British Consulate-General New York

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  www.gov.uk

British Consulate-General New York Reviews

Updated August 27, 2014
Updated August 27, 2014
20 Reviews
2.8
20 Reviews
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Sir Nigel Sheinwald
4 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Incredible experience, great people, amazing opportunities.

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

    I have been working at British Consulate-General New York full-time

    Pros

    Depending on the team you're on, you can work on an amazing variety of projects and meet people from many different sectors and backgrounds. The office culture is more European for obvious reasons, which is a nice perk in terms of hours, vacation, and flexibility. There are some great training options and the occasional business trip to London or elsewhere.

    Cons

    The biggest challenge is the lack of pay and rigid bureaucracy. The base salaries are posted with the job postings, which is useful. Unfortunately they pale in comparison to the average market rate for similar jobs. There can also be a lot of red tape to get through in order to get things done, as is always the case in government.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Retain talent by managing budgets more wisely and spending more on salaries.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Interesting, driven colleagues allowing for exposure to the world of international diplomacy and trade and investment.

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

    I have been working at British Consulate-General New York full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Colleagues, work-life balance, vacation policy, diversity, travel and learning and development opportunities.

    Cons

    Not a lot of opportunity for advancement if you are not a diplomat. Also, the technology used throughout the Foreign & Commonwealth Office is about 10 years behind the rest of the world.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Find a way to improve access to modern technology.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Beware of the bureaucracy and poor management

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

    I worked at British Consulate-General New York

    Pros

    I got to meet Prince Harry?

    Cons

    Awful line managers who go untrained, HR takes no action against complaints. The bureaucracy will have you going in circles. Slow, antiquated technology. Lots and lots of turnover, and no opportunity for growth.

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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Very exciting work, not enough opportunities to advance.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Los Angeles, CA

    I have been working at British Consulate-General New York full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    The work I did provided me with tremendous freedom to deliver on my objectives in the way I saw fit. In addition, you can work on very exciting topics across a wide variety of areas. Excellent work/life balance with a lot of flexibility on hours.

    Cons

    As you can imagine, dealing with a government bureaucracy can be frustrating. The pay isn't super high, but adequate considering the pros. My biggest complaint is that there are effectively no opportunities to advance beyond a certain point.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Invest in your employees. People really enjoy working here, but upper management needs to realize that they lose a lot of knowledge and experience since most only stay a few years.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    Posted salary is PRE TAX

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Business Development Associate in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Business Development Associate in San Francisco, CA

    I have been working at British Consulate-General New York full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    The 3 C's: Connections, Clout, Colleagues. Lots of time off, flexible working (in some situations). Lots of opportunities for personal growth and training.

    Cons

    Pitiful pay and a terrible tax structure (employees have to pay quarterly and end up paying closer to 30%). Take the salary and subtract about 1/3. Management changes are frequent, high turnover rate across the US. Little opportunity for advancement (unless you are willing to move across the country) and the opportunities that become available often involve internal competition.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Please please please re-negotiate the tax arrangement with the US government - don't punish US based employees!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 2 people found this helpful  

    BCG New York - Stay long enough to get the resume but then get out as fast as you possibly can.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Associate in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Associate in New York, NY

    I worked at British Consulate-General New York full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Loads of vacation time. Fun co-workers, depending on your department. Some prestigious projects. You get to go to loads of parties so it's kind of like socializing for your job. Looks really good on a resume. Good mix of Americans and British employees and, unlike the US government or most companies in NYC, they don't just hire Ivy League grads. There are a lot of really talented people at the junior level who come from a range of fantastic schools, so their recruiting department doesn't do that lazy thing most places do where they only hire from Harvard or Columbia regardless of demonstrated ability. You'll work really hard and you won't get a lot of recognition or development for your efforts, but a lot of the people you work alongside with are great and they'll help balance out the more disappointing elements.

    Cons

    Awful pay, no advancement opportunities, a sometimes petty, unprofessional environment, poor leadership and some terrible managers.

    Really bad follow through on opportunities and introductions. I set up a meeting with a company through some personal connections of mine (my wife's family friend) even though it wasn't my sector. And the sector lead I did the intro with dropped the ball on following up on meetings so many times, my contact called me to complain which made me look bad. Part of how business in NY works is introductions and connections and follow through -- a lot of the people in this place don't get that.

    I haven't necessarily learned much while I've been here -- I already had private sector experience before I came and used this mostly to transition to a new focus within my industry expertise. But even though I didn't learn much, having this place on my resume opened up doors to do jobs I already knew I could do.

    That said, part of why you don't really learn anything is because the managers don't really have any industry expertise, despite what their titles say. It's this weird situation because the people who can cut it in the private sector and have (or gain) expertise, leave within 2 years and the ones who clearly can't cut it stay forever and end up trying to run teams without the right level of experience. A bunch of the senior managers also have this sweet deal where they work from home several days a week and barely come into the office so while you're there working your butt off, your senior managers are all phoning it in when they're supposedly working from home.

    I haven't had as bad an experience as some of the other people who posted here, but there are definitely some people (and definitely some departments) that get special treatment and that causes some unhappiness across the board. I was lucky because my department gets to call the shots. The head honcho for the whole office is in our department so we kind of get to do what we want and make other teams help us out and do a lot of our work for us, which made my life easier.

    But I definitely saw managers giving their staff special treatment for some and really awful treatment for others. I don't know if I'd go so far as some of the posters on here and call it bullying or racism, but I can see how some people might think that's what was going on. It never happened to me, but I definitely witnessed it and it made things uncomfortable. One manager decided she didn't like a new employee and would say snide things to her in the middle of group meetings, which just felt really petty and unprofessional to me.

    I've heard that people complain to HR about this stuff but it doesn't really do any good. And anyway, who cares? Put up with it for a year, get what you need on your resume, use it to go somewhere way better -- and then take everything you've seen here as a lesson in how NOT to be a manager or lead a team when you move up the chain yourself.

    Seriously -- I've learned everything you shouldn't do from being in this place and now that I'm managing a team in my new role, I'll be all the better for having the terrible examples offered when I worked here.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pay better, or treat people better. Don't underpay and mistreat. Get rid of the people who've been there way too long and don't actually understand how the retail or financial industries work any more.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Avoid the New York office unless you enjoy being underpaid and bullied.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Assistant in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Assistant in New York, NY

    I have been working at British Consulate-General New York full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    - This office has some amazing people: funny, smart, highly experienced and a group that can find a way to keep things light even when it's really busy.
    - You can learn a lot about broader political and economic strategy if you manage to get the attention of the right people.
    - It will look good on your resume and you may have some opportunities to travel or work on some interesting projects.
    - Some fantastic opportunities for training occasionally come along and if you have the right manager (ie, read:a good one) you'll be able to take advantage of it.

    There's a lot of favoritism, though -- the most senior managers hand pick who they like and who they don't and if you're not part of the club, you'll get the grunt work and the blame if it goes wrong, but none of the recognition or even a simple thank you if it goes well. Staff in certain teams are completely mistreated and despite this being reported to HR and the most senior staff member in the office, nothing is done to address this conduct.

    Cons

    - The pay is not equal to the amount of work and emotional battering you can expect to receive. If you're going to be treated this way, you should at least be making more money.

    - You will have no opportunities to advance your career here. Senior managers who have been there for 15 years and are totally out of touch with how the private sector actually works cling on to their roles for dear life and do little to help advance your career for fear that their own ineptitude will be highlighted by someone below them being successful.

    - This office has some serious bullying problems and HR doesn't do anything about it and the heads of the office don't seem to care. One team is to scared to leave there desks to even use the bathroom, another team physically screams at its colleagues, hangs up on them and sends aggressive emails. If you're not white and not British, you can expect to be treated disrespectfully by everyone from the top down.

    - Some people there keep thinking theyre big shots at a private company and behave accordingly -- you are expected to treat them like you would a CEO, even when they don't have the experience or chops to back that sense of entitlement.

    - There's not a lot of respect for the idea that you are a government office and the money you're spending is public funds. They throw gobs of money at half-baked ideas and then take it out on the employees when it doesn't go well.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take a good hard look at the culture your senior managers are creating in the office. Reduce the amount of favoritism, bullying and discrimination. Show more appreciation to your staff and offer them other perks even if you can't pay them what their worth.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    Great place to be

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Vice Consul in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Vice Consul in San Francisco, CA

    I have been working at British Consulate-General New York full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    The people are fantastic and team-oriented

    Cons

    Leadership transitions every four years

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Culture is a real thing that employees care about

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    If your looking for a place where you are not considered expendable...don't apply to New York.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY

    I have been working at British Consulate-General New York full-time

    Pros

    -The colleagues are amazing, get along great and know that they are in this together.
    -The fact that just the organization itself looks good on the resume.

    Cons

    -Everyone is expendable at any time- with or without reason.
    -The turnover rate has been tremendous within the last few months, making many feel like they are constantly walking on eggshells.
    -You will pay more in taxes than a British national sitting across from you doing the same job because as an American working for a foreign government, you have to file as self-employed on your taxes in the US; and the pay cut is definitely not worth it.
    -Everyone is considered suspect except for upper management, and the constant micromanagement involved will greatly affect your own performance; but it will be you who is to blame.
    -You get a job here because of the title on your resume, and because you have financial support coming from someplace else- not because your well-being depends on it.
    -There are favorites who do less work than others, but receive praise/better treatment because of their long-tenure or relationship with specific "gotta knows" there...it is unmistakable and terribly demoralizing.
    -Upper management acknowledges you when they have to as if you were a burden or simply walks by you and doesn't acknowledge you at all- it sets the tone for the way things work.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    -You seem to only care about your employees whenever it simply affects you and makes you look good. The Home Office in the UK should realize that demoralized staff in the US can have an adverse effect in the future, and shouldn't wait for something to happen to prove that.
    -Try casting some treatment of your employees evenly throughout the organization.
    -Do something about the huge pay cut Americans take for doing the same work as your British counterparts.
    -Be honest upper management. Being left in the dark about firings, trying to find scape goats for blame and minimal information regarding the future of the organization and our careers is not fair to your employees.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Not a place to work long-term

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

    I have been working at British Consulate-General New York full-time

    Pros

    Looks great on your resume. Some opportunities to travel, even at entry-level

    Cons

    Expect to get paid less than your British counterparts. People are constantly getting fired and some have so little respect for the organisation that they literally walk off the job without giving notice. They find ways to "punish" you by placing you on menial duties to teach you a lesson. Management is very suspicious of staff for no reason.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop the pettiness and stop micromanaging. Please be consistent with information you're providing your staff.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

British Consulate-General New York Photos

British Consulate General - San Francisco, CA (Photo thanks to Flickr user zillapix All rights reserved.)
Consul General's office (Photo thanks to Flickr user UKinUSA All rights reserved.)

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