MBDA Reviews in United Kingdom

Updated July 9, 2014
Updated July 9, 2014
22 Reviews

3.4
22 Reviews
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Antione Bouvier
9 Ratings

19 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1.  

    Great Company but set in their ways

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

    I worked at MBDA full-time for more than 3 years

    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 ManagementAdvice

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Interesting work, good culture, and improving. A positive experience!

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

    I have been working at MBDA full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    •Opportunities to take on responsibility and new challenges…………just ask!
    •A positive change in culture is taking place, this doesn’t happen overnight.
    •Good graduate and apprentice schemes.
    •Reasonable pay, good benefits and good work life balance. Good onsite facilities with a good sports and social element.
    •In most cases colleagues around the business are very supportive.
    •Staff turnover is generally low with much of the recruitment due to increased work, a number of retirement/early retirement, or both.
    •All companies have disgruntled employees, in many cases when things don’t go their way. Bear in mind many ex-employees have wanted to or have returned to MBDA, this often speaks volumes i.e. is the grass really greener on the other side? If truly unhappy, try to effect a positive change, it can happen, at least try..…..……..or leave!

    Cons

    •Yes, there are still some employees who are ‘set in their ways’ and not always willing to transfer knowledge, in case someone better shows them up and takes their place! But as mentioned by someone in another review, this is on the decline.
    •There are often too many meetings which do not always have an outcome. Managers simply need to listen to the ideas of all and make an informed decision. Team members simply need to speak up and accept the times when decisions don’t go their way.
    •A process of change can be slow and frustrating but persistence and tenacity can pay off if you are self-motivated to do so.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    •Listen to the staff, make yourselves more visible and approachable and be open to constructive criticism or the need to ‘do things differently’. Proactively encourage employees to speak up without making it feel uncomfortable for them to do so.
    •Make obvious and proactive efforts to ‘weed out’ the individuals who are not pulling their weight and find out why. Be sure to acknowledge, potentially reward, those who are pulling their weight and helping to create a positive culture.
    •Look at where money is being wasted, review and address where appropriate.
    •Empower employees to make positive change.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    Interesting, rewarding work with good career prospects.

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

    I have been working at MBDA full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Lots of different areas to work.
    Plenty of opportunities to take on responsibility and new challenges.
    Generally well rewarded with good pay and benefits.
    Good sports and social scene.
    Possibilities for international work and travel.
    Good training and development.

    Cons

    Long working hours quickly become the norm at certain grades and rightly or wrongly promotion is more difficult if you're not in the office late.
    Some dead wood, but definitely on the decline.
    Responsibility and extra work comes before the pay rise and promotion.
    Weak leadership and lack of decision making.
    Too many meetings, never enough progress.
    Trying to get things done quickly is difficult and can be frustrating to achieve.
    Inter-site rivalry, even in the UK, never ceases to amaze me.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take advantage of young people entering the business before they leave or become engrained with the current culture.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Its ok

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

    I have been working at MBDA full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    Good flexibility, and benefits and work life balance opportunities if allowed to exercise them.

    Cons

    Salaries are so so. Limited opportunities career progression and middle/Senior management out of touch with staff and the real world. Experience of senior staff is not valued and actually seen as a handicap. Lots of new clueless staff recruited. A lot of senior people are just in it for what they can get and don't really care about the company. HR - oh dear of all the places I have worked those guys are as out of touch as it gets....

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take a long hard look at fundamentals of running a business as too much money is wasted on overheads. Listen to the staff, some of them have some great ideas.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Is MBDA right for you? This is the review that counts.

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

    I have been working at MBDA full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Flexible working hours.
    Salary is paid on time.
    There are lots of gardeners and cleaners.
    The lights turn off automatically.

    Cons

    Before you read my review of MBDA, please appreciate that I have given this much thought and even re-written this a few times before posting. This is not the mad rant of a disgruntled employee like so many reviews are; it might seem negative but this is the truth in my opinion.
    I have worked for MBDA (Stevenage) for somewhere between 18 months and 2 years. MBDA employs a large number of contractors and they get paid substantially more than permanent staff (some of them brag about it), many are lazy and the rest just don’t have to work that hard, they have the least amount of responsibility and are generally given less interesting jobs and fairly light workloads. If you are a contactor and you’re just looking for an easy ride then this is the place for you.
    If on the other hand you are permanent staff such as a project lead or team leader, expect to be worked to death for less pay and virtually no recognition. Tip: negotiate a good pay rise before you join because they are quite desperate and once you’re in it doesn’t matter how good you are or how hard you work, you are never likely to get better than a 'good performance' rating. You will need to have god-like abilities to get better than a good rating. Work load varies hugely between different departments and different roles. Some people (mostly contractors) will spend their time internet shopping or watching iplayer for hours on end, while others have the work load of at least two people (as a minimum) with peaks on top of that (no exaggeration).
    We are promised more resources and the company has a big recruitment drive, yet there are many times the number of people retiring than there are new starters. The company advertises vacancies like 'principal engineer - lethality and warheads' (Google it). MBDA is the only UK company that designs and manufactures Missiles; how many people do they think are going to apply for this job! If the location is good for you and you just need a job and you can tolerate a lot of nonsense, then MBDA is for you. If you are seeking career advancement then I recommend looking elsewhere.
    MBDA is hugely inefficient and I just hope for MBDA's sake that its foreign competitors are no different or MBDA is going to find itself priced out of the market; it already has a well known reputation for selling the most expensive Missile Systems. The culture here sucks; it seems to maintain an outdated defence company's mindset of knowledge is power; in general there is little collaboration or knowledge sharing, there is a tendency to quickly reject good ideas due to nonsensical political reasons or because its seen to be just too difficult to do anything different. People are generally guarded and tight-lipped; either worried that they are going to find themselves opened up to be criticised or that somehow giving up knowledge, reduces their importance/status.
    There is endemic misconception about what can or cannot be done; indoctrinated staff try to bolster their own self importance by attempting to enforce rules and practices that are unfounded. If you are an ambitious, talented and progressive individual then you will feel defeated here regardless of how good you are as an individual.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I suggest firing most contractors, overhaul the recruitment process and hire as much youthful talent as possible. Recognise and reward high performers who try to instil a better culture; put them into positions where they can make a difference.
    HR need to make vacancies more generic, just focused on finding people with a good attitude and relevant skills, rather than trying to find people with specific knowledge and experience. Offer competitive salaries to new starters, but more importantly keep the salaries of existing staff on-par with the present job market rates.
    Listen to staff who say their areas are under resourced, act quickly and decisively to provide the support to enable people to do their jobs properly.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    Most exciting work in the aerospace industry

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

    I worked at MBDA as an intern for more than a year

    Pros

    lots of exciting work
    rewarding as you feel what you're doing makes a difference
    lots of oppertunities to progress and work on new projects
    good future prospects
    good work atmisphere, everyone was real friendly and supportive
    flextitime and flexidays
    small project teams

    Cons

    Pay isn't too good
    work can be a little slow at times
    often try to move you into meaningless middle management jobs so you have to work hard to get the good work

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    do more to prevent slow days and lack of work

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Excellent company with great working environment!

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

    I worked at MBDA full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    Professional working environment
    Good connections with leading industry projects
    Good benefits package
    Innovative

    Cons

    Canteen could be better
    Careen progression pathways are non existent

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Need formal career progression pathways

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    A good company for old engineers to retire at. Not worth it if you actually like engineering.

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

    I worked at MBDA as an intern for less than a year

    Pros

    -Very nice facilities, including on site gym, good food, and benefits.
    -A fairly relaxed environment, and modern space to work.
    -Being in defense means a reliable job, with the outlook for the company looking good.
    -Flexitime, including taking friday afternoons off and some flexi holiday.
    -Freindly and helpfull work collegues.
    -Security means when you leave the site, you are finished, hence work/life balance seems very good.
    -A lot of the workforce is retiring, hence they are desperate for new blood.
    -Good information about what the rest of the company is up to, including an in house magazine and conferences.

    Cons

    -Little actually seems to get done.
    -Extensive beaurocracy, very difficult to get approval for anything.
    -Quite old average age means old ideas and people stuck in ways.
    -No sense of urgency or personal pride in work.
    -Some tasks can be very boring and long winded, and they are a lot of paper pushers. Not one "Engineer" in my office had anything to do technical drawings with, as they all just wrote technical reports in word, and did the graphics in paint.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The management needs to stop dictating "business policies" and other junk from the top level, and actually get people interested in what they are doing. No one seemed as excited as they should be that they were literally doing rocket science. "Just a job" seems to be the outlook for most people there.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    Starting as a Graduate Engineer, MBDA developed me progressively into an Aerospace Professional.

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

    I have been working at MBDA full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Flexi-time, unlimited overtime (if you're good), opportunities, interesting products, world first engineering trials

    Cons

    pay (of course), easy to disappear in the crowd if you're quiet. Very frustratingly slow progress on some projects - partially due to the MoD but also a disbelief that MBDA is effectively run by the government and an insistence on pretending to be a independent business venture. Lack of cohesive technical strategic direction in the mid to upper levels of management.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    See cons, particularly the last sentence.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    Disgusting

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

    I worked at MBDA full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Well its a job and they pay you, but really if u qualify for benefits you would be in much better health if you took them instead.

    Cons

    Where to start, pretty much everything bad that has been already stated about MBDA on this website is true. I was given a permanent role but actually they treated me as a contractor and a cheap one at that. Fairly sure they do that on a regular basis looking at the staff turnover of recent recruits.
           People are mostly incompetent and deliberately trying to find ways to use their positions to their advantage with almost no bounds to what they will do. I was even told by HR when i joined "The management do anything to keep their jobs" i wanted to quit then and there and i should have done but like everyone we try not to think negatively and need the money.
          I was also told they have a high rate of industrial sabbotage, not surprising considering the appalling culture. Anyone joining the company now doesnt stand a chance graduates, are simply dumped with previous failed projects and left to fend for themselves.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    My advice to management and what they should do to themselves would probably be removed from this site if i posted it!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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