Aurora Flight Sciences

  www.aurora.aero
  www.aurora.aero
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Aurora Flight Sciences Reviews

Updated August 28, 2014
Updated August 28, 2014
12 Reviews
3.7
12 Reviews
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John S. Langford
11 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Lots of hands-on experience working on things that matter

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

    I worked at Aurora Flight Sciences as an intern for less than a year

    Pros

    People here take pride in their work. Since the company is small, there are many opportunities available on what you are able to do. As an intern, I was about to get a lot of good hands on experience working on things that matter and end up on the final product.

    Cons

    The company is still somewhat small so having access to resources is sometimes a problem like having the latest software and hardware as soon as I need it.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep up the good work. The employee monthly luncheons are great as well as the good value cafeteria.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Spend big bucks to bring someone in but don't give a decent raise to people who are valued.

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

    I worked at Aurora Flight Sciences full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Great people...management needs an overhaul.

    Cons

    Management can't get it right--couldn't pour pee out of a boot if the instructions were written on the bottom.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    People want to be loyal...why do you do everything you can to destroy that?

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 3 people found this helpful  

    Excellent peers and work environment, but keeps attracting bad talent for middle management and programmers.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Non-engineering Support Position  in  Cambridge, MA
    Current Employee - Non-engineering Support Position in Cambridge, MA

    I have been working at Aurora Flight Sciences full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    From my perspective, the benefits are excellent, but this is my first permanent position (before, my full time work was temporary) and I had never seen this level of benefits. People are very friendly in all four sites, engineers are hard working midnight oil burners. Management, while not always wise, can be very flexible and understanding. The company is just under the mid-size business mark (500 employees) and maintains that atmosphere.

    Cons

    Way too little vacation time. Everyone cuts corners to squeeze the most out of it. You only get upped to 3 weeks vacation after 3 years. Many companies in the same field start you out at 4. Additionally, I'm told that engineering salaries are not competitive. I don't know if my salary is bad, but it's certainly better than what I had in other places.

    Finally, it seems like, possibly as a result of the not competitive salaries, the company keeps attracting horrible talent in middle to upper management and also embedded software positions. Good software engineers are hard to come by, in general it seems, and my peers here tell me that Aurora can never seem to offer the good ones a proper enough salary, probably believing it to be a runaway train.

    Management is what appears to be a joke (our Cambridge location is slightly better in this regard). The VP positions seems to be a revolving door of folks rising up from middle management, screwing up, and then going back to middle management. The company seems not to want to get someone from outside the company and there are plenty of legacy folks that are still here from the days of when Aurora was a startup, are vastly incompetent, but have what appears to be the tenure of professors. As a result, Aurora can't seem to get a single solid manufacturing process going. The only exception was the recently hired COO; this may have been the wisest decision made by the CEO in terms of management hiring.

    And finally, not quite a con, but the pros list is very short. There's nothing making me wild about going to work each day other than my own work ethic to do a good job and get praise from my superiors.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Quit trying to wheedle your way into higher management positions by sweet talking the CEO. This is a highly competitive industry and you're barely able to manage a few projects; what makes you think you'll fare well running an entire section of the company? We want the company to succeed, too, and you're not helping.

    Additionally, I'd advise management to stop being so telecommuting-averse. It seems like they consider that area to be some dangerous place of no-return, a line they cannot cross because they feel productivity will fall so suddenly and drastically and they won't be able to rescind the policy because of a backlash from the employees. It's time to step into the 21st century and not treat telecommuting like some exotic concept that you can't understand. All the engineers here are able to do 80% of their job from home. Why not let them? Especially these hard working exempt employees that frequently don't see their family and suffer in their happiness as a result. If you're worried about productivity, implement strict telecommuting productivity checks in the employee reviews process. At the very least, it'll resolve the office space issue that the company is often hitting these days.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    What does Aurora want to be when they grow up?

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

    I worked at Aurora Flight Sciences full-time

    Pros

    Exciting products to work on

    Cons

    Company culture appears not to want to stay in business.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Quit trying to buy your way into business on the backs of your staff

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 3 people found this helpful  

    Very challenging and exciting experience but very unrealistic schedules and budgets.

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

    I have been working at Aurora Flight Sciences full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Chance to work on very interesting problems. Chance to work with bright people.

    Cons

    low budgets, company commits to short schedules, compromises safety and quality to meet schedules and budgets.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    short sighted. Needs a long term vision.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Challenging and Fun, Competitive Pay, Poor PM Schedule Management

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

    I worked at Aurora Flight Sciences full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Very challenging and interesting work. Hard (and quality) work is rewarded during annual reviews and pay raises. Since this is a small company, everyone typically is working on multiple projects and sometimes in multiple disciplines. I learned a lot while working there from many disciplines; faster than friends at other bigger companies. This company is great for anyone who would consider themselves a 'jack of all trades'. I received very good raises each year while I was there; but worked many hours over 80.

    Cons

    Most people that work there are very driven; which makes it difficult to be noticed when putting in extra effort (and hours). I enjoyed working there as much as it was frustrating.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Schedule programmatic deadlines more responsibly. When pushing the engineering and support staff for too long, the motivation drops, along with morale, quality, and productivity; it is inefficient and when deadlines slip, it erodes the customer's confidence. You should promise little and deliver a lot.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Awesome company, needs to figure out what they're doing

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

    I worked at Aurora Flight Sciences full-time

    Pros

    Great work, amazing people, very hands on and not boring. Company is doing one of a kind work in aerospace that gets noticed

    Cons

    Managers aren't good at personnel management. Must be flexible with program and able to juggle multiple projects well

    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Multidisciplinary Company is a great engineering experience

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

    I worked at Aurora Flight Sciences full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    The mix of professions offer a great way to learn about the many facets of engineering. Hands on experience abounds. You will come out a far superior designer if and when you leave.

    Cons

    Management can be a bit intense, but what else is new. Stuff gets done.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You all treated me quite well and the company appears to be rolling right along. Kudos.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Excellent work environment, but company needs to get it's act together.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Avionics Consultant  in  Manassas, VA
    Former Employee - Avionics Consultant in Manassas, VA

    I worked at Aurora Flight Sciences as a contractor for more than a year

    Pros

    Excellent benefits, free office supplies, great learning opportunities. IT Department is top notch and fast. Company is small sized but competes for and often wins contracts with the likes of Boeing and Lockheed Martin. CEO is an incredible man, cannot say enough great things about him. There is a small exercise room with a treadmill and some weights I believe. Dining hall is fairly large with on site catering ($5/meal).

    Cons

    Avionics team seems to never have enough people and the ones that are there can't seem to get their act together. Some employees can be toxic to the comradery of the company; I'm not sure what can be done about this, but working on large scale projects in such a small company can be very intense and the smartassery/cynicism some employees provide doesn't help.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Make some heads roll in upper management. Some people who've been with the company almost since its beginning aren't bad VPs, but the company needs great ones if its going to remain competitive with the big leagues. The decision for the CEO to send off Presidential/COO duties to a new guy was a smart move, but more needs to be done.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Intern Experience

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Intern  in  Cambridge, MA
    Former Employee - Intern in Cambridge, MA

    I worked at Aurora Flight Sciences

    Pros

    Fun, technically challenging work. Cool Aircraft work.

    Cons

    High stress environment. Experienced engineers treat others poorly

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Work on hiring practices, and inter-employee relationships.

    Approves of CEO

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