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RAND CEO Michael Rich
Michael Rich
43 Ratings
  1. 2 people found this helpful  

    very different military & civilian sides

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Santa Monica, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Santa Monica, CA

    I have been working at RAND full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    RAND has nice offices a block from the beach in beautiful Santa Monica.

    On the civilian side, you have very smart researchers working on important problems.

    On the military side, the research is relatively easy and job security is possible.

    You can try working on different types of problems and are not tied to any one "boss".

    Benefits are good and improve the higher in the organization you go (retirement benefits actually increase, in % terms, as your salary increases).

    There are even some "RAND internal" research funds available.

    There are smart and fun graduate students and new hires constantly arriving.

    Cons

    The internal job market means constantly interviewing internally for projects.

    On the civilian side, you have to cover 100% of your time with grant/contract money, which is a tall order. This might explain why turnover is a little high on this side of the house.

    The military side is run by several gangs (e.g., the Project Air Force FMEP gang) each of which has a few decision makers that determine the fate of new hires (what projects they work on, when they are allowed to brief a client or lead a project, etc.). These decision makers take care of each other first and play favorites with new hires. (Don't expect to have an important role on a project just because you know the topic better than anyone else at RAND.)

    The military side doesn't do very interesting or technical research (think resolving the same Army logistics problem several years in a row using a giant spreadsheet).

    Santa Monica and the surrounding area are very expensive and traffic is bad.

    The freedom to work from home and the nature of the researchers working here means there is little socializing or community spirit at work

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Find a way to empower the new hires, particularly those on the military side of the house who are currently reliant on their "gang" leaders for job security, promotion opportunities, etc. Break up the gangs and cliques.

    Allow those on the civilian side to survive on less than 100% coverage. Find a way to better reward the superstars on the civilian side who can consistently bring in money in the current civilian research environment.

    Improve job security, or the perception of it. Right now a lot of the new hires view RAND as a temporary assignment when it need not be this way.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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