D. E. Shaw Research

  www.deshawresearch.com
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D. E. Shaw Research Reviews

Updated Mar 20, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

2.5 8 reviews

100% Approve of the CEO

D. E. Shaw Research Chief Scientist David E. Shaw

David E. Shaw

(2 ratings)

29% of employees recommend this company to a friend
8 Employee Reviews
Relevance Date Rating
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    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    A good place to work, but with limited career upside potential.

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee) New York, NY

    Pros- Intellectually stimulating work
    - Intelligent team members
    - Opportunities to take on a significant amount of responsibility
    - Benefits: great financial compensation for the industry, flexible hours

    Cons- Little emphasis on professional development
    - Few opportunities for advancement due to low growth and low turnover
    - Communication between upper management and the rest of the company leaves something to be desired
    - Long product cycle limits opportunities to learn new things
    - Slow rate of hiring leaves some team members overworked

    Advice to Senior ManagementPay more attention to employees' professional development.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Good mission, clueless management saved by good engineers

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) New York, NY

    ProsThe mission is excellent. Advance the state of the art in molecular dynamics to shorten the path to drug discovery.

    ConsMany good engineers work here. Management is very poor, but their lack of competence is hidden by the productivity and self-organizing abilities of their engineers. David Shaw gets his results, but it's not through the capabilities of the management.

    Advice to Senior ManagementInstitute 360 reviews so that managers can be reviewed by their peers and their reports. In a company where decisions are data driven and results are expected, the only people not subject to data and review are the managers. Employees won't say it openly, but the thought is prevalent.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    2 people found this helpful  

    On Balance, an Unpleasant Experience (Your Mileage May Vary)

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee) New York, NY

    ProsA chance to work on a potentially world-changing scientific project. Well-funded by David Shaw's fortune. Reasonable work hours. Almost all of the non-management employees are bright and a pleasure to work with. Attractive private or semi-private offices. Compensation is good by NYC standards. David Shaw himself is a brilliant, sincere, and inspiring leader. If you land in the right niche, this might be a great job.

    ConsThere appears to be no functioning mechanism to remove toxic managers, and they are poisoning the organization. Turnover is high--do your homework. Because funding is essentially infinite, there is no real existential drive to avoid mistakes. There is a culture of backbiting. Almost every day you will hear someone trash another's work, sometimes with glee. Though some of the technology is cutting edge, other parts of it are maddeningly archaic. Advice: As a candidate, you should talk to former employees and have a Plan B. If DESRES doesn't work out, ensure you know what you will do, from a career and financial perspective.

    Advice to Senior ManagementThe turnover rate is the canary in the coal mine. All DESRES issues come down to poor or toxic management. Advice would be for Dr. Shaw to hire a trusted management consultant and clean house. Some of the managers are good, but if in doubt better to fire them all than keep a bad apple.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

     

    Intellectually rewarding experience

    Research Scientist (Former Employee) New York, NY

    ProsWork with the brightest minds in the world on a fascinating computational biochemistry project. Small team so each person has a lot of responsibility. Very generous with compensation. The people are very generous in sharing their knowledge with you.

    ConsThese are long projects compared to the rest of the industry. You must remain committed for many years to get through one.

    Advice to Senior ManagementBe a little bit more open on future plans.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

     

    Stimulating environment with challenging/rewarding projects

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee) New York, NY

    ProsReally smart people, complicated/challenging project, minimal financial pressures on work

    ConsSlow progress due to academic environment

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

     

    One can fulfill 80% of one's potential, without stress

    Research Scientist (Current Employee) New York, NY

    ProsSmart and decent people to work with, flat organizational structure insures minimal politics or backstabbing, salary way above market norm, and very good resources to support creative work.

    ConsNo promotions in title (salaries do increase based on performance) and no clear career path.

    Advice to Senior ManagementEncourage people to take risks and give each individual more ownership of their work. Help each employee to develop professionally and gain recognition.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

     

    Fabulous pay, but dehumanizing environment

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee) New York, NY

    ProsEveryone who works there is brilliant, the work is challenging, and the pay far above what you will find almost anywhere else.

    ConsDon't expect to be appreciated or thanked for anything. It is all about what pleases David Shaw, and it is expected that the high pay justifies anything that is asked of you.

    Advice to Senior ManagementLearn to value the people and make them feel like their opinions matter.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

    8 people found this helpful  

    Work/life balance means you only work, management has serious flaws, technical work is quite amazing.

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    Pros- Technical work is as cutting edge as it gets
    - Great resources available for tools, equipment, or software to do the work
    - Great technical people to work with
    - Pay is well above market

    Cons- Management is a mess. It is supposedly a 'flat' hierarchy, but it's really a few layers deep. The real draw back is that nobody really knows who's managing who on any given day, so there really isn't a clear chain of command.
    - Work/Life balance really means you balance the rest of your life so you can work long hours during the day, more hours at home, and checking in on work all weekend. Many people work from vacations, including from international trips!
    - No real vacation policy, so it's at the whim of your direct supervisor.
    - Senior management (which supposedly doesn't exist in the flat org chart) clearly has plans that aren't disseminated to the non-management people.
    - Plans constantly change on large scales that cause huge shifts in priorities and often cost time, effort, and money.
    - There doesn't seem to be a real direction for the whole operation that is readily apparent.
    - Company seems more focused on perks like fancy parties, free coffee, and free food on occasion than about real employee satisfaction.
    - The hiring process is horridly over complicated and though they claim they hire 'superstars' (like many companies these days) they really just hire really smart and talented people willing to work massive hours (often 70 - 90/week).
    - No written review process - annually, quarterly, or in any other way.

    Advice to Senior Management- Institute a real org chart that shows who is a manager of which employees
    - Include employees on the real company goals instead of only talking about the technical achievements and plans.
    - Stop wasting so much time and money on massive parties and useless perks and invest in your employees real life balance.
    - Change the hiring practices so enough people get hired to do the work rather than wasting months (or years!) trying to fill a position that is desperately needed in the near term with someone who will simply be overworked. Hire two really smart people and let them work more reasonable hours instead of hiring one really smart person willing to kill themselves for their job. You'll do better in the long run.
    - Decouple operations from the finance organization completely.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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