RAND Reviews

Updated August 4, 2015
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3.9
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RAND CEO Michael Rich
Michael Rich
43 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

101 Employee Reviews

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  1. 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

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

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    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.


  2. Admin Assistant

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

    I have been working at RAND

    Recommends
    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.


  3. 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

    I have been working at RAND

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    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.


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  5. 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

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

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    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.


  6. 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

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

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    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.


  7. 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

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

    Recommends
    Recommends

    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.


  8. Helpful (1)

    Research Assistant

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

    I have been working at RAND full-time

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Brilliant researchers and staff focused on sound research

    Cons

    Research assistants are sometimes give more clerical work


  9. Helpful (5)

    Intellectually stimulating but stressful place to work

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

    I worked at RAND

    Recommends
    Recommends

    Pros

    -- Intellectually stimulating environment -- Collegial coworkers -- Flexible schedule -- Wonderful vacation benefits (you get full vacation days from the first year, and you get up to 5% extra from your salary when you take your vacation days)

    Cons

    -- Ridiculous overhead rate, which makes projects really expensive and at times underbudgeted; all tasks need to be done according to budget specifications and if anyone makes a mistake on a task and needs to start over or correct it, you risk being overbudget -- Internal labor market is stressful; you need to be fully covered at all times, which can be difficult if you work on the domestic side -- Long hours; there is no such things as a 40-hour workweek; more like 50-hours -- There is an expectation that you publish in order to advance, but most of the times, the project is over when you start the publication process. So that means you're working on your own time to get articles published

    Advice to Management

    -- Need to build professional development time for publication into overhead


  10. Helpful (7)

    Nice people, great benefits, zero vision among leadership

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

    I worked at RAND full-time (More than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Benefits package is excellent, as is pay. Lots of interesting policy work to sink your teeth into

    Cons

    Awful HR dept, no visionary leadership, very little concern for return on investment. Committed to the status quo despite saying otherwise (very frustrating for employees with strong work ethic and vision)

    Advice to Management

    THE best advice I can give? 360-degree reviews.


  11. Helpful (2)

    Great Place to Work

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

    I have been working at RAND

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Good work life balance Autonomy Excellent colleagues Few useless meetings

    Cons

    Need to fundraise Can be bureaucratic



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