Monterey Bay Aquarium
3.4 of 5 11 reviews
montereybayaquarium.org Monterey, CA 150 to 499 Employees

Monterey Bay Aquarium Reviews

Updated Jun 24, 2014

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3.4 11 reviews

                             

60% Approve of the CEO

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Julie Packard

(5 ratings)

44% of employees recommend this company to a friend
11 Employee Reviews
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    Outstanding company

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsLoved working here, great people who are all working together towards the mission. Great training programs, development and coaching and overall sense of pride you get working here.

    ConsNon-profit so salaries are lower than you might hope; balanced by great benefits and extra perks though.

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    staff are committed to the mission

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
    Monterey, CA

    Prosbeautiful location, inspiring mission, best aquarium in the world, good benefits

    ConsFavorites get away with anything and everything. Each department has them. Most senior management are removed (a few of them are the favorites) from staff problems including conflicts, under performers and workload distribution. Poor performers are routinely promoted. No consequences for under performers.

    Advice to Senior ManagementAction! Take the time to connect with your staff. Acknowledge the senior leadership who don't act according to the values of the organization and put them to pasture instead of letting problem employees carry on for years just because they are friends.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    Wonderful Aquarium - typical NGO culture

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsBest Aquarium in the US...you can't beat Monterey as a place to work. I was part of the Seafood Watch team for 2+ years (not the attraction side of the Aquarium). The team is passionate about the work they do - which is educate and promote sustainable seafood to consumers, restaurants and businesses.

    ConsThere is definitely favoritism for those employees who have been there a long time and are close friends with the Executive Director. They are 'protected' and will never be reprimanded for poor performance or any other valid reason. Unfortunately, I witnessed on more than one occasion people being rewarded for continuous bad behavior. Many staff are so grateful to work there, they don't give much needed feedback for fear of retaliation. As with many non-profits, things move very slowly, and it is a culture of consensus vs. having someone make a much needed decision and moving forward. Also, it is a very hierarchical culture, that neither fosters nor listens to the ideas of junior staff (whom often times have great input; based on my experience there).

    Advice to Senior ManagementManagement is part of the problem. If you really want to understand what is going on, take the time to talk with all members of your team. Recognize that some people are more of a liability than an asset to your organization, and take proper measures to make changes. Infusion of new people and ideas is a good thing.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    Top notch conservation, research & educational institute

    Research Analyst (Current Employee)
    Monterey, CA

    ProsGreat mission & work life balance

    ConsSalary &Compensation could be better

    Advice to Senior Managementnone

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    1 person found this helpful  

    I believe in their conservation work, not their politics amongst employees

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
    Monterey, CA

    ProsExperience the exhibits, meet great people, benefits and progressive attempt

    Consnon profit organization means little pay and little advancement in professional growth.

    Advice to Senior ManagementExperience the workload you give your employees. Lead by example with your employees, not hiding in a office or meeting

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    Guest Experience Representative

    Guest Experience Representative (Former Employee)
    Monterey, CA

    Pros- Amazing team of talented individuals
    - Organized morning meetings that make all employees feel informed and included
    - Stellar management that mentor as well as supervise
    - Beautiful place to work, both in & around

    Cons- Generally only day shift available - students with day classes may have trouble

    Advice to Senior ManagementRock on!

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    1 person found this helpful  

    Fun at first, but the lack of communication in management is unacceptable.

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
    Monterey, CA

    ProsMeet great people who really care about the environment.
    The Aquarium is beautiful and some exhibits are spectacular.
    Get to meet people from all around the world.
    Sometimes you get to interact with the animals or get to see cool behind the scenes stuff.

    ConsLack of communication is a HUGE problem.
    Management keeps focusing on putting out fires instead of preventing them in the first place.
    There is little room for job growth depending on what department you are in.
    People that don't pull their weight are rarely talked to about improving their work ethic .
    Little attention is paid to employee complaints, making them feel powerless in some situations. Having to watch co-workers get mentally "beat" down makes you feel horrible and afraid you'll be next.

    Advice to Senior ManagementI think David Packard says it best.

    "The best possible company management is one that combines a sense of corporate greatness and destiny, with empathy for, and fidelity to, the average employee."

    "A frustrated employee is a greater threat than a merely unhappy one."

    "The best business decisions are the most humane decisions. And, all other talents being even, the greatest managers are also the most human managers."

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    1 person found this helpful  

    Make the most of your time here.

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
    Monterey, CA

    ProsSupposedly looks good to have on your resume.
    Good place to learn and train if you make the opportunities for yourself.
    Work with lots of people who genuinely care about conservation of the ocean and are working to make progress towards it.

    ConsOpen positions are rare. Don't expect to move up. Don't expect to get your foot in the door and change departments. Apply for the job you want.
    Raises don't happen except for 2% cost of living increase.
    H.R. department seems overall out of touch with what's happening inside various departments. Also seems shocked to hear criticisms, even constructive ones.
    Upper management not involved with daily happenings/activity inside aquarium.
    Management may recognize special skills or talents but then assigns tasks that oppose those skills and do not allow staff to use talents for the best of the institution.
    Has become more focused on entertainment value rather than being a scientific or educational facility.
    Many management decisions not clearly explained to employees, leads to a lot of disgruntled team members and poor job satisfaction.
    "All Staff Meetings" held at times when not all staff can attend. Folks with the cushiest jobs get to check in, but the hardest working employees are left out.

    Advice to Senior ManagementGet involved, get back to basics. The institution has gotten to big for its own good. Upper management should help bridge departments and bring everyone together for the mission.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    Progressive Employer

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
    Monterey, CA

    ProsGreat benefits; great cause to work for.

    ConsNon-profit salaries are low; underacheiving/"slacker" employees are rarely teminated.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    1 person found this helpful  

    The aquarium is a great place to work, but not the best place for job growth. Don't expect much change if you get here.

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
    Monterey, CA

    ProsHas more available and better resources than other public aquariums. Isn't in debt like most other aquariums. Has ok health benefits, but still expensive if you have a family like everywhere else.
    We do receive a yearly 3% raise for cost of living adjustment(for 2009 it was reduced to 2.5%), however this is hardly enough to keep up with inflation and the overall increase in expense of living in coastal California.

    ConsManagement overall is lacking. People are never let go or fired that need to be. Some major decisions made about facility improvement/modification or exhibits are ill-informed and input by employees is not very sought after. You can discover a new species here and not even get a "thank you", "good job" or a good performance review. Performance reviews are vague, usually center on soft skill topics and do not result in a bonus or raise.
    The aquarium has lost its "edge" over the years, each year we do another exhibit that has been done before, and waste lots of money doing so. Only one retirement option is provided, a 403(b) account. No golden handshakes, no health benefits after retirement.

    Advice to Senior ManagementFix the performance evaluation system so that it is either more transparent or that people performing beyond expectations get something for it.
    Stop telling us what we can't do, start telling us what we can do.
    Listen to reason, be reasonable. Too often management gives in to unreasonable requests from other departments.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Glassdoor is your free inside look at Monterey Bay Aquarium reviews and ratings — including employee satisfaction and approval rating for Monterey Bay Aquarium CEO Julie Packard. All 11 reviews posted anonymously by Monterey Bay Aquarium employees.