Southwest Research Institute

www.swri.edu
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There are newer employer reviews for Southwest Research Institute

 

Great place to get a huge variety of experience as a young engineer.

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
Former Employee - Research Engineer in San Antonio, TX
Former Employee - Research Engineer in San Antonio, TX

I worked at Southwest Research Institute full-time (more than 5 years)

Pros

Interesting work, great retirement benefits, wonderful on-site sports and activities culture. The best part is the opportunity to work on a wide variety of projects. Be sure to check that this is the case because this varies from one group to the next.

Cons

A bit "old guard" in that they've been around doing things a certain way for quite some time - this makes them slow to adapt to workplace trends that might benefit both employee and employer.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Adapt to workplace trends more readily as it will lead to better recruiting and retention.

Recommends
Positive Outlook
No opinion of CEO

60 Other Employee Reviews for Southwest Research Institute (View Most Recent)

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  1. 3 people found this helpful  

    Good short term, but don't spend your career there

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

    I worked at Southwest Research Institute full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    There is a great diversity of projects so engineers early in careers can get wide exposure to lots of different technologies. Technical sales opportunities exist and are somewhat encouraged, which helps gain contacts in industry and sales experience.

    Cons

    It's time to leave when you have 8-10 years of experience. Careers stagnate after that. Some get lucky and land big government projects around that time and proceed on into management. For those who don't, there is no career growth. In many cases, the only promotional path is to wait for someone to quit. There's just not enough corporate growth or restructuring to generate career options and keep management effective. Management doesn't invest enough in growth, but focuses on billable hours. Expecting engineers to get their own work from outside entities isn't how the world works anymore. All the other big labs have professional sales people who make contacts for work and bring in technical experts for support. Very little commercial focus makes it hard for people to get hired elsewhere outside of government contracting.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Dramatically restructure more often. Divisions and departments can be very segmented and territorial. Spend money on developing marketable technologies. Hire the lobbyists and connected business development people to generate more government business instead of expecting word of mouth and non-sales staff (engineers) to win new programs.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 2 people found this helpful  

    Your mileage may vary

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Antonio, TX
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Antonio, TX

    I worked at Southwest Research Institute full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Depending on the team, opportunity to work on a variety of interesting technical problems. Chance to work in a variety of roles: engineering, promotional, project management. Private offices. Good retirement benefits. Intramural sports teams.

    Cons

    Low pay relative to many other companies. Claim that they "hire the best", but often fail to retain them for very long. Culture often seems like a relic from the past. Onerous intellectual property clause in the employment contract (no moonlighting or open-source contributions).

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Your employees are your lifeblood. If you want to retain your talent and remain relevant into the 21st century, you need to show them that you value them as people, and not interchangeable cogs.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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