There are newer employer reviews for Sandia

2 people found this helpful

If you want to be a postdoc, do it at a national lab, not a university.

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Career Opportunities
Current Employee - Postdoctoral Appointee in Livermore, CA
Current Employee - Postdoctoral Appointee in Livermore, CA

I have been working at Sandia

Pros

- Options for flexible work hours - 9/80 schedule, flextime
- For a postdoc, salary is good, you don't have to teach undergrads, your PI looks after the funding, and you can work on research with clear industrial applications (I think this situates me well for my next job)
- Engineering and science research organizations work together well - I don't feel there is competition, it feels like we are complementary
- Workplace activities: I make use of onsite Toastmasters, gym, training and development
- For researchers, it seems like there are a lot of avenues to pursue interesting research that meets DOE needs.

Cons

- Salaries seem to be at the mercy of Congress. A 2-yr salary freeze for the DOE complex was announced shortly after I arrived.
- Funding levels and project budgets are at the mercy of Congress and DOE
- Cumbersome safety/health bureaucracy: I get that it's necessary so we can set a good example as consumers of taxpayer dollars, but some thing, like procedures for disposal of lab waste, are not well thought out.
- Cumbersome information security bureaucracy: I get that it's necessary, but the rules are numerous and complex enough that few fully understand them.
- Information is highly compartmentalized - I get that it's necessary, but this is challenging for someone like me who is motivated by seeing how my work contributes to the mission and fits into the big picture

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Do everything you can to set a good example of positivity and high morale. I have detected a note of negativity among staff members in response to things like salary freezes, extra safety/health procedures, etc, and when managers joiin in the grumbling, it just seems demotivating, especially to new hires. Managers should set the tone by not standing for such negativity.

Recommends
No opinion of CEO
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  1. 3 people found this helpful

    Low bar of technical talent in recent years of hires, benefits declining, good talent leaving

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Member of Technical Staff in Albuquerque, NM
    Current Employee - Member of Technical Staff in Albuquerque, NM

    I have been working at Sandia

    Pros

    - 9/80
    - High start salary
    - Flexible work hours
    - Easy to climb if you're not stupid
    - They don't fire anyone at the Labs
    - Easy to switch projects

    Cons

    - Younger folks leaving Labs for better places (good talent is leaving)
    - People not getting picked up by other companies are staying
    - Company pays huge start salaries, crappy raises (1-2%) no matter what you do
    - People are all about titles at the Labs, but technical quality is real bad in recent hires
    - People game the system for promotions, switch groups, it's about "who you know" to get places
    - GPA is everything to get in

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Read about your competition:

    - Interview technically
    - Fire the weak people
    - So many managers at the Labs, so little are actually competent
    - Stove-piped crazy
    - Staffing and hiring process is a mess, recruiting seems like they are trying but have no support, travel is good
    - Actually have a reason for the good talent to continue working harder
    - Figure a way to keep talent from leaving the Labs (everyone sees this job as stepping stone when they're new now)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful

    Excellent research opportunities for students

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Student Intern in Albuquerque, NM
    Current Employee - Student Intern in Albuquerque, NM

    I have been working at Sandia

    Pros

    State-of-the-art facilities, brilliant people, unique research opportunities

    Cons

    not a communal atmosphere, there is a lot of "office-use-only", so there are few individuals that you can discuss interesting ideas with

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
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