MITRE Reviews

Updated January 23, 2015
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MITRE President and CEO Alfred Grasso
Alfred Grasso
5 Ratings

5 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (10)

    MITRE losing it way

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Principal Engineer in McLean, VA
    Current Employee - Principal Engineer in McLean, VA

    I have been working at MITRE full-time (more than 10 years)

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    as an FFRDC (actually a holding company for multiple FFRDCs), MITRE _should_ appeal to technologists who are willing to sacrifice top-end wages for a job where they can have an impact (bad taste word when it comes to MITRE's FAA sponsor :-)) on government programs.

    opps, that doesn't sound all that "pro".

    Cons

    Under CEO Al Grasso and his push for "business" in non-DoD "customers", in the opinion of many MITRE employees, MITRE has lost it way. Now it is unlikely that a manager would walk away from "non-MITRE work". Has MITRE become just another Beltway Bandit? Sadly, the answer seems to be yes, unless Grasso chooses founding principles over his "lunch bunch"'s desire to follow in the footsteps of former CEO Barry "The Barry" Horowitz (sp?).

    Advice to Management

    get back to basics of FFRDCs as "honest brokers". be willing to walk away from projects that industry can do as well as MITRE.

  2. Helpful (18)

    Process oriented, critical, lack of imagination

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

    I have been working at MITRE full-time (more than 10 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Great customers and missions. Great work as long as you can go it alone and not have to rely on any management support.

    Cons

    Vice Presidents are critical and dismissive of staff, portfolio directors are arrogant and "own the customers". Individual senior leaders with experience and connections are left to work under the radar to make things happen without any support from and often in direct conflict with management.

    Advice to Management

    Make decisions. No one believes in managing a billion dollar company by consensus. Get rid of process. Let innovation and entrepreneurial spirit reign instead of actively trying to kill it.

  3. Helpful (15)

    Has gone down hill fast!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Information Systems Engineer in McLean, VA
    Former Employee - Information Systems Engineer in McLean, VA

    I worked at MITRE full-time (more than 10 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Retirement plan is great even with the recent changes. The rest of the benefits are just average. There are a lot of smart people working at MITRE.

    Cons

    No advancement potential for technical staff. No respect for technical staff if they have no desire to be management. If there is an issue between a manager and the technical staff, the manager is always right and there is no recourse for the technical staff. There is no upward review so if a manager dislikes you, they can affect your career without you being able to defend yourself.

    Advice to Management

    Management is very myopic. While you pat yourselves on the back you don't see what the rank-and-file are saying. You need to stop shoveling and start to listen. You've lost a lot of good people over the last five years because of poor decisions and not respecting your technical staff. You better figure out how to stop that hemorrhaging before you lose more of your best people.

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  5. Helpful (17)

    Horrible company that hates technical people

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Engineer in McLean, VA
    Current Employee - Senior Engineer in McLean, VA

    I have been working at MITRE full-time (more than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    thinking, thinking, thinking...fail. Okay, okay, work life balance is real here.

    Cons

    Despite priding themselves as a "technical" company, MITRE completely disrespects their technical staff. That is, people with soft PhDs in technical *sounding* fields like systems engineering or engineering management are briskly pushed through the ranks. Others who have hard PhDs in fields like physics or math languish---even if they are good communicators and work well with clients. Yet, on projects, guess who does all of the difficult technical lifting? Guess who has to constantly correct superiors on technical points? Guess who has to listen and nod heads to half-baked ideas from project leaders?

    There is, in fact, a disincentive to promote lower ranking technical people: they would take up more resources for the same hours on a fixed budget contract. Meanwhile, there is terrible upper management bloat, especially at the AC5 level. Usually, they are supposed to manage relationships, yet they completely fail at it. They often tell the client incorrect information, or they email a draft copy of a document to them before its been vetted.

    Meanwhile, the raise structure is designed to maintain the status quo. That is, having an “excellent year” and an “outstanding review” only earns you a fraction of a percentage point higher than the average raise. In fact, MITRE even boasts that they *try* to keep everyone very near each other. Where is the incentive to do good work, to excel?

    My take, there are four kinds of people who will flourish and love MITRE: 1) people near the end of their careers who want a stable job with good work life balance but care little about advancement, 2) people of low or mediocre talent who want to avoid competing with real talent, 3) people who think systems engineering is a real discipline (alternatively, people who like ridiculous certifications like Lean Six Sigma and Scrummaster), and 4) people who aren’t very technical but can talk like they are and can fool the weak minded. Those are not meant to be orthogonal categories. There is one kind of person who will absolutely wilt and loathe MITRE: anyone with at least half a brain. They are completely orthogonal to the previous four types of people.

    Advice to Management

    Wake up! You are losing your real technical people in droves because the company's advancement policy has reverse incentives. A freshly minted PhD in a difficult field should be an automatic AC3 with a pro forma promotion to AC4 after a year of observation. A hard PhD with a few years of experience (even academic experience) should be an automatic AC4 hire. Clear out some of the bloat at AC5 and higher; make room for the technical people that are crushed under their weight.

  6. Helpful (5)

    Heading in the wrong direction

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in McLean, VA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in McLean, VA

    I worked at MITRE

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Benefits are excellent and coworkers are great.

    Cons

    my management was very political and just waiting around to retire. Staff are afraid to tell the truth. Not sure why they are considered a great place to work.

    Advice to Management

    Please open your eyes.

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