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1 person found this helpful  

Mixed.. Promoted to Department Head in 1987, Laid off in 1984. Rehired in 2000.

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
Former Employee - Department Head  in  Bedford, MA
Former Employee - Department Head in Bedford, MA

I worked at MITRE full-time for more than 10 years

Pros

Excellent opportunity for technical innovation and leadership. Broad application of tech and mgmt. skills. Excellent benefits

Cons

Can be very political with government clients, not always giving clients complete information. Internal politics also prevail

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Let your staff carry their findings all the way to clients.

Recommends
Positive Outlook
Approves of CEO

436 Other Employee Reviews for MITRE (View Most Recent)

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  1. 19 people found this helpful  

    Hard Times at the Lazy M Ranch

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

    I worked at MITRE for more than 8 years

    Pros

    Certainly there are (very) smart individuals interspersed throughout the employee population. Several governmental programs (typically DC- or site-local) are quite relevant, challenging, and central to the public interest.

    Benefits, retirement-matching, and vacation packages, though recently reduced, are still generous relative to industry. Work-life balance differs from job to job, but seems to be 'good' across the board, often to the point of 'cushy' or 'overly lax.' MITRE's anomalous retention (15-to-35 yrs) and attrition (frequently 2%, and never higher than ~6%) could be seen as either pros or cons, but generally seem 'beneficial' in that, once in, employees want to stay. Working mothers are gently (cushily) treated by the corporation, as are the aging and infirm.

    Cons

    Years and years ago -- nearly back to its inception -- MITRE (re)defined its FFRDC role so as to focus on "attaboys" (customer approval, published praise), rather than traditional profit/loss or similar competitive measure(s).

    While clever (in that it dodges traditional metrics and accountability), this 'flavor' has leeched into all nooks and crannies of corporate culture, such that most internal decisions (personnel management, promotion of staff, research-program grants, valuations of individual work-programs/departments, yearly performance reviews) are subjective nearly to the point of lacking substance. The resultant office 'vibe' is very feudal (individual fiefdoms and turf-wars competing for (relatively) small stakes), and academic-graybeard (employees stay for life, and have motivations/priorities unlike that of outside industry, and move/act sloooowly), and somewhat out-of-touch (no, sir, we don't do the actual work, we advise you on _how_ it should be done).

    MITRE's aforementioned focus on the (intangible) "attaboy, you did a good job" has spawned many downstream consequences. Cronyism exists, due to the tenured-professor politicking referenced above, but also because, in many cases, mid/senior leadership can no longer differentiate a "good performer" from an "average [or lackluster] performer," thus those who cling closest to the boss(es) frequently receive the choicest assignments or promotions. Ambitious players are learning that, since no consistent quantitative measure of 'how much improvement' or 'how much technical quality' exists within the organization, it is possible (preferable?) to hop from project to project, dipping one's toe into each work-effort (or, worse, stealing credit) just enough to appear competent and milk customer-satisfaction, before moving on to the next stepping-stone -- in essence, salesmanship and business-development behaviors, emerging within a supposedly-not-profit-driven culture, and being disproportionately rewarded in comparison to 'traditional tech' or 'traditional management.'

    This cultural erosion has not gone unnoticed by outside industry. Cheaper for-profit competitors are beginning to poke at the FFRDC niche, even pointing out areas where the company "is doing [staff augmentation] work it's not supposed to do." Further, a generational void is manifesting within MITRE's ranks... young college/twenty-something hires are "still learning" (picking up early-career skills), while longtime veterans are plodding through the daily routine (and/or "just hoping they can make it another few years"), but the hot-to-advance prime-of-life Generation Xers are exiting in droves, or, tragically, never joining up in the first place. Worst of all, many MITRE-ites find themselves unemployable (due to lack of current skills and/or recent hands-on experience) when returning to the outside job market.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The identity crisis you face is not an enviable one.

    The company must reinvent itself one of two ways (each having drastic cultural consequences), or possibly even split itself along the divide -- a traditional specialist/consulting shop (with all the business-metrics and compete-for-job-seats and demonstrate-your-own-proficiency that follow), OR a less quantitative sit-beside-the-king 'advisory' (staff augmentation) role. Both functions seemingly cannot coexist within the same organization, nor can the same measures/objectives be used. It would be kind(est) to offer existing staff some sort of 'transition plan' or 'grace period,' versus the 2012/2013 find-a-job-or-you're-out shock.

    Also, as a self-defensive reputational measure: get some engineering talent to the top (even if it means temporarily hiring/outsourcing them) to judge 'true effectiveness' and 'true quality,' rather than "survey score(s)," "word of mouth," or "attaboys." I'd be surprised if 25% of your existing department/division leads could perform any sort of rigorous programmatic ranking or valuation beyond "yeah, the customer seems happy, so everything's fine" -- and THIS is the foremost factor causing the erosion/politicking/stagnancy noted above.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2.  

    If you can get in...

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Information Security Engineer  in  Bedford, MA
    Current Employee - Information Security Engineer in Bedford, MA

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

    Pros

    Awesome work/life balance. Benefits are tops in the industry. Always makes it into the Top 100 companies to work for. From day one, you are told to "do the right thing for the government and the American people."

    Cons

    You're at the risk of government budgets which are shrinking. The company is EXTREMELY selective. If you're not already at the top of your game, you may not get in.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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