Royal Botanic Gardens Kew
3.9 out of 5 stars.
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United Kingdom24 reviews

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3.9Work-life balance

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*Millennium Seed Bank *

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I worked at the Millennium Seed Bank for just over a year as seed processing assistant. I previously studied conservation ecology and have an interest in botany having done my dissertation on a rare plant. I think this really helped me secure the job. The role was centred around processing seeds from around the world ready for storage in underground freezers, we would also test sub samples to check they’re still alive by growing them on agar. It was interesting at first but quickly became very monotonous. However it was an interesting experience but I didn’t see much progression there. Pay was 20k in 2017/18 which wasn’t quite enough but did reflect the level of responsibility in the role. Colleagues were very much older and I didn’t find the social aspect particularly fun. There would be more opportunities at Kew Gardens but jobs are hard to come by.


Great experience, cool to have stored seeds in the vaults


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The company doesn't live by their values.

The company doesn't live by their values. They don't care about employee retention and focus only on the competition and making money. They invent a lot of lies about their finances while supported by the Government with taxpayers money and expect employee to lie to the customers to make more profit. Greedy institution, unfair and hiring the most toxic leaders
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Insights into Royal Botanic Gardens Kew

Based on 7 survey responses
What people like
  • Sense of belonging
  • Support from manager
  • Feeling of personal appreciation
Areas for improvement
  • Fair pay for job
  • Overall satisfaction

Toxic environment and too many toxic Managers

Location is nice but the working environment is toxic. Too many toxic Managers, interdepartmental hostility and not very rewarding. Your manager does not care about you and if you complain or raise an issue you will have a target on your back. Very stressful and depressing, I don't recommend Kew as a healthy place to work, they do not care about wellbeing.


Nice location


Toxic Managers
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Poor management and toxic culture

The atmosphere started off really awesome, until it wasn’t! They want people to believe that Kew is one of the best places to work, but it's actually one of the worst.Micromanaging and giving pedantic and contradictory “coaching” on a regular basis. There is not enough staff so you constantly have angry and abusive patrons. The systems are horrendous and never work. Management could not care less about mental health and will actively do everything they can to make your health worse and then penalise you for it.


The great outdoors


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Supportive and amazing location

An inspiring and relaxing location to work. The job was fairly straight forward but rewarding to work with an international public, especially in the busier summer months.
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A productive and fun place to work

I would do general gardening duties such as weeding ,planting ,leaf clearing pruning and mulching also using various machinery. I learnt a great deal from my manager and more experienced gardeners.The work place culture was casual and full as well as professional.Planting tree at Kew was one of the enjoyable parts of the job and returning after I left to see it maturing.


Friendly colleagues


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Be part of the bigger picture

I have worked here for about a year and a half, and everyone at Kew is so different in relation to backgrounds, culture, knowledge and experience that it makes every single person there interesting. Everyone is so friendly, we are surrounded by the most beautiful plants in the world, all in once place and you work alongside the heroes who rescue them and you can be part of that by spreading the word in terms of the research and conservation that is done here. Absolutely phenomenal. If you are ready to absorb it, it just doesn't feel like any other job.


Be part of saving plants, see the bigger picture


wages could be a bit more...
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Lovely place to work, with lovely people.

Lovely place to work, with lovely people. It was very busy, but my colleagues were wonderful, really helpful.Top management are all very approachable. It is a very postive working environment.
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I am currently completing a science-based Curation Internship at Kew Gardens, where I am working for the Identification & Naming departments - Africa Team Monday to Thursday and on Friday I am involved with Mycology work. Now I am databasing fungal vouchers at the Fungarium using Herbtrack (with rotting fungi) and I am carrying out various curation projects at the Herbarium (focusing also on Mozambique TIPAs). I feel that although my degree is already completed my current mycology, chemistry and botany studying skills are also relevant to your needs. My key relevant skills gained through the current Internship include - botany, mycology & herbarium curation, research, databasing using Herbtrak, HerbCat, Brahms & CRIS, data collection, data analysis, mycology lab work and scientific report writing. My main day to day duties are: - Collecting specimen in the field - Using microscopes properly - Preparing wet-mount slides - Keep equipment in a clean and serviceable condition - Recording and interpreting results to present to senior colleagues - Conducting searches on identified topics relevant to the research - Following and ensuring strict safety procedures and safety checks - Auditing family indexes in the Herbarium - Curation of specimens collected in Mozambique - bar-coding, labeling, databasing (BRAHMS) - Databasing fungal vouchers at the Fungarium - (Herbtrack) - Photographing specimen, cataloging, use of Digifolia - Preparation for mounting plants
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fun place to work

it was good and i was taught well, I worked very well and enjoyed it, it kept me fit and helped me to burn fat and gain muscle, i enjoyed the tasks and met some very nice people


1 hour lunch break
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Great environment to work in. The staff always offered support to further your career and knowledge of plants and there was always opportunity to learn
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Pleasant environment that promotes career development

Very motivating job with periodic team stand up meetings to discuss highlights of previous and future jobs. This was helpful so that we do not operate in silos and were kept aware what changes other members of the team were involved in that may affect your work. A typical day started with checking monitoring tools for any alerts, check my support job queues for high priority jobs and deal with them, read emails and attend to project work and then BAU. Management promoted personal growth and always made me feel I was part of the organisation's triumphs and tribulations. To top that Kew offered a good environment to work in, with garden walks at lunch time, just pleasant to work in. I also learnt to only reboot a critical system as a last resort. In most cases looking through the logs, processes and resources, restarting individual services resolves most problems. Having a systematic approach to dealing with issues is key. The hardest part of my job was troubleshooting external hosted services where I did not have access to the system logs, diagnosing and eliminating internal systems as being the cause. I learnt how to use various diagnostic tools such as Wireshark and port mirroring during the process. The most enjoyable part was when that very difficult problem is resolved and the management and the business acknowledge your input followed by a day out with my colleagues to celebrate. Very good career development opportunities through external and in house training.


Staff discounts for myself and family


Long travelling times/congested transport
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genral review

Nice team, good working hours, easy access from my home. A very interesting place of work with the opportunity to learn about wildlife and biodiversity.


easy to get to fro my home
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A passionate place to work

Kew is place filled with men and women who are passionate about the work they do. It is a fantastic place to work, and there is something new to learn everyday.
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Fun place to work

Lots of nature related educational work which I really enjoy doing. Meeting many visitors daily. Every day was a different day. Place where any one get well connected with the reality of nature.


Free lunches


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A lovely and charming place to work

Duties included maintaining and supporting as well as updating the various database servers, web servers and applications used in the gardens, research labs and university’s that we interacted with as well as those facing the general public. Additionally I was asked to cover the duties of the support desk on scheduled days. This involved general IT support skills, such as answering the customer phones or face to face customer interaction in order to solve their issues, hardware/software upgrades or installation, rollouts, set up of workstations or kiosks and general queries were all day to day tasks. As part of this, weekly rotating trips to the Millennium Seed Bank at Wakehurst Place were conducted by the team in order to carry out any support that could not be performed remotely.
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Friendly and welcoming workplace

A diverse workforce, with people of mixed age groups and people from all over the world. The job tasks varied; and you are always learning something new each day.
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Productive and Fun place

I love the place and working over there it is so nice to work with highly experience team and management as well as chefs and front house team. All are so co-operative
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Lovely job.

A typical day in the shop would be replenishing stock, managing the tills, tidying the shop, and helping customers. Its quite an easy job and lovely to work at as customers are really nice. All but a few staff members are great to work with! A few members of staff including a manager can come across quite rude. The hours are not very sociable, days vary from 9-6, 10-7, 11-8 and 2-10 during the christmas period. The pay is nice, at 9.40 an hour. Overall, Kew Gardens is a great place to work, but because of this everyone is comfortable in their jobs which means there is no room for making your way up the ladder in this business.
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A typical day would start with putting out stock and arranging new displays out on the concourse. Once the customers starting coming in and the shop floor became busy, I would start taking calls and serve customers at the tills. I was part of a team of twelve with one Floor manager and one General Manager, who was in charge of the two main shops at the Gardens. This job taught me a lot about the importance of working efficiently as a group as well as good customer service. This was, in my opinion, the best part of the job. The hardest part of the job was difficult customers, especially ones who were stubborn and indignant. Overall, I found being a Retail Assistant at the Royal Botanical Gardens to be an enjoyable experience.


Good atmosphere


Long Hours and Difficult Customers
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Work Experience

I loved my two weeks work experience at Kew Gardens because it was my first taste of the world of work. I was put into different sections and tasked with helping the horticulturalists with the general maintenance of the nurseries.


regular hours, great staff


far away from my house
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Overall rating

Based on 29 reviews

Ratings by category

3.9 out of 5 stars for Work/Life Balance
3.2 out of 5 stars for Salary/Benefits
3.3 out of 5 stars for Job security/advancement
3.7 out of 5 stars for Management
3.8 out of 5 stars for Culture

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