Exploratorium
4.0 of 5 13 reviews
www.exploratorium.edu 150 to 499 Employees

Exploratorium Reviews

Updated Jun 3, 2014

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4.0 13 reviews

                             

80% Approve of the CEO

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Dennis Bartels

(10 ratings)

75% of employees recommend this company to a friend
13 Employee Reviews
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    Great, but at times frustrating

    Guest Services (Former Employee)
    San Francisco, CA

    ProsPay is above minimum wage
    Amazing people
    Amazing museum and learning space
    Wonderful team to be a part of
    Procedure in place that made it easy to work in different positions

    ConsFull time was considered 32.5 hours and could be distributed over 5 days
    They hired WAY too many people in anticipation for their move and subsequently people's hours were cut. They seem to have this figured out now.
    When it was slow, they day dragged on

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Explainer

    Explainer (Current Employee)
    San Francisco, CA

    Pros- Great Learning Environment
    - Very open to individuality
    - Perfect college job
    - Very Fun

    Cons- Training could be improved

    Advice to Senior ManagementHire people who are actually passionate about learning, and keep the employees who are doing an exceptional job.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    1 person found this helpful  

    A rollercoaster ride

    Financial Analyst (Former Employee)
    San Francisco, CA

    ProsThe Exploratorium is a great place to work if you're early in your career. You'll be exposed to a lot of different experiences and opportunities. The people are by far their greatest asset. It's a fun and eclectic culture.

    ConsIf you need a structured environment, this is not the place for you! In general, there is a real lack of leadership and experience at the management level.

    Advice to Senior ManagementAcknowledge your strengths and your weaknesses. Learn to listen to the people around you who have the experience you lack.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    High class place to work

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    Prosmy dream job in a few words

    Consincompetence in fiscal management yearly

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Getting to move from the Palace of Fine Arts to the Piers was thrilling. Interesting things going on all the time

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
    San Francisco, CA

    ProsGreat colleagues, lectures, fabulous new location

    ConsCompensation is not competitive. Museum can rely on reputation and interesting work. Pay is not competitive.

    Advice to Senior ManagementManagement could do more to help employees advance. Most would tell you that you have to pursue jobs at other organizations in order to move up the ladder at the Exploratorium.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Fantastic organization handicapped by toxic and illegal work practices

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
    San Francisco, CA

    ProsStrong work-ethic of staff / vibrant research and develoment culture / many creative, smart, and likeable personalities / imaginative, acessible delivery of its mission / strong transmission of its core values / output-driven / the museum culture is always reinventing itself / sense of community within the staff

    This organization strongly embodies the do-it-yourself, do-it-together spirit that has made the Bay Area a hub for innovation.

    ConsFor all that is great and character-building about working here, my time (and that of others) was deeply marred by hostile management practices, including harassment, verbal and physical abuse, retaliation on whistle-blowing, defamation, and constant over-work and over-scheduling without overtime compensation. Sadly, these are not isolated incidents---there is historic precedence, and evidence that it's endemic to the museum culture. The mechanisms to seek arbitration, recourse, or simply just help are, in my personal experience, politically skewed and ultimately unhelpful. The imaginative capacity of the organization is not tempered by a management that knows when to say enough is enough. Nor do they seem to value the dignity or hard work of staff, who are charged to pull off management's (often) over-the-top vision.

    Advice to Senior ManagementPlease advocate for more work-life balance among your ranks. Please don't permit or perpetuate discriminatory or illegal procedures. Please don't perpetuate defamation in a formally organized setting, then call it a "feedback" session. Please get more support staff for your department-of-ones, so they don't displace their rage or frustration onto someone relatively powerless and easy to project onto. If someone has proved to be toxic or is known to be mentally ill, and they are harming their staff, please intervene instead of practicing "C.Y.A." Project managers, most of whom have a great head on their shoulders, don't have the capacity to veto you. Please have a more feet-on-the-ground sensibility, so you don't burn out or harm the health of your staff through overwork. Please have safer, more politically neutral mechanisms for whistle-blowing.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    Creative, inspiring work environment, hamstrung by inept management

    Exhibit Developer (Current Employee)
    San Francisco, CA

    ProsMyriad opportunities to learn both new professional skills and about the physical and biological world; welcoming, diverse staff, inspiring environment and appreciative visitors.

    ConsWith a few notable exceptions, "managers" are people who have no skill managing. This is most evident at the top, where the management tasks are more organizational than interpersonal; mishaps from financial miscalculations to workload underestimation to lack of transparency weaken morale and scare away valuable staff.

    Advice to Senior ManagementSpend more time interacting with middle management and the rest of the staff to better understand the needs of the institution; show a little restraint in calculating your own paycheck and attract better talent via better salaries (especially in outrageously-expensive San Francisco. You know who you are, 37% raise in 2013...), exercise caution when setting spending and staffing goals and be wary of hubris.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    Wonderful staff, inspiring environment, inept management

    Project Manager (Former Employee)
    San Francisco, CA

    ProsWhat the museum provides the visiting public is phenomenal. And, the internal programs, brown bag talks for staff and the like, are amazing. Brilliant and creative coworkers. You are constantly learning about the world around, regardless of what your actual job/tasks are at the museum.

    ConsQuite a few management staff who are absolutely terrible at managing people. Company follows the stereotypical non-profit set up of overpaying the top, and barely paying the staff. Company reorg in 2013 left the place in turmoil, hopefully they will get it together before the product starts to suffer.

    Advice to Senior ManagementGet training on how to communicate better with your staff. Don't assume you know what all their responsibilities are, this is a non-profit which means folks end up doing way more than their job description in OD has on file.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    Great working

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    Proscenter of san francisco, easy access to public transportation, great people that work there.

    ConsCan't really think of any cons.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Wildly creative, intellectually stimulating but lots of dysfunction

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsVisiting artists and scientists, very talented and dedicated staff, museum's reputation in the world, good benefits, opportunities to learn and be creative, a strong sense of community

    ConsTensions and disconnect between upper management and staff, entitlement and elitism among creative groups, limited opportunities for advancement, lack of diversity, people in positions of power who need serious management training, unclear roles and confusing reporting structure, the "cult of personality"

    Advice to Senior ManagementTrain your managers to listen, support and advocate for their staff, define clear processes and roles, create a generally more professional environment.

    – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Glassdoor is your free inside look at Exploratorium reviews and ratings — including employee satisfaction and approval rating for Exploratorium CEO Dennis Bartels. All 13 reviews posted anonymously by Exploratorium employees.