BlackRock FAQ

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40 English questions out of 40

13 July 2020

What is the retirement plan like at BlackRock?

Pros

- I know this could vary by team, but my team is laid back and chill - You get to learn a lot about financial stuff (if you are open to learn anyways) especially investing and money management - Good benefits including unlimited PTO, 401k matching and boost

Cons

- Pay is not that good compared to tech companies. I wouldn't have complained if that at least increased (a little if not a lot) every year but no. It'd be the same for several years and they don't care about your life changes, inflation, etc. EVERY YEAR they say the same thing "oh it's not been that good a year", even though the earnings are good? - Promotion process is a huge mess. I saw people bootlicking senior management get promoted even though they are unworthy and some talented and hard working people ignored because they actually work and not waste time talking BS and entertaining those senior management. This kind of culture is HIGHLY TOXIC and its high time people corrected it. People have taken cue and started working less and boot licking more. Also there is no clear path or definition to promotion or any measurement scale for the criteria. Its just too abstract and they expect you to already be doing the work of the role that you are trying to get promoted to. Why would I do that when I'm not getting paid for it yet? - Developer experience sucks - you get all kind of "security" crap installed on the computers that make them super slow for developers. If you don't trust software engineers to not click on stupid spam or get virus onto the computers, why hire them in the first place? The dev process becomes SUPER SLOW because of thousands of background processes running and becomes super irritating and you lose all the remaining motivation to code. How hard is it to have different policies for developers and non developers?

Advice to Management

Pay well. That will not only motivate existing engineers to do great things but also attract new talent that can make BlackRock the tech company it wants to be. And please fix the promotion process, this will retain the talent who will not then feel like they can never progress their career here. This is not just my view, I've heard this frustration from several people.

Good benefits including unlimited PTO, 401k matching and boost

13 July 2020

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31 March 2020

Does BlackRock have a pension plan?

Pros

*should start by saying this is the only Multi national I have worked for* - huge resources to learn and develop, particularly for those with a wider interest in finance than their specific area - flat hierarchy with largely open and friendly leadership. Challenging (respectfully) more senior colleagues is encouraged in creating a more rounded debate - many opportunities for those ready to ask for and take them (people put this as a negative but it’s down to you to direct your own career) - learn how a huge company operates in terms of structure, risk management etc. Transferable skills and knowledge to take to less developed businesses. - through the coronavirus period, management has gone to huge lengths to reassure staff and has been on top of everything going on - decent salary plus benefits (again unsure on comps) but large pension contributions are very welcome - a focus on output and actual contribution rather than hours worked. This also (in our team) facilitated flexible working, e.g gym at lunch, if it leads to better business outcomes - This is a huge bonus for me.

Cons

- a lot of people at VP/D level who don’t want to make decisions and are happy to cruise - creates bottlenecks for more junior talent. Choose the team you’re joining carefully to ensure there is scope to grow your role. - a lot of meetings which routinely overrun with little, if any, useful output. Many of these run by the aforementioned group. - trying to push through any change is difficult beyond your own area - lots of layers of approval - the business is very US centric. They are taking steps to address this via regionalisation of the business etc, but it remains a very clearly US centric business - depending on who your manager is you may find yourself lacking a genuine career sponsor and that opportunities are actively reduced (not for me but have seen with colleagues) - this is specific to certain people and will always occur in a business of any significant size. There are options for internal mobility that can help alleviate this as well.

Advice to Management

Always look for opportunities for junior talent to come through. If there aren’t any or where people aren’t good enough, be honest and empower managers to have these very difficult conversations.

decent salary plus benefits (again unsure on comps) but large pension contributions are very welcome

31 March 2020

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11 February 2020

Does BlackRock offer parental leave?

Pros

Standard Health Benefits package, compensation, and maternity leave benefits.

Cons

Sometimes inflexible hours, a tense working environment.

Standard Health Benefits package, compensation, and maternity leave benefits.

11 February 2020

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26 July 2020

How are the career development opportunities at BlackRock?

Pros

Larry (CEO) and other members of the senior management are fantastic to listen to. They are interesting and inspiring, and keep me going, which is something I will miss when I leave. Great leadership. Great culture from the top and great drive for excellent people management, it's a shame that it doesn't always permeate to the lower echelons of the company and opposing sub-cultures have formed in certain areas, which are backwards and regressive.

Cons

Long hours. They have something called Flexible Time Off rather than statuatory holidays, and you don't always get enough or same amount of time off as you might in other places. Burning out is a risk. No career opportunities, especially now that there's no internal mobility. The area I am in is very clichey, which can hinder any opportunity or recognition if you are not considered one of them. Under-performing teams and people are not dealt with and given the appropriate training or development. They become a real burden, which increases the workload, hence longer hours. It's not enjoyable having to compensate for them constantly. My experience in BlackRock Finance has so far been poor. I was not treated well, especially for the first 18 months. It become marginally better when I started looking for other roles internally, i.e. a bad employer is like a bad boyfriend, he only starts paying attention to you when you start leave. However I do believe that it is localised to this area and I know other teams are good to work in.

Advice to Management

My advice to middle management is listen to senior management and follow their lead. Stop thinking you know better!

No career opportunities, especially now that there's no internal mobility.

26 July 2020

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28 December 2020

What kind of career opportunities exist at BlackRock?

Pros

I've been at BlackRock for 15 years, but it wasn't my first job. I've risen from Associate to VP to Directory and, now, to MD. It's been a great and exciting journey, being part of BlackRock's (and Aladdin's) growth over that time. I work in BlackRock Solutions and have been involved with expanding Aladdin's capabilities my entire career in different ways. The rapid growth of the business created a huge amount of opportunity for me and many others as the firm has grown about 10x since i've been here. That results in stretch roles for high performers early on in terms of managing people and teams, being responsible for major projects, interacting directly with clients, travelling to clients as well as expansion offices. One of the other reasons i've stayed is just that it's a fun atmosphere and people are generally nice, helpful, and cooperative. It really is a "One BlackRock" mentality which comes from the top from Larry and Rob K. 15 years has gone by quickly and the work tends to get better and more fun as you progress, since you get deeper in your areas of expertise, build your network of friends and colleagues, and are able to grow impact and ability to affect change.

Cons

Being a large company that has been doing technology for 30+ years, we're not the fastest moving in terms of adopting/deploying the latest tech. This is understandable and somewhat inevitable given the size and also the criticality of our tech to managing a huge amount of money. So, as an engineer, you have to value and have passion for building things that are super reliable, maintainable, scalable, operable, mission-critical and everything that goes with that versus using the latest open-source project or cloud service.

The rapid growth of the business created a huge amount of opportunity for me and many others as the firm has grown about 10x since i've been here.

28 December 2020

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40 English questions out of 40