Galatea Associates LLC Reviews | Glassdoor.co.uk

Galatea Associates LLC Reviews

Updated 21 June 2018
15 reviews

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4.2
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Michael Higgins, John McMahon, Raj Basu
4 Ratings

15 Employee Reviews

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  1. "Challenging work in a fun environment"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Galatea Associates LLC full-time

    Pros

    Great, smart people working together in a friendly and social environment. Passing the interview process is not easy, and that's a good thing - it means you know the people you work with are good. To keep the standards high, you also know that if you don't put the effort in, you won't be here this time next year.

    The company is very social. We work hard and get rewarded for it in various ways. We have company drinks once a month (partners welcome), annual Christmas Party, free sodas and snacks in the office and lunch provided each Thursday. We have company funded sports events and outings. We also have self-funded events that we chose to do ourselves, because we like each other.

    Yes, sometimes while letting off steam following a hard month, some of us play games in the bar. For those who want to be involved it's fun, for those who don't want to, they say so and watch and laugh at us. If you don't have the courage to say "no, I don't want to go out for a drink/man-shot tonight", then it's unlikely you have what it takes to stand up to the business we do. Saying no to drinks does not exclude you from anything else. It shows us that you are capable of standing up for yourself and able to take on the challenges of dealing with challenging people in a challenging environment.

    Cons

    We work with client systems and therefore we are not in complete control of the environments we operate in. We have to adapt in order to deliver a successful project. Unfortunately this means that during the initial phases of a production system we have to offer L3 support. But that's the way it should be. We support what we build. Knowing what can go wrong helps us build robust systems.

    At times we do work long hours.


  2. "Focus on training"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Galatea Associates LLC full-time

    Pros

    Fun working environment, wide array of techs

    Cons

    Difficult clients with money tussle with employer and the clients

  3. "Work Hard and Learn a Lot"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Associate in Somerville, MA (US)
    Former Employee - Associate in Somerville, MA (US)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Galatea Associates LLC full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    * Great Culture. The company is very tight knit and you end up making a lot of friends.
    * Management cares about their people and want to make them happy
    * On average people are very smart and willing to share knowledge
    * Good exposure to Fin Tech, lots of opportunities to take what you've learned elsewhere
    * Consulting means you get the chance to work on or have exposure to a diversity of projects
    * Great place to start a career. Emphasis on soft skills / communication was like a superpower at future jobs

    Cons

    * Because Galatea is a small company, you don't get the same opportunities as at a larger tech company
    * Clients are mainly in New York, so you end up spending a lot of time on the phone or in video conferences
    * There is basically only one track up (becoming a team lead / getting into management). Not a clear path forward for individual contributors

    Advice to Management

    * Be more up front about the growth path at Galatea. Most people end up moving on after a few years, either going to big tech companies or staying in fin tech. Advertise Galatea as a springboard for your career, not a place that everybody will stay at forever.


  4. "Haven for problem solvers"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Galatea Associates LLC full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    1. You get to define your own role. This means that you can challenge yourself to learn new skills and eventually hone your role to the areas where you can have the largest impact. The fact that you will likely move projects every 2-3 years means that you will be able to continue to learn new domain areas and from new groups of people both at Galatea and at the client.
    2. The culture is collaborative. Employees are encouraged to challenge any internal process or policy in the spirit of continuous improvement and refinement of Galatea itself. Additionally, formal and informal mechanisms encourage communication across projects which allows everyone to leverage the collective experience and expertise of the whole company.
    3. Compensation is tied to impact. This is probably something that every company would say, but at Galatea it is the truth. The relatively small size and flat nature of the organization allows good visibility of management into the contributions of every employee.

    Cons

    1. If you want to do a specific thing and only that thing, this is probably not the best place for you. People who do well at Galatea are motivated by creating impact rather than mastering a specific skill. Generally people who make the most impact do so using a combination of technical, business analytic, and inter personal skills.
    2. You will not be managing a mega org of 100 people. If you are motivated by "hard power" that comes from big titles at big companies, Galatea is probably not the best place for you. However, if you are motivated by creating impact and constantly learning Galatea is a great place.
    3. You get to define your own role (yes I put this as both a pro and a con). Some people are looking for a more cookie-cutter career development path (e.g. Software engineer I, Software engineer II, etc.). Not having that next title to chase can be disconcerting for some. But on the flip side there is a great freedom in this. There are many ways to succeed at Galatea, and your challenge is to find the path that works best for you.

    Advice to Management

    As one of the few Galateans who had a reasonable length career elsewhere before joining the company, I can say Galatea is a great fit for me. Out of college, I worked at a start up of 25 people that grew to 200 before being acquired by a large company. I loved working at the start up, but when we became part of the larger company things changed. I saw roles become more pigeonholed and experienced massive forces (e.g. reorgs) that affected my ability to provide impact.

    I had yearned for the culture of a start up before finding Galatea - and Galatea provided just that. This combined with the pros that I mentioned above have made Galatea a great place for me to grow and thrive.

    If you are considering joining Galatea, I hope that you do and I look forward to meeting you.


  5. "No longer the place reflected in reviews"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Associate in Somerville, MA (US)
    Former Employee - Associate in Somerville, MA (US)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Galatea Associates LLC full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    - Snacks, coldbrew, free lunch once a week,
    - The young people who work here are kind, intelligent, friendly, and supportive.

    Cons

    - The minimum work week here is 45 hours, despite the pay being on-par or lower than with other companies.
    - The healthcare plan and vacation time you're allotted are sub-par.

    Advice to Management

    As Galatea grows, its environment of few policies and a loosely defined hierarchy is failing to serve its employees. This model may have worked when Galatea was very small and its employees could work well together under informal expectations that they be friends, but this is no longer doing an adequate job of making sure employees are happy, productive, and using their skills to the best of their abilities.


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Great place to work for people trying to grow their careers"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Associate
    Current Employee - Senior Associate
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Galatea Associates LLC full-time

    Pros

    In my career at Galatea, I have always been pushed to grow and take on more responsibility. This is a great place to work for those who want to work hard and rapidly advance their careers. The people who work here are also cool and very smart, so the work environment is great.

    Cons

    Weekend work is occasionally required for major releases.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Associates"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate
    Current Employee - Associate
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Galatea Associates LLC full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Good place to learn finance and technology.

    Cons

    Pay is not as good as large software companies.

  8. Helpful (5)

    "Wall street jobs, without the soul-crushing cube farm"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate in Somerville, MA (US)
    Current Employee - Associate in Somerville, MA (US)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Galatea Associates LLC full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Interesting problems in a big-data space. Some of the work involves novel optimization approaches.
    Fairly flat hierarchy encourages active participation in culture and initiatives.
    Galatea grants both training and real-world experience in the world of broker-dealers and securities operations.
    Client communication is encouraged, yielding an impressive degree of ownership and personal investment.
    Strong and growing culture of knowledge sharing and continual learning.
    Support can be a drain on resources and work satisfaction, but Galatea puts a heavy emphasis on offloading these roles onto the client.

    Cons

    Galatea's work is client-oriented, so unless you can convince a client to sanction an initiative, on-the-job time for interesting skunkwork initiatives is limited. Still happens, though, and with the Galatea culture, it's easy to find like-minded colleagues who want to work on interesting problems.
    Client-oriented work always has drawbacks, including the endless battle of setting expectations with mixed-quality client management and wrangling off-site teams to get you the things you need. While that can be a challenge, it's also an invaluable skill, and this is a great place to cultivate those abilities.

    Advice to Management

    As the firm gets larger, it gets harder to empower people by signaling expectations. Even in a place that culturally espouses self-direction, increasing complexity imposes a lack of clarity in how things work and around individual roles, causing even the most stalwart employees to develop a degree of myopia in their work. We shy away from formalization out of a fear of cementing a top-down culture, but without that clarity, only the most tenured employees will be able to fully participate in and coregulate our operations. Limited formalization of processes and a clear, low-energy path for updating them may be a reasonable tack.


  9. Helpful (3)

    "Great place to start a career, but very demanding"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate in Somerville, MA (US)
    Current Employee - Associate in Somerville, MA (US)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Galatea Associates LLC full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Great People/Culture - It is pretty easy to hop into one of the activity groups already present at the company for things like soccer, climbing, board/card games etc. This wasn't something I found at other companies, so I am pretty happy about that.

    Company is pretty giving - Between (weekly) Thursday lunches, (monthly) 'Final Fridays' - free drinks for all, and reimbursed food for all other Galatea sponsored events (game or movie nights etc). Company is definitely doing an excellent job in this regard.

    Admission bar is set high - The process of hiring a new candidate is rigorous, relevant, and thought out. I feel confidence in my fellow peers, which is a very big plus.

    Cons

    Senior Management seems judgemental - I've overheard discussions between senior members applying rather arbitrary criteria in judging the performance of employees they've never really dealt with themselves. This has made me sincerely paranoid about how I might be being evaluated at any given time, even though I feel like I'm doing a good job. Additionally, I don't feel able to ask them questions as I have learned to expect obnoxious or sarcastic responses which, to date, have not been helpful.
    -This is a pretty big minus. I genuinely feel a lower sense of comfort at work than I feel I should have.

    Long Hours - I blame myself a little for not having asked about this up front, but I was told on my first day that 45 hours was expected. Needless to say, this seems to be considered more of a minimum and many employees put 50 or more in on a regular basis. I of course think you should desire to work hard, and to be on/call or put in extra hours when appropriate, but when you are spending a ton of time at work it is hard to reap the benefits that come from your efforts and to pursue personal interests.
    -This one isn't as big a deal, I get good pay and benefits and don't mind working 45+ hours per week, but it is worth mentioning for anyone looking into the company.

    Advice to Management

    You're doing a fine job at attracting high quality candidates, as well as putting in efforts to retain them. There are visible signs that you are also putting in efforts to have what makes the company good scale as you continue to expand. However, I don't feel like the senior staff (not including the partners) is very approachable.


  10. Helpful (9)

    "Terrible place to work."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Associate in Somerville, MA (US)
    Former Employee - Associate in Somerville, MA (US)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Galatea Associates LLC full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    There are no pros. It was all pretty much terrible.

    Cons

    The release process is a complete mess -- environment variables are hard coded into scripts and when it is time to 'turn over' code to production, you change these hard coded values, run the code in production to make sure you got the variables right, and then press ctrl-C really quickly to make sure nothing happens. This is bush league.

    There's no production support -- you are your own production support. You are routinely woken up at 2 am because the overnight scripts fail due to the log space filling up. The scripts don't fail gracefully -- you spend that time in the middle of the night manually fixing things with raw SQL commands. You have to do it quickly before the next batch script runs, or the error state cascades.

    Working here was like being in a frat house. Peer pressure to drink disgusting mixtures at after work parties, take 'man shots' (which is when you squeeze lemon juice into your eye while a 'friend' punches you in the face, then you take a shot of tequila), etc. Apparently the other Associates are stuck in college and never grew up.


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