Exploratorium Reviews

Updated May 29, 2015
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3.4
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Dennis Bartels
10 Ratings

12 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (1)

    A truly unique work environment

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

    I worked at Exploratorium full-time (More than 8 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Learning something new everyday from staff scientists
    Creativity everywhere
    Fun and exciting programs
    Everyone loves where you work.

    Cons

    If you're mid-management, you struggle with defiant personality types.


  2. Good benefits! But, feels like you're back in high school.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA

    I have been working at Exploratorium part-time (More than 5 years)

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

    Pros

    Good benefits. Interesting place to work. Multicultural environment. The good ones are few, but they make it worth it.

    Cons

    Management has no clue what they're doing. Everyone is very clicky. Many depts look down on other depts. No teamwork whatsoever.

    Advice to Management

    Get your facts straight before taking action on anything. Learn to listen to others that have more experience than you. Interact with employees on a good basis, not just when you want to get them in trouble.


  3. Great company that is truly liberal, multi-racial and multi-cultural

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Part-time Research Assistant in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Part-time Research Assistant in San Francisco, CA

    I worked at Exploratorium part-time (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Liberal, open-minded supervisors who listen to different opinions before making shrewd decisions
    Met a lot of fun people from different backgrounds working there

    Cons

    Pay is alright, could be a little better

    Advice to Management

    Well done! Keep the liberal culture.


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  5. Explo Review

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - On-call Sales Consultant in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - On-call Sales Consultant in San Francisco, CA

    I have been working at Exploratorium part-time (More than a year)

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

    Pros

    You learn something new every day. The environment is a fantastic one to work in, and everyone is there to contribute to the bigger picture of learning and exploring.

    Cons

    Inconsistent hours for frontline workers, and a lot of the higher up departments don't appreciate the frontline workers and what they contribute. A lot of departments seem to look down on the store staff especially, and don't believe in having a store since the museum is non-profit.

    Advice to Management

    Just don't forget the frontline workers, and don't over-estimate because that will lead to layoffs.


  6. Great, but at times frustrating

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Guest Services in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Guest Services in San Francisco, CA

    I worked at Exploratorium part-time (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Pay 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

    Cons

    Full 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


  7. Explainer

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Explainer in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Explainer in San Francisco, CA

    I have been working at Exploratorium part-time (More than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

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

    Cons

    - Training could be improved

    Advice to Management

    Hire people who are actually passionate about learning, and keep the employees who are doing an exceptional job.


  8. Helpful (1)

    A rollercoaster ride

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Financial Analyst in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Financial Analyst in San Francisco, CA

    I worked at Exploratorium full-time (More than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    The 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.

    Cons

    If 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 Management

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


  9. Helpful (2)

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

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA

    I have been working at Exploratorium full-time (More than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great colleagues, lectures, fabulous new location

    Cons

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

    Advice to Management

    Management 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.


  10. Helpful (2)

    Fantastic organization handicapped by toxic and illegal work practices

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

    I worked at Exploratorium full-time (More than 5 years)

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

    Pros

    Strong 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.

    Cons

    For 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 Management

    Please 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.


  11. Helpful (3)

    Creative, inspiring work environment, hamstrung by inept management

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Exhibit Developer in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Exhibit Developer in San Francisco, CA

    I have been working at Exploratorium full-time (More than 5 years)

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

    Pros

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

    Cons

    With 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 Management

    Spend 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.



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