- Work/Life Balance
- Culture & Values
- Career Opportunities
- Comp & Benefits
- Senior Management
I worked at GSM London full-time (More than a year)
Your teammates - The people who (directly) work alongside you will probably be very decent and upstanding. Considering the stress you will most likely be under, your teammates are the only people who will be able to understand what you are up against and give advice if ever you become overwhelmed.
The payout that you may receive from GSM London when they fire unjustifiably.
Leaving GSM London and moving on with life gives one a euphoria which would never have been possible without being an employee of such a terrible organisation.
GSM London is very aware that they continually receive negative reviews on Glassdoor from current/former employees. Instead of attempting to change how the institution is run, the management hold "all-staff meetings" in which they try their best to discredit all negative Glassdoor reviews. Any current staff member who implies that these negative Glassdoor reviews may be credible is made to feel as if they have committed high treason; HR then include this in your personal file to use against you whenever needed.
GSM London has a lot of polices, which they expect all staff member to be aware of, however, these policies are rarely enforced; usually they are only enforced to protect GSM London against its staff and students when GSM London's reputation is at stake.
Lots of staff at GSM London say and do things openly which proves that the institution does not enforce policies relating to:
- Discrimination (race; gender; sexuality; religion; class; age; physical appearance; intelligence; etc)
(In my experience, the management are the worst culprits.)
Management habitually hire their own unemployed relatives and uneducated childhood friends. Although the organisation is quite big, the number of employees who are related by blood is probably higher than you imagine. This is not necessarily a bad thing but can easily become a bad thing when abused, as it often is by some.
Promotions are often given to staff members based on friendship statuses and most people who are lucky enough to be promoted are promised the promotion long before the job is advertised; if you are not invited to apply for a promotion, you are most likely not getting the job.
The organisation is extremely disorganised and your daily responsibilities are subject to change (and will do so, very often). HR are known for losing copies of important documents of GSM London staff (passports; contracts; qualifications; references) and never have a decent explanation as to how this is possible and why it happens so frequently.
Members of management appear to be in competition with some of their own members of staff and dedicate a lot of time spreading lies about said staff members, in order to publicly tarnish their reputations and force them out of the organisation.
When confronted about particular issues, members of management have a very convenient ability of forgetting a lot of important things which were said or done which would present themselves in a negative light.
GSM London pays its staff quite low salaries (except for the friends or family of management), despite experience or educational backgrounds. Although GSM London's staff are paid lower than they would be doing similar jobs in other London-based institutions, the most efficient members of staff will constantly be forced to take on an ever-growing list of extra responsibilities, whilst most likely receiving sheer disrespect from management.
GSM London are known for tricking candidates throughout the job interviewing process into accepting lower salaries, as they often lie about how much work is really involved within some roles. This leads to GSM London (only sometimes) recruiting high-calibre staff, who then resign very quickly; only weeks later, in some cases.
Although GSM London claim that their focus is on Widening Participations, this REALLY is not the case. GSM London (who still does not have university status and hopefully never will) typically enrols students who have little or no educational background, providing these students with a false hope that they will actually be able to graduate one day; the student retention rate is shockingly low at GSM London for a valid reason. Being an employee at GSM London may sometimes feel criminal for this reason alone.
Performance-related annual bonuses are virtually non-existent (unless you have the word "manager" in your job title). GSM London only ever rewards the exact same people continuously for their "hard work and effort" whilst at least 90% of their staff are never ever even mentioned.
If you join GSM London, be careful who you end up working for, as unfair treatment by managers is often swept under the rug by HR, despite how many complaints are made against them.
Life at GSM London is slightly more bearable if you are able to accept being treated badly by your manager. If you are known for defending yourself, you will be labelled a troublemaker and GSM London will try to get rid of you by any means necessary, even going so far as recommending that you find another job elsewhere. Be prepared to see your teammates/colleagues in tears because of something a line manager did or said to them.
GSM London gossip is rife and you must be careful picking the colleagues that you choose to confide in, as telling the wrong person anything about yourself will become common knowledge throughout the institution (once again, managers are the worst culprits). Even lies spread about you will most likely be treated as gospel. The only way to ensure that you are not at the centre of gossip at GSM London is to remain unknown; yes, even the most popular and most-adored members of staff will still suffer negative rumours attached to their names.
If you are fired from GSM London, HR will probably threaten you with a lawsuit if you so happen to ever tell anyone what was actually discussed in your disciplinary meeting or if you ever mention the fact that you received a substantial payout from GSM London for an undisclosed reason.
Advice to Management
The management does not want advice. They want conformity from staff and money from students. GSM London railroads their staff into lying about what GSM London actually is so that more innocent students are tricked into believing that GSM London is worth taking out a Student Loan for.
I wish there was something that I felt I could write here that would be taken seriously by GSM London but the only thing I believe they will try to do it get a few of their favourite employees to write 4 and 5 star reviews so mine is harder to find.
However, giving them the benefit of the doubt (not that they gave it to me), I would advise GSM London to actually pay attention to the complaints made by staff and students, both former and current. Our complaints and criticisms are valued despite how much you wish it wasn't. It may be a good idea to really pay attention to the people in power at GSM London and those who who are coming up. If not, nothing will change and you will always fail: you will always lose decent members of staff to better employers; and you will always recruit students for the wrong reasons.
I advise GSM London to try to understand that I write this review, not as a disgruntled former employee, but someone who needs future applicants to be aware of what GSM London really is like behind its marketing.
Lastly, I advise GSM London TO return all the money they have knowingly conned out of innocent students and the Student Loans companies.
In my experience so far, I have found GSM to be an extremely supportive environment to work in. The teaching team is passionate and hard working and the management provide a lot of opportunity for training and growth if you are committed and passionate about what you do.
Currently, they run three semesters a year and so that can be challenging when trying to develop modules or carry out research and make deadlines.
Advice to Management
Continue to support your staff (as you are) as they are all passionate about what they do.
I worked with GSM London as a consultant over the course of a year before coming on board as a full time member of staff, mainly because i'm excited to be part of something so innovative. This is a higher education institution that is genuinely trying to do things differently by creating opportunities for people who might otherwise be excluded from higher education.
In my time working with the College i've worked with people at every level - from front line delivery to senior management - who are genuinely committed to making a difference. I've also found that senior leaders respect professional expertise and are open to (constructive) challenge.
If you're after a cushy life this is probably not the place for you! There is a lot of change happening and expectations are high. I can understand how this can be a bit unsettling for some - particularly those unused to leaders not willing to hand hold.
On the other hand, there are times when the pace of change is not fast enough. Like any organisation that has been around for a long time there are a few issues and pockets of bad practice that have been allowed to linger. Progress is being made - there is a new set of policies and regulations and a lot of operations are being refined - but is still a long way to go.
This is also not the place for anyone prejudiced about 'the wrong types of student'. This is a College with a social mission to educate students from a wide range of backgrounds, and the reality of this can sometimes be a challenge. If you're more used to a traditional university with nice, polite middle class teenagers you may find life at GSM a challenge. But if you're willing to be open minded you'll find a lot to be inspired by.
Advice to Management
Keep going! There is a lot of work to do but it is worth it. Make sure that everyone knows what they are working towards and the progress that is being made.
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I worked at GSM London full-time
You are able to make some great friends with fellow staff members which make it bearable, closely located to a market with good food and easily accessible via DLR and train
You will most likely be managed by people who are less qualified than you and really have no idea of what they're doing - the easiest way to get ahead is to suck up to managers and be horrible to your own staff who are putting in the real effort. Despite managers being less qualified they will speak to you in a condescending tone as if you are just a puppet and there isn't much real use for you but when you are sick and need a day off/to go home they will notice your absence.
This establishment does not appreciate their student body and despite half the students not even being able to speak English will take all the money they can from them before kicking them out for not progressing quick enough. It is hard not to feel terrible for students, who should not have been enrolled in the first place, who are being told they've been taken off the course. Students can also be incredibly rude and irrational - they'll insist they are correct despite being completely wrong a large portion of the time. Rather than your managers stepping in and assisting they'll shy away from the confrontation while the students yell 'GET YOUR MANAGER'. They'll slide out the door and wait for the chaos to be over, forbid they did any work.
Any suggestions you make for the betterment of students will fall on deaf ears as they generally don't allow the 'university' to make a profit.
It was hard not to laugh at this place every moment you're there. There is absolutely no work-flow as you can email different departments 5 times within 2 weeks and they still won't get the work done. Managers will tell you to get off your mobile phones although they'll be on theirs doing absolutely nothing all day. The staff members who deserve credit aren't given any only people who suck up to management are appreciated.
Advice to Management
Close down - you're using venerable members of the community who are wanting a REAL education to make a profit for the monkeys upstairs. Get a grip
I have been working at GSM London full-time
Really supportive managers and academic faculty. I can honestly say I have never worked anywhere that the staff are so supportive.
Lots of great new initiatives coming to make the college better for staff and students
Lovely atmosphere with opportunities to learn lots
Improved staff benefits with more coming
Genuine ethos and committment to make things better for students snd staff from senior management
There are very few for me as I really feel the experience has been so positive and has helped me develop for a future career elsewhere as and when needed.
I have been working at GSM London full-time (More than a year)
Some very good professionals work at GSM, dedicated to the vision of providing open access education, and upholding real social mobilityor
Benefits package only "middle of the pack" and only a workplace pension offering
Advice to Management
some encouraging progress over the past 12 months, but still a long way to go.
The rare opportunity to have so many self-obsessed, talentless, insecure, bullish, self-promoting ego-maniacal managers/senior managers/permanent teaching/academic/HR staff housed under one roof- It should be filmed as an interesting insight into nepotism, cronyism and the psyche of the desperate. Far more vacuous than the Kardashians.
Everything and everyone associated with this organisation. A game of snakes and ladders. Complete disregard for the de-franchised . increasing numbers of students are receiving public funding in the form of loans and grants to study at this institution. Providing loans for these students means that public money is being allocated to GSM and the spiralling cost of this funding is seen as a cause for concern. Management are not fit and proper to run an educational establishment involving Higher education. It has been suggested that students at some private providers have wrongly been given access to student support; allegations have also been made about the authenticity of some students at private colleges and it has been suggested that some providers have given misleading information to the Student Loans Company. The list here is endless and the students who want to succeed suffer as this institution is about lining the pockets of the fat cats and their pathetic cronies.
Advice to Management
Fire your current staff or have a journalist investigate this thoroughly corrupt agency.
I have been working at GSM London part-time
GSM London has a great potential to be one of the private university that provides distinctive tertiary education.
Sychophants should be weeded out of the system to achieve desired objective.
I worked at GSM London (More than a year)
- Graduate job-seekers should apply here if they are struggling to secure a role elsewhere. Be warned that development will be stunted so plan to be here for 6 months maximum.
- Professionals - the company will be good for you if you're looking for the promotion you cannot secure elsewhere. Be warned though that you must have very few competencies (and befriend the right person) in order to attain a higher salary here - just ask the former HR Director and the current SU CEO - #nepotism
A genuinely miserable and undesirable place to work. One wherein you will be expected to contribute to an ethos that sees a company rip off the taxpayer by offering false hope of a bright future to recruited students. Abysmal dedication to education and indifference to junior staff.
No real training. A lot of harassment and bullying here from management. I'd even play the race card and would encourage any current member of staff who has seen harassment and/or racism from management to take it further. It will build on existing cases and eventually offer some justice.
No concern for health & safety - they will happily proclaim business as usual when the a/c is off during the summer without any alternative ventilation. They'll also conduct asbestos surveys without concern for staff/students. One of the most revolting things is referring to students and 'customers' - stupid for an organisation that wishes to award degrees itself. The car park is a sales suite for marijuana. Oh yes, and then there are the rats...
Advice to Management
Consider yourselves in the shoes of the student that you recruit. Perhaps 1 in 250 of them can attain the hope you sell (fewer if you negate those you employ yourselves) but the 249 others are having years and £'s sucked out of them. For what? Profit? A business plan?
I hope you don't open other campuses. I'm ashamed that you spoke of this when you couldn't even ensure that the carpet in the current campuses could be cleaned in 3+ years.
Stop recruiting your friends to senior posts.
etc etc - not enough time to give advice when I know it won't be considered; but I hope it makes for good reading for the disgruntled employee.
The lower level staff are lovely and know how to have a laugh even when being beaten down by politics and lies. This is the only pro. there really is nothing else good about GSM
1. Unsafe working environment - students are free to spit at you, throw chairs at you and threaten to hurt you and the company lets them return as if nothing happened!
2. CEO is ignorant and doesn't care about the lower level staff
3. no one actually knows what the company goal is.. (What happens when TDAP fails?! we all know it will...)
4. Complete favouritism, if a senior manager likes you and you gossip with them they look after you
5. Icing on the cake is they hire in managers on an interim basis who leave after 4 months or just bully employees.
6. HR are useless and never help you - inexperienced and LAZY.
7. No employee incentive programs.
8. HR gossip about personal issues
8. Average life of a good employee is max 3-4 month. (or they sack you)
9. They recently restructured a similar department to mine – ended up losing a good manager (who always had peoples backs and had managed to stay with the company a few years somehow) to redundancy and forcing the remaining staff to jump through hoops, yet 3 months later NOTHING has changed – (how is the restructure working for you now senior management? The service looks soooo much better (!)
10.Pay is low, Hours are long and they encourage your co workers to spy on you – promoting a snitch culture.
11. Yearly bonus was removed yet everyone knows certain favourites got a bonus.
12. they forced managers to score their teams low in the mid year ratings so that they wouldn’t qualify for a pay rise.
I could go on but why bother. This place is hell. If you are looking for work GO ELSEWHERE.
Advice to Management
i cant advise you - you have made your beds. when TDAP fails, you will move on to the next pipe dream. Hurry up and close down so that the staff can move on to somewhere that will support and appreciate them.
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