Galatea Associates LLC Reviews

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4.4
9 Reviews
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  1. Wall street jobs, without the soul-crushing cube farm

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

    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 ManagementAdvice

    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.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. Great place to start a career, but very demanding

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

    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 ManagementAdvice

    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.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3. Terrible place to work.

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

    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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. Exciting and young place to work

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

    I have been working at Galatea Associates LLC full-time

    Pros

    - enthusiastic, motivated and intelligent co-workers
    - flat hierarchy... you can ask the owners of the company to sit down over a beer and have a candid chat.
    - challenging problems.
    - hard work and competency is quickly recognized, acknowledged and rewarded
    - leaders actively work to create a relaxed, creative and collaborative environment.

    Cons

    - career path can sometimes be opaque, requires some digging on your own part to understand how to move up/forward
    - leadership may struggle growing the company much beyond current size

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    - think hard and work on striking the balance between the relaxed collegial atmosphere and enough structure to sustain growth.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. A great place to work and make friends

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

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

    Pros

    Galatea fosters a tight-knit community of intelligent, hard-working people. The industry is complex and interesting. Opportunities within the company are growing as the client base expands. The company has a very young average age, which provides an energetic environment.

    Cons

    Leading up to project deadlines, the hours can get long. The consulting business is not for everyone. Travel schedules are uneven.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Continue to focus on expanding the client base.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. A challenging, interesting and fun place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Associate in Somerville, MA
    Former Employee - Associate in Somerville, MA

    I worked at Galatea Associates LLC

    Pros

    Galatea is a very open small company work environment, which makes it a fun place to work and easy to learn from coworkers. The technology and business challenges are interesting and the employees are by and large very bright.

    Cons

    Depending on the contracting budgets of large investment banks, there can be peaks and valleys in terms of new and interesting projects that are available to work on in the the short and medium term.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I think that Galatea should endeavor hold on to its small company charm but also keep pushing hard to grow!

    Recommends
  8. Fast-paced software consulting shop with a heavy financial bent.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Associate in Somerville, MA
    Former Employee - Associate in Somerville, MA

    I worked at Galatea Associates LLC

    Pros

    Exposure not only to fast-paced high-stakes projects, but also acquiring finance industry experience at the same time from some amazing mentors. The fun of a startup but the impact and experience of working at major Wall St. firms.

    Cons

    You are your own QA and prod support (this might be a positive for some). This means late night calls to support broken processes and your ass on the line if you break prod and cost the client millions on dollars ;)

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    A dedicated office manager/IT person instead of assigning Associates secondary duties would help keep Associates working on client work instead of fussing with wireless routers and printers.

    Recommends
  9. Learning from a firehose

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Somerville, MA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Somerville, MA

    I have been working at Galatea Associates LLC

    Pros

    Work hard to get these done but still find time for fun. Great culture ... no corporate bs. rapid comp acceleration. Lots of recent college grads. Focus on technical excellence but priority is understanding Wall Street problem domain. No coding in a corner ... everybody does everything.

    Cons

    Not a lot of performance feeback. Little structure. Have to make your own way,

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep the culture. Communicate more.

    Recommends
  10. Challenging work in a fun environment

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

    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.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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