RAND Reviews

Updated July 26, 2015
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101 Employee Reviews

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  1. A very enjoyable place to work

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

    I have been working at RAND full-time (More than 3 years)

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

    Pros

    - good people - efficient systems - opportunities to learn

    Cons

    - There is limited upward mobility for administrative staff


  2. Smart, hard working people with their hearts in the right place.

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

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

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

    Pros

    Good pay, benefits, and flexibility.

    Cons

    It's stressful to maintain a balance of good work and not be under- or over-loaded (coverage).

    Advice to Management

    We can do more to lead the way in both human and information management.


  3. Helpful (1)

    Nice people, no one was terribly tied to their job

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at RAND

    Pros

    Everyone was nice, awesome office and location

    Cons

    No one held a lot of a passion for the work


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  5. Helpful (9)

    Incompetent middle managers regularly decide amongst themselves -- Everyone else cleans up their mess

    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Santa Monica, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Santa Monica, CA

    I have been working at RAND full-time

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

    Pros

    Many of the nation's most influential policy advisers and researchers have roamed the famed halls of RAND. Generally people are friendly and accessible. A great place to make connections-- If you are a member of the research staff.

    Cons

    If you aren't a member of the research staff, or an executive, you'll fit into this box. Your job is to keep the lights on, the floors clean, the facilities running. You are a cost center. You are not seen to add value. You may not be seen at all. While many concepts behind modern technologies are the brainchildren of RAND alumni, technology is no longer a science here; it is merely 'IT'. Middle managers of the top-heavy IT department deliberate amongst themselves, and regularly make irresponsible, uninformed, and outdated decisions by committee, leaving no one accountable for the perpetual mess. IT literally holds this organization back in the 20th century.

    Advice to Management

    You have been loyal to your people. Also be loyal to your legacy and those that wish to renew IT. Clean house. Tenure is not a metric for expertise or management prowess. Managers manage. Leaders lead. Raise your standards. Professional pedigree and academic caliber are research staff priorities. Why not everywhere? History repeats. Instead of termination, several "managers," and former directors, were placed into "please-do-no-more-harm" positions, salary intact. Unfortunately, these messages were lost, and reasons for these moves were forgotten with time. Each year, millions of dollars are spent on managerial payroll, and nothing is left for much-needed working staff and infrastructure improvement. Perhaps members of the research community could study the correlation. One can only guess. Your client research is data driven. Look at internal turnover metrics. People leave managers, not companies.


  6. Helpful (4)

    Can be a great place to work depending on which department you work in.

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

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

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

    Pros

    The benefits are great. The environment is collegial. You will likely be surrounded by intelligent people. If you are in a great department, then this is an excellent place to work.

    Cons

    Some of the departments are burdened with mismanagement and/or bureaucracy. If you are stuck in one of those departments, you will likely feel unappreciated at best. You may start out in a great department in which the management changes, then you will find yourself in a job you used to love and care about that becomes unbearable.

    Advice to Management

    Perhaps RAND has become too top heavy?


  7. Helpful (5)

    Very Grateful to Be Here

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate Behavioral Social Scientist in Arlington, VA
    Current Employee - Associate Behavioral Social Scientist in Arlington, VA

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

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

    Pros

    I love the diversity of projects, the chance to work with some really smart people (and learn from them), the work flexibility (usually work 6:30 AM to 2:30 PM in the office, or at home if I really have a lot of writing to do). And I kind of love the pressure--it's a challenge to context-switch from project to project, meet deadlines, etc., but it's very rewarding. And while there is a wide-range of personality types at RAND, I really like my colleagues.

    Cons

    You are very much left alone to sink or swim in the "internal labor market"--I'm lucky that (so far) I'm swimming, and I've had a lot of help. But I can imagine someone who does good work still having bad luck (and maybe not out-going enough) to find work.

    Advice to Management

    I'm totally ok with the broad challenge of finding work, but even old hands here at RAND struggle with filling every corner of your time to, to the last day of the year. I think a little flexibility at the edges, e.g. a standard pool of personal development days, would be helpful.


  8. Helpful (1)

    Great colleagues, Interesting Research Opportunities, Great Employment Practices

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Assistant Policy Analyst in Santa Monica, CA
    Former Employee - Assistant Policy Analyst in Santa Monica, CA

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

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

    Pros

    The people here are all really top-notch. They really pushed me to be a better researcher and I learned a lot from everyone there. Not only, however, are they great researchers, but they are also very nice and happy to help. Other researchers always took time to meet with me, teach me new software, etc. Administrative support, security, and other people were also the best. Also, they have really great employment practices. There was an ergonomics person who helped set up your desk and they have a cafe with lots of healthy options.

    Cons

    Like any high-profile research organization, the job is demanding and the hours can be long at times. Also, I know that finding work at RAND is challenging for some people. I personally, however, didn't have a problem finding work and enjoyed the ability to choose whom I work with.

    Advice to Management

    More free trainings on software would be great.


  9. Helpful (3)

    Lots of variety, no room for growth

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

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

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    There is a huge variety of work available. On a given day, you may work with economists, political scientists, sociologists, and defense analysts. The office is quite nice, and there are lots of resources to do good research. For policy the pay is OK, but much of the work can be similar to work done by (and compensated by) the private sector. The work is extremely flexible: staff at all levels are given flexibility to work from home and work flexible hours.

    Cons

    There are limited opportunities for formal professional development or growth. Most junior staff are too busy over-loading with project work to take time to learn new skills. One of the big cons of the 'internal labor market' is that project leaders will only bring staff onto projects who already are experienced in the methodologies being used. This means it's hard to 'learn by doing' because you are generally only invited to do things that you've done before.

    Advice to Management

    It is unclear what the various roles are meant to accomplish. When problems are brought up, nobody thinks it's their job to address them or fix them, which means that nothing (major or minor) can really change.


  10. Helpful (5)

    Loyalty above all

    • 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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    If you confirm you can stay here forever. No retirement age, no requirement to leave, just be a wallflower and don't challenge and don't try to do something different.

    Cons

    If you like the Stepford Wives you'll do just great. They want individuals in their image, doing and behaving the way they do, regardless of ethics, honesty, integrity. Don't rock the ship, and simply pull out that old research, dust it off, and publish it again, and again.

    Advice to Management

    The Board of Trustees needs to replace themselves and the top levels of the company. Cronyism and Nepotism runs rampant and the inbred nature of the organization is damaging, breeding a culture that rates survival to tomorrow as the most important over trust, honesty, customer service, integrity.


  11. Helpful (6)

    Great people, unfortunate management

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Web Producer in Pittsburgh, PA
    Former Employee - Web Producer in Pittsburgh, PA

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

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

    Pros

    Outstanding group of intelligent, focused, and collegial employees.

    Cons

    Managers tended to care more about their image, than the people who reported to them.

    Advice to Management

    The people who work for you, are who keep you there and successful. Consider their needs and guide them in improving their shortcomings.



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