RAND Reviews

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4.6
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RAND CEO Michael Rich
Michael Rich
10 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

20 Employee Reviews

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  1. Always something interesting to work on

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate Political Scientist in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Associate Political Scientist in Washington, DC

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

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    At RAND, researchers get to work on a breadth of projects. Unlike most of academia, at RAND your research has a good chance of being seen by government decisionmakers.

    Cons

    The internal labor market does not efficiently match capabilities to requirements, and the need to pursue future work while doing your regular work can be an unpleasant distraction. There isn't a clear career path for most project associates or research assistants, and consequently RAND-caliber talent sometimes is not retained.


  2. Helpful (6)

    great learning experience, not a place for long-term career growth

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

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

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    smart people, good office environment, challenging and intellectually interesting work. I learned a lot about research and government operations while I was there; it was a good stepping stone for future work. Good time-off policy and flexible work schedules; ergonomic office furniture.

    Cons

    top-heavy staffing and competition for tier-1 research projects creates a competitive and cliquey atmosphere. You have to hunt for work and be a politically savvy networker to get on the best projects. Only a few people get promoted from early to mid-career levels because of the large number of older staffers who get "first dibs" on projects. Salary is low for DC.

    Advice to Management

    Invest in workforce development if you want to retain your best and brightest younger research staff. I left because there was nowhere to go. Too many old-guard people remain in management positions; the organization is stagnant.


  3. 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


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  5. 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.


  6. 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.


  7. 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.


  8. Helpful (2)

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

    • 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

    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 Management

    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?


  9. Daily challenges requiring thoughtful and sustaining solutions.

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

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

    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 Management

    Increase flexibility for transferability of employees among all departments.


  10. Dynamic environment! Great place to work.

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

    I worked at RAND as a contractor (Less than a year)

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

    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


  11. Helpful (3)

    Highly Challenging But Rewarding

    • 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 (Less than a year)

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Wide variety of research projects; work with smart people; flat hierarchy; broad freedom and no micromanagement (almost no management at all). Really like the autonomy to get stuff done--as long as the job is about results, and I can skin the cat my way, I'll stay here.

    Cons

    High pressure; have to find work internally or bring in work; co-workers have very broad range of social skills; it's sink or swim.

    Advice to Management

    So far I'm pretty happy here, but I'm also finding it easy to find work and make connections. I wonder if there are people who, with a little help and scaffolding, could be more succesful.



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