Alion Reviews

Updated September 12, 2014
Updated September 12, 2014
94 Reviews
3.0
94 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Alion Chairman and CEO Bahman Atefi
Bahman Atefi
52 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Interesting work, ability to help solve problems for the client (in 6 reviews)

  • Good benefits and support for education - industry conferences depending on office/location (in 5 reviews)


Cons
  • Upper management receives large bonuses despite poor performance (in 8 reviews)

  • They expect you to invest in company stock, but it has gown down to under (in 4 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Great learning experience, wouldn't suggest trying to stay long term.

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

    I have been working at Alion full-time

    Pros

    Good mentors and training. Upper management friendly and cares for the employees.

    Cons

    Lots of management, usually have more than one boss giving projects or tasks. Currently no room for advancement.

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

    Failing company. Will not be around to see the next decade.

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

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

    Pros

    Pay is decent and can be flexible with work-home schedule. Health benefits are decent even after sequestration and cutbacks. Some managers will look out for you in harsh times if they know you have value.

    Cons

    1. No chance for advancement. They don't promote from within.
    2. The ESOP program is an joke. Why invest in a company that has had its stock price drop to dirt bottom since 2007? Better off matching the money in a real 401(k) plan. Don't expect to retire off the KSOP/ESOP wealthy.
    3. Employees with 6 figure salaries that are in positions that should payed well below.
    4. Under qualified employees tasked on projects resulting in golden hammer solutions that are developed with technology that is no longer used and supported abroad.
    5. Thrown off projects before they are finished.
    6. Skilled employees get added to projects long after the train derailed.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get a PMI certification, it should be an absolute must even if you manage 1 person.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Former Test Engineer in name only for two years.

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

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

    Pros

    - I met a few nice co-workers that were great informal mentors, and one was kind enough to organize a departure lunch for me on my last day of work, which I definitely appreciated.
    - It was a job that paid the bills and allowed my wife and I to live a decent enough life.

    Cons

    Now that I've taken enough time to marinate and reflect since leaving two years ago, where do I even begin to start? For perspective, I only have two lines on my current resume describing what I did in two years here at this company, as opposed to at least four lines for my other career stops (to date, none of my other career stops have been more than two years).

    I will admit that this section is a little biased from reading the other reviews of this company, but I tended to concur with them anyway. I didn't know that the company hadn't posted a profit since 2002 until reading the other reviews, and I am honestly not surprised. The whole idea of "employee-ownership" via ESOP in lieu of a traditional 401k is a farce that clearly benefits senior management at the expense of the common employee by tying your savings to company stock while the common employee has little to no say in the workings of the company.

    Speaking for my project, I was already looking for my next job four months in. The tipping point was when I was asked to travel to the west coast for a test project. I am a "Test Engineer", right? The trip only took three days when it was originally for one week, and I was sent home because there was nothing to do (determined only after I got there, because a key engineer never showed up). What's more, I had to spend a month on corrective paperwork because I had made a two-dollar mistake on my travel expense report. Imagine all the hours and cost spent on overhead just to get two dollars corrected. The rest of my time at the company was spent in meetings and reviewing documents on client site. After two years, I feel safe enough saying that I did nothing that even describes what a "Test Engineer" does; it was more important to show up to work at a certain time, not fall asleep, dress a certain way, behave a certain way, do things a certain way...than it was to do meaningful work correctly.

    It certainly seems like there was a pervasive culture that gave the impression that upper management only cared about their paychecks and not their actual jobs. The advice I got on more than one occasion from my immediate supervisor whenever I asked about being more involved in meaningful work opportunities was, "you gotta push yourself in more". That pretty much sums up my impression of the culture at this company, whether at a company office or on client site. All signs continue to point towards an inept and directionless upper management who continue to take home large bonuses despite the company's not-so-stellar financial performance, so there aren't many resources left for career advancement opportunities (never had an opportunity for promotion), pay raises (only got one 1% raise in my time there), PTO, etc. for the common employee.

    Have things changed since then? Obviously, I don't know the big picture, so I can't say for sure if things are a result of choices made by the folks in charge (whether it was upper management or the government client) or if they are the result of the recent and still ongoing downturn in the economy. Only time will tell.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I've never held a managerial position, so I'm not sure how much weight my advice is going to carry, let alone have any idea where to start. I guess there should be more two-way accountability between all levels of management and more open door policies. What does upper management have to hide from entry level and mid level employees? Because whatever they were doing at the moment hasn't been working for a while. That's up to you to decide.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5.  

    So far so good..........

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

    I have been working at Alion full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Interesting work, regular hours, decent pay, concerned managers on the overall....good coworkers, customers (the government) can drive you insane but overall they are a good group of people.

    Cons

    My manager is too down in the weeds, he needs to be concerned more on customer (the government) needs and the managing of his personnel then on the product we deliver which has not been complained about. Your now a manager.......manage.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Develop your subordinates to improve and move up to replace you..............

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    Great People, Fun Projects - Difficult to Advance Career

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer  in  Honolulu, HI
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Honolulu, HI

    I worked at Alion full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Everyone I worked with was smart and enjoyable to be with. I was able to work a reasonably flexible work schedule and even work from home on occasion. Never had an issue getting equipment we needed and they were very fair about training.

    Cons

    The biggest con is that as a defense contractor I had very little opportunity for advancement. This is not necessarily the fault of Alion and part of it may be due to my location not being near Virgina/DC. That's where they are HQed, and for a reason - that's where the best pay and jobs are.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 2 people found this helpful  

    Destroying Shareholder Value

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Systems Engineer  in  McLean, VA
    Former Employee - Systems Engineer in McLean, VA

    I worked at Alion full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    The best thing about working at Alion are the salaries. The company is in such poor financial shape that they have to overpay their employees to be able to attract talent. Retention is non-existent, turnover is the norm. Senior management (Corporate) is completely asleep at the wheel, they are more concerned about appearances then market realities. No one is willing to tell the emperor that he has no clothes (or clue of what's going on).

    Cons

    The recent refinancing of the company has destroyed any value in the ESOP. The stock is virtually worthless at this point, and if you could cash out it takes 5 years, good luck with that. The board of directors seems oblivious to the year over year decline and is happy to continue paying the CEO and COO outrageous salaries and bonus's for shrinking shareholder value.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Sell the company.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 2 people found this helpful  

    CEO is Worthless; Company/People are Good.

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

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

    Pros

    Work is interesting. Over 50% of people are individual contributors, rather than "seat fillers". Office culture is slowly becoming more modernized.

    Cons

    CEO and board of directors are unethical, poor "leaders", and have driven the company into the ground by mismanaging overhead, paying themselves exorbinant compensations packages despite not having turned a profit for at least 8 years, if ever (that's as far back in the SEC filings that I looked. Employee Stock Ownership at this company is a crock. 2014, CEO took a 5% raise, with well over $2M in comensation, while the company is on the verge of bankruptcy average salary increases were 1% last year, and benefits packages were decreased. Alion is losing talent to other companies to other companies who haven't squandered their revenue and can afford to compensate the people who are actually generating revenue, and I am next to go.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Apologize for extorting your employees! On whose backs you profit. Pay back the money you took from them through your self-paid phantom stock program (and/or other special stock), which you liquidated before you let the stock price plummet. Stop having the company pay for the CEO's car and Country Club Membership. Have the CEO come and talk to the employees - this hasn't been done is several years, I'm assuming because he's a coward.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9.  

    Data Mining to Obtain, Analyze, and Present Clients with Feasible Strategic Planning Options

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Lead Senior Business Analyst  in  Fort Belvoir, VA
    Former Employee - Lead Senior Business Analyst in Fort Belvoir, VA

    I worked at Alion full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Alion is a leader among business analysis support to strategic planning. Mid-management designates tasks and timelines and then supports individual efforts to obtain, analyze, and present the essential elements of information and feasible strategic planning options the client needs to consider while choosing the best course of action for corporate success.

    Cons

    Department of Defense clients require all staff possess active security clearances, which is usually easily attained; however, most DoD clients require that all persons working on the contract be physically present, on-site, in the offices with the client. This precludes telecommuting and for reasons too numerous to mention, limits participation and contributions from some of the best and most experienced prospects.

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    A company with some great people but...

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

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

    Pros

    Health care plan and work environment decent

    Cons

    Reduced benefits, etc due to overwhelming debt. Bonus plan favors top level management

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    TBD

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Shameful nepotism and cronyism are rampant

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

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

    Pros

    Short commute to the centrally located offices I cannot think of anything else positive to say about this employment experience.

    Cons

    Children, spouses and "friends" of current managers are being hired for positions whether qualified or not. For a position that required a college degree a child of a manager was hired and I got laid off. He had one semester of college before he dropped out. Shameful. Low pay.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    It is a disservice to your clients to hire friends and family and let qualified people get laid off or not given a chance to shine/get promoted.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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