MITRE

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MITRE Reviews

Updated Jul 30, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.8 422 reviews

82% Approve of the CEO

MITRE President and CEO Alfred Grasso

Alfred Grasso

(304 ratings)

80% of employees recommend this company to a friend

Review Highlights

Pros
  • people pretty much respect your schedule and are supportive of work life balance (in 122 reviews)

  • Good Benefits; however, not as good as they were 25 years ago (in 29 reviews)


Cons
  • Work-Life balance has deteriorated as well as benefits (in 12 reviews)

  • Some upper management seems to talk out both sides of their mouth -- dishonest and hypocritical (in 16 reviews)

More Highlights
422 Employee Reviews
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    8 people found this helpful  

    Diminishing company with pockets of gold

    Senior Software Engineer (Former Employee) Bedford, MA (US)

    ProsSo MITRE is a tough nut to crack. There's a lot of excellent things, a lot of terrible things, and a whole lot of meh in between. Honestly, your experience at MITRE will be 99% dependent on which department you join. Some departments are focused on systems engineering (i.e., you read and write requirements documents while maintaining SharePoint all the time) while some do advanced prototyping (i.e., you do cutting edge research that is several years more advanced than anything in the public sector). Don't trust what you hear in interviews about what work you'll be doing; if possible, ask someone who works there about the department you're a candidate for.

    MITRE is a not for profit and thus doesn't build "products". However, it does develop "operational prototypes" which are basically products in all but the legal sense. You will spend time maintaining software. But you will also have the opportunity to work on a wide variety of projects and rotate between them every 6-18 months.

    Every now and then, you do get to work with someone that is crazy good. I mean, they invented technologies like HTTP or SMTP. That part's awesome and not likely to be found outside of places like Google.

    The work life balance is excellent. You have a flexible schedule, managers rarely set hard deadlines, and it's unusual to put in more than 40 hours at a time.

    And they've been reducing benefits gradually over the last several years, but they're still better than your average company in terms of paid time off or responsibility entrusted to young employees.

    ConsPay. Pay sucks. When you come to MITRE, you will receive a fair offer that will be market competitive. However, your yearly increases end up putting you well below market in 3-4 years. So you you ask -- "why do people stay rather than leave?" because make no doubt about it, over half the company has been there for 15+ years. This answer is two-fold: 1) you are a mediocre engineer and frankly couldn't get a job elsewhere 2) you are an absolute rockstar, best in the world, and on a really kickass project that you absolutely love. Unfortunately, MITRE is on a trend towards more #1 and less #2. Frankly speaking, they're a not for profit and shouldn't be expected to be competitive in pay since they make up for it in work life balance, etc. But there is a trend where the old talented engineers are retiring, the young talented engineers are moving to startups, and you end up with under-performers who would be fired at any other company.

    Another reviewer put it best -- "MITRE is a great place to work as little or as much as you want". MITRE is that now ex-girlfriend that you wish you had ended things with several years ago.

    The company is convinced it's not a software shop but in several of the departments, that's just not true. And common software development practices of testing, continuous integration, using source control, commenting code, etc. are just not followed.

    The promotion process isn't great. You basically put in your time rather than being promoted based on performance. For example, if you have a masters and come in as a level 2 (e.g., software engineer), you'll hit level 3 (e.g., sr. software engineer) in 18-24 months regardless of how good you are. Going from level 3 to level 4 will usually take 5-10 years and again depends more on your networking ability or department rather than skills.

    So if you're a rockstar engineer who wants to do good things in the world, get a job at MITRE (let me or someone else validate the department / project you choose!) However, you'll do yourself a disservice in staying there longer than 3 years which sucks because, as a rockstar, you'll be on a really fun project.

    Alternatively, if you're not the best engineer (or prioritizes life over the job) who wants to pull a decent paycheck for the rest of your life, this is the company for you.

    Advice to Senior ManagementFire under-performers, invest in your employees, make your pay competitive, and "10x all the things".

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

     

    An academia-like environment with a wide variety of sponsors and projects

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    Pros-Flexible schedule
    -Good opportunities to learn
    -Experience in working with latest technologies

    Cons-Uncertain promotion track
    -Sometimes questionable performance reviews

    • Culture & Values
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    Facility Security officer

    Facility Security Officer (Current Employee) Annapolis Junction, MD (US)

    ProsGood benefits and retirement packages

    Consnot much room for promotion

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

  1. We want your feedback – Are these company reviews helpful to you?  Yes | No
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    A very good engineering consulting company that works in a large variety of government areas.

    Systems Engineer (Former Employee) Washington, DC (US)

    ProsThis is a friendly, intelligent company that seems to be very good at employing talented people and giving them interesting things to do. It seems there is a reasonable level of autonomy and a good attitude about respecting employees as people and professionals.

    ConsIt's a bit old school (could be a pro for some I suppose ) and it sometimes feels limiting to be in a company that exclusively deals with government contracts. Also, as someone working on a government site rather than at a MITRE office, I sometimes felt out of touch.

    Advice to Senior ManagementProvide a bit more involvement to help offsite workers feel integrated in the company.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    3 people found this helpful  

    Okay place to work ...

    Project Leader (Current Employee) Bedford, MA (US)

    ProsInteresting work - cutting edge technology for most projects; smart peers; contribute to solving national problems; don't need to work more than 40-45 hours/week, little travel

    ConsMid manager level hit or miss - not unusual to have a Team lead who is very inexperienced; okay salary - can make much more elsewhere/no bonus structure; lots of folk who have been here a long, long time - generally they move slow when getting something done

    Advice to Senior ManagementRe-evaluate your team leads, department heads, associate department heads -- in other companies they would be qualified for these positions - a strong technical skill set does not equate to being a good manager

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    Positive, professionally enhancing, solid technical environment

    Senior Multi-Discipline Systems Engineer (Current Employee) Washington, DC (US)

    ProsStrong emphasis on technical staff development. Outstanding continuing education benefites. Broad, and diverse work program. Good work-life balance.

    ConsDifficult to promote; weak technical staff career path.

    Advice to Senior ManagementThe "MITRE Way" is project/porfolio oriented, but does very little to develop and leverage technical staff.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    • Disapproves of CEO

    7 people found this helpful  

    MITRE 2014

    Senior Systems Engineer (Current Employee) Bedford, MA (US)

    ProsFree parking, cafeteria, company gym (before they decided to outsource) retirement matching.

    ConsMITRE has two tiered Benefits: premium salary and benefits for Officers, Vice Presidents and Directors, average to below market for everyone else.
    This leads to Officers, Vice Presidents and Directors not understanding why employee morale has dropped almost 20% in the last five years.
    The latest employee survey shows overall employee satisfaction at 73%.
    Most companies would consider such a rapidly descending satisfaction score a wakeup call. Here managements answer is to form a committee, do nothing with the results (make any implementation optional by Department management) and schedule a company bar—b-q.

    Work/life benefits are toted in brochures but in reality are distributed only to those who are “connected” to their manager. Don’t bother bringing up this lack of equity to the HR or Legal department; they don’t care and they don’t like having to deal with employee issues.

    Management is interested in only PowerPoint presentations full of graphics that are based on imaginary visions. Don't bother trying to be the best and brightest. The better you are at salesmanship, the higher you will rise at MITRE. If you want a career or a decent review at MITRE, lay low, think like the collective and never present an idea or opinion contrary to your managers.

    Advice to Senior ManagementYour employees honestly answered your survey. The result is that they are unsatisfied and tired of the lack of equity at MITRE. Please listen to what the rank-and-file are saying. Create a directive to implement your work/life benefits and P&D changes to everyone. Your current system of having your department managers institute benefits at their own prerogative is not working and only results in employees who get work/life benefits and raised based upon favoritism.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    7 people found this helpful  

    "Good old boy" networks reign supreme. Management is disengaged. Working on Hanscom is awful.

    Senior Software Engineer (Former Employee) Bedford, MA (US)

    ProsMITRE doesn't offer the highest salaries, but they have a fantastic benefits package. The retirement program and their matching more than makes up for the lack of salary. The medical and dental are affordable and have fantastic coverage. PTO isn't as generous as it used to be, but you still get over 4 weeks to use a year. Paid Holidays have been reduced but they still offer 8.

    ConsMITRE is one of the few companies that I have worked for that you have to find your own work. The type of work you find is dependent upon your network. If you work in a closed area, this network is difficult to cultivate. Just to obtain coverage, you may end up working a task that is not technically challenging or interesting. Don't expect any help from your department manager to find work. My manager made it very clear that finding coverage was my responsibility, not his. He stated that he was only there for my annual review and raise.

    Promotions were a rarity. Just 4 people in my department of 40+ received a promotion in 10 years. Working hard, exceeding the sponsor's expectations generally is not sufficient to get you a promotion. There appears to be a bias that is strongly tied to upper managements pet projects and the people working these were part of a "good old boys network".

    I worked on Hanscom and this was one of the worst experiences of my life. The military looks for "butts in chairs" and you needed to be in your chair before 7:45 AM. You had no flexible work arrangements. Going to a doctor's appointment or taking your kid to daycare was a major deal. The Air Force was cutting costs on base so they had the cleaning of the rest rooms performed only once a week. I had to bring my own toilet paper and paper towers because the supplies ran out by mid-week. We had to empty our trash at the end of the day and bring it to a dumpster behind the building which was often visited by animals looking for food.

    When we complained about working conditions at the base through MITRE's "Closing the Loop", the Vice-president came out to address us. He made it clear that he was not happy that we had complained many times. Basically he said, shut up and color. If you don't like it, leave. So I finally did.

    Advice to Senior ManagementA reorg does not magically dissolve the good old boys network, nor does it eliminate poor management. Reconsider how promotions and raises are handed out. Not everyone can work on a pet project and those who do the not so glamorous work should be recognized. Depending on your salary increase is predetermined. People working pet projects are rated higher and the merit matrix doesn't motivate people to work harder for that extra 0.25%

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    1 person found this helpful  

    Excellent Benefits & Flexibility

    Senior Mechanical Engineer (Current Employee) Bedford, MA (US)

    ProsMITRE works with many government facets from the military to court system to the health industry. The highest priority is to support the customer. Work/life balance is emphasized.

    ConsThe promotion path is not always clear and can be very subjective. Working in a tech center makes it even more so.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    Excellent career opportunities using state-of-the-art technologies to help our nation.

    Electrical Engineer (Current Employee) Bedford, MA (US)

    ProsExcellent benefits (up to 5 weeks of paid time off per year, top-notch retirement program), great work/life balance, access to state-of-the-art technologies. Very low attrition and layoffs are a very rare occurrence.

    ConsAlthough most of the company has an excellent technical environment, it's not the same everywhere. Your experience within the company can vary significantly depending on the division you join.

    Work at this not-for-profit company is funded exclusively by the US Government. As a result, there are restrictions on how the funds are spent. If you are looking for free lunch every day and beer on Fridays, this is not the place for you.

    Advice to Senior ManagementContinue to offer good benefits and technical work: it's what keeps most of us here. Continue to engage with employees and seek feedback according to their experience.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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