Management Systems International

  www.msiworldwide.com
  www.msiworldwide.com

Management Systems International Reviews

Updated November 18, 2014
Updated November 18, 2014
14 Reviews
3.0
14 Reviews
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Lawrence S Cooley
7 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Good leadership and smart people; could be great with a little vision

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Consultant in Arlington, VA
    Current Employee - Consultant in Arlington, VA

    I have been working at Management Systems International full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    I have been at MSI for several years as a consulting professional, and have had a very good experience overall. Hours can be flexible, benefits are decent, and the work can be interesting, depending on the contract. The leadership team is composed of very smart folks who actually care about their people and about the work they are doing. Many employees have been there quite a long time. The new office is very nice, with a stellar view across the Potomac into DC.

    Cons

    It is possible to get stuck doing unfulfilling work for awhile on an uninteresting contract. Office politics can be a chore sometimes, but no more so than most other organizations. Sometimes it seems that the overall vision for the company can get lost in the rush to get proposals out the door (which I understand to a degree - no work, no company).

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep caring about your people, but also focus more on employee growth and vision.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    MSI Company Review

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Project Management in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Project Management in Washington, DC

    I worked at Management Systems International full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    friendly colleagues
    flexible schedules
    work/life balance
    unique location
    some good management

    Cons

    horrible pay
    mediocre benefits
    poor management
    training
    office politics

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Provide better training and advancement opportunties

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3.  

    Ups and downs, but can't complain - it's a great place to start a career in USAID contracting

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

    I worked at Management Systems International full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Great place to start your career - you end up learning a bit about everything (project management, proposal work, financial management, etc). There are solid project management trainings every week. Relatively steep learning curve but things get much better after 6 months. Very entrepreneurial and fast paced culture - there is never a dull moment, though much of the work can be tedious. Environment is not "too corporate" or stuffy - professional but relaxed. Technical staff (most of whom are in-house - special within the industry) are exceptionally talented. MSI has an great reputation with donors and is a great place to "do good for the world" in a business-like environment.

    Cons

    Heavily audit-sensitive, but that's more a reflection of the industry than MSI in particular. Some senior staff are either too hands off or too detail oriented. Some projects are a bore. Professional development can be a hit or miss here - nothing is given - you'll have to lobby hard to get what you want, and progression past entry-level is unclear.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hire more support staff and be more selective hiring entry-level project managers. Find ways to provide more opportunities for entry-level staff to do "technical work" - there are simply not enough mid-level people at MSI, which is a shame because most people at MSI are smart.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Great place to learn

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

    I worked at Management Systems International

    Pros

    Lots of development programs with a broad range of topic and countries
    Lots of training provided to junior staff

    Cons

    Sometimes long hours were required

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    great first job or internship

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

    I have been working at Management Systems International

    Pros

    one of the few places that offer paid internships

    Cons

    no room for real advancement, have to leave and come back.

  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great people, entrepreneurial environment

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

    I have been working at Management Systems International full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great people at each level. You can form relationships and higher-level SVPs are approachable. Entrepreneurial environment--there isn't a structure so you have to make your niche--flexible in that way. Great place to start your career.

    Cons

    Innovation is hard here. Improving the way the company does business takes a lot of time and effort, with potentially no end results (or very little improvement), despite a large group of supporters.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Check in with each department more often in order to break out of the silo-like environment.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 2 people found this helpful  

    Good place to start, but don't stay long.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Project Manager in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Project Manager in Washington, DC

    I worked at Management Systems International full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    MSI takes a chance on non-conventional entry-level employees. While many of the project managers, the entry level position, have Master's Degrees in International Affairs, many others have completely different backgrounds. Free coffee. The hours are quite flexible.

    You learn a lot of different skills as project manager including procurement, HR, contracts, budgeting, report preparation, client negotiations, and so-called "technical skills" related to the program you are assigned.

    The vast majority of employees are kind and amicable. It is quite easy to cultivate strong relationships. They are essential to get anything done, especially as the administrative staff don't spend much time investing in project managers since their turnover is so high.

    Cons

    Management sets you up to take the fall during any audit. You are told you are responsible to the government for any paperwork that comes to your desk. Even if you have no training on contracts compliance. Several family members of senior management are employed by the firm and are treated noticeably better than normal employees.

    There is no structure. No feedback. No performance reviews. Little opportunity for development. You are told what your yearly raise will be by an internal company letter with no discussion.

    This is all centered on keeping management inculpable if you mess up. Management is hands off unless something goes wrong. Then get ready to be yelled at.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Spend some money to invest in your people, I worked with folks with a lot of potential. Provide regular feedback to employees. Compliment good performance. Offer incentive plans.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great People. Good Work Life Balance. OK Management

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Contracts Management Internship in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Contracts Management Internship in Washington, DC

    I have been working at Management Systems International as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    The people that I worked with were great. Struck a perfect balance between doing a great job at work, and then socializing and having fun outside of the work place. There were time when things were going great, but once management decided to make some fundamental changes, company culture definitely tool a tole.

    Cons

    -working on a boat can make you sea sick (if you are one of the people on the boat)
    -employee turnover rate is pretty high when I was there. This can be detrimental to company culture because there is a lack of stability that allows individual to make real progress.
    -politics within the workplace: some are affected, other are not

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    -Put in place a system that allows employees to be evaluated, so as have some tangible on which to base hiring decisions
    -Reward high performing employees
    -Make structural and organizational changes less frequent, as this affects morale and company culture
    -pay interns more if they do a better job, and less if they don't

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    Good company - solid place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Short-Term Documents Analyst in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Short-Term Documents Analyst in Washington, DC

    I worked at Management Systems International as a contractor (less than an year)

    Pros

    MSI launched my career in DC when I moved back from Germany. They were very flexible and allowed me to work from home.

    Cons

    Working from home limits your contacts and the amount of networking you can do.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 2 people found this helpful  

    only internship that pays

    Current Employee - Intern in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Intern in Washington, DC

    I have been working at Management Systems International as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    learn how USAID operates, get a good background on how all the government paperwork works

    Cons

    the boats get old really quick

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