Rocky Mountain Institute

  www.rmi.org
  www.rmi.org

Rocky Mountain Institute Reviews

Updated October 9, 2014
Updated October 9, 2014
13 Reviews
3.1
13 Reviews
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Jules Kortenhorst
1 Rating

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Great place to work with motivated, driven and intelligent people.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Analyst in Boulder, CO
    Current Employee - Analyst in Boulder, CO

    I have been working at Rocky Mountain Institute full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great benefits, community and culture.

    Cons

    Has undergone some changes and is in constant quest for defining itself as an organization.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    High hopes flattened by reality

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

    I worked at Rocky Mountain Institute full-time

    Pros

    If you like the open floor plan - this could be a good place for you. It doesn't actually seem to work at RMI since people just end up hiding out in random corners of the building. In Snowmass, everyone sits in separated rooms. Snacks are provided, a nice plus, though this is happening in more and more jobs. People are smart in their own silos and willing to collaborate often. The biggest plus is the flexible work arrangement. The performance review process has senior staff talking to everyone you work with, which I think is inclusive and fair.

    Cons

    The pay is truly sub-par at the initial levels. There is no clear path to being promoted. The process is in place, with a nice explanation of what should happen, but it seems to fall apart in practice. It is truly difficult to understand, and it is not adequately shared, how some people are chosen to promote and others are not.

    It is a fairly cliquey culture, which is distracting and a hindrance to the success of those not in the clique. Hiring decisions are hard to understand, with employees being brought in at all levels regardless of experience. Intellectual egos are large but remain passively aggressively hidden under the surface.

    Lots of growing pains as the organization tries to expand rapidly. Frightening thing is that the CEO has no intention of staying with the organization past a couple years, putting the future survivability of an expanded RMI in question.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Sinking Ship

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

    I have been working at Rocky Mountain Institute full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    You can choose from two great locations Boulder and Snowmass.
    The dress code is relaxed.
    Work arrangements are flexible for the most part.
    Collaborative work environment with the potential to be empowered if you're among the selected favorites.
    Good resume booster; admirable mission.

    Cons

    As previous reviews, even the positive ones, make abundantly clear there are significant management, human relations, and promotion potential problems here. If you come in at Senior Associate or below, have your follow-on plans ready within 2 years as this is not the job to make a career. If you come in at Principal or higher, at least the pay will make it all worth it, though you should not expect to work on what you have expertise in - the focus areas change with the winds of funding. Lots of staff left recently, most with over 4 years at RMI and very senior grade.

    RMI has no training program to help you get acquainted to its quirky way of working.

    It is an unwritten rule that you are connected and checking/responding to mail constantly.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5. 2 people found this helpful  

    Good Mission - Poor Leaders and Execution

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

    I have been working at Rocky Mountain Institute full-time

    Pros

    Flexible work arrangements - assuming you can convince HR (puts company first, employee second)
    Cool having ability to work from either office
    Groceries purchased once per week - even if they only last a couple of days
    People that want to make a difference
    Thinking bigger than perhaps could be possible - allowing the dream to become real

    Cons

    Management - people in position of leading others though they have no idea how to; senior staff never worked in outside-RMI jobs and yet somehow are considered qualified to lead others that have much more experience than the senior staff could hope for

    Favoritism - disappoint someone once and consider it to be a multi-year road back to potential promotion consideration; applies only to some; substantially impacts promotion potential

    Pay - Highly skewed pay chart to draw senior staff though junior staff do the true work and don't get paid much for it

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Spend more time progressing junior staff careers rather than promoting yourselves at the supposed benefit of the institute. Diversify funding streams beyond limited donors

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 3 people found this helpful  

    Great Vision, Poorly Executed (part 2, seconded)

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

    I worked at Rocky Mountain Institute full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    A mission one can believe and embrace. Intellectually challenging. Working with really smart, quirky, interesting people. Interesting projects. Good opportunities to meet intellectual elite at various company-sponsored activities. Good peripheral benefits such as company-sponsored lunch, local bus pass, annual health benefit. Good work/life balance and flexibility in work hours.

    Cons

    Deeply flawed and self-serving senior leadership. Exceptionally poor and dysfunctional operational management. Crony nepotism in virtually all upper management roles, a.k.a. all are "Friends of Potts." Management does not walk its talk. Donor funding serves to finance the salaries and lifestyles of senior management far more than it funds the research or salaries of the staff doing the work.

    The reality for staff is very different than the highbrow image marketed to the public and to donors. Dissent or challenge to the management status quo is effectively and efficiently eliminated through a number of mechanisms. Staff is underpaid. Lion's share of research conducted by underpaid interns, bright young people who are exploited until they wise up and move on. Virtually no opportunity for career advancement. This is a company designed for short-term employment for the privilege of putting RMI on your resume, no more.

    RMI had the potential of being a truly great and influential and important company back around the time of it's 25th anniversary in 2007. The ideals are still there, but It's best days are behind it.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7.  

    Great team with a great mission

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

    I worked at Rocky Mountain Institute full-time

    Pros

    Freedom to pursue passion
    Inspiring Mission
    Intellectually stimulating

    Cons

    Staff can be quirky and self-absorbed
    Sometimes feels at risk for funding

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Great learning experience.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Analyst in Boulder, CO
    Former Employee - Analyst in Boulder, CO

    I worked at Rocky Mountain Institute full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Work-life balance is great. Cutting edge energy research and projects. Great credential/ brand in the energy and environmental industry. Strong culture and community.

    Cons

    Somewhat limited career development opportunity--tendency to be stuck close to the position you were hired at. Slow periods between projects.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Developing a concrete career development track with potential support for advanced degrees would be attractive.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  9.  

    Incredible people, incredible company

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

    I have been working at Rocky Mountain Institute full-time

    Pros

    -Fantastic work environment
    -People all work collaboratively around the central mission
    -Well-read coworkers (ex. everyone I worked with had read everything Amory Lovins had written)

    Cons

    -Sometimes parking can get a little tight.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    -none

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  10.  

    Wonderful work, place, and people.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Consultant in Snowmass, CO
    Current Employee - Consultant in Snowmass, CO

    I have been working at Rocky Mountain Institute full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    RMI is a stupendous place to work. The energy-focused work has the potential to be high impact and new projects vary widely in topic and approach. There's lots of room to grow and make a name for yourself in any of the disciplines we work in. Honing specializations in both content areas and technical skills is encouraged. Colleagues are very smart, interesting, and fun to work with and the culture, particularly in the Snowmass office, is tough to beat. If you're an outdoor enthusiast, both locations are unreal as well.

    Cons

    Definitely need to be a self starter at RMI. Tasks are delegated and there are a number of talented project managers. However, in order to really thrive, individuals who really like to go out there and wrap their arms around particular workstreams and initiatives will make it the best. Some disconnect between management and on-the-ground work from time to time but every organization struggles with that to some extent. Cost of living in Snowmass office is a bit higher but hey—you're living in one of the most beautiful and funnest places in the US and doing high-impact work.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Continue engaging middle management and entry level RnC staff in strategy work to make sure the senior team really has their thumb on the pulse of energy issues and industry in the U.S.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  11.  

    Innovating company with very thought provoking work opportunities.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Snowmass, CO
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Snowmass, CO

    I have been working at Rocky Mountain Institute

    Pros

    Body of work and exposure to many areas of energy industry work.

    Cons

    Pay and advancement within the company below standards for the sector.

    Recommends

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