Consultant (Former Employee) – NY – February 19, 2013
Gensler is a good example of corporates, that walk all over their employees (specially the ones lower in rank) to attain their earmarked profits ! In my 4 year haul here, few of the things that I found totally out of sync and appalling were -
The illusion of teamwork! I worked on a few big projects, with a number of other colleagues spread across various Gensler offices. By the time the project nears completion you would most likely see the senior management taking all the credit. There is no unified Gensler experience or culture, it varies from location to location. This is something the higher management should seriously sit down and sort, as they advocate their clients the benefits of the same). My experience comes primarily from NY, Boston, and NJ locations.
Seldom get a chance to own a project and take it through from start to finish! This is not a place for any such dreams, one finds themselves juggling with many projects at any given time and you only get a chance to participate in a project than to take it through. You will often find yourself loosing out to someone with a better talent to please your manager than at work. Having done a particular type of project one gets compartmentalized to do just those kind of projects with little variety. Irrespective of your good work and long hours put in one frequently gets passed over by the more favored employees.
Be ready to work for 70+ hours a week for 40 hours worth of pay! The automated system flags you for filling more that 40 hours of work in a week and employees out of their fear of getting flagged and eventuallymore... laid off, have become accustomed to working longer hours and holidays for no compensation.
The senior management here is a nightmare to work with! I could not trust my manager, as there was always this undercurrent of office politics. He was frequently verbally abusive and discriminating. The pattern I noticed was the managers happily took credit for work done by juniors, without relaying any bit of applause to the ones running the sweatshop. All the tall tales about Gensler and its work culture is a myth, I did not see it in 4 years I was here. You were lucky if you had a friend or support within the office, but people were usually good out of the goodness of their heart and not because they were at Gensler. Gensler often ask their employees to fill online forms to track the status of their work culture and often berate employees in staff meetings who openly talk their views out.
Open back biting about employees and subordinates is a flourishing norm here - My boss used to abuse and back bite about the MD. This was disturbing and unhealthy at so many levels.
HR is a joke ! They are mere puppets at the hands of the senior management. I spoke to the HR manager about the issues i was facing with my manager, which was relayed in full, to my manager making things worse.
Look out for interns posting the misleading reviews- they stay for such short periods here and get besotted by the free food, great culture stories and superficial smiles, and spread the word about the greatness of the firm - Infact, these are the only employees Gensler will ever have talking good of them.
On the whole a good experience and learning about what kind of people or company I do not want to work for next - I sincerely hope there are better places to work out there which do not use and abuse people the way it happens here. There are a lot of other firms which are doing good work with happier, and intellectually fulfilled employees, stay away from this one !less
get a chance to be with some of the best talent in the industry
I can't believe how incredibly similar my experience was in the Dallas office. The harrassment and workplace bullying in the Dallas office is incredible and HR doesn't do anything except relay, in full, your complaints to leadership which makes it worse. They make you work 60 hrs a week for 40 hrs of pay and try to pacify you with ice cream socials and Beer on friday afternoons. What a joke.
Job Work/Life Balance
Missing work ethics & mentorship and undervalued working staff
Designer (Former Employee) – New York – September 10, 2012
I was with Gensler for a fair number of years to comment how undervalued one feels for the long number of hours that go in for months at length.
The company promises to offer training to a lot of its new hires into softwares, etc which is seldom seen through - as the workload always is excruciating. If you are great at design you will be hired as a job captain and promised some percentage of design work, if you are a job captain, you'll find yourself doing only presentations, the designation often does not match with your qualifications and eventually you would like to leave yourself !
The mentorship program which Gensler spends a lot of time developing and executing over its employees, is barely taken seriously by the senior management. In my case for example my senior supervisor mockingly told me he never read my report, and 3 years goal setting report - whats the point of having such programs when the management does not believe in them or follow them to the T ? The mentorship programs in this company are a joke. The manager often indulges in blame games, for failing to perform, and the employees mostly end up taking the slack.
No Overtime - Gensler for some reason does not pay overtime for extended time put in - why would anyone put in 80+ hrs a week for 40 hours worth of pay and no credit for their hardwork ? There were times when my team worked for days at length on a presentation, and our manager would not even relay how the meeting went !
Overall, a very hyped company who are looking for people who are trained in everything and willing to get exploited for peanutsmore... !less
a very large library of executed works
frequent 7 days work need, missing mentorship, and lack of credit for the work done
Although this review was written from someone that worked in the New York office, this could be written about the Dallas office as well.
Very true, mentorship is promoted and hyped, but that's about where it ends. Mentroship program isn't implemented.
Blame game is also prevelant. If senior designer does something wrong or doesn't manage the design well, it's always the junior designers fault.
Peanuts is right, it wasn't until I quit the firm that I realized how underpaid the staff really is... I'm making $10k more a year at another firm, with the same position, and working less hours.
Job Work/Life Balance
A company only interested in profit, not design.
Designer (Former Employee) – Chicago, IL – August 8, 2012
Thoughtful design is not acknowledged or rewarded at this firm. Helping people advance their careers is not a concern of the company. Working extra hours and not being paid for them are expected by their employees, and this is communicated through punishment if the employee fails to do so. They will pay you less than any other firm will and try to make up for it with small bi-yearly bonuses which are not as large as they promise they will be when you first sign on.
You will be getting paid under market value and expected to work overtime without recording your hours in order to complete unrealistic goals in a short time frame. Upper management will use the lower level employees as scapegoats, if they don't make high enough profit margins. Likely, if you are not upper management you will be laid off. Daily you will see new faces in the office, as they rotate through people quite fast, using them when deemed as profitable and turning them away as fresh new unassuming employees roll in.
The power of good design is not a value to this company, although they will say over and over again that it is. High profit is the prevailing goal of this organization. Unless you are a cut-throat business person who strives in a profit-driven competitive environment, don't bother working here.
a lot of free food
the company does not foster or value good design as a priority, high & consistent employee turn over rates, competitive atmosphere.
overrated firm that covers up flaws thru marketing tactics
Architectural designer (Former Employee) – Santa Monica, CA – May 2, 2012
If you put in hard work, it will hardly be noticed or acknowledged at this firm. The reason they are known to be a great company is that their marketing department covers up the bad press & if you are still in school & interning for them, they treat the interns like royalty, so they will go back and tell their classmates about how great the firm is, but, in reality, they don't help people advance or show appreciation for their hard work. They want either the cheapest employees or else someone who has Harvard, Yale, or Stanford on their resume so they can brag to clients, even if these individuals experienced inflated grades and may not produce the greatest, most efficient work output.
You will be getting paid for little and expected to work overtime without any advanced notice. Upper management will use the lower level employees as scapegoats, if they do a good job managing and don't make high enough profit margins. Likely, if you are not upper management you will be laid off. Daily you will see new faces in the office, new employees aren't welcomed as the current staff sees them as a threat to their jobs.
Gensler is not for architects / they consider themselves "designers" however they are great at choosing colors (white and RED) and track lites.....I worked in the Rockefeller Center office and it was TOXIC. My architectural license and 20 years experience were WASTED in this firm. My advise to all prospective young architects is to go elsewhere for employment.
Job Work/Life Balance
Information Technology (Former Employee) – New York, NY – December 12, 2013
At Gensler you are treated as a number not a person. If you think I'm lying ask any former employee what they received the first day at work. They will tell you a folder with a employee number. The employee number identifies you in the company.
Management sucks!! Especially in the NY office. It's all politics at Gensler. I was promised a good bonus and it was $600. I don't know how that's considered good working for a multi billion dollar company. Just like other reviews expect to work overtime without any pay. HR department is supposed to be helpful and a resource for the employees. The HR department at gensler finds ways to fire you and make it seem like it's your fault. Don't ever dare to be late a couple of minutes. Being late will get you fired. Speaking the truth will get you fired. Voicing your thoughts will definitely get you fired. Not working overtime without pay will also result in you being fired. Not sucking up to HR will get you fired. I can keep going on...
This is the first company in which employees cry about their salaries openly. Its a good place to learn everything, cry and leave ASAP.
Gensler Chicago office is a terrible place to work
architect (Former Employee) – Chicago – February 8, 2013
Other offices of this giant may be better, but the Chicago office of this firm is an ill-managed sweat shop with below average culture and values. Upper management is corrupt and unethical. Project managers are verbally abusive and unprofessional. Atmosphere is highly competitive and "dog-eat-dog" strategy is rewarded. The workload is excruciating and a 7 day week is the norm.
Many of the project managers are untrustworthy and dishonest due to high pressure from above to run highly profitable projects with as little billable man hours as possible. The pay is extremely low and promises of bonuses to make up for this are poorly met.
Be ready to give up your personal life. Verbal abuse and workplace harassment is rampant no matter how hard one works or well one performs. Unhappiness of staff is prevalent and turnover rate of employees is high. Overall a hostile environment and mediocre design work.
unprofessional behavior is rewarded, mediocre design work, toxic culture
Project Coordinator Analyst (Current Employee) – Los Angeles, CA – December 27, 2013
Gensler is a great place to work with good people and an exciting environment to be in. I have learned so much about the world of architecture from the beginning phases to there completion. Gensler is always buzzing with activity. We have a great crew of IT professionals to work with who are always willing to coordinate with me on projects and provide me with there honest feedback. The most difficult part of my day is to not be able to resolve everything for everyone everyday in all I can always drive home knowing we did a gave it our best efforts.
lots of fresh fruits and good food can always be found
long hours and weight gain can be the only downside of gensler
Former Office Assistant (Former Employee) – New York, NY – September 10, 2013
At most companies there are "down times" where you can breathe and laugh a little and converse w/ people. Not here, especially in regards to the office assistants. They constantly want you working like a robot. If you have HR questions, they are directed to your manager. The Office Administrators (who you report to) have no backbone. They are "yes men/women". Most important of all, they are liars. One former Office Assistant got let go and was lied to regarding the reasoning for being let go. Very unorthodox organization that is not employee friendly.
temporary position, no health insurance, no paid holidays, liars
Intern (Former Employee) – 上海市, C23 – July 3, 2012
I was exposed to almost every aspect of an Architecture firm, and my co-workers were some of the most knowledgeable people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. I was working closely on a team with a Junior Architect, Senior Architect, and a Mission Critical Specialist, and was constantly being pushed and tested. With such a rigorous working environment, I learned more in a summer than I can say I learned in a semester and a half in school. I enjoyed every minute of working with that team, and am so grateful that I got to learn from such talented people.
Designer (Former Employee) – D.C. – October 25, 2012
The culture is so internally competitive that the typical work week is 7 days. Making a profit for the company by contributing overtime hours is appreciated and rewarded so this becomes the norm.Clients are sold on the size and depth of resources of the firm and then the actual teams running the jobs are very small - as few as 3 people on a large corporate job. Get ready to give up your personal life.
lot's of rah rah!
average design quality, long days and small project teams.
N/a (Former Employee) – New York, ny – February 9, 2013
Employees are commodities not assets. People are not appreciative. Expect to come in early and leave late, that is the norm. The environment is critical, stressful, anxious and intense. Everyone plays the blame game! HR is not an advocate for employees, it's used by management to belittle their employees. Everyone is overworked and upper management is an illusion.
Project Administrator / Administrative Assistant (Former Employee) – Los Angeles, CA – August 12, 2015
Gensler has a high energy environment. A very good place for young Architects, not so much for Admins. The company promotes training for Architects and various advancement opportunities. The office environment is upbeat and industrious. The down side is when projects are low so is work flow and then your position is in danger of being eliminated.
Great place to work but the compensation is on the lower side!
Finance (Former Employee) – San Francisco, CA – December 21, 2013
Good Work/Life Balance, Good Benefits, Lots of social events and food! The only downside is that the salary is low compared to the rest of the industry and does not consider the cost of living in San Francisco!
good work/life balance, good benefits, lots of social events and food!
Learn a lot from each project and lots of fun at work place
Designer (Former Employee) – Bangalore, KA – June 12, 2013
Day starts with checking mails, downloading data as required, distributing work accordingly, Learned a lot in terms of technical details, software etc Management are of international standards Co workers are very supportive
Very creative firm with very helpful and friendly people
Practicum Student/ Architectural Intern (Former Employee) – San Francisco, CA – December 31, 2014
The people are very approachable and everyday provided stimulating challenges to solve. There were a lot of socializing to get acquainted with other employees. Everybody is supportive, thus providing a healthy working environment.
Senior Designer and Associate (Former Employee) – New York, NY – April 2, 2013
I learned so much about design and truly feel lucky to have worked among so many amazing and talented designers. I enjoyed working on a variety of projects from small to large scale and each one with its own unique look, style and design.
Office Assistant (Former Employee) – New York, NY – October 1, 2013
its a average place to work,when its a bussy during the day ,co worker was realy good because he is a good learner and that was most enjoyable days when we work to geather,managment was poor and there was no job security.