Smithsonian Reviews

Updated April 17, 2015
113 reviews filtered by
  • Any Location
  • Any Job Title
4.0
113 Reviews
Rating Trends
Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Smithsonian Secretary Dr. David J. Skorton
Dr. David J. Skorton
0 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 after two years of employment and committed people (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

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. 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.

  2. Summer Program Intern

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

    I worked at Smithsonian as an intern

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Really interesting place to work for summer break. People there are really friendly and smart. I learned lots of new things within 6 weeks of internship. Great little benefit for interns including free tickets to all the IMAX shows.

    Cons

    The summer program is unpaid.
    The whole process of getting into the program is somehow takes a while.

    Advice to Management

    Better communication and cooperation between each department

  3. Mostly positive!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    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.

  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5. Amazing place to work.

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

    I have been working at Smithsonian

    Pros

    Amazing opportunity to work closely with artifacts of the museum, really friendly coworkers, great office

    Cons

    Not many full time positions available. Besides this I can not think of any other cons.

  6. Great organization, well structured

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

    I worked at Smithsonian

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Things are well organized, you are not left figuring things out for yourself. People are very friendly and always there to help.

    Cons

    Very silo-d work environment. The different departments are very isolated from each other, and do not communicate other than officially.

    Advice to Management

    Create more opportunities for individuals from the whole institution to gather and share experiences and become acquainted with each other

  7. Creative work in a bureaucratic setting

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

    I worked at Smithsonian full-time (more than 8 years)

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

    Pros

    compensation is excellent, benefits excellent, access to materials and collections cannot be matched, national prestige is great,

    Cons

    but another system of rewards operates inside the institution, which can make it hard to remember all the excellent opportunities: time off policies depend heavily on your supervisor's interpretation of your responsibilities; large gap between job descriptions at "humanities" agencies vs "science" agencies, even if titles (aka "Curator") are the same. Some Curators are responsible for exhibits, some are not, some write exhibition texts, some do not, some are subject to evaluation from outside committees of their peers, some are reviewed only by those inside the institutions, and recognition from the institution is rarely more than lukewarm. Advice: make sure to travel, and get feedback from your professional peers, do not rely on supervisors (who have little incentive to be supportive) or institutional colleagues (whose standards can be too low because limited to what goes on "at home"). It will be as good as you make it.

  8. Challenging and Exciting Place to Work

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Smithsonian

    Pros

    Huge network of other professionals to learn from, great opportunities for professional advancement training, come with excellent credibility

    Cons

    Large bureaucracy makes it difficult to accomplish tasks, things move slowly

  9. Great place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Biological Research Laboratory Technician in Suitland, MD
    Current Employee - Biological Research Laboratory Technician in Suitland, MD

    I have been working at Smithsonian full-time (more than 5 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Well funded lab and programs. Meet many new people all over the word and work with great researchers.

    Cons

    Not many opportunities to advance in carrier.

    Advice to Management

    Continuing education should be more of a priority.

  10. Electronic Technician

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

    I have been working at Smithsonian part-time (more than 10 years)

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Nice place and it's popular.

    Cons

    I used to work in DC area. So this is the best place to work.

    Advice to Management

    Great place o work with.

  11. Awesome Summer Internship

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Smithsonian

    Pros

    I learned a lot about marketing, had a fantastic mentor, and was able to have an impact on sales revenue! Everyone was friendly and my supervisor was enthusiastic about bringing out my individual skills in addition to what was listed in the job description.

    Cons

    The office was four stories down into a basement and very cold! Also was more time in front of a computer screen than I would want in a future job - but that's just the nature of the work.

Work at Smithsonian? Share Your Experiences

Smithsonian

 
Click to Rate
or

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.