Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory

  www.jhuapl.edu
  www.jhuapl.edu
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Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory Reviews

Updated September 17, 2014
Updated September 17, 2014
126 Reviews
3.9
126 Reviews
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Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory Director Dr. Ralph Semmel
Dr. Ralph Semmel
54 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Work life balance, retirement contribution matching, health benefits are great (in 8 reviews)

  • good benefits but often not very good work (in 10 reviews)


Cons
  • Matrix organization, I have three bosses and the one who never talks to me decides my fate (in 4 reviews)

  • The quality of the project managers varies (in 3 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Great work environment

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Intern  in  Laurel, MD
    Former Employee - Intern in Laurel, MD

    I worked at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory as an intern for less than a year

    Pros

    I greatly enjoyed the people I worked with, as they were all bright individuals who wanted to succeed in their positions.

    Cons

    There is some bureaucracy, but given they do a lot of government work this is not too surprising.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Consider allowing interns to do more things together.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Diverse place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Professional Staff  in  Columbia, MD
    Former Employee - Senior Professional Staff in Columbia, MD

    I worked at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Timely research, collaborative research community, many opportunities to move around or up. Working at JHUAPL can be quite rewarding as projects and technologies often appear in national news stories. The Lab typically dos a good job seeking out expertise within the organization, and staff members are encouraged to stretch their wings

    Cons

    Funding is cyclical, and the whims of upper management are even worse. Bing primarily funded by the Department of Defense, the funding cycle can seem like extreme feast or famine. Making matters worse, is that the leadership seems to get bogged down in micromanagement at the most inopportune moments.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Transparency !

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    I didn't know my dream job existed until I found APL

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    For someone that's primarily interested in doing deep technical work, this is the place to be. The technological breadth that APL offers is, to my knowledge, unmatched anywhere else.

    Cons

    Promotions can take a long time to get and often has more to do with years of service than impact of contributions.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be more progressive in rewarding good work with higher pay and faster promotions.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Wonderful opportunities

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

    I have been working at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory full-time

    Pros

    Solid benefits, meaningful work, many opportunities for technical and management growth

    Cons

    One downside of it being such a great place to work is that people do stay. If you're looking for a young, hip, office culture you should look elsewhere. But decades of experience and interest in learning are both valued.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Great place full of smart people

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Technical Aide  in  Laurel, MD
    Former Employee - Technical Aide in Laurel, MD

    I worked at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory as an intern for less than a year

    Pros

    To this day, some of the most intelligent people I have met worked in this facility. The managers are flexible with working hours. There are a lot of resources available for any technical problem that needs solving.

    Cons

    Very few downsides besides being tied to the US Government.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep doing what you are doing. Encourage interns to take on more responsibility

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    Great place to work, friendly people and interesting work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Intern  in  Laurel, MD
    Former Employee - Intern in Laurel, MD

    I worked at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory as an intern for less than a year

    Pros

    The people were great to work with and the projects you work on are all very interesting

    Cons

    The work can be challenging and frustrating at times

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep doing what you're doing

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  8.  

    Better than I could have expected.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Associate Professional Staff I  in  Laurel, MD
    Current Employee - Associate Professional Staff I in Laurel, MD

    I have been working at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    APL is a large organization and your experience may vary depending on where you land in the lab. I've been working at the lab for a little more than a year (also interned for a summer) and from my point of view, everything has been a positive experience. Everybody is friendly and willing to help you learn and grow as an engineer and there really seems to be an emphasis on advancing knowledge of the community as a whole.

    Cons

    I have not encountered any notable negatives thus far.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep doing what you're doing.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    APl is a very challenging and stimulating work environment with a critical mission in support of national security

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

    I have been working at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    APL has very interesting and important work, a great atmosphere, and a highly committed staff who belive strongly in their work and enjoy their fellow employees.

    Cons

    The organization is a bit too stove piped and communications both vertically and horizontally are not as efficient as they should be.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Management has overly emphasized cost containment for the past 4 years and it has gotten to the point where it has begun to affect staff morale. A bit more balance is needed .

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    Great projects in high tech at nexus of research and industry

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Software Engineer  in  Laurel, MD
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Laurel, MD

    I worked at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Flexible work hours, laid back environment, lots of talented people, wide variety of projects, great place to learn new skills, they'll pay for your MS or PhD.

    Cons

    Fairly gradual career advancement/promotion means young professional may not have the patience to stay more than a few years. Internal IT is antiquated and DOD bureaucracy hinders some projects.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Try to provide a clear timescale for the career ladder esp. for the young.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    Summer Internship

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory as an intern

    Pros

    You are treated like a full-time employee and given the same type of projects (just less of them). Paid very well.

    Cons

    The management is unorganized at times.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    N/A

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