D. E. Shaw Research – New York, NY
will include coordinating (and contributing to) the writing and editing of manuscripts, corresponding with journals, and working with the group’s… D. E. Shaw Research
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I have been working at D. E. Shaw Research full-time
Even at a major university you won't find the level of intelligence and talent you'll find here, and certainly not at your average company. (Google, maybe.) Everyone's just really, really smart, you'll find experts in a wide range of fields (engineering, scientific and otherwise), and pretty much everyone I've met is helpful and willing to talk to you. No, there isn't much structure, but isn't that a good thing? You just have to take initiative to figure out what's needed and how you can contribute. I've seen people given pretty big new responsibilities just because they showed an interest and that they could handle it. Not saying it always works out, but how many places is something like that even a possibility? Plus, the project's an important one: designing new drugs and improving how drugs are designed. And they pay very well. I really don't get what other reviewers are grousing about. How many jobs give you great pay, super-smart co-workers, a good mission, and minimal Dilbert-like corporate BS to ruin your day?
No job is perfect, and if you want something to be unhappy about, you'll find something. Yes, some of the managers are probably better engineers or chemists than they are managers, so the management part of their job can get neglected. But I'd rather pay that price than work under a bunch of people who are professional middle-managers but lousy engineers or mediocre scientists or just not very intelligent.
Advice to Management
It's an unusual environment, and judging by some of the reviews on here not everyone is prepared to get the most out of it. Maybe take more pains during the hiring process to explain what it's like, so people who aren't going to like it have a chance to opt out, rather than coming and being unhappy? Clearly, for the right people it works out great (it can't be an accident that there are so many people who've been here 5-10 years).