AeroVironment Reviews

Updated September 14, 2014
Updated September 14, 2014
48 Reviews
2.5
48 Reviews
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AeroVironment Chairman, President, and CEO Timothy E. Conver
Timothy E. Conver
33 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Summer Internship Experience

    • Culture & Values
    Former Employee - MBA Summer Associate  in  Monrovia, CA
    Former Employee - MBA Summer Associate in Monrovia, CA

    I worked at AeroVironment as an intern for less than a year

    Pros

    I was an Intern for last summer and had a great experience. The people were incredible. Because they were so supportive and friendly, I was able to integrate into the company team fairly easily. The managers were committed in employee development. They assigned me to projects that fitted best for my career path. Finally, the company had a very innovative culture. Everybody was open to ideas and true to their opinions.

    Cons

    The company is doing business in a niche market. IMO, there is a limited space for growth. This is a very minor issue however, the offices are spread out across three different buildings at Monrovia. It was very inconvenient to go around for meetings.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great and unique company

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

    I have been working at AeroVironment full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Company is the leader in military drone niche. The work is interesting and enjoyable. There are a lot of smart people with good ideas. Compared to other defense companies you can make major contributions on a whole project start to finish instead of spending 10 years working on one small piece of a big airplane. You get the tools you need to get jobs done, red tape is relatively little compared to most defense companies, and they have a great policy of allowing employees to do personal projects using company shops and equipment. The company is full of makers and doers and hobbyists so it is a fun place to be if you are a hands-on person. Some of the negative comments from other reviewers might not know what it is really like at most other engineering companies.

    Cons

    Work environment can be chaotic and challenging. Company is in a growing industry but it is not predictable how the drones business will play out so long term planning is difficult and projects don't always work out. There is not a lot of formal training and direction, it is more of a sink or swim environment where getting the job done fast is the top priority and people need to get their work done without a lot of supervision. Some do well in this type of environment and some don't.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  3. 2 people found this helpful  

    what goes up must come down

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

    I have been working at AeroVironment full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Managers used to care.
    Nice people on the bottom of the org chart.

    Cons

    Zero Communication. Poor Management. Dysfunctional Environment.
    No rhyme or reason behind compensation based upon effort or success. Complete lack of career path.
    Failed managers from outside business are brought in to run the company.
    No regard given to the opinion of experts in the field in regards to business decisions.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Why don't you listen and engage the people that got you were you are, stupid.
    Strategy. got one?
    Communication, learn to LISTEN as well as much as you TALK to yourselves....
    Hack the top, promote the bottom.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 2 people found this helpful  

    Couldn't get any worse

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Instructor/Operator  in  Huntsville, AL
    Former Employee - Instructor/Operator in Huntsville, AL

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

    Pros

    Pay was good but you earned every penny of it and if you broke it down to hourly you are being paid nothing.

    Cons

    Leadership is a bunch of liars who only care about their stocks and paycheck. They will look you in the eye and lie. The worse are the guys in Huntsville. They have gotten rid of some of the drunks but it took huge mess ups by the drunks numerous times before they were let go. They risk contracts for drunks. Also if you're an hourly guy you will be expected to work off the clock and not be paid. Hey AeroVironment, that is against the law!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop hiring and deploying drunks.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 2 people found this helpful  

    The fun is over

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Product Engineer  in  Simi Valley, CA
    Current Employee - Product Engineer in Simi Valley, CA

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

    Pros

    Work-life balance is good, 401K, most people are great to work with. There are a lot of smart, talented, and dedicated people at AV.

    Cons

    Too many tasks put on each person and expected to finish it all. People are stressed and burnt out from the constant scramble to get things done. Month-end, year-end, quarter-end is the only thing upper management cares about. Its all about the revenue now and not about what we do for the soldiers.
    There is no growth for employees!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Quit looking at your bank account and think about the people down stairs that make that money for you! Give your dedicated knowledgeable employees more opportunities and quit hiring more high dollar managers who know nothing about the products we make.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 2 people found this helpful  

    Senior Engineer

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

    I have been working at AeroVironment

    Pros

    Originally a great place to work. Many inventions and pioneering work and world records happened there. I chalk up Aerovironments success due the fact that they started out as innovators and were able to take risks and move quickly without bureaucracy. The hiring in the beginning was left to the engineers who were actually in the trenches and really knew their stuff, they hired like minded individuals creating a culture of engineers that were all smart self starters and free thinkers like them. It was these initial managers that made AV successful by creating this culture.
    However these pioneering works were all done by employees that one by one left (or retired) long ago and started companies of their own. Many of which are very successful and are well known. As time went on, as in all big companies. The torch was passed on to the mgmt driven not by innovation but keep Status quo and their own preservation, keeping their big client happy. Forgetting the value and lessons learned by their predecessors. Most people don't realize that AV was a pioneer in Electric cars and green energy related technologies which all fell by the wayside. Hydrogen/electric charging. Worlds longest running solar car. Etc.Etc.
    On the whole there's not a bad guy in the lot, a miracle for such a big company.

    Cons

    After the layoff's, the company has become completely top heavy. Because the manager's natural self preservation, no managers were laid off. If you were a friend of the managers but weren't really an asset to the company. They just made you a manager of something so you wouldn't get canned. It has become so ridiculous now, that nothing can be done without many hours long meetings to make the simplest of decisions. If you ever look at the corporate website and browse the "incredible team" you will see it is mostly devoid of any of the guys that made the company happen. Just administrators, buyers, billers, managers that none of us ever heard of.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Remember your roots. Take a risk. Diversify.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Fun for awhile

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Engineer  in  Simi Valley, CA
    Former Employee - Engineer in Simi Valley, CA

    I worked at AeroVironment full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    There were opportunities to get involved in just about anything in the company. Curiosity was welcomed and there existed an academic feel. It was fun to work there. At the time, the best job I ever had. Different departments worked in harmony with each other. It was the only place I'd ever worked that had no drama. Everyone got along with each other. Pay wasn't bad either.

    Cons

    After the company went public it began to acquire a typical aerospace company attitude. It was just another job and I got really bored. As they say, nothing lasts forever.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Not sure if there is any practical advice I could offer. I understand that companies have to do what's necessary for their focus. Prior to going public the employees were clearly a priority, but with an investor base the priority had to go to the investors. It's just the way things are with a public company. I've seen it before.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great company with lots of potential

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Undisclosed  in  Simi Valley, CA
    Current Employee - Undisclosed in Simi Valley, CA

    I have been working at AeroVironment full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Quite a few good people (although many have unfortunately been laid-off). Casual work environment, great work/life balance. Flexible schedule, and decent pay. Yearly raises and bonuses. Close to home.

    Cons

    No chance of advancement or growth potential. I've been there for close to 6 years without a title-change or promotion - despite my contributions and efforts. My enthusiasm is rapidly fading to burnout. When I first started there, there were so many plans to move forward to help the company grow, however, since then, I hear the same rhetoric about growth and improvement without any action. Everything pretty much runs the same way it did when I first started there. It appears to be just talk.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I don't know where to begin. And even if I were to offer any kind of advice, they'd continue to do the same things they've been doing all along. It's pointless.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 2 people found this helpful  

    Lots of changes - not the company they could be

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

    I worked at AeroVironment full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Interesting work. Generally, great, honest, kind people. Team members are smart and hard working. The majority of people that I worked with really wanted to make a difference and see the company/products succeed. People worked (very) hard to get the job done.

    Cons

    Management was reactive, lots of inefficiencies. Company culture is not healthy. No work/life balance. Not much in the way of growth opportunities -- no real interest in developing employees. Period(s) of high turnover. When a boat load of smart, dedicated, hardworking employees start jumping ship, there is a problem.

    On the optimistic side, the old management was slowly being replaced so things may be improving.

    Doesn't Recommend
  11. 3 people found this helpful  

    Fun, exciting and very educational

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Engineer  in  Simi Valley, CA
    Current Employee - Engineer in Simi Valley, CA

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

    Pros

    - Great people. Many engineers I've worked with have been in the brilliant category. Many have also been young, energetic and easy to get along with.
     - Great projects. How many aerospace engineers get to work on the launch or major overhaul of 5+ planes / systems in under 8 years?

    Cons

    - Manufacturing systems / processes are archaic and frustrating.
     - Communication between production-related groups is terrible (quality, manufacturing eng, product eng, configuration management, purchasing, planning, etc) and even antagonistic at times.
     - Layoffs have put a major dent in morale, to the point where many of the brilliant and energetic are jumping ship.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    This company is in need of a major shakeup. I really wonder if selling the company to one of the big players (NG, Lockheed, Boeing) would help. What we need are competent and energetic managers, as well as access to systems and processes that really work.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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