GSM London Reviews | Glassdoor.co.uk

GSM London Reviews

Updated 22 June 2018
56 reviews

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56 Employee Reviews

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

  • "Some good support & staff and lecturers" (in 3 reviews)

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

  • "To the user, I say: If this helps alleviate the nausea that comes with realising you work or study at GSM London, you have my sympathy" (in 8 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. 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.


  2. 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.

  3. 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.


  4. 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.


  5. 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.


  6. 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.


  7. 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.

  8. Helpful (3)

    "My experience in GSM London"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior International Admissions Officer in Greenwich, England
    Former Employee - Senior International Admissions Officer in Greenwich, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at GSM London (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    I started working in GSM in 2012. I had a pleasant experience. This was my first higher education sector job and I really enjoyed the learning and building my knowledge about higher education and also international students.

    People are very friendly and very approachable. very diverse bunch of colleagues and students. You will learn about different cultures and will meet great people with different experiences.

    I had many opportunities to participate in sector training sessions and seminars. Many teams are motivated and wanted to learn different skills and willing to change for the better opportunities. I was very fortunate to work with brilliant managers and learn different skills. I have to say I did enjoy my time in GSM. Overall If I had a better opportunity and recognition I would stay in this company.

    Cons

    Not much opportunity to progress in your career. Benefits are not that great since compared to sector. Not many people wanted to make a real difference in student life journey.

    Advice to Management

    Not much opportunity to progress in your career. Benefits are not that great since compared to sector. Not many people wanted to make a real difference in student life journey. Compare the sector bench marking for pays and other benefits.Identify great individuals who has lots of skills.


  9. Helpful (8)

    "Worked for over a year"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    The area - Greenwich

    Cons

    Wouldn't recommend it either as an employee or as a student...


  10. Helpful (14)

    "Do not bother wasting your time or energy at GSM"

    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
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at GSM London full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    The staff for the most part. Most teams get along and everyone is pretty sociable. This can lead to a laid back atmosphere in most teams which is quite good more often then not.

    Cons

    Ermmm pretty much everything at this point to be honest.
    I've seen other reviews that say GSM is fast paced or not for the faint hearted.
    I prefer the term unorganised, nothing in this place is truly planned for other than not paying staff correctly or making excuses in not being able to pay bonuses.

    Everything in GSM is "improving in phases" according to senior management.
    This is a company that at one point had one person as a HR department -_-. Following that a new head was put into place with an actual team and all they could do was apologise every time an issue was brought up to them rather than actually resolve them.
    Minutes were conveniently lost or misplaced so meetings never had factual back up’s. Now through to the latest incarnation of HR, you have a team that literally ignore claims and requests.
    I can appreciate that a HR department is there to protect the company as well as see employees are treated fairly (conflict of interest???) but surely there should be procedures or at the very least guidelines in places. It seems you can only get things resolved by putting serious pressure on every person involved, testimonies are not taken and rather than actually dealing with issues at hand you're constantly giving the run around.

    The same goes for the majority of managers "I'm looking into it give me some time" for weeks/months on end. Nobody below senior management is actually respected or valued apart from the very few that are favourites of management. I quote "You're all replaceable" is something I've heard many times over the years. There's trying to motivate your team in different ways then completely demoralising them.
    This place will literally will suck the energy and productivity out of you if you allow it too. You can work yourself to the bone, do everything asked and beyond but it’s never enough. You'll never do enough to get any more than a 2% rise if anything at all because the company don't want to pay anymore. Bear in mind the large majority in the company are underpaid and in some places criminally so in my opinion.

    Staff salaries were benchmarked by Hayes and apparently compared against roles everywhere else but nobody has ever seen the result of this and certainly haven't had any rises.
    You will get screwed out of commission/bonuses constantly and having written agreements reneged on. But that's only if you're fortunate enough to get an actual contract at some point in your employment.
    If you change roles within the company don't expect any type of formal change, at best you will be given an amendment letter and if you request your contract you will be met with a wall of silence. I've actually been asked for a copy of my contract when I haven't had one for TWO years.

    You only get 5 sick days in a calendar year which to me is unheard of in most businesses. What happens if you happen to even have a bad cold a few times in a year god forbid anything more serious. Non-existent benefits 1% pension contribution that wasn't voluntary and when trying to opt out being told it wasn't possible.

    Not to mention if you're in a student facing role you will definitely get screamed at a few times. Some of these are definitely people with mental issues. But a large proportion of them are people that have been pushed to the absolute edge by GSM. Some of the stories I've heard from students have been horrific at times. Students have lost their homes because they've been told when to expect student finance and not received for another 3 months. Fair enough you shouldn't bank your life on student finance but its still terrible advice
    Once people are in "the system" everything goes downhill, any online promotion gets tons of hateful comments by bitter current or ex-students.

    Last couple of points here (I could go allllll day long)
    No bonuses were paid this year as the company didn't meet targets which could be a bit more understandable if we didn't withdraw tons of students in the first 2 weeks as we don't have satisfactory attendance tracking systems. Student's ID cards don't work or their timetables are wrong so they have no registered attendance and get withdrawn.

    No bonuses were justified by saying "at least we didn't have to make redundancies" which they did 3 years ago with "last in, first out" policy dropping about 20 people across both campuses.

    Advice to Management

    Try actually being honest with your staff and realising we're probably not as stupid as you think. If you're actually straight up about the issues that we're facing then you would actually get some respect from staff.
    Actually look at improving staff morale and act like you care rather than quoting statistics "3 quarters of our staff are happy working at GSM " we have anything up to 400/500 members of staff If you count everybody in professional services and non-academic roles I highly doubt anyone would say they are happy. The only reason you don't have a full scale revolt on your hands is most people are beyond caring now or just too drained to even put up a fight.
    Start respecting your staff and it will go a long way.


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