RAND Reviews

Updated September 3, 2015
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3.9
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RAND CEO Michael Rich
Michael Rich
45 Ratings

Pros
  • RAND has nice offices a block from the beach in beautiful Santa Monica (in 10 reviews)

  • The organization encourages long term employees and flexible work arrangements (in 7 reviews)

Cons
  • RAND has an internal labor market where one must bid onto projects based on semi-formal networking (in 8 reviews)

  • The internal labor market: You have to find work within the company even after you are hired, which can be stressful at times (in 8 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

105 Employee Reviews

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  1. Interesting work

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at RAND full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Really smart co-workers, with emphasis on analytical rigor. Challenging client projects. Good benefits package, including generous leave.

    Cons

    Limited opportunities for upward mobility.


  2. Brand rep

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Easy to use, flexible, travel, weekends only, family oriented

    Cons

    I don't really have a con as this is great for me and my family

    Advice to Management

    My manager isn't an employee and use this company basically as just a wait to contract and work


  3. Helpful (2)

    RA

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Santa Monica, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Santa Monica, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Lots of interesting work and meaningful projects. There are projects for many researcher interests and most have real-world policy implications. Defined career track.

    Cons

    All the pains associated with soft money. Many people focused on the reputation (kool aid) gained in the 60s and 70s instead of the current reputation.


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  5. Helpful (3)

    Incredible institution, one-of-a-kind work environment

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Santa Monica, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Santa Monica, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    RAND produces cutting-edge research, evaluation, and policy analysis that shapes societies and communities. It was a privilege to work at this renowned institution. Everyone is unbelievably smart, sharp, and hard-working. The tremendous portfolio of work across various policy spheres allow you to branch out, working across disciplinary bounds in a way that is unusual for an institution. The support structure is excellent - from administrative to grant/contract processing to finance to media/communications. Things just "work" and operations flow very smoothly.

    Cons

    Getting project work is the biggest challenge. RAND is an internally competitive job market, even after you're hired you must constantly work to get on projects. Research staff are expected to bring in their own funding, or join forces with other researchers that have funding to cover their time. The projects don't just come to you, you must go out and make them happen. There are pros and cons to this.


  6. Heavily matrixed; relies on informal networks and institutional memory.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Business Manager in Santa Monica, CA
    Current Employee - Business Manager in Santa Monica, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great benefits and location; incredibly smart staff across the board; the research makes a visible and positive contribution to the world.

    Cons

    The organization can be dazzlingly bureaucratic. Management has a tendency to address performance problems by reorganizing rather than managing staff issues directly, so problems have an opportunity to fester.

    Advice to Management

    Find, support, and promote the true leaders in the organization. They're there.


  7. Admin Assistant

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

    Pros

    Great work environment, everyone is friendly and helpful. Fast paced atmosphere which means that it is never boring.

    Cons

    If you find the right supervisor you can get promoted quickly.... if you don't then promotions are hard to get.


  8. Great benefits, no micromanaging

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Administrative Assistant IV in Santa Monica, CA
    Current Employee - Administrative Assistant IV in Santa Monica, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great benefits all around, no micromanaging. If you need time off, you just take it. No need to ask. Just make sure your desk is covered. Nice people.

    Cons

    Not always enough to do. Lots of menial tasks. Not much growth potential for AAs.


  9. Helpful (3)

    Working With the Brightest People on the planet

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Publications Specialist in Santa Monica, CA
    Former Employee - Publications Specialist in Santa Monica, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at RAND full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    You're working with the brightest people on the planet! Having a security clearance is awesome. The briefings and meetings were fascinating. There is room for growth and you will only be working with the best of the best. They foster a great atmosphere.

    Cons

    The pay is horrible, you will go broke. Everything has a process and it takes a year to learn the complex systems there. The middle management I worked for were really harsh and frankly mean. It all depends on who you work for. Just know that you can't make a mistake...ever!

    Advice to Management

    Please work on the management skills of middle management and I know it's probably asking too much but increase pay.


  10. Great place

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Researcher in Santa Monica, CA
    Former Employee - Senior Researcher in Santa Monica, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at RAND full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Intellectually challenging. Great work atmosphere.

    Cons

    As you would expect from a think tank, not too terribly hands on.

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the good work.


  11. Helpful (1)

    Research Assistant, Santa Monica

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Research Assistant in Santa Monica, CA
    Current Employee - Research Assistant in Santa Monica, CA
    Recommends

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

    Pros

    It's a great place to work on interesting problems with intelligent people. It's satisfying to know that we help improve the rationality of government decision-making. One of the best things is the almost-nonexistent hierarchy; there are hardly any tiers of management between researchers and executives. Furthermore, it has a fairly relaxed culture in comparison to the typical corporate feeling.

    Cons

    While the overall benefits package is all ok, my salary has been unsatisfactory. I'm hoping that I can remedy this through a change in job titles. Otherwise, I may leave.



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