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1 person found this helpful  

Unique Place to Work - You could Thrive (or not) - Depending on your personality, and motivation

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
Former Employee - Manager in Menlo Park, CA
Former Employee - Manager in Menlo Park, CA

I worked at SRI International full-time (more than 10 years)

Pros

-Friendly work environment (the people are what I miss most)
-Best of academia and industry. You may get to work on really, really hard problems with funding from the government agencies.
-Depending upon your goals: You can make an entire career at this company
-SRI "grows" on you. You may end up staying much longer than you think.
-Very, very likeable CEO. Open door. Frequently sits down for lunch with employees at the cafeteria. A good human being.
-Excellent work/life balance
-Very Smart Business Managers (who lead the non-research staff). Very helpful.

Cons

-Few opportunities for "growth", unless you are really motivated and can re-invent yourself
-People can "coast" along for decades without much incentive to evolve
-Management attempting to break down barriers between divisions, but they still exist. Sometimes a division has multiple "processes" within it, based on the directors' preference or convenience.
-"Consensus" based management style = nothing or little eventually gets done because not everyone agrees all the time.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

-A few new people in Senior management are attempting to "shake" things up, but in my opinion not going a very thorough job. Unfortunately, think they know all the answers. Need to listen to people who have been around.
-Create an environment and process for junior managers to feel empowered to bring in change. Provide a channel for them to express new ideas to senior management without concern of repercussions.
-Need stronger leadership at CXO level to enforce policy. It's OK if some people don't agree. Consensus does not always work.

Recommends
Neutral Outlook
Approves of CEO

104 Other Employee Reviews for SRI International (View Most Recent)

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    A great place to work and thrive

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Research Engineer in Menlo Park, CA
    Current Employee - Research Engineer in Menlo Park, CA

    I have been working at SRI International full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    SRI gives a nice blend of Corporate culture and Academic research. You get to work with some of the smartest people in the industry working on some of the coolest research topics. Its pretty much an open environment where everyone can pitch in their own ideas and explore new things.

    Cons

    none that I know of

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    more internal funding for future research areas will be very helpful

    Recommends
  2.  

    Invent yourself a job

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

    I have been working at SRI International full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    SRI operates as a large number of research centers, each with its own culture, focus and priorities. There's some effort to align things at the corporate level, but really, the centers run as businesses (but with a system so centers experiencing a downturn may be 'carried' by ones that stay profitable). In research, positions are really what you make them. You need to hunt for new projects, be entrepreneurial, and develop relationships with customers. If you do that, you have a lot of security and job satisfaction. If you don't, you may have pretty good job security but you'll be marginalized pretty quickly. Get to know your center director--if you don't, you probably won't get the best projects.

    SRI offers some pretty nice benefits, not like Google or Apple but it emphasizes work-life balance. Really, it's an academic institution at heart even after being separated from Stanford for so many years. Good commuter subsidies, health club subsidies, social opportunities.

    Cons

    - Lower than standard pay (granted, it's a non-profit so "bonuses" are not common)
    - Infrastructure is out-of-date but expensive, so overhead rate are high
    - Administrative processes are bureaucratic and archaic, although top management seems to be working on this.
    - Not a big fan of their health insurance plans, but in line with orgs of this size (500-5000 employees)
    - Heavily dependent on Defense Department for revenues and business opportunities. Civilian research activities are strong, but national & homeland security issues are the priority areas.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    SRI probably talks the talk better than it walks the walk when it comes to innovation, but this situation is improving. There's a lot of pressure to avoid rocking the boat. The strength of SRI is its breadth of knowledge--there are experts about EVERYTHING here. It's way too tough to find out who they are, get to know them, and especially to get them involved in projects.

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
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