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Former Employee – worked at Morgan Stanley
Pros – - Flexible telecommuting options.
- Many interesting technologies are used throughout the firm.
- Despite the recent exodus, many smart and talented people remain.
Cons – Before you accept a job in Morgan Stanley's IT department, think long and hard about whether it's the best move for you. Here are some important things to know:
1. Morgan Stanley's IT department is extremely political and bureaucratic. In fact, much of your day will likely be spent dealing with non-technical minutia such as PowerPoint presentations, status reports, and status meetings. If you aren't dealing with these minutia or in the midst of a turf battle, then you're probably a very low level peon. Ironically, the low level peons are often the smartest people in Morgan's IT department.
2. If you were hired through a traditional channel, such as a recruiter or the HR department, you're a nobody. Don't expect your career to go anywhere, no matter how technically proficient you are. The people who succeed at Morgan are buddies with senior management. They hang out with management at lunch or after work, and are invited over for barbecues. Can you get into this inner circle? Maybe, but this effort will require your nose to be a glorious shade of brown.
3. Most managers don't care about you or your career. They just want the work done. Why? Because their compensation is a whole lot bigger than yours and their time is usually spent justifying their existence. They will not hesitate to blame you when something goes wrong. Rarely, if ever, have I seen a Morgan Stanley IT manager take responsibly for his employee's actions. To add insult to injury, many of these managers will leave the office each evening well before you do.
4. If you like cupcakes, then Morgan Stanley is a great place to work. Many employees in one large IT group did not receive bonuses this year. Instead, they were presented with delicious gourmet cupcakes. Mmmmmm.
5. I know of an employee who joined Morgan Stanley IT last year and was not paid his negotiated bonus. While bonuses aren't guaranteed in writing, there is an understanding on Wall Street that the negotiated bonus will be paid. Morgan Stanley violated this sacred agreement.
6. Communication skills are highly valued by management, while tech skills are not. (This wasn't always the case. Ten years ago, Morgan ran a very different IT shop.) You wouldn't believe some of the mediocre talent that gets promoted, simply because they talk the talk. This is a perpetual cycle, because in many cases the managers that handle the promotions aren't great technologists, but are easily bamboozled by their fellow talkers.
7. Presumably, you are at the top of your game. That's why you were hired at Morgan. But you wouldn't know it once you're on board. If you aren't part of the inner circle, you will be given all kinds of absurd reasons why you aren't promoted (e.g. you're not "visible" enough) and your compensation is stagnant or shrinking. You'll be spoken to like you're a child and lectured on things that are completely obvious to you. The idea is to belittle you, so that your manager can keep you in your place - just where you belong.
I believe you can find much better companies to work for, where your skills and effort will be truly appreciated.
Advice to Senior Management – Management needs to acknowledge that rampant cronyism has a deleterious effect on morale, productivity, hiring, retention, and ultimately the firm's stock performance. Serious change is needed to make Morgan Stanley IT a meritocracy.
No, I would not recommend this company to a friend
2012-05-08 13:51 PDT
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