There are newer employer reviews for Los Alamos National Laboratory
There are newer employer reviews for Los Alamos National Laboratory

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I was a student intern

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

I worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory

Recommends
No opinion of CEO
Recommends
No opinion of CEO

Pros

The people there are brilliant and passionate. The lab is a one of a kind place to work. It is also located in an incredibly beautiful part of the country. Nature lovers paradise!

Cons

If you don't have a ph.d. you might get looked down upon in some of the research groups. This culture is prone to change.

Advice to Management

Please remember that summer interns need your help. They can not complete their job if they are left unattended. Word.

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  1. Good place to work if you stay under the radar and work in a good group - it helps to like the outdoors, too.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Research Technologist I in Los Alamos, NM
    Current Employee - Research Technologist I in Los Alamos, NM

    I have been working at Los Alamos National Laboratory

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    International reputation (a national lab looks good on your resume), and good compensation make LANL an attractive place to work. The northern New Mexico location is beautiful and has lots of opportunities for outdoor activities - there's a very good ski resort (Pajarito) only 5 miles away, for instance. There is a lot of variation in environments at the lab; some divisions and groups are much nicer to work in than others - I work in the Theoretical Division, in an excellent group. Choose carefully. I have also found my peers here to be a well-above-average bunch. Where I work at least, there is little to no 'deadwood'; everybody is at least competent, and usually exceptionally good, at their job. There is very little local office politics; most of that is higher up the food chain.

    Cons

    The tiny remote location won't appeal to some. Los Alamos is a small town of 15,000, and feels like a small town. Everything closes at 8, for instance. You will either find yourself driving to Santa Fe (~45 minutes) or Albuquerque (2 hours) for serious shopping/dining/entertainment, or you will live in Santa Fe and commute to work every day. The management is very bureaucratic, and lots of things that you will be required to do seem quite ridiculous - you will be required to wear an ID badge at all times that you must use to enter almost every building here, take numerous 'training' and 'retraining' courses (mostly on computer), attend quite a few meetings, etc.

    Advice to Management

    Stop covering your asses and lead!


  2. Decent compensation, benefits and good work/life balance, lack of coherent strategy

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Scientist in Los Alamos, NM
    Current Employee - Scientist in Los Alamos, NM

    I have been working at Los Alamos National Laboratory

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Basic research seems still very strong here in some physics disciplines and material science. A permanent position at LANL is fairly attractive in terms of base salaries and the benefits. New hires no longer get the pension that people who hired on before LANS llc took over management of the lab(in 2006) got, but at least they get 401k matching. Work/life balance is good, long hours may get you better performance appraisals, but are not required.

    Cons

    LANL is still trying to figure out what its mission is after the Cold War. Unclear strategy, in particular commitment to computer science and generally topics outside of the core weapons program is questionable, flaky, and sometimes changes very rapidly. Bureaucracy is unparalleled: there are no simple processes at the lab, which really impacts productivity negatively. Internal politicking is at dangerously high levels. Senior management seems disconnected even from middle management. Middle-tier managers are usually good-hearted and try hard, but rarely stand a chance against upper management; in turn, middle-tier managers sometimes get caught up in pointless turf wars. Final downside: funding situation is still somewhat unclear. A general RIF was avoided in early 2008 through a voluntary termination package, but it is too early to say that we are over that hill.

    Advice to Management

    Decide what your strategy is. Listen to middle-management.


There are newer employer reviews for Los Alamos National Laboratory
There are newer employer reviews for Los Alamos National Laboratory

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