Brookings Institution Reviews

Updated August 21, 2015
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Brookings Institution President Strobe Talbott
Strobe Talbott
27 Ratings

Pros
  • Lots of responsibilities, great networking opportunities, interesting work (in 3 reviews)

  • You get to work on great projects and informed, interesting colleagues (in 3 reviews)

Cons
  • Low salaries; No pathway for junior staff member to rise through the ranks (in 7 reviews)

  • relatively low compensation, need to fundraise, some competition/turf battles among scholars, lack of transparency over salaries/career ladders (in 4 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

44 Employee Reviews

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  1. Best place I've ever worked

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Smart people, really making a difference

    Cons

    Large, can be bureaucratic. Not very diverse.

    Advice to Management

    Keep an eye on innovation and evolution


  2. Staff Assistant

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

    Pros

    Phenomenal co-workers and opportunities to learn abound. Networking is fantastic and job content is usually quite rich. a dream job for someone just starting out or looking to transition to/from government or academia.

    Cons

    sometimes long hours, and of course Brookings is a non-profit so salaries are not as high as the private sector.

    Advice to Management

    the glass ceiling for junior staff is far too rigid. career paths are dynamic and everyone is different. it is discouraging to tell folks from day one that they don't have a long-term career path at Brookings.


  3. RA

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    The name helps in networking opportunties.

    Cons

    Never been so poorly treated by an organization. Either start your career there or finish-no place for mid-career people.

    Advice to Management

    Work to develop junior staff rather than expect them to only to stay max two years.


  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5. Good experience

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

    Pros

    Great working environment. The research topics are very interesting. Co-workers are wonderful and willing to help you with your research. (The cafeteria is nice)

    Cons

    The position is unpaid and the experience itself is the only compensation.


  6. Good stepping stone, bad for long-term

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

    Pros

    - great intro to policy world - connections & access to DC politicos - work/content is cutting edge & at forefront

    Cons

    - no upward mobility - by dept (ES) doesn't seem to value junior staff - sneaky way of making internal decisions

    Advice to Management

    more transparency or at least more communication with staff on major staffing/program decisions


  7. Helpful (1)

    Just a stepping stone job

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Research Assistant
    Former Employee - Research Assistant
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Brookings Institution full-time

    Pros

    Brookings is a great place to start your career but you have to be very low level to gain any true experience. - fancy name - famous fellows - interesting events - writing opportunities - decent work/life balance

    Cons

    Brookings does not care about its lower level staff; there is little to no recognition or appreciation (ES in particular) of staff. If you want stability don't work here, they have gotten rid of wings of people bc the director doesn't like the work they do because although they say they are bipartisan - ES seems to filling to the brim with republicans and research and staffing choices seems to reflect this move right. - highly political issues between fellows and management - junior staff gets stuck in the middle of major power plays - awful management (speaking of ES here) - no communication with lower staff - one day a whole wing of people might just "close" and you can't pay rent - old white dude only event panels - lots of late nights and weekends worked for little money Although it's not the best place I've worked, I will say that it is a good stepping stone just for the name on the resume. That's it - Brookings on the resume. Do not plan to work here long.

    Advice to Management

    Hire directors of programs who can actually manage staff effectively.


  8. Great Place to Work

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Brookings Institution full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    stimulating atmosphere with professional and supportive colleagues and management; great benefits; fair hiring procedure and reviews; ability to grow within some positions; encouragement to take on new challenges and skills

    Cons

    Some positions are revolving doors as there is not a lot of possibility to grow and develop. But it's a great place to get your foot in the door and move on from there.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to provide career development seminars and workshops for junior staff; be more transparent with overall strategies for institution and make greater effort to retain qualified staff.


  9. Research Assistant

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Research Assistant in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Research Assistant in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great place to start your policy career Great environment to learn from some of the best minds Flexible Prestige

    Cons

    low salaries virtually no upward mobility little direction, must be very self-driven


  10. Great place to get your start in the DC policy world

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Project Coordinator
    Current Employee - Project Coordinator
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at Brookings Institution full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Brilliant scholars, lots of excellent and interesting events, great research outputs, plenty of networking opportunities

    Cons

    There really isn't any upward mobility in research here-junior staff generally stick around for a few years before heading to other jobs/additional graduate studies. Compensation is also pretty low and inconsistent across the institution, and opportunities for solo authorship on research are lacking

    Advice to Management

    Better communication between programs is necessary, as well as better professional opportunities for junior staff


  11. Internship

    Current Employee - Intern in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Intern in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at Brookings Institution part-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    You get to interact with some of the top policy makers in the world.

    Cons

    It can sometimes feel like it is a business, rather than a place to share ideas for the better good. Scholars also let their egos get in the way sometimes.



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