Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

www.chicagofed.org
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Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Reviews

Updated June 2, 2015
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3.6
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Approve of CEO
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President & CEO Charles Evans
Charles Evans
30 Ratings

Pros
  • The work/life balance is better than almost anywhere (in 8 reviews)

  • Benefits are very good, even with the recent cap of graduate school tuition reimbursement at (in 11 reviews)

Cons
  • Decision making can be slow and laborious (in 3 reviews)

  • Salaries are better in the private sector (in 3 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

50 Employee Reviews

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  1. Intern

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

    Pros

    Great place to work! Experience was invaluable

    Cons

    N/A There were no cons.


  2. Helpful (1)

    A good place to start your career

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

    I worked at Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago full-time (More than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Endless learning opportunities -- if you know where to look
    Wide range of exposure across financial institutions
    average-to-above average work environment

    Cons

    little opportunities to move up
    bonuses/promotions are based largely on seniority, not merit
    bureaucratic red tape is present in everything you do

    Advice to Management

    start recognizing (and rewarding) the talent you have in front of you before it's too late and you're left with only 50 yr old lifers who are only thinking about retirement.


  3. n/a

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

    I have been working at Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago full-time (More than 5 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Great benefits, ability to work in different areas if motivated, and a prestigious organization to work for with an honorable mission to serve the public

    Cons

    Salary, loss of work/life balance post-DFA, office politics (but this is any organization)

    Advice to Management

    The management team works hard to serve all stakeholders, including employees. Continue striving to be a leader in the financial services sector, especially when it comes to providing opportunities for people of all walks of life.


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  5. Helpful (1)

    great place to work if you're not looking to 'move up'

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

    I worked at Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    good benefits, nice people, laid back 50% of the time, steady work, amazing training/school funding opportunities, great work life balance if you're in the right departments, everyone stays

    Cons

    too much bureaucracy, slow about everything including promotion even with outstanding reviews, minimal pay increases, and underpaid by market standards, everyone stays

    Advice to Management

    the age gap between employees is working against them, they need to find a way to satisfy millennials' expectations while appeasing the people who are close to retirement and very traditional in their working style.


  6. Helpful (1)

    Great time!

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Economic Research Intern in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Economic Research Intern in Chicago, IL

    I worked at Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago part-time (Less than a year)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    solid experience with data work and stata. huge access to a ton of resources, all of which are helpful in performing analysis.

    Cons

    not a very collaborative environment. Tasks can seem very silo'd which isn't ideal. it was hard to see what other people were working on


  7. Helpful (1)

    Generally a good experience.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Technical Support Specialist in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Technical Support Specialist in Chicago, IL

    I worked at Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago (More than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Compensation was okay for a starting salary. Work/life balance was decent.

    Cons

    Just a lot of CYA in HR. No real paths to resolving issues.

    Advice to Management

    Pay people what they're worth. Clean up HR.


  8. Great culture!

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

    I worked at Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago full-time (Less than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Work life balance, great benefits!

    Cons

    Not from personal experience but moving up can be a challenge for some.


  9. Helpful (1)

    In the long-term, the pluses don't outweigh the minuses

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

    I have been working at Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago full-time (More than 10 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    I've worked at the Fed for more than 10 years in various capacities. I'm not an intern who had a good or bad summer or an employee that's worked on only one level. I've worked on a few levels and I think I have a very comprehensive and fair opinion of what it's like to work here even if I have a lot of cons to offer. The pros:
    -Good work/life balance
    -Nice facilities: gym, cafeteria
    -Knowledge Center, essentially a library inside the Fed
    -Ok place to start your career and gain experience. You don't want to become a manager here. Once you become a manager you become aware of the weaknesses in the leadership of which you now are a part and therefore contributing to. Get your experience and salary and find a better employer.

    Cons

    There is a power imbalance at the executive management level in S&R and it plays out in the various divisions within the group. And the power struggle for the most part distracts the executive management from paying attention to the power struggle and resulting conflict they're creating among their supporting ranks and the host of other weaknesses that makes this place, despite the many positive benefits, not a place to stay long-term. As well the executive management team is disorganized and lacks long-term vision. They are very reactive and that plays out in the frequent and confusing reorganizations. There are regular reorgs and often little support or transparency as to why decisions were made or how. It is abundantly clear the management team does absolutely not have a long-term strategic plan and has little care about how their staff feels about reorg changes. As well, the executive management within S&R lacks diversity and is 'wagging the dog' in an effort to try to give the appearance that they care about diversity. That is, they put emphasis on recruiting "diverse (they define as people of color and women)" people rather than proactively promoting the qualified diverse people they have to executive ranks. And then they go through the motions of scratching their heads around why they can't seem to attract and retain diverse resources. Rather than acknowledging the obvious diverse talent they've overlooked from promotion they shift the lens to all of the recruiting efforts to attract diverse talent. It's really a public stage play for others to witness how much they want people to feel that they care about diversity. It's not the worst thing in the world but this offense is indicative of the type of poor behavior that goes on among a management team who's decisions impacts the careers of everyone that works for them. But most importantly, the political play in S&R is serious and toxic, this is by far the greatest offense and makes this a terrible place to stay long-term. Outside of technical roles and career paths, for other areas your entire career and progression is dependent upon who you impress or fail to impress and not just with your work. The political gaming is as you would expect political play to be: manipulation, lying masked as miscommunication and downright unfairness and unethical behavior. Mind you this is the Fed, so you can imagine how disheartening it is to experience or witness unethical practices of any kind at the Fed but I have and it was like seeing your childhood superhero do something dishonest. There are several VPs that expect to be maintained and if you don't do it then that's your career end. There is long and established network or practice of whisperings of something someone might have done or should have done (outside of the formal performance process) that somehow end up on a person's performance evaluation or worse it's not on their eval but they just can never seem to get promoted and no one is clear with them why. It's fundamentally unfair but the executive/senior leadership team doesn't care, they know they can do what they want with anyone's career and they do. Be warned however, they will absolutely give the appearance they care very much about retaining a person or growing their career. And they do, until you fail to kiss the right butt at the right time. It's very much a theatre play, they do that all the time. Again, all of these things don't directly impact a person generally before the 5 year or so mark. But then around that time and certainly thereafter they will. You'll either be pressured to consider certain key roles or leadership because everyone has started quitting and new roles are opening up or if you don't, you get labeled as not aggressive enough with your career pursuits and therefore overlooked at a later time. If you go into leadership you will become aware of how limiting of a career choice that is: the higher leadership roles are finite and not necessarily dependent on your skill level as much as I mentioned before "how well you play with others." Even if you do play well with others, the roles are finite and it'll be you and some other person who's mad because they've felt overlooked fighting over the same spot, then the political play picks up. Again, ok place to start your career but if you're smart you'll get some experience , get a free degree through the tuition reimbursement and go make 40% more or more at private firm because the market has picked up and they pay better and if you're going to deal with politics, might as well do it for more money.

    Advice to Management

    Air the place out some. It's clear you want to do what you want to do and you don't want to be questioned about it. But like I said, it's clear so staff and leaders can tell that you don't care about rules or right or wrong unless you're imposing it on us, you don't actually hold yourself to a standard. The culture is incestuous and circular: if you don't regurgitate the leadership point of view back to leaders then you get marked and labeled as not 'collaborative' or having poor 'culture'. Those are just ways to indoctrinate people. Be honest about the people whom you don't want promoted or working there and why and stop hiding behind off the record conversations about an offense a person may or may not know they've committed but will be evaluated on. The staff doesn't trust management and the reason why is because you've been disingenuous with us and among the leadership team you ratify each others actions and bad behavior so none of you is willing to call your colleague on less than honest or questionable behavior so you don't know or won't acknowledge when you/your peer is wrong. The groupthink among the leadership team is very thick and quite toxic and makes this a less than attractive place to build a career long-term.


  10. Helpful (1)

    The culture is great and provides a great work life balance.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate Auditor in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Associate Auditor in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago full-time (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Work life balance is great

    Cons

    Development is a strong focus so if you're not trying to continuously develop yourself, then this may not be the place for you.

    Advice to Management

    NA


  11. Helpful (3)

    A unique employer rich with opportunities for growth and development

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Analyst in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Analyst in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago full-time (More than 8 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    I came to the Fed through a career change (in what would probably be considered mid-career) from 15 years in the private sector in various industries. The environment is friendly to people who bring honed skills and an education, but still provides generous opportunity for education and growth for early career employees. Given the variety of work the Fed does -- financial services to financial institutions, economic and policy research, and bank supervision -- it's easy to migrate to different roles and try new things. A progressive vibe for being such a formal institution nurturing diversity with employee interest groups for cultural, LGBT, veteran employees and programs to support inclusion. The bank attracts people who value serving the public good and could probably take their talents elsewhere for more money, but believe in the work they do. Generous time-off policies, modern fitness center on site, generous 401K and pension programs, subsidized cafeteria, spectacularly maintained building with a beautiful art collection, and a host of other benefits like some reimbursement for health and fitness expenses. Overall, an exceptional employment opportunity.

    Cons

    Skilled analysts or technical staff are probably able to make better money elsewhere. There can sometimes be sense of entitlement and some negativity among employees who haven't spent much time in other organizations (lifers and very early career employees with limited experience elsewhere). Can be bureacratic and slow to act.



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