Exponent

  www.exponent.com
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Exponent Reviews

Updated Jul 25, 2014

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All Employees Current Employees Only

3.0 54 reviews

57% Approve of the CEO

Exponent President, CEO, and Director Paul R. Johnston

Paul R. Johnston

(28 ratings)

47% of employees recommend this company to a friend

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Good company, interesting projects, highly qualified personnel(in 5 reviews)

  • The projects are interesting, and there are a lot of smart people who work there(in 5 reviews)


Cons
  • Work-life balance very difficult (dare I say impossible) to achieve(in 6 reviews)

  • The company is shortsighted due to too much focus on billable work(in 4 reviews)

54 Employee Reviews
Relevance Date Rating
in
    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    3 people found this helpful  

    Pretty cut-and-dry

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsGood people to work with.

    ConsThey are so focused on billing, it breeds an atmosphere of "each man for himself"

    Advice to Senior ManagementWork on the team-building and comradery.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
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    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Smart people, stagnant culture and benefits- keep up with the Bay Area!

    Senior Associate (Current Employee) Menlo Park, CA

    ProsWorking on a wide variety of interesting projects (often at the same time) is a huge plus for the right personality. Encouragement to publish and cultivate client relationships, while maintaining a strictly unbiased work product is also great. Great people to work with- smart, vibrant, flexible.

    ConsThe negatives are almost entirely infrastructure-related. We need a cafeteria that doesn't serve terrible food. Yes, it's cheap. Yes, it's also terrible. Everyone knows it. Gym? Recreation? The ban on stand-desk purchasing was a great indicator of short term money saving for long term loss of talent.

    Advice to Senior ManagementThe writing is on the wall- how many young and very bright Ph.D.s have we lost to Google, Tesla, Apple, and Lab126 in the past two years? Count them. Adjust salary upwards to at least approach the market rate, and provide quality food and a gym or fitness incentives.

    Employees staying past 7:30pm? Allow them to purchase dinner up to $25. I can't tell you how much more productive I would be if I could stay for dinner...but I can't, so I lose about three hours of work potential every day.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Interesting place to work

    Information Technology (IT) Developer (Former Employee) Palo Alto, CA

    ProsGreat place if you are a PHD/Higher Education individual that values privacy and individuality

    ConsNot a good place for IT.

    Advice to Senior ManagementUpper level IT Management isolates themselves from lower level, and mid-level management is wishy washy with decision making.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

     

    Great place to learn

    Associate (Current Employee)

    ProsOpportunity to learn a variety of technical areas while at the same time develop client skills. Great comp combined with uniquely academic setting and ability to set very flexible schedule

    ConsSometimes can feel a bit dry - not a lot of office/group events.

    Advice to Senior ManagementSpend more time/resources cultivating team spirit among employees.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
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    Work hard and see a bunch of different projects in a very short time...

    Senior Associate (Current Employee) Menlo Park, CA

    ProsExtremely flexible schedule (except when it's not due to client expectations). Salary at higher levels can be good with a relatively low-level risk. Getting compensated for overtime is nice.

    ConsDepending on your manager and the expectations of the client, you may have "surprise" commitments that pop up at the last minute that take over your evening. Salary at the lower levels is below market rate.

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

    • Culture & Values
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    • Senior Management
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    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

     

    Working at Exponent

    Senior Associate (Current Employee) Boston, MA

    ProsIf you are interested in diagnosing failures and litigation support, this is the place for you. It is nice to work with so any smart people. The office had a very academic feeling to it. Good cooperation between departments and groups. Lot of good social activities outside of the office.

    ConsEmployee success is largely based on a ratio of the number of billable hours to the number of hours the employee is being asked to be paid for. This does do a good job of creating a pure meritocracy, but it can also make working there very stressful.

    Advice to Senior ManagementFind a way to price discriminate, like movie theaters - kids pay less for a seat than an adult. There needs to be a system to do this with different types of clients.

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

    • Culture & Values
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    • Approves of CEO

     

    intense

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    Prosinteresting work, fast pace, smart colleagues

    Consupper management seems confused about medium to long term goals for employees. A faction is hell bent on billable productivity, come hell or high water, even at the cost of medium term initiatives. may work short term, but will fall flat in 2 years.

    Advice to Senior Managementprovide more support to your employees for development of marketing niches. right now there is none. you will lose a lot of associates and senior associates in the next year or two otherwise.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
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    • Approves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Interesting place to work

    Engineer (Current Employee)

    ProsVariety of technical work; smart, nice people; no one micromanages you. Ability to make your own destiny. It is a good place for people who take initiative and risk.

    ConsMarketing (selling) yourself (and the firm) is important -if you don't have that attitude, it is tough to advance. It is much like other professional services firms in that respect.

    • Culture & Values
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    • No Opinion of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Long-time full time employee

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsSmart people, flexibility, good benefits, decent pay

    ConsEmphasis on billability and marketing

    Advice to Senior ManagementRecognize high technical performers, not just good marketers

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

    2 people found this helpful  

    Great place for self starters, no one holds your hand

    Senior Engineer (Current Employee)

    ProsThe sky's the limit. This is a company that you can come to and build your own practice from the ground up. If you convince clients to hire you for huge projects, you'll do well and rise to the top rapidly. No one is there to stop you.

    You can choose to walk all over people to get there or not; there are many paths to Principal.

    People are generally good, and generally bright. There are a few phonies and bull crap artists, but the company overall has a very good reputation among clients and outsiders - and for good reason.

    Most interview candidates come armed with almost the exact same phrase: "I'm interested in Exponent because I like variety." You will certainly get that here.

    ConsBiggest con is a lack of management. The act of "good management" is not rewarded in any way. The term "manager" is thrown around as if giving out candy. Make a lot of money for Exponent? You're a manager / senior manager / principal - never mind if you never actually manage anything or anyone.

    Really good at training people, hiring people, or running a lab? You get a pat on the back at best, and at worst your bonus will suffer.

    The Employee Stock Purchase Plan is a complete joke (5% discount off of market value, with no control over the date of purchase). Stock awards / options are for Principal level and higher only. At that level, the options factor in to your bonus calculation. Bonuses are heavily skewed towards the rainmakers. Bonuses at lower levels are often a joke, unless you are the top performer in your pay grade.

    Advice to Senior ManagementUpper Management need to breathe new life into the old company, and I don't mean just by hiring more young people. The company needs a culture, and more amenities for its employees. Think how much more productive people would be if free lunch and dinner were provided - this seems to be the status quo in the Bay Area anyway. Then what about providing some recreation? Encourage people to hit the gym which also boosts morale/productivity. New equipment needs to be purchased more regularly and should be done so much more proactively.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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