Smithsonian
4.0 of 5 59 reviews
www.si.edu Washington, DC 5000+ Employees

Smithsonian Reviews

Updated Feb 6, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

4.0 59 reviews

                             

92% Approve of the CEO

Smithsonian Secretary Wayne Clough

Wayne Clough

(26 ratings)

85% of employees recommend this company to a friend
12 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews
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Its a job not a career. Unless you work in the disciplines of education, curating, and science its not fulfilling.

First Line Supervisor (Current Employee)
New York, NY

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

ProsWork with good hardworking people.
Meet many interesting people everyday since museums average 30 million visitors annually.
It's a culturally rich environment.

ConsLack of recognition for work performance is bad for morale.
Lack of upward mobility is discouraging.
A person can get complacent when there is no challenge to the position.

Advice to Senior ManagementKnow your people.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Awesome place, but management could do better

Education Specialist (Former Employee)
Washington, DC

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

ProsGreat location and academic environment

ConsNo advancement, especially for minorities and discriminatory practices by Managers/Dept. Chairs

Advice to Senior ManagementSenior Management/Directors should stop turning a blind eye to obvious discriminatory practices by Managers/Dept. Chairs. You may have smart, hardworking minority staff that have been around many years. If you haven't seen their names come up for promotion in over 10 years, start asking questions. Get in touch with all your workers, not just your Managers.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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lACK OF OPPORTUNTIHYof

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at Smithsonian full-time for more than 8 years

ProsInteresting work, benefits are ok (federal),

ConsLack of opportunity to grow, salary is struggling due to federal budget problems, management is out of touch with workers

Advice to Senior ManagementProvide ways for lower people to move up. Get in touch with staff

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Mediocre

Security Officer (Current Employee)
New York, NY

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

ProsSince Smithsonian is a federal Job. Job security is a regular benefit so although its hard to get fired career mobility is an issue if your job description doesn't include educational, curatorial, or scientific research. On the job you encounter a lot of people from all backgrounds and countries. that is a pleasure.

ConsAs stated earlier the ability to move up the corporate ladder is severely lacking in this organization. The same job security that keeps people employed also protects the people that add no value to the organization and create more work for the people that do work. Managers do not know their people and therefore do not know who is capable in their units.

Advice to Senior ManagementKnow your people.

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academic/education setting, poor management

Program Assistant (Former Employee)
Washington, DC

I worked at Smithsonian full-time for more than a year

Prosgreat setting, academic environment, good benefits

Conslow pay, no career advancement

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

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It is a nice environment to work in.

Senior Sales Associate (Former Employee)
Chantilly, VA

I worked at Smithsonian part-time for more than 3 years

ProsIt is a big organization, and has an outstanding reputation all over the world. There's a lot of opportunity with in the organization.

ConsSometimes it gets boring due to repetitive nature of the job. There is not much to do around winter time.

Advice to Senior ManagementManagement have been good overall. My only advise is continue the standard of SI, and also conduct more seminars about grooming employees to become successful in the future.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Interesting colleagues, slow to implement ideas.

Marketing Assistant (Former Employee)
Washington, DC

I worked at Smithsonian part-time for less than a year

ProsIntelligent staff. Freebies. Big name. Cool projects.

ConsSlow to implement new ideas. Sometimes feels like a government job.

Advice to Senior ManagementGet more tech savvy.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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I would say my experience was good.

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at Smithsonian

ProsEmployees were the best reason to work there.

ConsThere were no real downsides to working there.

Advice to Senior ManagementIt was an enjoyable place to work. I did not really see too many downsides. Keep doing what you are doing.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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good place to work

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
Washington, DC

I have been working at Smithsonian

Prosstaff generally stay a long time
access to museums

Consset curriculum, not as able to emerge from children's interests.

Advice to Senior Managementn/a

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1 person found this helpful  

Not your typical Federal Employee

Library Technician (Current Employee)
Washington, DC

I have been working at Smithsonian

ProsThe Smithsonian is a committed, intellectually stimulating, collegial place to work, while at the same time offering the stability and benefits of federal employment. The mission of the Smithsonian, the increase and diffusion of knowledge among men, is clearly front and center to the Institution and its workers. It is quite an interesting place to work with behind the scenes understanding of what happens in the largest museum complex in the world. You are surrounded by highly intelligent specialists and experts in many different fields. Not only is it a museum complex, but much scientific and historical research is constantly being produced.

ConsLike other government agencies, The Smithsonian is highly bureaucratic and slow to respond to changes, and can tend to be very hierarchical. The structure of the Institution, with 20 museums and numerous other research centers and office space, feeling like one institution can be difficult to attain. There has been recent trouble with the former leadership of the Institution, the ramifications of which are still being felt. There is an aging population of workers, many of whom have been there for a long time, so adoption of new technology and new approaches to work and management is slow and difficult.

Advice to Senior ManagementIf you invest in the people who work at the Smithsonian and put their interests work, you would see much happier and productive workers.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Glassdoor is your free inside look at Smithsonian reviews and ratings — including employee satisfaction and approval rating for Smithsonian CEO Wayne Clough. All 12 reviews posted anonymously by Smithsonian employees.