RAND
3.9 of 5 79 reviews
www.rand.org Santa Monica, CA 1000 to 5000 Employees

RAND Reviews in Santa Monica, CA

Updated Jun 3, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.9 40 reviews

                             

83% Approve of the CEO

RAND CEO Michael Rich

Michael Rich

(18 ratings)

75% of employees recommend this company to a friend
39 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews
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    Finding fulfillment (by the beach)

    Associate Physical Scientist (Current Employee)
    Santa Monica, CA

    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 Senior ManagementEvolve the system to support researchers in uncertain times

    – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    2 people found this helpful  

    Flat organization, but challenging internal job market

    Graduate Research Fellow (Former Employee)
    Santa Monica, CA

    ProsRAND in Santa Monica is an unbeatable location and working in Santa Monica is fantastic for morale and general well-being. Whenever you're frustrated or need a break, you can go down to the bike room/surfboard locker and head out to the ocean. As long as you get work done and show up for meetings, timing of your work is pretty flexible, though that means lots of people tend to work late into the night. It's a very flat organization with little hierarchy. Pretty good benefits.

    ConsInternal job market is fairly exhausting for introverts - you have to network constantly to fill up your hours with project time. Even if you are 60 years old and the top of your field, your time will be spent writing grant proposals and drumming up business. For young researchers, there is little support, and you may have to resort to taking work outside of your areas of interest (the FFRDCs always have plenty of money and work to go around, compared to some of the other units that have smaller pools of funding).

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    IS organization is really struggling.

    Programmer (Current Employee)
    Santa Monica, CA

    ProsRAND 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.

    ConsRecent 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 Senior ManagementThe 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.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    At the cusp of something.

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
    Santa Monica, CA

    ProsSmart and friendly research staff are the majority - opportunities for intellectual stimulating conversation around every corner.

    ConsRAND's Information Systems department is a ship lost at sea with out a captain; in this perfect storm, her crew are led by a multitude of middle management layers that appear to lack the technical fundamentals to find bearing and set course. A continued culture of navigation by consensus and checklists will be a losing strategy.

    Advice to Senior ManagementRAND used to be a household name, a braintrust synonymous with intellectual capital and thought leadership.

    RAND has a rich legacy, but its place does not have to be relegated to the past. In an age where data science and analytic methods are at the forefront of business and managerial science topics, RAND should reestablish itself as one of the world's preeminent pioneers in operations research and policy analysis. These fields have since evolved and barriers to entry have been lowered -- RAND now has many peers and competitors. Renew the legacy with innovation and excellence. Find and support your cadre of emerging thought leaders that see RAND's place in the future, but believe it is theirs to make.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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

    Network Engineer (Former Employee)
    Santa Monica, CA

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

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

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

    Program Manager (Current Employee)
    Santa Monica, CA

    ProsI'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.

    ConsWe 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 Senior ManagementKeep up the hiring. It reminds me of the good days at RAND.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Good company to work for.

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
    Santa Monica, CA

    ProsVery 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.

    ConsResearch 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 Senior ManagementBe aware of middle managers who treat employees as numbers or interchangeable mechanical parts.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    RAND's IS department is finally shaping into greatness.

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
    Santa Monica, CA

    ProsAfter some management changes over the past couple of years, I am finally seeing the best management team in my 15+ years of employment with them.

    ConsI finally see positive movement towards RAND's vision and mission. The current management team is completely supportive and forward thinking.

    Advice to Senior ManagementImprovement and growth takes time. Foster the current team you have and they will provide what RAND needs to support the company's mission and vision.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    RAND IS Organization Is On The Move!

    Project Manager (Current Employee)
    Santa Monica, CA

    ProsIS organization has the best management team it has had in well over a decade. These new people are outstanding! We are going to see our vision come to fruition, because of these leaders.

    ConsThere remain too many naysayers, and slackers, who just want to get by, and not be part of something great. Do us a favor and move on and shut your traps.

    Advice to Senior ManagementKeep up the good work, bringing in these good new people. Glad to see them. First class, everyone of them!

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    3 people found this helpful  

    RAND IT Department - AVOID

    Systems Engineer (Former Employee)
    Santa Monica, CA

    ProsMy coworkers were a great group of people.

    ConsThe IT department is mismanaged. There is constant turn-over of management staff. Each new manager has a grand vision that requires bringing in their own team yet not correcting previous manager's shortcomings. Add to that a large mistake in 2013 budget that was not caught until after the budget was already in effect.

    Advice to Senior ManagementTake a look at the turn-over.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Glassdoor is your free inside look at RAND reviews and ratings in Santa Monica, CA — including employee satisfaction and approval rating for RAND CEO Michael Rich. All 39 reviews posted anonymously by RAND employees.