Orbital Sciences Reviews

Updated August 27, 2015
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3.2
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Orbital Sciences Chairman and CEO David W. Thompson
David W. Thompson
45 Ratings

Pros
  • Interesting Work, High Tech Environment (in 10 reviews)

  • Good benefits and vacation time (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)

  • Not much room for growth, too little opportunities for advancement (in 4 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

67 Employee Reviews

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  1. Great company to work for.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Master Engineer I in Dulles, VA
    Current Employee - Master Engineer I in Dulles, VA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Good pay, lots of different opportunities. Most management is fair.

    Cons

    Expects you to work a lot of extra hours, usually unpaid.

    Advice to Management

    Give better bonus structure to engineering staff. Paid overtime would be great.


  2. Company Changes

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Aerospace Consultant in Dulles, VA
    Former Employee - Senior Aerospace Consultant in Dulles, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Orbital Sciences (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Adequate compensation and extremely talented work force

    Cons

    Interference management, underdeveloped leadership skills and capabilities at the Director level, and cronyism

    Advice to Management

    Rotate directors and other managers on a two year cycle to make sure they understand and can communicate company strategy.


  3. Helpful (1)

    Good money, good people. Typical bureaucracy.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Manager in Dulles, VA
    Current Employee - Manager in Dulles, VA
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    The people you work with generally care about their jobs and doing good work. The money is decent. Many people are able to work well together and get the job done, despite the growing feeling that managers don't hear the "voice of the people". The company does a great job turning out well-built product in a very short time frame, making them successful with their business model. There is plenty of opportunity within the company to change jobs, achieve promotions, etc. The executive management team seems very sharp and genuine, even though they don't spend much time amongst the people.

    Cons

    The benefits are OK, but definitely a bit arcane. There is no true flex time for employees. The "little things" like meals for employees working crazy amounts of overtime are few and far between. There is only one cafeteria and the food isn't great (or cheap). The morale of workers (especially in the factory where product is built) is often poor. Engineers in other buildings (outside of the factory) don't typically work well with those doing the actual work. The metrics that are kept are not valuable and most managers/directors don't know how to effectively use data to make decisions. Decisions are mainly made based on gut feel or emotions. Most people come into the company looking to change the world, but after a year or two they are beat down and feel like their voice isn't heard. Management (including program managers, functional managers, etc) does not genuinely care about whether their workers have free time outside of work - it's really all about getting the job done (and the schedule is always tight), no matter what it takes; this puts workers in an impossible position where they only get good performance marks when they're willing to work ungodly amounts of overtime. In essence, there is no real work-life balance, and managers don't truly care. There isn't much work right now (2015) in the VA factory, so everyone is scared that they're going to be laid off soon. It's hard to implement process improvements without having to get buy-in from any number of other directors, VP's, etc. There is a lot of bureaucracy involved in the day-to-day job duties. To get simple forms or procedures approved, you have to get signatures from high level personnel (directors, VP's) - a lot of the approvals processes are wasteful and expensive. The approvals processes seemed designed around a very small company that grew but then never changed their practices.

    Advice to Management

    Need to work on building cross-functional teams and improving the morale of the work force. Better perks in the job benefits category would be helpful. Try to be more compassionate about requiring people to give up their lives to work insane amounts of overtime. Executive Mgmt should try to tour the factory more often or interface with some of the "lower-level" personnel more frequently.


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  5. Helpful (3)

    Sad to see such potential deteriorate.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Engineering in Dulles, VA
    Current Employee - Engineering in Dulles, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Orbital Sciences full-time

    Pros

    I would have said opportunity, pay and benefits a little over two years ago. Now, nothing comes to mind other than it being a source of temporary income.

    Cons

    Job security, pay, and incompetent management resulting from years of complacency.

    Advice to Management

    Stop rewarding incompetent management. In other words, your cheese has moved.


  6. Helpful (1)

    Director of Programs

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Director in Dulles, VA
    Former Employee - Director in Dulles, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Orbital Sciences full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Fun Projects, State of the Art Technologies

    Cons

    Company has fundamentally changed from it's beginnings.

    Advice to Management

    Poor long term planning...


  7. Good people and interesting work!

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Chief Mission Architect in Dulles, VA
    Current Employee - Chief Mission Architect in Dulles, VA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Orbital Sciences full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    The company is comprised of highly motivated, highly capable people. Most people work on more than one effort, providing a breadth of challenging work and the opportunity to work with a wider range of people in the company. The climate encourages finding innovative solutions to difficult technical problems.

    Cons

    There is some uncertainty as the company works to integrate after the merger with ATK. Management is working to achieve this integration, but it seems that much of this work is behind the scenes and less transparent.

    Advice to Management

    As we work through the merger, continue to preserve the strong climate we've had at Orbital and capitalize on the breadth that ATK brings. More transparency would be appreciated, where practical, as the integration proceeds.


  8. Helpful (2)

    Working in IT can be real rewarding

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Dulles, VA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Dulles, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    The people in the IT department are what makes this job great.

    Cons

    Company under pays positions even though expectations are higher than most companies.

    Advice to Management

    If you expect a world class employee, You have to pay what the market demands or you will continue to lose great talent. It shouldn't always be about management bonuses and cutting costs with salaries. Treat employees well so they have a reason to stay!


  9. Mechanical Designer

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Mechanical Engineer in Dulles, VA
    Current Employee - Senior Mechanical Engineer in Dulles, VA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Orbital Sciences full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Work was challenge and exciting many obstacles and needs for further research and development and research. More supervision was necessary

    Cons

    More instruction needed and responsibilities no supervision of guidance by appropriate supervisors allot of software issues and no help or guidance available

    Advice to Management

    Review all candidates


  10. Helpful (4)

    Confirmation of Previous Review

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Dulles, VA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Dulles, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    A place of very dedicated and intelligent people. Program Managers often (specially for small spacecrafts) mingle with their team of leads and engineers. (Please note: they are the real warriors there!). The environment, despite the RIFs terrorizing the Company, is friendly and progressive - even with the incompetent Upper Management.

    Cons

    What was written by the review entitled “Crushing schedules, demoralizing work environment, low raises, and little opportunity for advancement...” is VERY TRUE! No need to re-write what was so well expressed! As long as Orbital continues to let Tech Ops get away with its unrealistic and out-of-touch leadership, the Company will continue to loose its brilliancy that once characterized its achievements.

    Advice to Management

    Dissolve Tech Ops. Give its Management the taste of their own recommendations by "kindly" letting them go... Make the rest of the Company happy - Phoenix style!


  11. Summer Internship

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Intern - Intern in Dulles, VA
    Former Intern - Intern in Dulles, VA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Orbital Sciences as an intern (Less than a year)

    Pros

    I had a great experience in Orbital's internship program. I learned a lot, my manager was helpful and not overbearing at all, and I worked with a great team who were always willing to help me when I needed it. The company appreciates their interns and really makes an effort to provide a good experience for them.

    Cons

    I did not get a very broad experience during my internship because I was only working on one part of one project, but I think that is to be expected.



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