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GSM London Reviews

Updated 8 February 2018
49 reviews

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Pros
  • The payout that you may receive from GSM London when they fire unjustifiably (in 8 reviews)

  • Great place to work and develop career (in 3 reviews)

Cons
  • Some of the Senior Management really need to stop bullying their staff (in 10 reviews)

  • Being an employee at GSM London may sometimes feel criminal for this reason alone (in 7 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (3)

    "Not the finished article but going in an exciting direction"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    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.

    Cons

    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.


  2. Helpful (11)

    "Joke"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Student Advisory in London, England
    Former Employee - Student Advisory in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at GSM London full-time

    Pros

    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

    Cons

    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


  3. Helpful (2)

    "Loving my job,"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at GSM London full-time

    Pros

    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

    Cons

    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.


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  5. Helpful (2)

    "Challenging but definitely rewarding"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at GSM London full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Some very good professionals work at GSM, dedicated to the vision of providing open access education, and upholding real social mobilityor

    Cons

    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.


  6. Helpful (9)

    "Horrendous"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Maths Teacher in London, England
    Former Employee - Maths Teacher in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    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.

    Cons

    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.


  7. Helpful (11)

    "Organised Crime (Corporate)"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at GSM London (More than a year)

    Pros

    - 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

    Cons

    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.


  8. Helpful (1)

    "GSM has great potential"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at GSM London part-time

    Pros

    GSM London has a great potential to be one of the private university that provides distinctive tertiary education.

    Cons

    Sychophants should be weeded out of the system to achieve desired objective.


  9. Helpful (17)

    "I Wish I Could Give it ZERO Stars. (STAY AWAY!)"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Adviser in Greenwich, England
    Current Employee - Adviser in Greenwich, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    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

    Cons

    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.


  10. Helpful (8)

    "Not a place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Student Advisory in Greenwich, England
    Former Employee - Student Advisory in Greenwich, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at GSM London full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    The people - some really bright people across the company and teams are usually trying to make the student experience better

    Library - New library at Greenwich meets the students needs

    Cons

    There's a lot....

    Salary and benefits - benefits are non existent and salary is below what other businesses in the same industry are paying.

    Development and progression - Again pretty non existent unless your friends with people above. Rarely do vacancies go to people within the business and rarely are staff given the guidance or training needed to progress.

    Staff turnover - After the above two it's probably not a surprise that turnover is appalling. The majority stay for 1-2 years. It's good if you want a particular job title on your cv but don't come here looking for a career because you won't find one.

    Management - Description not necessary - read the other reviews

    In Decline - The business is in decline. Less students, more problems with immigration etc. If you're already in a job and looking for a new one surely you want to work somewhere that's expanding not just replacing people on the titanic.

    Advice to Management

    Keep your loyal staff. Turnover shows that you should value the ones that haven't left the mess you made. Also once TDAP fails cut some of the overpaid contractors and managers that aren't contributing to the overall 'experience'. Also add some benefits to the package. 5 days extra holiday doesn't cut it when you work 9-6 5 days a week.


  11. Helpful (14)

    "Stay clear"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Student Finance Officer in London, England
    Former Employee - Student Finance Officer in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at GSM London full-time

    Pros

    People. The people here make this place and most really work hard to try and make things better for the students. Training given within the team was also very good, however varies with each department.

    Cons

    The place is a circus when looking at how senior management runs the place. Brown-nosing is rife as it appears to be the only way to progress so prepare to be stabbed in the back. Even potentially by your own manager if that makes him/her look better. Never seen "office politics" on this level before. Pay is awful, promise of bonuses which never materialised and the locations between the two campuses are very far apart if you are expected to travel between the two. The place is set up to bleed money from students so if you have some morality you will find it difficult to stomach this place.

    Advice to Management

    These are people's lives you are messing with. Give students the attention they deserve and stop trying to put staff down at any given opportunity.


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