RAND Reviews

Updated October 15, 2014
Updated October 15, 2014
91 Reviews
3.9
91 Reviews
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RAND CEO Michael Rich
Michael Rich
43 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • RAND in Santa Monica is an unbeatable location and working in (in 10 reviews)

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


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 (in 7 reviews)

  • RAND has an internal labor market where one must bid onto projects based on semi-formal networking (in 7 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Full of dedicated, hard working, and smart individuals (Geeks you'd want to have a beer with)

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    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)

    Pros

    The system of matrix management and the internal labor market allow for very flexible and interesting opportunities, while helping to ensure that people try hard to work well together. If you're over worked, it's easy to "share your load" since everyone needs to take on work to get paid.

    Cons

    There is a dark side to the "internal labor market." it can be stressful ensuring that you always have just the right amount of project work on your plate.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You do a great job communicating where the company is and where it is likely to be next year. I'd like to hear more about what we need to position the company for even more success 5-10 years down the road. In other words, what do we need to do in order to get a huge pat on the back or a "wow" from the rest of the country for our 75th anniversary?

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 3 people found this helpful  

    RAND is a great place to work. Smart people, interesting problems, flexible work conditions.

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

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

    Pros

    Work with some of the smartest people I've ever met. Work on problems that are at the top of the national policy agenda. RAND research projects are interesting and often have substantial impact.

    Cons

    Not many. It is a "soft money" research organization, so you have to build up your skills at winning grants or contracts, but there is a lot of help with that.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    Daily challenges requiring thoughtful and sustaining solutions.

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

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

    Pros

    Extensive interaction on all levels; with other assistants, researchers, and administrative staff. Training was a continuous process and was combined with new techniques and changes that increased productivity.

    Cons

    Extensive use of computers causing physical discomfort at the end of long days; difficulty transferring from one unit (e.g., admin support) to non-research departments (HR, Unit Admin., Corporate).

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Increase flexibility for transferability of employees among all departments.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 8 people found this helpful  

    IS organization is really struggling.

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

    I have been working at RAND as a contractor (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    RAND has a phenomenal history as a research organization. Even non-research staff are welcomed at research presentations to hear the latest. Santa Monica is a great location and the office is only a block from the beach. Generally, hours are flexible. Most staff are highly intelligent and well educated. The organization encourages long term employees and flexible work arrangements.

    Cons

    Recent re-organization and new managers have introduced some serious problems with morale, productivity, and solution delivery in the IS area. Although one welcome departure occurred recently, many problems continue due to poor middle managers, the uncertainty of interim management, and anticipation of yet another round of new upper management. These are further eroding staff job satisfaction and loyalty. Focus has clearly shifted from "let's get this done well" to "be sure to cover your a**".

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The IT organization needs to be re-designed to better align with internal client needs. IT does not run the show--they should function as a support organization that serves overall business needs based on a long term view rather than a 'little as possible' consulting mentality.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Finding fulfillment (by the beach)

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Associate Physical Scientist in Santa Monica, CA
    Current Employee - Associate Physical Scientist in Santa Monica, CA

    I have been working at RAND full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    - Challenging, multidisciplinary problems
    - Track record of policy impact
    - Normative (depending on your disposition) and intellectual fulfillment
    - Constant career development
    - 2 blocks from the beach

    Cons

    - Coverage system adds significant overhead to research work
    - Can be stressful compared to academia

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Evolve the system to support researchers in uncertain times

    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 6 people found this helpful  

    CIO was just canned for being a total, incompetent failure. Terrible IT management.

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

    I worked at RAND full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Great co-workers, those that are left. Survival can bring out the best in people.

    Cons

    Worst IT management team you will ever find. No current experience, very little to no practical knowledge. They couldn't run a McDonalds successfully. Also be aware future employees, part of your compensation goes into a retire plan that you'll be lucky to see after 4 years.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    More to the Board of Directors - get an IT management team that has current experience before this company collapses.

    Neutral Outlook
  8. 3 people found this helpful  

    fantastic, great intellectual place to work

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at RAND

    Pros

    great work and family balance

    Cons

    soft money institution in the current budget

  9. 3 people found this helpful  

    > 25 Years in RAND IT and Best It Has Ever Been

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

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

    Pros

    I'm one of the old timers at RAND. There are many of us who have came to RAND and have never thought to leave. We've been through good times and not so good times. I must say that I've never seen the IT organization as good as it is today. We had gotten some unhappy people into management ranks, and now that they are gone, we are finally starting to move forward.

    Cons

    We just lost a great fellow to retirement. Been here more than 30 years. Well earned, but sad to see him go. He was one of the good guys.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep up the hiring. It reminds me of the good days at RAND.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10.  

    Dynamic environment! Great place to work.

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

    I worked at RAND as a contractor (less than an year)

    Pros

    Independent research-oriented environment. Lots of travel opportunities and ability to meet with key policymakers. Rich environment with bright minds and new ideas. Definitely a place where a young researcher can flourish.

    Cons

    Need a PhD to move upwards

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    Good company to work for.

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

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

    Pros

    Very professional organization and colleagues, though the occasional exception can be problematic. Good benefits, good work ethic, company is concerned about employee well-being. Opportunity to learn about many facets of policy advisory roles and work with highly trained specialists in varying fields.

    Cons

    Research staff can experience pressure to be rainmakers, support staff have little opportunity for mobility. HR is not responsive to personnel problems in the workforce. Stated policy of employees being able to attend embedded grad school is not a reality. Company's income can be victim to whims of congressional budget politics as the company is largely paid by US government contracts.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be aware of middle managers who treat employees as numbers or interchangeable mechanical parts.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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