Charles Stark Draper Laboratory Reviews

Updated August 21, 2015
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3.8
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27 Ratings

53 Employee Reviews

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  1. Bright Folks

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Principal Member of Technical Staff in Cambridge, MA
    Current Employee - Principal Member of Technical Staff in Cambridge, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Charles Stark Draper Laboratory full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    There will be times where the vision of working on some of most intellectually challenging problems will make your day.

    Cons

    and you will also be awestruck by how outdated the processes , procedures, and bureaucracy can be. Some tasks will be really boring. Bottom line. It's a job. Ups and downs. Get a real life outside of work, and you will probably like this place.

    Advice to Management

    Fix the I.T. Dept.


  2. Senior IPC PCB Designer

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior PCB Designer in Cambridge, MA
    Current Employee - Senior PCB Designer in Cambridge, MA

    I have been working at Charles Stark Draper Laboratory (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Very advanced team in technology and cohesion.

    Cons

    Need some newer equipment in labs.


  3. Software Intern

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - GCE-5 Mission Assured Systems in Cambridge, MA
    Former Employee - GCE-5 Mission Assured Systems in Cambridge, MA

    I worked at Charles Stark Draper Laboratory (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Interesting projects, brilliant people, and good work environment

    Cons

    Being that its mostly defense/government work, salaries aren't as high as in industry.


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  5. Computer Science Intern

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Intern in Cambridge, MA
    Current Employee - Intern in Cambridge, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Charles Stark Draper Laboratory full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Draper has a lot of great things going on. You have the ability to switch groups and work on different projects every year or so if you desire. Also they will pay for your Doctorate!

    Cons

    Large company so some things take a while to get done. Lots and Lots of military contracts.

    Advice to Management

    Don't force an engineer to become a manager as his only way to get a raise! Some people aren't born to lead and just because they are brilliant behind the keyboard doesn't mean they will be the same behind a gant chart.


  6. Good location, low efficiency

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

    Pros

    very nice location, right next to MIT

    Cons

    inefficient management, normal lab facility


  7. Interesting Engineering Work, Antiquated business processes

    Current Employee - Administrator in Cambridge, MA
    Current Employee - Administrator in Cambridge, MA
    Recommends

    I have been working at Charles Stark Draper Laboratory full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Interesting work, smart people, good benefits, collegial atmosphere.

    Cons

    Weak management has not kept up to date with modern business operations. For example; payroll is still done in house and on a weekly basis. The organization is very siloed resulting in a lot of inefficiency.

    Advice to Management

    The new CEO is introducing a lot of good and much needed change. But a lot of those changes will fail if there is not more focus on how to communicate and implement the changes. Management clearly has a strategy, but they could do a much better job of implementing it.


  8. One of the few, large engineering firms in the city.

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Cambridge, MA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Cambridge, MA

    I have been working at Charles Stark Draper Laboratory full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Very good benefits and work-life balance. Lots of different work.

    Cons

    Easy to get into a rut. Excessive process.


  9. Senior Member Technical Staff

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Member of Technical Staff in Tampa, FL
    Current Employee - Senior Member of Technical Staff in Tampa, FL
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Charles Stark Draper Laboratory full-time

    Pros

    Work on interesting projects that are important to advancing science and the betterment of mankind. Many capable and smart people working at Draper.

    Cons

    Bureaucratic company. If you are not located in Cambridge, it's very difficult to get appropriate recognition for work and accomplishments performed.

    Advice to Management

    Remove bureaucratic obstacles from the people doing the work. Recognize people outside of the Cambridge circle. There are many intelligent and capable people who don't reside in Cambridge and who didn't attend MIT, Harvard or Northeastern University.


  10. Great technology company, stagnant personal growth

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Member of Technical Staff in Cambridge, MA
    Current Employee - Senior Member of Technical Staff in Cambridge, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Charles Stark Draper Laboratory full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Good technical challenges to solve. Benefits, time off (sick and vacation) and retirement matching plan. Some of the best technical people to work with.

    Cons

    People work on projects and once you are done, it is your responsibility to find another one. There is poor growth for people with Masters and Bachelors. The criteria for promotions are vague, arbitrary and changing. There are employees who have spent their entire careers (>30 years) doing the same job.

    Advice to Management

    Individuals and groups are clueless as to what the corporate, directorate and division strategies are. People are constantly worried about their where their next project is coming from (charge numbers for time sheet). This forces them to think about their short-term goals, not long-term strategy.


  11. Draper Lab has many interesting projects, opportunities to work on emerging technologies, but an antiquated culture.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Member of the Technical Staff in Cambridge, MA
    Current Employee - Senior Member of the Technical Staff in Cambridge, MA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Interesting Projects and Technologies Accomplished Colleagues Flexible Work Schedule Occasional Work From Home Fascinating Corporate History

    Cons

    Passé Work Culture and Management Style Little to No Training Opportunities Confused Corporate Message to Font Line Employees Dilbert-esque Environment

    Advice to Management

    Modernize Management Style Provide Widespread Easy to Access Training Opportunities Coordinate and Prioritize Corporate Environment



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