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13 people found this helpful  

Great place to work, no leadership on tough issues

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

I have been working at MITRE full-time

Pros

As an FFRDC MITRE enjoys a better working relationship with government customers than for-profit contractors. This translates into - no bidding for contracts, ability for MITRE employees to operate objectively as they should, access to the highest levels in government organizations with MITRE staff in key advisor positions with government.

Salaries and benefits have traditionally been very good, but as government contracts MITRE is having a difficult time making the right choices to enable supervising managers to compensate younger staff properly.

Very little management of work program. If you're independent minded, MITRE is a place where you can carve out a niche, get government funding for your effort, and operate autonomously. You just have to be able to turn a deaf ear to the management churn and rhetoric.

Cons

MITRE management states all of the "right" thnigs they should be saying.....we serve in the public interest, we need to tell the government sponsors what they need to hear, not what we think will make them like us, we need to reach across government sponsors to facilitate system solutions. But, their day-to-day decision process does not follow this. The way to get ahead at MITRE is to get the government to send a lot of money to MITRE, find a General Officer who likes you personally and will send awards to MITRE, constantly promote yourself and your program, and never tell the truth in MITRE meetings it is critical of other MITRE management.

In truth, MITRE is a reasonably easy place to manage. We are non-profit and run FFRDCs, so we compete for the FFRDC contract, but after that the government can ask us to do work and send money without much effort for them or us. The hard part is running the FFRDCs in such a way as to acheive all of the goals stated in "The MITRE Way" - the "new" plan for how we should be running the organization. To really help the government at a system level across government sponsors is hard and takes real management. Since we have promoted people who instead follow the "MITRE Way to Get Ahead" we have ended up with people who either don't know how to manage effectively to acheive the stated goals, or have been rewarded and promoted through the years by following another set of rules.

In typical fashion, MITRE management hired an outside advisor to survey the customer and tell them what the senior staff already knew. Individual MITRE employees are very well thought of by their immediate customers, but those same customers both expect MITRE to be doing the system engineering job and at the same time don't think we are. So, MITRE established the new "MITRE Way" to present a good front about what we are doing without really doing what is necessary and that is to really understand how we got to where we are. What they either don't understand or don't care about is that the MITRE Way goals are the result of good management not the way to establish good management.

The end result is that a lot of senior staff have given up on MITRE as an organization and have instead decided to do what they can as individuals. It won't be easy to reengage the core of very capable people who have made that judgment. The organization also suffers from a feeling from more junior and mid-level staff that there is no where to go in their career at MITRE.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Take a deep breath. Really consider what is important to the organization and then reflect on whether the reward system you have established and have been using for the last ten years recognizes the MITRE Way or instead rewards behavior counter to those goals. The staff, particularly senior staff, see right through all of your rhetoric to what is really important to you. The good news is that most of us have stopped listening.

Stop your obsession with outside recognition - awards and such - and focus on internal operations. I only wrote this review because I know that MITRE's new facination is with Glass Door because we are well ranked here now instead of Gallup!

Recommends
Negative Outlook
Disapproves of CEO

435 Other Employee Reviews for MITRE (View Most Recent)

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  1. 2 people found this helpful  

    An umbrella corporation supporting several excellent Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDCs)

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Systems Engineer  in  McLean, VA
    Current Employee - Systems Engineer in McLean, VA

    I have been working at MITRE full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Collaborative, supportive environment comprised of many insanely intelligent people. Challenging work.

    Cons

    Mediocre management in some areas. Limited by FFRDC status as to what projects we can take on.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Introverts do not make good managers. Be careful, too, of perceptions. Misogyny is not a good perception to allow.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 2 people found this helpful  

    Results only work environment

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Lead Information Systems Engineer  in  McLean, VA
    Current Employee - Lead Information Systems Engineer in McLean, VA

    I have been working at MITRE full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    The focus at MITRE in my experience has been that we are focused on results. Yes, billing time matters, but the culture is very flexible on when and where you do your work. Just get the work done on time. We are very focused on impact to the customer, and look for ways to make sure that our work stays that way. we stay away from work that is not "MITRE work", and do our best to work with our sponsors to understand what that means.
    The infrastructure around the employee at MITRE is solid. I don't have to worry about any of the administrative problems that I've experienced at other companies in terms of getting employment and benefits paperwork in order.
    Very organized workplace.

    Cons

    Sometimes working for the federal government as the client, things can move very slowly, and project requirements are often very "squishy". If you are the type of person who needs things to be clear cut and laid out for you to be effective, this may not be the best environment for you. However, if you are good at making sense of a confusing space, and like to set direction, this is perfect.
    If you're looking for techincal development, make sure you get into the right department at MITRE. Many departments are not heavy duty technical, as we do not do implementation. But there are technical departments where you can exercise that skill. Just make sure you get into the right place if that is what you want to do. and even then, it's more research focused, not day-to-day coding and implementation.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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