Orbital Sciences

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Orbital Sciences Reviews in Dulles, VA

Updated August 3, 2014
Updated August 3, 2014
134 Reviews

3.3
134 Reviews
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Orbital Sciences Chairman and CEO David W. Thompson
David W. Thompson
86 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Interesting Work, High Tech Environment (in 9 reviews)

  • Flexible work hours and good benefits (in 7 reviews)


Cons
  • It can sometimes be hard to maintain healthy work/life balance, it just depends on the number of active contracts (feast or famine) (in 9 reviews)

  • Demanding company, long hours with no recognition (in 7 reviews)

More Highlights

55 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Great company, interesting work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Scientist  in  Dulles, VA
    Former Employee - Scientist in Dulles, VA

    Pros

    Location, salary, benefits, interesting work.

    Cons

    Culture is tough, engineers tend to be narrow minded people, they need to think outside the box sometimes.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Nice experience

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

    Pros

    Most of your peers are talented, challenging work, good food in the Orbiteria and great medical/dental benefits.

    Cons

    Overkill on some processes which are redundant, time consuming, waste of resources and repetitive.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Streamline your processes to avoid overlaps.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    Good

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Associate Financial Analyst  in  Dulles, VA
    Current Employee - Associate Financial Analyst in Dulles, VA

    Pros

    Fairly relaxed atmosphere
    Good benefits
    Exciting work
    Mostly routine working hours (depending on the time of the year and your program)
    Good employees

    Cons

    Lots of middle management
    Could be leaner
    Can feel stuffy
    Engineer-oriented
    Little to none business training available

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Not the best experience you'll ever have, but ok.

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

    Pros

    I was a Principal Electrical Engineer in SSG for many years until recent layoffs (2013-14). As far as I can tell over 200 employees were RIFed company-wide.

    Interesting work. A great experience to work with a company that manufactures communications satellites.

    Most MEs at my level had more fun in the highbay and get to work with cool CAD tools. Most EEs have a more boring secondary function of managing subcontracts.

    Flexible work hours and good benefits. Salary with overtime pay during some crunch periods.

    It’s a pleasant environment with nice landscaping, cafeteria, workout room, attractive offices/cubes with windows.

    Travel can be enjoyable to sites all over the world.

    Cons

    We were required to take lots self-training courses repeated over and over every year, some of which did not apply directly to what we were doing.

    It can sometimes be hard to maintain healthy work/life balance, it just depends on the number of active contracts (feast or famine).

    At times, middle management could be downright hostile to employees. I noticed this rubbing off between employees. At times there was some task offloading forced on one group, for example, the Mechanical group to the RF group in crunch periods.

    Orbital can be a stressful and sometimes toxic work environment. Hour by hour work task prediction and task progress with efficiency scoring is required by all employees using a daily tracking program (WALT). If you’re not so good at predicting your own work load, which can include a lot of unpredictable tasks due to the nature of the work, and your honest about your hours on each task, you could be putting yourself in jeopardy of being axed from your job. I observed employees fudging the numbers in protest.

    Don’t plan on doing much, if any, hands on work if you’re in the RF components group. There’s just no need for it. All build and test is done by the component subcontractors prior to shipment. Testing at spacecraft level is intentionally handled by others.

    Most recognition/awards seem to be limited to upper management.

    Contract wins are not guaranteed, lay-offs can happen. Orbital is now in the process of merging with ATK.

    Engineers need actual training and professional development opportunities to maintain interest.

    Slow salary growth and little potential for career development.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Invest in the latest software technologies, training employees, and continue process improvement. Stay ahead of and contribute to the latest advances in payload flexibility as if your success depended on it. I think you know this already.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Great place to work if that's all you want to do

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

    Pros

    The pay is pretty good. I think the management is fairly honest with their employees.

    Cons

    I can sum this up in one phrase. Work-life balance. Essentially, there is none. You work rotating shifts, weekends, holidays. Now I'm sure that there are jobs in this company where you get to go home on weekends, and holidays, and you don't bounce back and forth from days to nights and back to days like a ping-pong ball. But if you work in Building 5 at Dulles, there's a good chance you don't have one of those jobs. I have no sleep cycle anymore. I take pills to sleep and pills to wake up. My doctor has advised quitting for my health.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Work-life balance needs to be more than a buzz-word.

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

    Interesting Work

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

    Pros

    Clean and very pleasant campus.

    Cons

    Like everything in life they are not perfect.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Fantastic Internship Experience

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

    Pros

    Got my own office (not cubicle) and did real engineering work. I expected to be doing boring, worthless tasks that are normally associated with internships but instead found myself actually contributing to the project.

    Normally your boss can be flexible with your hours if you need to come in late one day or want to take some time off (after all you are hourly so they only have to pay you when you work).

    Cons

    As an intern I noticed many communication problems between employees and the management and while I did not have to deal with these issues directly they caused people to be frustrated, on edge and somewhat difficult to work with.

    Also on your first day the new hire process is not intern specific, so you end up sitting through some boring presentations that tend to not apply, or only partially apply to you.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    This would be a good place for new engineers to become exposed to their career functions.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Principal Systems Engineer  in  Dulles, VA
    Former Employee - Principal Systems Engineer in Dulles, VA

    Pros

    Mid level supervisors and employees pull together well to resolve critical issues. The personnel are friendly.

    Cons

    Often fail to think and respond to issues strategically. Should truly embrace constructive criticism. Often issues are responded to tactically rather resolve strategically.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Embrace personnel who are concerned about continuous improvements.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    Great Place, Awesome Stuff

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

    Pros

    You get to work on some pretty neat things with a team that's usually full of very smart people.

    Cons

    Contract wins are not constant, so lay-offs do happen.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Win, Win, Win. Contracts that is.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    SMF Middle Management

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Principal Manufacturing Engineer  in  Dulles, VA
    Former Employee - Principal Manufacturing Engineer in Dulles, VA

    Pros

    Good pay, benefits and most of my co-workers. Not all of them.

    Cons

    Things change on an hourly basis. Middle management is terrible and I am being kind.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The SMF middle management needs to grow some balls and let the employees know who is in charge.The convicts are running the prison. The place is like club med. Everyone just coming and going as they d%*n well please. On their cell phones at their work locations. Too many breaks, long lunches, smoke breaks, etc. No set start and finish times. No set standard for an operation or anything. Whenever you get it done is fine. That is crap. No discipline or accountability. If you make a mistake several times that's okay. More crap. These people would never make it in the real world.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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