Starbucks looks good on your resume and you'll gain a lot of transferable skills but you won't do anything earth shattering. And don't think about speaking your mind because they aren't overly receptive to individuals who challenge the status quo, provide opinions that go against the majority or raise concerns about issues. There have been some serious culture issues with the company, especially around recognition and appreciation of staff.
Net-net, I had a great time learning about the business and definitely picked up some great skills but I wouldn't recommend working in Marketing at the Canadian operation. – less