Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory

www.jhuapl.edu
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Great place filled with highly intelligent and motivated people

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
Current Employee - Senior Professional Staff II in Laurel, MD
Current Employee - Senior Professional Staff II in Laurel, MD

I have been working at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory full-time (more than 8 years)

Pros

Non-profit. You have the freedom to tell the customer the right answer and not the answer that will get the "company" more money.

Cons

Recent efforts at lowering company overhead rates have been hugely demoralizing. Poor changes to health plan, forcing employees to take treacherous weathers days off as vacation, etc...

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Look to employee morale. Most of your employees work for your because they are motivated by the importance of their work, not the money.

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Neutral Outlook
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  1. Great employer with some really neat opportunities.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Professional Staff I in Laurel, MD
    Former Employee - Senior Professional Staff I in Laurel, MD

    I worked at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Work life balance, retirement contribution matching, health benefits are great.

    Cons

    Compensation is ok, but not stellar - that's why I left. There seems to almost be a requirement to leave and come back to get a good raise. Otherwise your salary stays fairly flat from year to year.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Recognize that pay increases are needed (especially with the rising costs of living). Find other ways to cut costs besides choking salaries.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
  2. 2 people found this helpful

    Space Department has incredibly talented scientists & engineers, lead by PhD's instead of those with real experience.

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

    I worked at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Superb technical personnel and some great opportunities if you get in with the right groups. Great atmosphere for learning and continuing your education with a great engineering curriculum brought onto the Laurel campus (The Whiting School of Engineering). Great location (read NOT Baltimore and NOT DC)! This is a great place to start your career. The APL moniker is one of the finest around and they have the technical breadth to do the job right.

    Cons

    If you don't have the sheepskin, your experience is not accepted as valid.
    Little fiefdoms protected fiercely from outsiders.
    High expectations from middle managers with no consistent knowledge of the customer. The customer's needs were considered secondary to securing the next round of funding or securing a foothold in their spaces. I was told repeatedly not to be so forthright with my NASA counterpart; my job was to sell our technical position and our people to do a job, not to teach others the how-to or know-how. I have some real heartburn with that, and I am glad I have moved on. Project Managers here are considered the necessary evil as bookkeepers to schedule and budget, but not respected for their technical input. That's a shame and a waste of good technical hands-on experience. The Space Department has a wonderful new building that they could not afford even before we moved in. Feels like a mausoleum. Especially since the projects keep dying off in the current budget fiasco and good people are told to find work outside of the department or be shown the door.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You have way too many middle managers that have no business managing people, let alone customers. Your technical wizards should be the faces your customers see and interact with; not the smarmy folks you call Program Managers. The PMs have technical talent, but most appear in the customer's eyes as self-centered and not serving the customer needs. Do you really want that as your first line of exposure with your clients?

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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