Aurora Flight Sciences Reviews

Updated April 29, 2015
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3.6
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John S. Langford
9 Ratings

12 Employee Reviews

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  1. Interesting work, long hours

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

    I have been working at Aurora Flight Sciences full-time

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    you get to work on some pretty unique concepts, and some of the people are top notch. Aurora competes on equal footing with the primes despite being orders of magnitude smaller.

    Cons

    The projects are often understaffed, leading to long hours to get things done. Over the course of time it's very detrimental to morale.
    Also the salaries have not kept up with what the newcomers (Google, Facebook, amazon, etc.) are offering.

    Advice to Management

    Do what you can to retain top talent.


  2. Configuration Management specialist

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

    I worked at Aurora Flight Sciences

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Offers a competitive salary for the position

    Cons

    Most employees are not receptive to change. Most are consumed with bad, unproductive habits.


  3. Helpful (4)

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

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

    I worked at Aurora Flight Sciences full-time (More than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    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 Management

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


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  5. Helpful (4)

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

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    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 (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    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 Management

    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.


  6. Helpful (1)

    What does Aurora want to be when they grow up?

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

    I worked at Aurora Flight Sciences full-time

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Exciting products to work on

    Cons

    Company culture appears not to want to stay in business.

    Advice to Management

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


  7. Helpful (4)

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

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

    I have been working at Aurora Flight Sciences full-time (More than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    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 Management

    short sighted. Needs a long term vision.


  8. Helpful (1)

    Challenging and Fun, Competitive Pay, Poor PM Schedule Management

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

    I worked at Aurora Flight Sciences full-time (More than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    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 Management

    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.


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

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

    I worked at Aurora Flight Sciences full-time

    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    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


  10. Helpful (1)

    Multidisciplinary Company is a great engineering experience

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

    I worked at Aurora Flight Sciences full-time (More than 5 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    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 Management

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


  11. Helpful (2)

    Intern Experience

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

    I worked at Aurora Flight Sciences

    Approves of CEO
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Fun, technically challenging work. Cool Aircraft work.

    Cons

    High stress environment. Experienced engineers treat others poorly

    Advice to Management

    Work on hiring practices, and inter-employee relationships.



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