Samsung Austin Semiconductor Reviews

Updated August 13, 2015
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Youngwook ("YW") Park
10 Ratings

Pros
  • The pay and benefits are very competitive (in 19 reviews)

  • Good Benefits and it takes a lot of mistakes to get terminated if you are well-liked by management (in 26 reviews)

Cons
  • The work life balance is non existent (in 37 reviews)

  • Groups can become short staffed which means you will be working long hours until positions are filled (in 22 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

61 Employee Reviews

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  1. Run fast, run far

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Coordinator in Austin, TX
    Former Employee - Coordinator in Austin, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Samsung Austin Semiconductor (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    A good name to have in your resume. If a factory is where you wish to work, have fun. Then move on. Never met anyone who enjoyed working here. Just doing their time. Lots of power struggles for policies and favoritism.

    Cons

    If you are not Korean, you are not a member of the "in-crowd". Protect you back side and do the best you can...then leave to your next career move.

    Advice to Management

    close down


  2. Helpful (2)

    Stay far far away

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Engineer in Austin, TX
    Current Employee - Engineer in Austin, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Samsung Austin Semiconductor full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Paychecks. On site gym. Cafeteria. 401k. Insurance. Generous PTO because burn out is high.

    Cons

    There's no chance of work / life balance. All the work you do, your boss will take credit for. They do not care about developing employees or careers. They just care if you are there to fill a spot. This is the least caring employer I have ever seen. The security and Koreans will make you feel like a prisoner in your own country. Do not be persuaded to work here by the recruiters. You will regret every minute of it.

    Advice to Management

    Increase employee retention.


  3. Helpful (5)

    Company name looks good on your resume and that is about it !

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Engineer in Austin, TX
    Former Employee - Engineer in Austin, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Samsung Austin Semiconductor full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Good benefits and monthly cafeteria plan is good. Quarterly bonuses are good addition to the paycheck

    Cons

    Management is constantly trying to enforce Korean culture on to American employees and they expect people to quietly follow. SAS engineers are considered subordinates by Koreans & have to constantly beg HQ members for support.There are no procedures enforcing support to SAS from HQ members. Everyone in management is just interested in saving their position and going up in the hierarchy. No one cares about the needs and wants of the employees. Work-life balance is zero but one should not complain about it when they are exempt employees. Senior / Principal Engineers and managers are expected to work over weekends for at least 4-5 hours on rotation and no extra compensation is provided to them for that. Whoever does this without complaining, gets good performance reviews and is promoted easily. No one looks at the quality of work provided during the working hours. What matters is how long you are physically present at the office. You'll do great if you are well liked by the management. There is no scope for innovation and you are expected to copy exact from Korea. Yearly SCI Survey is a joke and no actions are taken for the feedback given by the employees. All in all, just get the name of the company on your resume and find something else if you want to make a career. The experience here is not going to be of any use to you in your professional life and your personal life would be already terrible working here.

    Advice to Management

    You have hired some good , knowledgeable people. Respect them and help them to implement their ideas. Not everything that Korea does has to be done exactly same at SAS. Respect your employees personal life and they'll respect you and will perform better.


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  5. Helpful (4)

    Work/life balance? Sure, if 84 of 168 hr/wk is balanced.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Engineer in Austin, TX
    Former Employee - Engineer in Austin, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Samsung Austin Semiconductor full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Driving in and waking up to the building and into the lobby things look great, but don't let it fool you. There is a tremendous amount of psychological pain being inflicted to many, many innocent people. As an engineer that has been in the industry over 25 years I can tell you it is not good, healthy, or sustainable. Now for the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly... The Good: To be fair, the food credit is a good program, and you can eat well for not much money. And the money for a salaried engineer is also good, maybe 10% above average. However, with no stock options and very little paid overtime, the calculated “hourly rate” is not so hot. If you like working on the cutting edge, the most of the equipment and the processes are state of the art. (Next: the Bad and the Ugly…)

    Cons

    The Bad: The turnover is so high they are constantly hiring to fill the positions of people that reached their breaking point or mental limit and have left. It is such a revolving door for employees that in my 2+ years I saw four or five good engineers quit from my group alone. And not to work somewhere else, just to stop working there! What do you think when you see good engineers quitting a job with above average pay without another position? Two other engineers had to take medical leave for stress, anxiety, and depression. If you last 3 years you might be the most senior member in your group. College grads will fit best here as they will not know what to expect or how normal companies treat their employees. But even they will reach their limit and burn out. Engineers experience from other companies will find the experience more of a mental torture test since any and all of your prior experience is treated as worthless information that you should erase from memory. You are expected help and support the struggles of re-inventing the wheel over and over again. And if your expectation was 40 hour weeks, think again. Work/life balance is this; 84 hours is half of the 168 hour work week so come in earlier and stay later to get your job done! Don’t forget you have weekend coverage this weekend either… Don’t worry, if you are young and strong, the older guys will be gone one way or another soon enough and then you can move up. The Ugly: The management psychology is simple; micros-manage everybody all the time and expect a robot-like response from everyone. If you like digging the same hole in the ground and then filling it in everyday you will fit in well. But make sure you do it right; since there are almost as many managers as engineers, and you might have three or four of them checking the hole you dug very carefully and to different specs or criteria. Innovation is not allowed at this facility; no thinking inside or outside the box. Just follow the script/SOP and don’t ask questions because there are dumb ones and you will be ostracized if you dare ask. But then again, who would you ask anyway? There is very little true formal training or mentoring. The expectation is you can learn everything by watching a few online PowerPoint presentations that are so inaccurate and outdated you would be better off just guessing “C” and writing down the answers they want when you retake the your training “quiz” a few minutes later. Management forces you to have “accountability” by giving you projects and metrics that are clearly unattainable since you are not allowed to really make any major or even minor changes. You are also expected to coerce others to support your projects even though they do not report to you and have their own projects. This has the effect of pitting co-workers against each other and stops any type of true teamwork. The easy answer is simple; do it yourself as long as you do not have any family or friends and you want to see and work 60, 70, or 80 hours a week on a “salary”.

    Advice to Management

    Read some books on successful companies and completely re-organize by reducing the managers and listening to employees and suggestions for improvements. Let engineers be engineers; that is why they went to school for that degree. An inverted-pyramid, dictator management system constantly cracking the whip is not sustainable and effective for long periods of time. Initially it might seem good but it cannot last and when it ends it ends very badly.


  6. Helpful (4)

    New Engineers Stay Away

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Engineer II in Austin, TX
    Current Employee - Engineer II in Austin, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Samsung Austin Semiconductor full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Pay, benefits, PTO, opportunities to work with cutting edge technology.

    Cons

    The amount of changes that are required from Korea with lack of sufficient data is alarming. If it's been done in Korea then it's not questioned and we are supposed to blindly copy exact. This throws innovative thinking and creativity in the back seat since. Maintaining personal engineering integrity is difficult when the work culture often alters numbers and data to appear better than it is. Cons could go on, but it would be the same stuff you read on the other reviews.

    Advice to Management

    Please stand up for you employees.


  7. Helpful (6)

    Crippling Cultural Differences

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Engineer I in Austin, TX
    Former Employee - Engineer I in Austin, TX
    Doesn't Recommend

    I worked at Samsung Austin Semiconductor full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Amazingly advanced manufacturing facility. Great experience and exposure in to the capabilities of modern manufacturing.

    Cons

    Along with the great manufacturing experience will come great experience in how to deal with poor management, bad leadership, and motivation through fear. Despite putting on a great show of working to adapt the corporate culture to more of an american climate, the only group that seams to follow through with that promise is HR. All of the other departments operate under a strict hierarchical form of leadership. The Korean cultural influence is very prevalent throughout the company. Work life balance is a term that HR likes to throw around just for the production groups to throw out. I have respect for the Korean culture but as a culture of live to work, it clashes severely with the more American, work to live. Expect long hours, expect work to interfere with your personal life and you will not be disappointed. Politics are out of control, you expect you manager to protect you from scrutiny when the time comes but they will be the first to throw you under the bus in order to protect themselves from scrutiny. Do not expect mentorship because you will not receive any. Baptism by fire is gospel at Samsung and when you do not succeed due to lack of training, mentorship, and leadership they will use discipline as a teaching tool to ensure that you learn from your mistakes.

    Advice to Management

    Wipe the slate clean from the top down. The culture is too broken for anything but a clean slate to be effective. Invest in Leadership and mentorship to grow people rather than beating them in to submission through discipline and fear. Above all, adapt your culture to your workforce, do not try to bend your workforce to your culture.


  8. Helpful (10)

    I see HR is pumping the ratings again

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

    Pros

    Co workers usually are supportive of each other despite the chaos from above

    Cons

    HR - You can fool some of the people some of the time but you can't fool all the people all of the time

    Advice to Management

    start over with professionals - top down


  9. Helpful (3)

    Take the offer and keep looking for another job

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Equipment Engineer I
    Former Employee - Equipment Engineer I
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Samsung Austin Semiconductor full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Good compensation and benefits package. It's located in Austin.

    Cons

    Poor work-life balance. Promotions are given to manager's favorites or those who take credit for other's work. There are poor ethic practices in some departments and favoritism is king.

    Advice to Management

    Provide management training to engineers who make it to leadership positions. Unprofessional managers.


  10. Helpful (1)

    Company has top down culture & discriminatory practices

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Manager in Austin, TX
    Former Employee - Senior Manager in Austin, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Samsung Austin Semiconductor full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Big name company, with many opportunities

    Cons

    You get lost in a big crowd, not really a collaborative work culture

    Advice to Management

    Believe in your employees and empower them.


  11. Helpful (33)

    A Tale of Two Cautions

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Engineer in Austin, TX
    Current Employee - Senior Engineer in Austin, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Samsung Austin Semiconductor full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Unlimited free mediocre coffee throughout the facility, free parking, detailed instructions posted on front access doors about how and which doors to use to enter and exit the building, complimentary phone inspections upon leaving the buildings, great opportunity to be in an environment where using correct grammar is completely optional, huge separation between employees and decision-making management (10 + levels!!), free soccer on the front lawn, subsidized corporate dining establishments that are marginally less healthy than primary school cafeterias, and 100% total job security guarantee (provided that your vocabulary is restricted to the following words and phrases: "Yes", "Ok", "We will find the person who needs to fix that problem", "I'll get right on that", and "I love being part of this team" / "I feel like I am making a difference here"

    Cons

    When I was a young boy, I had an uncle named Horace. Horace came by the apartment where I and my 7 siblings lived quite often in order to help our mother take care of us, particularly during times when our mothers' nerves were as shattered as rapid-cooled obsidian due to our animal-esque behavior at times. Horace's favorite food to cook for us was something that he referred to as 'grilled cheese'. As a young boy, I was perpetually fascinated by the idea of melting cheese in a pan, but not as much as I was at the source of said melting action. Whenever he would set those cheesy bricks of bready goodness down, I would crane my head up to try to see the sizzling action. After a rapid series of deafening cuffs to my ears, I would eventually regain my hearing long enough to put together the general ideas that my uncle Horace was screaming at me. He would tell me that I shouldn't put my hands on a hot stove, because it can hurt a lot and make my hands get damaged. Even with this constant reminder, both verbal and physical, I still managed to reach for that delicious-smelling pan. Every time. As with Horace's cheese, so too did I find myself constantly warned away from Samsung Austin Semiconductor before I made the regrettable decision to uproot and land in this factory. Horace didn't warn me away from it, because Horace is serving 10 to 20 in Hattchawasee State Prison for horse thievery, assault with a deadly weapon, and jaywalking. Other people in the industry warned me (including all of you wonderful people who had tread before me by writing these helpful reviews about SAS here on GlassDoor). There are a great many things about this company that are frankly off-putting. My advice is to read through the comments and reviews that have been posted with the following rubric in mind: If you are desperate, young, unemployable elsewhere within industry, are comfortable with a job that you are nothing more than ambivalent about, enjoy listening to people either: complain chronically about their job or talk about everything but their job even when they're supposed to be doing work, are o.k. with assuming the workload of the aforementioned 'gossipers', are completely content to work for a company that sees you as little more than a tool that should have some measurable metric of output that can be used to determine your worth as a human being, are fine with a Human Resources Department that is just marginally operating within the confines of the law (and sometimes are so far out of employment law that one must assume that they've gotten some sort of express clearance and an a-ok from someone high up in government to make the sorts of claims that they do), and are completely content with having a leadership structure that consists of a decision maker (president) followed by a recursive loop of incompetence / ignorance / yes-person-preachers all the way on down to the level of the person (you) who is actually doing the job, then let me tell you: this. place. is. made. for. you. However, if you have a problem with the ideas of: you being recognized for your contributions to the team / company without fear of someone else blatantly taking credit for your work or managing to disparage your ideas publicly for the sole purpose of making themselves seem more competent than you or anyone else, being seen as a tool by management that is expected to work 60 - 80 hours per week (not that there is enough work in existence at the factory to warrant such hours) that are filled with countless trips to meetings that do nothing but serve as means for loud-mouthed people to talk about all of the work that they are doing (which is next to none) or are seeking to blame others for any failures that may be potentially assigned their way, being lied to by management / HR about pay increases / promotions / general policies / rules at the facility / reasons for everything and anything being done, feeling like you are valued, enjoying your professional life, having a set of skills when you eventually leave the company that are potentially marketable at another company / industry, having a set of software tools or access to data to enable you to do your job, working with a team of marginally talented people who rely on one or two 'rockstars' in the department to get all of the challenging work done while everyone else prepares powerpoint slides and justifies their continued employment by the number of poorly created summary 'statistics' generated within Excel, or the crippling feeling of self-loathing that accompanies the morning drive every day, when you decide that no, today is not going to be the day that you accelerate your car into that bridge support, but rather that you're going to just make that turn into Samsung Boulevard, switch off your brain, hide your self respect, and punch the clock for one more day of "do what some ignorant Korean in HQ demands that you do because they watched "Gung Ho" a bunch of times and think that the first half of the movie - where they think American Engineers are all idiots and should just blindly adopt a Zerg-like existence in order to be successful". If that sounds like you, please, for the love of your own sanity, life, well-being, and belief in yourself... stay. away. from this place. I promise you, you can do better. Think of me as your wise uncle Horace. Don't touch the stove... I promise I won't hit you with the back of my hand in your ears, but hopefully you'll listen without that.

    Advice to Management

    There is absolutely nothing that can salvage this factory from its own perpetual downward slide into mediocrity and inevitable failure. Without a complete and total management / culture / software / methodology / mindset / HR overhaul, there is no way in which this place can be a healthy career step for an American Engineer.



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