Smithsonian Reviews in Washington, DC

Updated August 15, 2014
Updated August 15, 2014
91 Reviews
4.0
91 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Smithsonian Secretary Wayne Clough
Wayne Clough
39 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • It is quite an interesting place to work with behind the scenes understanding of what happens in the largest museum complex in the world (in 3 reviews)

  • Great benefits after two years of employment and committed people (in 4 reviews)


Cons
  • Not much of a chance for full time position (in 4 reviews)

  • Unpaid position- no benefits other than the experience itself (in 4 reviews)

More Highlights

15 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1.  

    Air Space Museum in Smithsonian

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Sales Associate in Chantilly, VA
    Former Employee - Senior Sales Associate in Chantilly, VA

    I worked at Smithsonian part-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    I can't imagine why anyone would dislike this place. This was a great place to work- nice environment. There are some good people working at the museum, but these are the down-to-earth hourly oompa loompas that are trying to make a living at a minimum wage.

    Cons

    Favored employees get the benefit to continue to work there. Very slow raising the hourly rate.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    This is a wonderful work environment, in the world's largest museum and research center.

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

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

    Pros

    So many smart people, so many fascinating projects. There is a wide diversity of activities, cultural and scientific, from the exhibits and education programs seen by the public to the research in the labs. Its just like "Bones".

    Cons

    More than half the budget is federal appropriation, so when congress shuts down, so do we. Units can be rather insular, difficult sometimes to cross boundaries.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Management has been good in recent years, no real complaint.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    HR iNTERN

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Human Resources Intern in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Human Resources Intern in Washington, DC

    I worked at Smithsonian as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    Good opportunities to know people their and conduct informational interviews.

    Cons

    It's not that fast-paste. Sometimes you need to ask for work to do, but it depends on when the internship is.

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  5.  

    Incredible experience as an intern, but not much of a chance for paid work.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Intern in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Intern in Washington, DC

    I worked at Smithsonian as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    Behind the scenes look at incredible collections that aren't on display! We also got to go on exclusive tours at other museums beyond mine own
    Working with leaders in their field

    Cons

    Bureaucracy, bureaucracy, bureaucracy - very challenging to work through the system
    Limited job opportunities - many employees have been working there for decades and it's hard to get a job as an intern with the limited turn-over and growth of the organization

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Find a way to hire your interns!

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Fantastic Intern Program!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Human Resources Intern in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Human Resources Intern in Washington, DC

    I worked at Smithsonian as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    One of the best intern programs! Besides going behind the scenes and being allowed after hours at museums, most employees - even directors - are willing to go out of their way to speak with you about their experiences and give career advice.

    Cons

    Some departments are more active or involved than others in the program so its what you make of it. The more people you reach out to the more you'll get out of the experience.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    The best place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Research Analyst in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Research Analyst in Washington, DC

    I have been working at Smithsonian as a contractor (more than an year)

    Pros

    Great coworkers, understanding bosses, constant training opportunities. I absolutely love working here. As a contractor, I have the ability to have a flexible schedule. I have a great work environment that allows for collaboration and support without the competitiveness.

    Cons

    As a contractor, I am definitely taking a pay cut to work here. However I feel that the great work environment and exciting projects make it worth it. Also as a contractor you do not receive benefits.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I think management is doing a great job. I have never worked in a better place.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Great place to work

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

    I worked at Smithsonian full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great locations, good facilities, great network of professional support, great professional development opportunities, great benefits, fun place to work, you will work with a variety of experts as your co-workers, and there is pretty good job stability.

    Cons

    There are highly paid federal employees sitting in their jobs and performing the bare minimum. However, no one will ever do anything about it or fire them because that is nearly impossible to do. Budgets are tight so offices are often understaffed.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    Amazing work environment and job that I am lucky to have!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Presenter in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Presenter in Washington, DC

    I have been working at Smithsonian as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    Co-workers, boss, staff and visitors are all amazing.

    Cons

    It can sometimes be very busy which makes it hard to do my job to the best of my ability.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    None

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    Model makers Dream job.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Model Maker in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Model Maker in Washington, DC

    I worked at Smithsonian full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    The best thing about this job is the ability to work in a clean and safe environment. Concern for OSHA regulations was very high on the list of priorities. As an artist this was very important to me. The work was challenging and creative. I went home with a feeling of accomplishment every day.

    Cons

    It is a huge organization and things don't happen quickly. It can really try your patience to wait for things to happen.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Speed up requests for work and allow overtime.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    Great place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Research Assistant in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Research Assistant in Washington, DC

    I worked at Smithsonian as a contractor (more than an year)

    Pros

    Surrounded by brilliant people at all times

    Cons

    Very difficult to find funding, not as "impressive" on a resume as everyone made me believe.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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