MBDA Reviews

Updated June 25, 2015
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3.3
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Antione Bouvier
8 Ratings

28 Employee Reviews

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  1. The co-workers are great, a nice environment to work.

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at MBDA full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    benefits are great, and the atmosphere is nice

    Cons

    they do not encourage a flexible work schedule


  2. Meetings Before Doing Anything

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Assistant Project Manager in Stevenage, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Assistant Project Manager in Stevenage, England (UK)

    I worked at MBDA (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Large company with over 60 years history in the defence sector.
    Good benefits system.
    Modern premisis with good facilities - on-site canteens, gym, parking,landscaped gardens, meeting rooms and video communications.
    Feel part of a large group, with projects all over the world.

    Cons

    Lack of flexibility in movement and progression through the company.
    Methods of working feel outdated, and could use a more modern approach to improve the working environment.
    Company culture seems far too orientated towards meetings and less about decison making. Hard to get work approved because nobody seems to want to accept responsibility for decisons in case they are called up on it. Not bold or dynamic enough for me.
    Working across many different sites even within the same project teams can slow down communication and hinder progress.
    Regimented and even draconian when it comes to monitoring employee progression. HR seem to have more responsibility than is beneficial, and can detract from getting on with the job.
    Felt there was little room to influence the company's working methods and contributions were not appreciated.
    Seems to be a mistrust amongst colleagues to share information and work together.
    Interactions with Executive levels are hierarchical and there are barriers and 'red tape' which prevent input and interaction across these levels.

    Advice to Management

    Company culture needs to be addressed.
    Modern management methods need to be incorporated and employee feedback needs to be listened to, in order to address the current environment.


  3. Simulation Intern

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

    I have been working at MBDA

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

    Pros

    Very good advantages, a very interesting company. You can learn a lot in the military field. I work in a young service where people are very nice and friendly.

    Cons

    The organisation can be bad at some times, but i did not find any real inconvenient to work for MBDA.

    Advice to Management

    Sometimes people are in rush and cannot give you some time, you should work on that. For the rest, it is ok.


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  5. Helpful (2)

    principal mechanical analysis engineer

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Principal Mechanical Analysis Engineer in Stevenage, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Principal Mechanical Analysis Engineer in Stevenage, England (UK)

    I have been working at MBDA full-time

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    The Facilities are some of the best around, flexi time allows either Friday afternoons off or you can save the time and earn an extra 12 days holiday per year.

    Cons

    Lack of career path and recognition for the additional work that engineers do outside of their role. Poorly paid for level of technical skills engineers are offering the company

    Advice to Management

    Offer more support to all members of the team and provide everyone the same level of commitment. Make sure that everyone has the same opportunities for training.


  6. Helpful (3)

    Frustrating but fun at times.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Principal Engineer
    Former Employee - Principal Engineer

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

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

    Pros

    Bonus is good, with overtime allowed. And flexible working hours are very useful. Subsidised gym is a benefit too.
    There is an element of performance related pay increase.

    If you are in the right place at the right time, you can do well at Mbda. Alternatively, if you want to just do a 9-5 and aren't ambitious it is a good place to work.
    Some people seem to be able to move to different projects quite easily. At a company level they seem keen for internal movement. The personal development reviews can be useful in trying to do what you like doing on a project (bounded by the projects needs).

    Mbda seems to treat most of its grads well, and rotate them through different projects. It seems to be good for the first few years.

    Cons

    The pay is not great, and you can end up with someone being promoted to the next grade earning more than what someone who came in at that grade. It is essential to find it how much you are worth and negotiate on that basis. Don't expect much of a pay rise beyond standard living increases.

    The company has a number of employees who lifers, who get promoted based on years worked than competence. As I stated before if you like to just plod along it is great for you, but for those who are more ambitious, the lifers can be frustrating to work with. Also, as they don't move to different jobs they present a layer of management that will be in post until they retire. Within 10 years the company demographic maybe quite different with those lifers having retired. This may present the company with an interesting time for knowledge retention, but provide more opportunities for those that want to progress.

    There is a resistance to change which is proliferated through people working on the same projects for so long. More movement is needed to increase use of best practise.

    While it is touted that there are three strands to progression/promotion. It is difficult to identify who is on which strand. And how someone progresses on a non management strand is vague/not communicated. The actual practise and implementation of the policy is unclear and to my knowledge untested.

    Advice to Management

    Personal reviews should be performed by function not project line management. Project management only need a person to a particular role. This creates stagnation in the work force. With functions, you can suggest different projects to increase your experiences and transfer best practise.

    It might be worth functions identifying what people are good at, and then if someone else needs to learn about that subject or skill, the subject can be placed with that skilled worker.

    This will also help creating a team that has a bit of everything.

    Identify which strand of progression people want to be on and the function/mentor should be on the same path. Competencies for each strand should be identified.


  7. Helpful (3)

    Comfortable and pleasant, but company culture discourages progression or delivery

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Systems Engineer in Stevenage, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Senior Systems Engineer in Stevenage, England (UK)

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    - Excellent work life balance
    - Management really do care about the wellbeing of their employees
    - Flexible working
    - Friendly and sociable people
    - Relaxed environment
    - The exec team are genuinely trying to improve things

    Cons

    - Progression based on age rather than ability or experience (I was told directly to "wait ten years" before considering a minor promotion)
    - Stagnant salary and little chance to change it
    - A culture of gold plating and indecisiveness leads to troubled projects
    - Success is defined as following process and being very risk averse (no matter if it makes a poor product that is over budget and behind schedule)
    - Senior and principal engineer have little decision-making power, because many Chief Engineers aren't confident enough to delegate. Myself and my team were often idle for days as we were waiting for an over-worked and stressed out Chief Engineer to make a minor decision on our behalf.

    Advice to Management

    Projects are over-spent and delayed because Chief Engineers and Sector Heads micromanage so much. There are many technical decisions to be made that are best judged by the experts within the team. Instead, senior people insist on becoming involved in the technical detail (a weakness of the curious engineer) and end up impeding work because they become so involved in the day-job activities of their junior staff.

    I realised that I had no future at MBDA because I saw too many capable people fight hard for promotion, only to be denied because they "didn't have enough grey hair". It became apparent that the way to progress was to keep your head down for a decade and put up with being micromanaged before being promoted as a formality, regardless of your experience or ability.

    I've now taken my skills to an engineering firm that makes full use of my skills and pays me much more for them. I'd have had to wait a decade to get to this position at MBDA (and I've already been put forward for promotion at my new employer). I've found I'm far more productive and efficient as I have an appropriate mix of supervision and direction, but also empowerment and trust to use my skills to get the job done.


  8. Helpful (1)

    Very interesting work

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

    I have been working at MBDA

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Great work, interesting industry, enjoyable working environment with very good people who are genuinely driven. Good support to personal development through active schemes, training and mentors.

    Cons

    Relatively poor salary and progression and feels like it is somewhat behind what other modern organisations are doing in terms of workplace flexibility, incentives, etc.

    Advice to Management

    Benchmark MBDA against a broader range of companies, not from the aerospace and defence sector. MBDA needs more variety in senior management, currently most people are cut from one of a few similar moulds.


  9. Great working environment, challenging, exciting work. Pay rises are underwhelming

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Principal Systems Engineer in Stevenage, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Principal Systems Engineer in Stevenage, England (UK)

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

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

    Pros

    Flexi Time scheme, core hours 0930 to 1600.
    Friday afternoons (after 1230) can be taken off as part of flexi scheme
    Exciting and challenging work
    The people are great, very friendly.

    Cons

    Pay rises are underwhelming
    Slow pace of work and progress
    The company does not deal with poor performers well


  10. stable pay, but no career growth

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Buyer/Specialist in Rome (Italy)
    Current Employee - Buyer/Specialist in Rome (Italy)

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

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Good people to work with

    Cons

    Career growth is extremely slow

    Advice to Management

    Take more effort in motivating employees


  11. Great Company but set in their ways

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Systems Engineer in Stevenage, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Senior Systems Engineer in Stevenage, England (UK)

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    ->Absolutely fantastic work/life balance
    ->Interesting work at times
    ->You will never be short of work!

    Cons

    Naturally there is a reason for leaving any company. However I am trying to write this in the most objective way I can. MBDA has a career development package but it is only good when you fall into one of their categories e.g. image processing, seeker systems. This did not apply to me and therefore I did not get the support required into order to fulfill my career objectives. I spent 3 years saying the same thing at each annual review and I turned down a number of opportunities because they told me that I would be able to learn certain skills. I applied for an internal post (which was within the field of expertise I was privately training for) and did not get job because they were unable to release me from my current job. (Rubbish reason). I was told that if I fulfilled my objectives for the year, there is a high probability that I will gain a promotion, but at the annual review I somehow didn't make the cut.

    My only suggestion at this company is to make sure this is something you want to do. Make sure that you are put in the right department. I was a Software Engineer put in a Systems Environment and I cannot tell you how dull it was. So, when you become accustomed to a dull environment, you become more sensitive to the "less dull" moments. Hence Comment 2 in the Pros Section. If you are a young engineer (21-30) or interested in NEW TECHNOLOGY, I STRONGLY RECOMMEND THAT YOU DO NOT GO FOR THIS COMPANY. It will lead you into a cynical way of thinking, and the technology used is 25 years old at least. This is not a company that innovates, it just continuously produces the same products with different "jazz", be it different Seeker Algorithms, Software, Motors. Same Product. Same BS.

    Now, you may think this is one man's opinion. But I can assure you there were plenty of people who left before me and plenty that left after me that have the same or similar opinions. A survey conducted in 2013 showed that the average age of an MBDA employee was 47. My personal experience was that 95% of the employees I encountered were 50+.

    Advice to Management

    Look at people's career objectives. If you help them achieve their objectives they are more than likely going to stay with you!



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