Smithsonian Reviews

Updated July 29, 2015
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3.8
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Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Smithsonian Secretary Dr. David J. Skorton
Dr. David J. Skorton
3 Ratings

Pros
  • It is quite an interesting place to work with behind the scenes understanding of what happens in the largest museum complex in the world (in 3 reviews)

  • Great benefits if you like the learning opportunities (in 4 reviews)

Cons
  • Not much of a chance for full time position (in 5 reviews)

  • Huge bureaucracy, it takes a long time to process any new plan (in 3 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

84 Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. Smithsonian

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Information Technology Specialist in Oviedo, FL
    Current Employee - Information Technology Specialist in Oviedo, FL

    I have been working at Smithsonian (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    It is a most interesting place to work.

    Cons

    Not 9 to 5. They will often schedule a two hour meeting to start a 4:30.


  2. Good experience

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Intern in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Intern in Washington, DC

    I worked at Smithsonian

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

    Pros

    Hands on work, caring team, little errand running, practical experience, commuter benefits

    Cons

    Little pay, spread out offices, reluctant to change, bureaucracy, but over all a great experience


  3. Exhibition Design Intern at Air and Space Museum

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Exhibition Design Intern in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Exhibition Design Intern in Washington, DC

    I worked at Smithsonian

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    - Opportunity to work on real-time projects that would be shown in the museum - Opportunity to learn from some of the best designers in DC - The chance to see the inner working of an institution of this size. - Great environment to learn from mentors as well as peers.

    Cons

    - None that come to mind


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  5. Visitor Services Intern at Air and Space Museum

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

    I worked at Smithsonian

    Recommends
    Recommends

    Pros

    You are given a lot of responsibility and trust, including acting as the coordinator on duty at the Welcome Desk daily

    Cons

    None it was an amazing summer


  6. Conservation Lab Intern

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

    I worked at Smithsonian

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    First time interning at the Smithsonian, at Smithsonian Institution Archives. The staff were absolutely wonderful and a thrill to work with. Learned so much during my 8 weeks; I wish it was longer. Mentor was a great reference and I was able to network a lot for future opportunities (landed another internship for Summer 2015 at a different Smithsonian museum). Still keep in touch with staff to this day. I greatly recommend this internship.

    Cons

    There were no negative points to this internship

    Advice to Management

    Keep doing what you're doing because it works


  7. This job has it

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY

    I have been working at Smithsonian full-time

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    It's a federal job. So, the benefits are great.

    Cons

    There isn't any growth potential.

    Advice to Management

    Promote the personnel who are qualified to do there job, proficiently.


  8. No Potential for Career Growth

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Educational Programs Coordinator in Columbia, MD
    Current Employee - Educational Programs Coordinator in Columbia, MD

    I have been working at Smithsonian full-time (More than 8 years)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Fantastic, creative co-workers Interesting work that keeps you on your toes Good Benefits

    Cons

    long hours with no recognition Upper Management refuses to acknowledge low morale Jobs are dead end - you have to leave and go elsewhere, then come back a couple years later if you want to advance. There is virtually no promotion from within.


  9. Great benefits, great coworkers... little promotion potential.

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Smithsonian

    Pros

    Great benefits, great coworkers, exciting work, great location, job stability, training opportunities.

    Cons

    Slow hiring process. Little promotion potential and low-graded positions at particular museums mean lower salaries.


  10. Helpful (1)

    Prepare to have your heart broken.

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

    I have been working at Smithsonian full-time (More than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Everyone is impressed when you tell them where you work

    Cons

    Lots of red tape and politics. You can love the Smithsonian, but it won't love you back.

    Advice to Management

    The current model for funding and management doesn't work. It can't keep being such an archipelago.


  11. Mostly positive!

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

    I have been working at Smithsonian full-time (More than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Wonderful to be part of a institution dedicated to increasing and sharing knowledge via museums exhibitions, research, publication programs and other educational offerings. Amazing benefits, including learning opportunities, good health, vision and dental insurance, retirement contributions and transportation benefits.

    Cons

    Lots of bureaucracy, some difficult/territorial personalities, not much room for career advancement or salary increases in many of the positions.

    Advice to Management

    The institution doesn't seem to do much to retain and promote its most valuable, hard-working employees.



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