Adler Planetarium

  www.adlerplanetarium.org
  www.adlerplanetarium.org

Adler Planetarium Reviews

Updated November 4, 2014
Updated November 4, 2014
21 Reviews
2.6
21 Reviews
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Recommend to a friend
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Michelle B. Larson
10 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Working at the Adler

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Multimedia Developer in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Multimedia Developer in Chicago, IL

    I worked at Adler Planetarium full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Cool place to work and learn about space science
    Laid back office environment
    Opportunity to work autonomously
    Fun events at the office
    Good food in the cafeteria
    Great location on the water

    Cons

    Completely underground office space (no windows)
    Little job mobility
    Lack of mentorship
    Absentee supervisor

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Put some windows in

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Much-needed change happens at a glacial pace

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

    I worked at Adler Planetarium part-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Most of the staff are great people to work with, and astronomy is an exciting field to be involved in.

    Cons

    Training was dismal, especially considering the revolving-door nature of the floor facilitator program (Mission Specialist). Too much emphasis was on just memorizing the bare minimum of material. I had co-workers who knowingly gave visitors false information so as to appear to know what they were talking about. Granted it is difficult to become an expert on ALL of the museum content, but it is so necessary if you are expected to effectively engage the public.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Your floor facilitators are the face of the museum - invest in them accordingly. Ensure that they are knowledgable, personable, and dedicated. Astronomy is an inherently abstract field, and you absolutely need facilitators to help cultivate a real connection with the museum content for visitors.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    Friendly staff and welcoming environment.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Performer in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Performer in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at Adler Planetarium part-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    They thoroughly train each employee and make employee bonding a priority.

    Cons

    Sometimes communication between areas is a little slow.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Mission-Driven Responsibilities Hindered by Lack of Vision

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Adler Planetarium

    Pros

    Great location on Museum Campus - beauiful views with opportunties to get outside during breaks; Engaged members and visitors who can teach employees a lot; Interesting subject matter and work environment; Many opportunities to improve existing processes

    Cons

    Lack of vision across most departments; Incompetent Human Resources department; Weak leadership that emphasizes the lack of communication among departments; Programming could be more inclusive of all ages (most is geared toward children)

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Tie department goals and responsibilities to a cohesive vision.

    Doesn't Recommend
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Fulfilling job complicated by lack of leadership

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

    I worked at Adler Planetarium full-time

    Pros

    Working at the Adler was an amazing opportunity to touch so many people's lives. Whether it is creating new experiences or one-on-one engagements, it was an honor to have help simulate interest in astronomy and supporting a scientifically literate public.

    Cons

    With the new president, decisions were made at a high level that were implemented by stopping many programs based on personal opinions of a few high-level leaders and not by data of visitor satisfaction. This resulted in the waste of significant resources provided by the philanthropic community. This by itself might have been acceptable if a specific new vision was proposed with motivated the re-allocation of resources. However, the new management appears to have no experience delivering programs to the public and is motivated by improving the short term financial situation without a plan for the long run. The lack of leadership even with a new president has allowed fundraising to trump the public good and has left the Adler ill-equipped to be a agent of change in the current or future lives of Chicago residents and visitors.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I would work to define a vision for a new Adler with understanding of what a Planetarium is. Then create a plan to implement it. Adler had significant partnerships which could have been leveraged to create new, innovative programs, but these have been wasted due to short-sighted decisions without any clear plan for re-creating Adler.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7.  

    Adler is going great places

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

    I have been working at Adler Planetarium part-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Adler continues to create and show new sky shows and educational programs, which keeps things interesting. Bringing friends to Adler After Dark is an awesome time.

    Free admission to all Chicago museums is great, too.

    Yes, change scares some people, hence a lot of the other reviews here. But Adler has been responsive in making appropriate changes in order to move forward.

    The Museum Service Staff position, for instance, is much more forgiving now and the camaraderie among MSS and other staff on the floor is great.

    The layoffs last year were part of a staff restructuring and, while they were obviously bad for those affected, they'll help Adler to continue to progress.

    Cons

    The food at the cafe is expensive. Staff like to go to the beach house or other local food stands.

    Opportunities to move up the ladder come up very infrequently.

    Exhibits need a facelift.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get the theaters department to communicate better internally. The director helps other departments, but leaves his workers clueless.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    leadership on a downward spiral

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

    I worked at Adler Planetarium

    Pros

    The staff is very dedicated, and accomplishes much. Members are devoted to the museum, and visitors are inspired by their visits. It is exciting to be able to share new discoveries every day.

    Cons

    The new leadership has taken micromanagement to be the way of the future. Staff are not trusted to make decisions, and not consulted when major decisions are made. Staff members are leaving weekly for other positions. Staff morale is as low as one could imagine.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to your experienced staff. They know a lot more about how to run Adler than you might think. Trust them. Treat them with respect.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9.  

    Great learning experience.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - 3D Animator in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - 3D Animator in Chicago, IL

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

    Pros

    Seem to hire a lot of new to the workforce employees, giving them a great start in a career. Excellent pay and benefits. Friendly environment with good people.

    Cons

    Upper management likes to over manage at times. The projects that worked out the best were those that they mostly left alone to the departments and let them get it done. Just spent a huge amount on new theater, and got rid of the department solely responsible for making shows.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The people complaining the most about who doesn't work, are generally the ones doing the least work.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10.  

    Change can be hard but Adler's on an excellent trajectory.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Director in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Director in Chicago, IL

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

    Pros

    Adler's been through a rough year. I was at the Adler for two years spanning a year of the previous President and a year of the new one (Michelle B. Larson) and was in a relatively senior (director-level) position the whole time.

    I can honestly say that the Adler was in very bad shape when I arrived. There was no strategic leadership, the senior team were all at war with each other and the was a serious 'siloing' problem. Basically different departments didn't talk to each other or trust each other - this seemed to be the result of more than a decade of poor leadership.

    All that has happened over the past year is that a *real* leader has entered the building and is shaping a vision for a museum of the 21st century. Adler was doing waaaay too much before and in my opinion none of it very well. The new president is refocussing the Adler into being a much more exciting, relevant and engaging venue.

    Yes people have lost jobs over the past year but change sometimes hurts. This change will take time but I'm convinced Adler's on the right path.

    I would definitely recommend this as a place to work.

    Cons

    The 146 bus. Expensive lunches - try the taco stand instead on the beach!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep doing exactly what you're doing.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    Important work with an impact

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Administrative in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Administrative in Chicago, IL

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

    Pros

    Dedicated staff, employees treated fairly, a chance to help kids learn about math and science, and a place where every job has an impact. Recent changes are really exciting!

    Cons

    Needs to continue shake off some older practices, some long term employees very resistant to change. Sometimes commuting is hard.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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