Orbital Sciences Reviews

Updated June 23, 2015
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3.0
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Orbital Sciences Chairman and CEO David W. Thompson
David W. Thompson
22 Ratings

Pros
  • Interesting Work, High Tech Environment (in 10 reviews)

  • Good benefits and vacation time (in 7 reviews)

Cons
  • It can sometimes be hard to maintain healthy work/life balance, it just depends on the number of active contracts (feast or famine) (in 9 reviews)

  • Not much room for growth, too little opportunities for advancement (in 4 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

46 Employee Reviews

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  1. Wallops Island

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

    I worked at Orbital Sciences full-time (More than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Exciting industry being on the ground floor of a new launch vehicle. Fast paced and good pay.

    Cons

    No balance between work and outside life. Constant scheduling changes make for a very stressful environment. Morale is low to non-existent

    Advice to Management

    Stop trying to meet unrealistic promises and goals on a shoestring budget. Take front line employee suggestions seriously and follow up.


  2. Helpful (1)

    Good money, good people. Typical bureaucracy.

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

    I have been working at Orbital Sciences full-time (More than 10 years)

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    The people you work with generally care about their jobs and doing good work. The money is decent. Many people are able to work well together and get the job done, despite the growing feeling that managers don't hear the "voice of the people". The company does a great job turning out well-built product in a very short time frame, making them successful with their business model. There is plenty of opportunity within the company to change jobs, achieve promotions, etc. The executive management team seems very sharp and genuine, even though they don't spend much time amongst the people.

    Cons

    The benefits are OK, but definitely a bit arcane. There is no true flex time for employees. The "little things" like meals for employees working crazy amounts of overtime are few and far between. There is only one cafeteria and the food isn't great (or cheap). The morale of workers (especially in the factory where product is built) is often poor. Engineers in other buildings (outside of the factory) don't typically work well with those doing the actual work. The metrics that are kept are not valuable and most managers/directors don't know how to effectively use data to make decisions. Decisions are mainly made based on gut feel or emotions. Most people come into the company looking to change the world, but after a year or two they are beat down and feel like their voice isn't heard. Management (including program managers, functional managers, etc) does not genuinely care about whether their workers have free time outside of work - it's really all about getting the job done (and the schedule is always tight), no matter what it takes; this puts workers in an impossible position where they only get good performance marks when they're willing to work ungodly amounts of overtime. In essence, there is no real work-life balance, and managers don't truly care. There isn't much work right now (2015) in the VA factory, so everyone is scared that they're going to be laid off soon. It's hard to implement process improvements without having to get buy-in from any number of other directors, VP's, etc. There is a lot of bureaucracy involved in the day-to-day job duties. To get simple forms or procedures approved, you have to get signatures from high level personnel (directors, VP's) - a lot of the approvals processes are wasteful and expensive. The approvals processes seemed designed around a very small company that grew but then never changed their practices.

    Advice to Management

    Need to work on building cross-functional teams and improving the morale of the work force. Better perks in the job benefits category would be helpful. Try to be more compassionate about requiring people to give up their lives to work insane amounts of overtime. Executive Mgmt should try to tour the factory more often or interface with some of the "lower-level" personnel more frequently.


  3. Business Development

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Glen Burnie, MD
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Glen Burnie, MD

    I have been working at Orbital Sciences (More than a year)

    Pros

    Although I have an awesome manager, I think they should have more authority to determine the salary increases of their employees.

    Cons

    Your hard work goes unnoticed.


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  5. Associate Engineer

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Orbital Sciences

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    -Great people, intresting products, decent work life balance

    Cons

    -Logging hours, work can be slow or hectic it varies on your program.


  6. Sr. mech. Designer / Associate ME

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Orbital Sciences

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great environment, fantastic people...family orientated

    Cons

    Tied to gov't money...government contracts...NASA

    Advice to Management

    none


  7. Helpful (2)

    Working in IT can be real rewarding

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

    I have been working at Orbital Sciences

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    The people in the IT department are what makes this job great.

    Cons

    Company under pays positions even though expectations are higher than most companies.

    Advice to Management

    If you expect a world class employee, You have to pay what the market demands or you will continue to lose great talent. It shouldn't always be about management bonuses and cutting costs with salaries. Treat employees well so they have a reason to stay!


  8. Mechanical Designer

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

    I have been working at Orbital Sciences full-time (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Work was challenge and exciting many obstacles and needs for further research and development and research. More supervision was necessary

    Cons

    More instruction needed and responsibilities no supervision of guidance by appropriate supervisors allot of software issues and no help or guidance available

    Advice to Management

    Review all candidates


  9. Slightly above average

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

    I have been working at Orbital Sciences full-time (More than 8 years)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Great environment, great work opportunities, great co-workers, and the management is technically competent. Lots of opportunities to work on tough problems.

    Cons

    Most of the managers at Orbital are not skilled at management. Orbital adheres to the failed practice of promoting only technically competent engineers to management positions. In addition, most of the engineers they promote to management have a tendency to be arrogant and rude. They make decisions without considering long term effects and impacts to employee morale. Employee suggestions and feedback are not just discarded, but I've seen cases where these are mocked by the managers in front of other employees. Despite the poor management, the pros of this job exceed the cons. This unfortunately results in very few opportunities for technical advancement.

    Advice to Management

    Establish clear expectations and consequences for managers at all levels. Send all managers to management training / interpersonal communication training. If the managers fail to meet the defined expectations, then apply the associated consequences.


  10. Good Learning Experience

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

    I have been working at Orbital Sciences

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Interesting product, and always room for learning. Great benefits

    Cons

    Although benefits are good, financial compensation is not the greatest


  11. Helpful (4)

    Challenging workforce

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Principal Engineer in Chandler, AZ
    Former Employee - Principal Engineer in Chandler, AZ

    I worked at Orbital Sciences full-time (Less than a year)

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    When I was offered a position with Orbital Sciences I eagerly accepted it with enthusiasm and motivation. I had followed Orbital as a company for several years and was excited to be granted the opportunity to work for them. Some of the pros of working for Orbital were that the benefits were good and it offered an acceptable work/ life balance. Overall Orbital instilled good company cultural, and the majority of the people/ departments I came in contact with acted with professionalism.

    Cons

    The biggest challenge I faced when employed with Orbital was in my own department. Within the first two months of employment it became abundantly clear that my core department was that of an environment of "Good ol' Boys". Despite the distressing atmosphere I made every effort to maintain professional composure while working to the best of my abilities. However, it is very telling when the HR department makes the statement to you, "They are either intimidated by you or they do not like women". Ultimately I left the company because it became obvious that those engaged in the cronyism was not going to change.

    Advice to Management

    1. Take time to evaluate the undertones of your department. Listen with fairness to all of your direct reports, regardless of their level of position. These individuals are in the "environment" and can speak to the environmental makeup. 2. Understand if the individual you have placed in authority has the leadership skills to fulfill the role. 3. Show caution and be attuned to the "Good ol' Boys Networks". Such behavior can lead to biasness and potentially cause a department/ company to lose good employees while those that those employees of lesser quality remain.



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