MITRE Reviews

Updated July 30, 2015
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3.6
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MITRE President and CEO Alfred Grasso
Alfred Grasso
79 Ratings

Pros
  • The work life balance is excellent (in 130 reviews)

  • Good Benefits; however, not as good as they were 25 years ago (in 33 reviews)

Cons
  • I'll first address work life balance (in 16 reviews)

  • Some upper management seems to talk out both sides of their mouth -- dishonest and hypocritical (in 16 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

113 Employee Reviews

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  1. Featured Review

    Helpful (10)

    Worthwhile

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Software Systems Engineer in Bedford, MA
    Current Employee - Senior Software Systems Engineer in Bedford, MA

    I have been working at MITRE

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great work/life balance, strong encouragement for advanced degrees and full reimbursement, extensive catalog of free on-campus learning resources. In the Software Tech Center I have an endless opportunity to improve myself as well as satisfy each sponsor's needs.

    Cons

    We are supporting the government, which despite our excellent technical capabilities, sometimes gets mired in bureaucracy. As a FFRDC, MITRE cannot compete with prime contractors, which is great for trust, but means my job is guidance, which is good and bad.

    Advice to Management

    The MITRE Way is a promise, but when department heads are compensated for keeping their own staff on tasks, there is a natural conflict of interest - we should have the right person for the job, not cronyism.

    MITRE Response

    May 1, 2015 – Comms Representative

    Thanks for your feedback. We’re glad that you’ve taken advantage of some of the many learning opportunities that we offer our employees.


  2. Helpful (2)

    Great place to work

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Principal Software Systems Engineer in Bedford, MA
    Current Employee - Principal Software Systems Engineer in Bedford, MA

    I have been working at MITRE

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    There's a lot of interesting research work and surprisingly few internal barriers for switching between projects and getting internal funding for research. In contrast compared to a commercial company, there's no legacy software to maintain because most work is new development for limited release and proof of concept. Once a research product gets to point where it demonstrates value, it usually transitions into an existing government and/or commercial product and is maintained by an external company. The research culture also does not follow the "publish or perish" mindset of academia. In my 9 year tenure I've grown from senior to lead to principal without a PhD or Masters Degree.

    Cons

    Some managers lean a little too much the employee to seek out new projects and coordinate their own work/roles on a project. It's not a problem for me but management could do a better job organizing their workforce rather than relying on their workforce to self organize; A little of both is probably best.

    Advice to Management

    Allowing staff the freedom to pursue different projects and research is great but it can lead to organizational structure that's a bit muddied. As a result the chain of supervisors above you may not have deep expertise in the same area you do -- though this is not global true and different divisions are better than others at organizer their people.


  3. Helpful (1)

    How to screw up at great company

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

    I have been working at MITRE full-time (More than 10 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Important and valuable mission to support our troops. Interesting work, great people. We can really make a difference. Good work-life balance.

    Cons

    Company seems to have declared war on experienced people and seeks to drive them out to be replaced by new (younger) ones. Many long time employees no longer get raises. Promotions are hard to come by. Talent used to matter. Now the name of the game is cutting cost and we're all interchangeable cogs. New compensation system is just plain foolish, not well thought out, and seems to be designed to tell experienced (i.e. older) people that they are overpaid and worthless. Morale is the lowest I've ever seen it. Upper management is all inbred, highly political and not the brightest bunch. The biggest qualification is the ability to spin eloquently yet say nothing with platitudes and pretty viewgraphs. If they just left things alone, they would have done less damage. Last few years they seem to have found a need to justify their existence by making changes just to have something to do. Peer reviews involving upper management have been laughable. They really know nothing and can't solve the easy problems. How are they supposed to review the hard ones.

    Advice to Management

    Our customers need is increasing yet you're are sending the message to your talent that they are worthless. How smart is that? The recession is over. Get off your high horses and talk to your staff.


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  5. Helpful (2)

    Specialist

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Specialist in Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Specialist in Boston, MA

    I have been working at MITRE full-time (More than 10 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Good corporation, but it has changed since just before the Government shutdown two years ago. The benefits are still very good. Overall, the management group is strong.

    Cons

    Promotion is hard to come by. The quality of work-life balance has deteriorated. Workload has gone up, making it hard to take off from work. We can work from home in a pinch -- and need to!

    Advice to Management

    Work harder to promote your veterans! Take a more active interest in their careers. You've been working with some of these folks for years: look up their job titles and levels and ask yourself: heck, that person does great work and has been here 10 years, why is she still a Pro 3?


  6. Helpful (1)

    Overall good place to work

    Current Employee - Lead Multi-Disciplinary Systems Engineer in Bedford, MA
    Current Employee - Lead Multi-Disciplinary Systems Engineer in Bedford, MA

    I have been working at MITRE full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    - Variety of work - Generous retirement plan - Flexible work schedules

    Cons

    - Limited promotion opportunities - Management doesn't deal with problem performers, but rather ignores the situation or passes them around from department to department


  7. Helpful (1)

    Awesome company

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Bedford, MA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Bedford, MA

    I worked at MITRE full-time (More than 5 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    MITRE is a great company. The environment is awesome and the benefits are great. Most of the people I worked with over my 7 year career were very helpful and understanding when it came to work-life balance. There are often talks or brown-bag sessions for technical exchange between employees. They are very supportive of people pursuing further education or teaching at a local university. Employees can pick and choose their projects. Although there are times when employees have no options, most employees are encouraged to find their own projects and manage project expectations with the project leads. Depending on personality, this can be a pro or con. The campus is beautiful. They have an on-campus cafeteria and coffee shop. Their cafeteria has a lot of variety, serves good food, and is reasonably priced. It is the envy of several local companies.

    Cons

    It can be difficult to move up or get a promotion and there is some politics. Often people talk about bringing in funding to get promotions, but don't really create an environment where someone could learn how to do it.


  8. Comfortable setting, interesting work

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

    I worked at MITRE as an intern (More than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Good job security and work life balance, varied projects, and some opportunities to have an impact. Interns work with teams on actual projects and are treated well.

    Cons

    MITRE felt like a place to comfortably end a career, rather than an exciting place to start one. Government work so sometimes lots of red tape.


  9. Helpful (1)

    Enjoyed setting, Relaxed environment

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Contractor - Engineering Lab Support in Bedford, MA
    Former Contractor - Engineering Lab Support in Bedford, MA

    I worked at MITRE as a contractor (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    State of the art facility and equipment, excellent buildings. Top notch people and very gracious. Relaxed atmosphere. Superb cafeteria. Excellent parking.

    Cons

    Difficulty socializing my skill set due to compartmentalized nature of work. Mitre works on head counts, so it may be difficult to actually get hired as an actual Mitre employee. Typically they will employ you in three 6 month contract stints, but not more than that. Otherwise they would have to hire you by law. That's ok. I am appreciative of the work just the same.

    Advice to Management

    Good facility, however you may wish to apprise any contract staff as to the nature of their visit and that they really must not get their hopes up of getting hired full time. I did not mind this because I knew that I was only visiting. Others however, did hope against the odds of being hired. This does not mean they will not get hired, just that it's all about the timing that's all.


  10. Helpful (5)

    Unlike Any Other

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Bedford, MA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Bedford, MA

    I worked at MITRE full-time (More than 5 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    work-life balance is great for those who are allowed to use it. The benefits and corporate culture are great.

    Cons

    Management leaves much to be desired. The officers create policy and then change their mind when someone complains. Employees have little faith in leadership. People stay a long time. Not a lot of room to move around/up.

    Advice to Management

    Stick to the policies created or don't put them in place at all. It's not worth riling everyone up and jeopardizing your credibility.

    MITRE Response

    May 1, 2015 – Comms Representative

    We appreciate your feedback and understand your perspective. Leadership is often in a position to have to adapt to rapidly changing landscapes and shifting priorities. Policy changes are definitely ... More


  11. Helpful (16)

    Great company that doesn't know what it is right now.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Lead Systems Software Engineer in Bedford, MA
    Current Employee - Lead Systems Software Engineer in Bedford, MA

    I have been working at MITRE full-time (More than 10 years)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Very intelligent co-workers (when they stay), generally hard and interesting problems (if you're not handed grunt work and told to suck it up), good research program (if you can and keep funding), solid work life balance (usually). Great work programs available, if you can find them.

    Cons

    "The MITRE Way" has started to ruin a great company by making it like other companies. Many of the differentiating factors have diminished over the years: less emphasis on the "public interest", more emphasis on being a "business" and being "competitive", lower (but still good) retirement matching and vacation, more readiness to do "grunt work" instead of challenging research, greater emphasis on making "the customer" happy. Salaries are low, and nearly everybody I worked with was making below average for the company, let alone for industry. This has been compounded since 2009 by the implementation of Lump Sum Merit payments, otherwise called a bonus in industry. These were instituted originally as a one-time measure, but it seems that senior management got used to being cheap. An increased emphasis on commercialization of outputs and creation of products (though senior management swears up and down that this isn't the case) has led MITRE astray of what was once its core mission.

    Advice to Management

    You claim to hire some of the greatest engineers and scientists in the world and yet treat them like children when implementing policies and changes. They're not idiots and can see right through your facade. MITRE is turning into just another beltway bandit under your watch. I ask if that's what you really want your legacy to be.

    MITRE Response

    May 1, 2015 – Comms Representative

    Thank you for taking the time to comment. We are very proud of the talented employees that we have working at MITRE and it is great to hear that you enjoyed your co-workers and your work. We are ... More



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