Overall Reviews at Charles Schwab
Service Associate | Richfield, OH | Oct 23, 2019
Not what they seem...
In the beginning, Charles Schwab was a wonderful culture and seemed like a great place to work. However, the stipulation that requires you to pass the FINRA SIE, Series 7 and Series 66 exams are extremely difficult. I was able to pass the SIE with my first attempt, but was unable to pass my Series 7 exam after two attempts (I got a 68% and 65% on my attempts and you need a 72% to pass). After I failed the series 7 the first time, the entire atmosphere changed at work. My managers were no longer offering help, my co-workers looked at my fellow new hires (who also failed their first attempt, 4 of us failed out of 5) and me as if we were complete morons. Everything that gave me a positive vibe before the exams instantly changed after that first failed attempt. Also, the job itself is taking high volume phone calls about participant 401k accounts, so they have specific metrics that you have to be within. For example, they don't want any one phone call to take more than an average of 10 minutes, but when it takes 3-5 minutes to get someone verified and then get them logged into their account, that 10 minute window came up quick! All it took was one elderly person who needed 25 minutes of help signing into their account and your performance for the day was trashed. My manager had told me time and again that I shouldn't worry about my metrics and focus on the exam material and studying. The only issue I had on the phones were my calls taking a little more than 10 minutes on average....more
ProsNice Cafeteria and Building
ConsHigh pressure, High stress, Statistic/Exam requirements
Application Developer | Austin, TX | Sep 24, 2019
Glacial bureaucracy with no innovation
A massive organization with admittedly very talented developers whom are lead by some very ego-centric executive/director level managers and decision makers who play politics.
If you are looking for a company who is creating products based on things like A/B user testing, data driven product development, design or technology led solutions (as opposed to decrees handed down randomly based on feedback or wishlist items from a high executives friend) or a collaborative design + technology culture, Schwab is not it.
Teams work in silos with little to no communication between departments. This is the opposite of how most FAANG companies set up their teams. Top leadership of these different silos squabble over 'owning' shared resources which gives the impression they care more about resume item successes or ego than actual client solutions.
Culture fosters no insentive to innovate, collaborate cross department, or try new ideas. Managers or teams which try to change this culture see themselves blocked, defunded or moved. Culture is very delivery focused.
If you are interested in a stable, no thrills, and a 'just tell me what I need to accomplish today' environment which compensates well, Schwab is wonderful.
If you are one to ask 'why is this needed', 'why do it this way', or 'who has done this before', Schwab is not a good fit.
ConsPolitics at leadership level, no collaboration between teams, no insentive to truly innovate
Risk Analyst | Lone Tree, CO | Nov 26, 2018
Depending on where you hire in you will find stark differences in the Culture & Management Style. If you are accustom to "LEAN" Leadership this is not the place for you! If you are content with the "Carrot & Stick" micro managment this is your place!
CVRC is Processing group caught in a power struggle of upper management : To be or Not to be a Processing group or a Call center. Typical dichotomy of trying to shove a square peg in a round hole.
*Thou shall NOT Communicate & Collaborate
*Thou shall NOT be empowered to seek feedback
*Thou shall NOT seek to streamline or innovate
*Thou shall NOT question anything (not even for background)
*Thou shall NOT step out of your lane
*Thou shall NOT expect managers to advocate for you
* Thou shall NOT, ABOVE ALL ELSE, reach out cross site for assistance when no other manager is available, it will cost you!
Advice to Management
When you have managers that openly gossip about business challenges & their cross site peers you have a cancer. When you have managers that use carrot & stick instead of "leadership" skills you feed the cancer. When the cancer metastasizes you cannot retain talent. People don't want to be told in no uncertain terms to sit down, shut up, don't ask questions, & do your job... then be expected to chase an ever moving ambiguous goal posts…
ProsNice Campus, Great Co-Workers, Decent Benefits & Pay
ConsNo on board Training, No Corporate Development trainings, more of a "hope you can fake it until you make it" mentality.
Account Solutions | El Paso, TX | Jun 9, 2019
Another over-glorified call center
Don't let the Schwab logo fool you. Despite the reputation, this is a call-center that Schwab's upper management has all but forgotten. The lack of investment is so apparent that the faces of the wall clocks are yellowed from old age. Half the building is empty and most chairs feel like they were used since the 90s. The roof is also clearly delapidated, with dust and moldy smells blowing in during windy weather. It even creaks like a ship at sea! To top it off, only two restrooms exist in opposite ends of the building...and half of them are closed half the time for maintenance. You can imagine how much walking is involved whenever nature calls.
And that's just a cursory glance! Favoritism is also rampant and there's high turnover due to seasonal demands, so no incentive exists to keep the best employees. Training is also sub-par and the core software used is woefully outdated.
Now to be fair...there is investment; it's just in HR. Their efficiency-tracking software is brand new...and you will surely get an error report, even if you didn't deserve it. And boy...do they love to track errors...while overlooking cases in which you save them tons of money.
Fortunately most workers are friendly and the lunch/break area is okay. There are occasional free goodies as well. Otherwise, get in...and get out.
ProsFriendly coworkers. Weekends are free. Standing desks!
ConsLousy infrastructure and equipment. Utterly no job advancement.
Business Project Manager | Chicago, IL | Feb 27, 2019
Contracted as Lead Project Manager for the 2019 Charles Schwab rollout of new legal & regulatory disclosures added to online account
Senior Business Analyst & Project Manager - International Services
Charles Schwab Corporation - Chicago, IL
October 2018 to February 2019
Contracted as Lead Project Manager for the 2019 Charles Schwab rollout of new legal & regulatory disclosures added to online account applications, forms, and web content for Brexit-affected UK and European clients.
Senior Business Analyst - Global Futures Collateral Initiatives & Client Margin Control Team
Bank of America Merrill Lynch - Chicago, IL
March 2017 to September 2018
➢ Business Analyst & Project Manager for multiple tactical & strategic projects to implement S.D.L.C. business requirements for updating governance and control procedures used by global futures margin and collateral operations.
➢ SME & Project Manager for the implementation of new report writing and electronic storage platforms, and operational supervision processing systems.
➢Liaised with key stakeholders, managed priorities, and provided significant input into the design and development of future state platform architecture, operational processes, and a new operating model for global collateral management.
ConsConfused management structure
Senior Manager | San Francisco, CA | Jun 11, 2019
There's a reason why people never leave Schwab
At Schwab, every 5 years you got a sabbatical (28 days of paid vacation time to do whatever you want). People stayed at Schwab for so long, after a while, you started assessing how long someone had been at Schwab based on the number of sabbaticals they had taken and not years. It was not uncommon to meet someone who was at their third or fourth sabbatical.
It will sound cliche, but people stayed at Schwab because of its people. If you don't believe me, call their customer service line: they are the most capable and nicest people you will speak to, and they are just a small representation of the large organization behind them.
As you can imagine, the workplace culture and management styles in an organization as large as Schwab will vary depending on which team and location you are a part of. That being said, I was in a role that allowed me to work with people from across the organization (vertically and geographically) and while you had your bad apples, the majority of the people at Schwab were good people I loved working with. While there are many things I would like to see improved at Schwab, I would not hesitate to work for them again.
ProsGood people, decent benefits, sabbatical every 5 years, community focused organization
ConsBase pay and bonus below industry average, not a lot of diversity at the very top
Technical Director | San Francisco, CA | Jan 6, 2020
Fair compensation & benefits but demanding and unflexible
Company pays well with fair health benefits, good vacation benefit, a bonus program, stock options & restricted stock for good performance, and sabbaticals every 5 years. It is a demanding environment often working long hours and extra work days with tight commitments and perform more with less. There's essentially two management cultures - one business side and one IT. From my interaction and what I have observed from the business side, it is definitely the better side to work. Business side is customer focused and they make sure the staff is also happy so that it comes across to the customers. The company has become more rigid with working hours, work location, and ability to work remotely. Many have been asked to relocate as positions were relocated to another state. Most enjoyable part of working there is the constant challenge to develop innovative solutions as cost effective as possible.
ProsFair compensation, bonus program, sabbatical, fair vacation benefit, reward for good performance.
ConsInflexible location, inflexible on working remotely, demanding with working hours, little work/life balance unless on vacation
Senior Technologist | Phoenix, AZ | Oct 27, 2018
Good Place but Hard to Advance
I have worked for a long time in the IT at this place, and it has been impossible to advance. I feels like a stereotype is placed on you and you get into a pigeonhole. Only few people manage to break out.
It seems like going from an individual contributor to either more senior or management takes being sponsored by a VP or higher. Highly political in this respect.
They also seem to make arbitrary technology decisions in a glass tower that sometimes do not work well with the already existing technology. People who advanced to tech leaders may not be the most in touch with reality, and may play more of the political game.
Overall it is a good place with good benefits though, like a "sabbatical" (extra month off) every five years, matching 401K, medical, etc.
There are also a lot of new people in middle to upper management, and it feels like they have brought their own crew from previous places. This is not necessarily a new thing, but limits the advancement of other people already in the company.
ProsGood benefits, flexibility, family/personal life first mentality
ConsLimited advancement, Limited salary increases, arbitrary technology decisions
Financial Professional | Austin, TX | Feb 11, 2019
The people are the best thing at Schwab, infrastructure, culture, politics not so much
Overall, a great place to learn and get experience, but you have to navigate the extensive back stabbing and office politics that are prevalent throughout the corporation. They excel at tag lines, but it's a slog if you are in customer facing role.
Decent pay, extremely high turn over, and there is a reason for that.
At Schwab you WILL be thrown under the bus at a moment's notice, will NOT have support of even your direct manager and if in a customer facing role will have to endure the relentless abuse from clients AND upper management daily. Manager meetings around bonus time are spent not advocating for extending the bonus pool but finding ways to whittle down how much a "team member" can receive vs. another and how much needs to be adjusted to achieve a number so that management can receive their target bonus amount.
ProsPeople, easy entry
ConsManagement, politics, infrastructure (computers, software, etc.)
Business Systems Analyst | Jersey City, NJ | Aug 19, 2019
good company to work with
• The Trading and Middle Office Support is responsible for providing frontline Production Support for all Fixed Income users at Schwab.
• Business System Analyst works closely with fixed income and enterprise security master (ESM) management, position and riskless traders, channel partners including Schwab.com and Schwab Advisor Services, sales and service representatives, compliance, regulatory and trade reporting bodies, external dealers, software development and QA teams.
• Escalating of problem to devise stakeholder business partners to ensure on-time resolution, manage priorities depending on the criticality of the requests and production failures.
• Prepare Requirement Traceability Matrix document and validate the requirement implementation throughout the SDLC phases.
• Using SQL to research Data Workflows to determine the source of Data anomalies and issues and outline end-to-end solutions for resolving the problem.