MITRE Reviews in McLean, VA

Updated May 6, 2014
Updated May 6, 2014
435 Reviews

3.5
435 Reviews
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MITRE President and CEO Alfred Grasso
Alfred Grasso
315 Ratings

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

18 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 9 people found this helpful  

    Good old boys club

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

    I have been working at MITRE full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    -Training and education
    -If you're good at looking busy, this is the place for you
    -Hard to get fired, it's just like working for the government

    Cons

    -Do ALOT more with less money and less resources
    -Benefits are slowly being cut little by little
    -There is no clear path for promotions, you just need to be part of the old boys club to get anything.
    -Review system is a joke, laddering is purely an exercise of "horse trading"
    -A lot of dead weight
    -Very Silo-ed organizations
    -Two main locations = Two different cultures and it is almost like two different companies

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Do a little more to attract and retain young talent.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 3 people found this helpful  

    review 101

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

    I worked at MITRE full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    no comments in this section

    Cons

    no place for career advancement

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hire more qualified managers, no shoes salesman

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 16 people found this helpful  

    Cliquish, Clubbish, Clannish

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Member of Technical Staff  in  McLean, VA
    Former Employee - Member of Technical Staff in McLean, VA

    I worked at MITRE full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    The health benefits & 401k (10% match).

    Cons

    Like the title says: Cliquish, Clubbish, Clannish. No work is ever done, boring & politically exhausting. Folks stay to retire. You may think this is great but it is like waiting to DIE!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Fire all management & start over.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 17 people found this helpful  

    Dinosaur in its death throws

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

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

    Pros

    Brilliant staff. Work is of National importance. Customers are great.

    Cons

    Immature and inexperienced senior leaders. Nepotism rampant. Corporate officers only promote people who are like them and that manage up. Little respect or admiration for integrity or diversity. Senior staff treated like disposable components. Officers have no credibility with staff. They say one thing and enact policies that are counter to their statements. Resources in the hands of a few pedagogues. Staff expected to find their own work. The reward is a paycheck.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't just prune but cross cut the heavy deadwood. Focus on the visionaries and innovators. Prevent officers hiring their buddies. Look to promote people who aren't white males in their fifties. Run the company like a real business.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 8 people found this helpful  

    Ambiguity is the mantra

    • 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 for more than 3 years

    Pros

    light work hours, academic environment

    Cons

    Not nearly as impactful to the government as claimed

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    if your staff cannot prove how they effect the government's bottom line annually, clean house

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 17 people found this helpful  

    Bloated and Incompetent Management Damages the Company

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

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

    Pros

    Work-life balance is great. The work is not demanding (though, see below). The people in my department are very pleasant to work with, for the most part. In fact, I might venture to say that MITRE is a bit of a gilded cage -- talented people will not be challenged, but neither will they be subject to the vicissitudes of a roiling job market. You will not have to work long hours for fear of your job.

    Cons

    There is little genuine "technical" work to go around beyond the usual (and uninteresting) IT and database problems. Much lip service is paid to the provision of something called "technical excellence", but in truth this is just an empty management mantra. The bulk of the available technical work is performed by low-ranking (read: < AC4) engineers, many of whom have advanced degrees, some in the hard sciences like physics or math. Of course, nothing these people say or do is listened to or respected by senior management, most of whom do not possess these degrees, or else acquired them under conspicuously non-rigorous circumstances.

    Further, there is little opportunity for PhD-level scientists and engineers to advance. They are paid significantly less than their non-technical peers despite doing most of the difficult work, and they are accorded pitiful raises even when their reviews are exemplary. This inequity becomes apparent very quickly to new technical hires, many of whom turn right around and leave MITRE for greener pastures within a year or two. This is tragic, really, because MITRE is losing talented people who could do much to enhance its reputation and advance its mission.

    Finally, the middle and upper levels of management are bloated and mostly incompetent. I appreciate that task leadership can be difficult, but the majority of our managers don't even try to do their jobs. There's a reason MITRE has been targeted by its counterparts in the private sector for transgressing the bounds of appropriate FFRDC work -- our task leaders and upper managers are incapable of handling sponsor relationships. They lack the discipline to say NO to work that falls outside the terms of our charter; they lack the courage to tell our sponsors the naked truth about their problems, instead allowing politics to dictate the message. There is therefore little to distinguish us from our non-FFRDC peers, who rightly view us as competitors.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Create a true technical track, seek out talent, and treat that talent well. Don't just pay lip service to the idea -- show that you mean it. Promote good technical people, not just the bootlickers and sycophants.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 21 people found this helpful  

    Great place to start and end your career

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

    I worked at MITRE

    Pros

    MITRE is a great place to get a foot in the door since they'll hire just about anybody to keep up with attrition in the middle engineering ranks.
    MITRE is a great place to finish your career due to generous retirement benefits and the fact that they'll hire just about anybody with industry connections.

    Cons

    There is almost no chance of getting a meaningful promotion if you start off at a low rank (AC2 or 3). Since becoming an AC4 almost definitely requires you to stop doing technical work and start managing projects, engineers are pretty much capped at being AC3's (with a few exceptions). This means that salaries severely stagnate compared to anywhere else in the industry.
    Add to this the fact that MITRE's middle and upper management is severely bloated by people who would most likely be unemployable anywhere else, and the chances of moving up are almost nil.
    If there is an opening, there is a 90% chance they will hire somebody from the outside than promote from within.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Fire people. Plain and simple. There is so much fat at the AC5+ level that would be much better utilized courting younger engineers and trying to retain them.
    Look around at the next meeting and count the number of managers to people actually doing work. When there are more chiefs than indians, something's wrong.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 14 people found this helpful  

    Disappointing

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

    I worked at MITRE

    Pros

    Opportunity to support the Gov. in an unbiased fashion.
    Benefits.
    Ability to easily transfer between internal organizations.
    Wide breadth and depth of corporate knowledge that is relatively easy to access.

    Cons

    The mean salaries for the professional ranks (AC ranks) are at best average.
    The spread of annual salary increases is extremely narrow, i.e. little difference between a bottom performer and a top performer of the same professional rank. There is little monetary incentive to do an outstanding job.
    Promotions are largely based on 'who you know' as opposed to competence.
    The management style is very 'old boys club' and rather stodgy.
    There can be the appearance of conflict of interest in the relationships between upper management and retired Gov. officials as well as between Gov. sponsors and relatives (e.g. spouses) who work at MITRE.
    The technical supervisory ranks (AC-5 and above) are not given the time nor charge codes to properly manage their staff. They must charge full time to a contract while simultaneously managing staff.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    First, clean out the dead wood from the AC ranks. How can MITRE consider itself a good custodian of the Government's money when it keeps non and very poor performers on the payroll for years and years?
    Second, be ruthlessly scrupulous about cleaning up all apparent conflicts of interest due to the hiring of retired Gov. officials who can bring programs into MITRE and the employment of spouses of current Gov. sponsors in the organizations which support that sponsor.
    Third, give your AC-5s and AC-6s in management positions the proper non-direct charge codes, with sufficient funding, to allow them to properly manage their staff. They should not have to take the time out of their hide.

    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 15 people found this helpful  

    I have been disappointed with my experience with MITRE due to the lack of career growth and low salary increases.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Lead Financial Analyst  in  McLean, VA
    Current Employee - Lead Financial Analyst in McLean, VA

    I have been working at MITRE

    Pros

    MITRE is a good place to work if one needs a work-life balance, is at an advanced stage of his/her career (near retirement) or wants job security.

    Cons

    MITRE is not a good fit for career-focused employees. Promotion rates are slower at MITRE than at for-profit companies. Pay for performance is nonexistent: salary increases are very small (1.5% salary increase is budgeted for 2012).

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The results of the last employee survey are pretty revealing in terms of employee dissatisfaction with the lack of career opportunities and are consistent across the company. The company ranking in the "100 best companies to work for" list continues to drop year after year. MITRE barely made the list this year (96 over 100). This is a clear sign that MITRE should wake up from its past glory days to review its pay for performance system, organizational structure and career paths across the board to retain its employees. The work life balance trade-off does not compensate for the nonexistent salary increases and lack of monetary recognition for high performance. The lack of monetary incentives for high performance recognition and opportunities for advancement will make it harder to retain top performer employees.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 4 people found this helpful  

    Disappointing

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

    I have been working at MITRE

    Pros

    Peope are friendly and the parking garage is handy

    Cons

    No bonuses
    low salaries
    gym charges $20/month for EMPLOYEES.
    food in cafeteria is expensive
    No training budget,,,

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    let people go get some training for their positions to better themselves.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

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