Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory

www.jhuapl.edu
Engaged Employer

Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory Reviews

Updated March 12, 2015
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Employee Reviews

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  1. Intern

    Current Intern - Intern - Hourly in Laurel, MD
    Current Intern - Intern - Hourly in Laurel, MD

    I have been working at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory as an intern (less than a year)

    Pros

    All the employees I worked with were very helpful and friendly during my internship and I was actually contributing meaningful work to a team of engineers. My work consisted of something I had never worked with before so it was a good learning experience in that regard.

    Cons

    Sort of a slow paced environment but it seems that's how government jobs usually are like.
    The food isn't too great and expensive.

  2. 1 person found this helpful

    High Technology with a sense of mission

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

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

    Pros

    Cutting edge technology with focus of serving the warfighter. As a non-profit, APL is not encumbered with quarterly stock positions. APL can afford to do the right thing. Management culture is one of valuing the staff and promoting career growth of the staff. A great place for young engineers straight out of college to begin their careers.

    Cons

    Does not provide an opportunity to have hands on manufacturing or production experience.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3. Many interesting projects, stable employment outlook

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

    I have been working at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Your job is very stable---people very rarely get fired or let go. The projects are interesting and the salary is competitive.

    Cons

    Everyone just gets a 2-3% raise each year, regardless of performance. That can be good if you are lazy, but frustrating if you are a strong performer.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pay for performance, not just for showing up.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 4 people found this helpful

    a great place to work

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

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

    Pros

    Job stability (particularly in comparison with for profit defense contractors), flexible scheduling and work-at-home policies (they treat you like a grown up), employer prestige (believe me, it matters), generous educational benefits, smart and generally friendly coworkers, interesting and varied work. Suburban MD location means few parking hassles and a relatively easy commute from any place along the Route 29 corridor.

    Cons

    Matrixed organization is a necessary evil and generally works OK, but pockets of dysfunction between line and program management, and feuds between different sectors in the organization, can cause employees in the wrong place to get caught in the crossfire. Employees are also largely responsible for keeping their time cards filled, which can be highly stressful in times of downsizing DoD budgets.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Top management says the lab isn't interested in growth for its own sake, but the on the ground reality in certain sectors is that self-serving empire-building is not only permitted but rewarded. Incentives for program managers should be restructured to encourage activities that bring in the right kind of "APL-hard" work.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful

    Great Place to Work!

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

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

    Pros

    Collaborative Environment, Focus on Innovation, Interesting Projects, Flexible Scheduling, Not for Profit

    Cons

    Highly Dependent on Government Contracts

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful

    Many benefits but also heavy bureaucracy

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

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

    Pros

    The facilities are all very nice and there are many interesting projects. The campus offers a nice atmosphere and you can pursue a masters for free on campus.

    Cons

    The bureaucracy is quite difficult and it may takes months for simple processes like getting an ID. At times it seems that there is a lot of overlapping of duties from administrators and it is difficult to navigate. It seems the team I was on did not have enough work for everybody, i.e. there were too many people employed on a single project, so it was quite slow at times.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Make sure that there is enough work before hiring new employees

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. Great Place to build technical skills

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

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

    Pros

    Many managers really care. Opportunity to learn new things work on projects you want to. Many smart people. Amazing benefits.

    Cons

    No clear career path for early career employees. Not the best communication between projects and upper management. Small bonus potential.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Give younger employees a more defined career path. Career options can be very confusing.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful

    Software Engineer Internship at APL

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

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

    Pros

    Very interesting work and it's a great place to gain experience. Cool resources for employees like a Makerspace and a gym. Very smart people who are very helpful. The projects taught me a lot.

    Cons

    Not very much in terms of internship events, and it is very hard to find friends outside of your group. No social life. The salary is decent but not the best.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. Great work environment

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

    I worked at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory as an intern (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
  11. 2 people found this helpful

    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 (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

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