Center for Naval Analyses

  www.cna.org
  www.cna.org
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Center for Naval Analyses Reviews

Updated May 19, 2014
Updated May 19, 2014
13 Reviews
2.2
13 Reviews
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Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Excellent place of work that affords plenty of flexibility for employees.

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

    I worked at Center for Naval Analyses full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Excellent 401K, unlimited sick leave, friendly environment.

    Cons

    Hectic work schedule at the end of every month.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  2.  

    Just Say No

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

    I worked at Center for Naval Analyses full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Intelligent, thoughtful, dedicated analysts -- plus, CNA's benefits are excellent. A coworker likened them to crack cocaine, saying one taste and you're hooked. Save yourself the pain -- just say no!

    Cons

    The worst managers and "leaders" I've ever experienced. CNA highlights the downside of promoting analysts to managers -- it's a totally different skill set.

    There's a complete lack of creativity and out-of-the-box thinking as evidenced by CNA's bureaucratic stranglehold over its employees. While those at the top give lip service to change, CNA managers are frozen in time. Most who succeed at CNA do so on the basis of politicking, not contributing.

    Two RIFs in one year left morale in the toilet. What is a RIF but a management choice to value A over B? In this case, A = high salaries, new building, lots of overhead, and quite a bit of superfluous expenses. I count myself lucky to have survived the RIFs and gotten out alive.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Start over -- you need fresh ideas, new ways of thinking, creative problem-solving, and lots of business development to survive in the current era of government contracting. You're no longer unique or competitive, you're too expensive, and you diluted your core mission with the ill-fated IPR ventures. Get serious about listening to your "junior" people and implementing change.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    To Be Avoided..., At All Costs!!!

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

    I worked at Center for Naval Analyses full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    Benefits, e.g., medical, dental, 401k. These however are far outweighed by the sheer stupidity that is on constant display.

    Cons

    "Everything Else".. horrible (mis)management; racism, favoritism, and all other 'isms' you can think of would aptly apply. This company has been forged by nepatism run amok. A bunch of inbred swine!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Retire, before you can do further damage. This company is sinking like an albatross with an anchor around its neck.

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

    sinking ship

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

    I worked at Center for Naval Analyses full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Good people among the analysts and other staff.
    Excellent salary and benefits.

    Cons

    Terrible culture, unethical business practices, no value on creativity, you will lose technical skills within one year of working there, few managers that care about professional growth of employees, lack of vision.

    The Institute for Public Research cares only about dollars, not about the products or about helping government agencies.

    Non-performance is not addressed. Employees who do not contribute are left to bill overhead for months at a time while the strong performers must take on the role of multiple people. During my tenure, the only way that CNA got rid of poor performers was through numerous "RIFs".
    If you have a strong work ethic you will be frustrated by what is accepted at CNA. One of the Pros is that the benefits are excellent, but they are abused by many. Unlimited sick leave means that some people are 'sick' nearly every Monday or Friday. Those people without project work often take the most sick leave. Nothing is said by management.

    Promotions are given in order to create a look of diversity (mostly in promoting women that should not be in management positions).

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Show respect to the hard workers. Do not be afraid to teach younger workers or those with entry level skills, and actively support more advanced workers to gain new skills. If people do not perform after being given opportunities (and the proper supports) to improve, terminate them. Stop rewarding mediocrity.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Just Don't Do It.

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

    I have been working at Center for Naval Analyses as a contractor for more than a year

    Pros

    CNA has a decent office space (though in the middle of nowhere), and pleasant-enough coworkers. The work itself isn't too difficult at all, which is nice.

    Cons

    My experience working with CNA has been a disaster from the second month in, when they fired my direct boss. The leadership is difficult to communicate with, and extremely hesitant to change their ways, even if they have good reason to. When I tried to suggest new/better ways of doing things (PPT presentations, social media, general outreach), I was immediately shot down without any discussion, and then they turn and blame me for sub-par content.

    The majority of the people who are management abhor creativity and are completely out of touch with the real world (perhaps that is why their offices are so far away from everything). My new boss is sexist and verbally abusive, and out of a team that started out with eight people, six have either quit or been fired in the last nine months.

    There are better research jobs in this area, and I would not recommend working here.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Please hold your contract managers accountable, especially with how they interact with sub-contractors. It's embarrassing to see how they treat subs.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
  7.  

    Racist Management and Outdated Practices

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

    I worked at Center for Naval Analyses full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    If you're on the FFRDC side, you should be ok.

    Cons

    This company recently had layoffs, and they were handled in an extremely unprofessional manner- employees were escorted off the property like they were criminals. The domestic teams in particular will not be successful in this fiscal environment-- there is not enough work to go around, and instead of acknowledging that, management allows team members to be thrown under the bus, made to feel incompetent, and tries to hire cheaper employees, therefore lowering the overall analytic quality and impacting the ability to get more work. Finally, don't waste your time applying here if you are a person of color. You're not wanted.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Overbloated salaries and lack of subject matter experts will lead to the downfall of the non-defense teams.

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

    Great for the right person

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

    I worked at Center for Naval Analyses full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    CNA offers some near-unique opportunities, if you're willing and able to take advantage of them. The operationally-oriented work in the FFRDC is interesting and can have major impact. My field tour was the best three years of my career to date. On the other hand, if you go into it like it's going to be just another government consulting job, and make no effort to seek out the more interesting work or the field/exercise experience, then I can see it being less rewarding.

    The people are generally smart and pleasant to work with, though with a tilt toward the introverted side.

    Cons

    Attempts to diversify into non-defense work and turn the organization into another RAND have diluted the character of CNA. A tilt in the FFRDC studies program toward less data-driven projects, in keeping with the desires of the average three- and four-star, makes CNA's contributions less unique and fails to take advantage of the capabilities of the types of analysts they hire (at least in the operations and technology-oriented divisions). (This may have improved since I left, though I doubt it.)

    Like many other companies, HR seemed to actively look for things to change/screw up.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Wait until Bob leaves, and then start publicly acting like you serve the Navy and Marine Corps again. Push Navy leadership toward projects that are more than average consulting work.

    Recommends
  9.  

    Good benefits, bad culture

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

    I worked at Center for Naval Analyses full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Good people, good benefits. Good work/life balance in general, but extra work is not rewarded.

    Cons

    Less than nimble management, especially on certain teams. When sequestration hit, analysts were almost exclusively let go even though directors haven't been bringing in new business.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  10. 2 people found this helpful  

    Terrible company

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

    I worked at Center for Naval Analyses full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    flexibility in working, 40 hour work weeks, great retirement matching

    Cons

    The work is boring, and doesn't change as another reviewer has stated. Employees who have been there for over ten years are bored out of their skulls. No one can leave because once you get sucked in here for a career, you're left with no marketable skills. Managers are not innovative, people are very closed minded with respect to growing new work. Also, with defense markets constricting, and the fact that this company had recent layoffs (which probably could have been avoided), I am not confident about the future of this company.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    quit letting your indirects drift up and fire the incompetent dead wood at the top.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    A learning experience

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Advisor  in  Alexandria, VA
    Former Employee - Senior Advisor in Alexandria, VA

    I worked at Center for Naval Analyses

    Pros

    Interesting work opportunities, very smart people to work with

    Cons

    have taken government bureaucracy, and perfected it.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    think outside of the box

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