There are newer employer reviews for Raytheon BBN Technologies
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Helpful (1)

Be prepared to be a programmer, no matter what your specialty is

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
Former Intern - Intern in Arlington, VA
Former Intern - Intern in Arlington, VA

I worked at Raytheon BBN Technologies as an intern (Less than a year)

Pros

The biggest "pro" is knowledgable co-workers who are willing to help if you just ask. The nature of the work can be challenging, so there are always opportunities to learn. The work is engaging if you already have a solid computer programming background (Matlab is a MUST for this workplace). Perks include flexible hours and an individual office.

Cons

It's easy to get overwhelmed when you are put onto multiple projects. Expect to spend extra time outside of work learning things outside your area of expertise (this may be a pro for some people). When the economy is bad, the company's bottom line suffers because it handles a lot of government contracts. That obviously has an impact on the quantity of projects and hiring practices. Upward movement seems pretty stagnant. It seems like people get to a position they like (or are extremely good at) and end up staying there as long as possible-- sometimes by choice, sometimes because they've been pigeon-holed.

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  1. Helpful (2)

    Exposure to great projects, smart people and wonderfull work environment

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Scientist in Cambridge, MA
    Current Employee - Scientist in Cambridge, MA

    I have been working at Raytheon BBN Technologies full-time (More than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    - great place to be
    - exposure for applied R and start-up nature D
    - learning and training opportunities
    - smart people
    - great benefits
    - honest answers (when ask )
    - nice people

    Cons

    - no guidance, swim on your own or get drowned
    - be highly billable or bring in the money. Otherwise you are out.
    - Raytheon culture and processes are creeping in
    - limited career opportunities
    - nice people (skip to tell you if you are doing the wrong thing, they are maybe not so nice;)
    - no cross-department collaboration
    - silent competition amongst groups

    Advice to Management

    - stop Raytheon
    - clearer guidance to junior employees
    - train your managers
    - plan ahead for tough times
    - do exciting stuff - do not settle for less.
    - DO NOT TURN INTO A BODY SHOP

  2. Helpful (3)

    Office Politics with Rigid Company Rules

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

    I worked at Raytheon BBN Technologies full-time

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    * If you don't have a STEM job, BBN's pay is not the worst.
    * Most of your colleagues are brilliant, BBN is a transitional place for them. Most of them, don't have other choices other than BBN.
    * If you are involved in a research, it is likely to be world-class. Very unfortunately, it is unlikely to be the best because that's not the goal of the company.
    * Most technologies are copied from Big Four. Copying is a meme within the company and it is a reasonable business driver.

    Cons

    I have left BBN for two years. There are certainly nice things about
    the company. You can also see some positive reviews on this site. I
    acknowledge them: long long time ago, BBN is one of the most
    innovative companies in U.S.. It is still a world-class institution
    and comparable with Big Four (IBM, Microsoft, Google and Amazon). So,
    working here is no shame and you just try to make a living here.

    Saying so, I am giving this place only one star and won't recommend my
    friends to work here. Why? I am going to explain more. Since I have
    left for 2 years, I am no longer too bitter about the place. I just want
    to tell you the truth as much as possible. I also mildly resent some
    "Damn-good" reviews on this site. Most are superficial at best.

    When you work in BBN, you will notice a bunch of people more brilliant
    than you leave within 2-4 years. They head to bigger researcher
    companies or startups. They seldom come back to BBN. Once you trace
    the cause, there are 2 major reasons, office politics and the billing
    system.

    Let's review what's the corporate system of BBN first: There are 5
    departments in BBN. On average, each has around 100-200 employees.
    Departments are rivals and the heads are never in good terms.

    In each department, there are 7 levels of scientists or engineers:
    1, Chief Scientist,
    2, Principal Scientist,
    3, Lead Scientist,
    4, Senior Scientist,
    5, Scientist,
    6, Staff Scientist,
    7, Associate Scientist.

    Now simple math: there are 7 layers but the maximum department size is
    200. In reality, depends on your luck and how much money your group
    bring in, it could go from 1 up to 9. Since higher level the
    scientists the more say they have.

    If the group size is around 3 to 5, low level
    employee such as Staff/Associate Scientist would need to take commands
    from multiple superiors. Not only that, as I said, you also need to
    be aware of interdepartmental politics as well as the fact that BBN is
    now part of the subgroup of Raytheon. So in reality, working there
    is like walking on a path filled landmines.

    The second issue, as very well presented by another commenters here,
    is the work dynamics. There are essentially two groups of people in
    the company: the ones who write the proposals and the one who
    don't. As in the other mail said, the "Master" and the "Servant".
    Indeed, the relationship between the "Master" and the "Servant" is not
    different from the one in the medieval age. The "Master" gets higher
    salary, more bonus when a proposal is successful and have very free
    schedule. The "Servant", would take 8+ years to promote, get very low
    salary, very prone to laid-off, their bonus is also the lowest. The
    worst thing is they see their "Master" leaving early at 5:00
    p.m. everyday but they were left to do more and work until 8,9,10 and
    11.

    That's certainly an unfair system. Unfortunately, if you don't have a
    PhD, chances are you won't write a proposal in your life time. You
    will be asked to resolve low-level non-creative tasks and you will
    stay there forever. There are exceptional case, when a mere master
    can get promote to high level. But they are very rare and it depends
    on luck rather than your skill.

    So now why do I only give 1 star? If we are comparing BBN with other
    S&P 500 companies, yeah... BBN's probably still the top 100 places to
    work. But hey, if you are brilliant, you always have choices. You
    can either go to a bigger company such as Google, Microsoft, Yahoo,
    IBM or Amazon. Corporate life there also sucks but hey! But you got
    paid more.

    You can also go back to school. The same 7-8 years, you got a PhD,
    after that you can also go to the Big Four. Once again, you end up
    better in status and salary. You can also stay in BBN and go to
    school. Let me tell you, it's a waste of time - your bosses are not
    very happy you go to school at all because they will have less
    manpower to work on *their idea*.

    Now last but not least, you can join a startup. BBN no longer give
    out options. The only rewarding system is proposal bonus. Your
    salary growth in BBN is also very meager. Why not search for a better
    place?

    That is why I am giving BBN 1 star: There are so many alternatives of
    working in BBN. All of them are better. When you happen to join BBN,
    corporate policies make you less and less competitive. Why would you
    ever want to go there?

    Anyway, thanks for the reading. Peace out and I hope you have good
    luck in your next job.

    Advice to Management

    Restructure the company soon. Several of your edges are getting duller and duller.

There are newer employer reviews for Raytheon BBN Technologies
There are newer employer reviews for Raytheon BBN Technologies

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