Smithsonian Reviews

Updated August 30, 2015
25 reviews filtered by
  • Any Location
  • Any Job Title
  • Any Status
Employment Status

Reset
3.0
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 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

25 Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. Smithsonian

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

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

    Pros

    Prestigious organization with important mission.

    Cons

    Quasi-governmental agency supported by tax payers.

    Advice to Management

    Focus on hiring good people!


  2. Library Intern

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Intern - Anonymous Intern
    Former Intern - Anonymous Intern
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Smithsonian as an intern

    Pros

    Great environment to work, fun and educational experience. They do brown bag lunches and have scholars give interesting presentations.

    Cons

    The workload can be very slow at times and there is a general sense of frustrated bureaucratic workers.


  3. Scientific Contractor

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

    I worked at Smithsonian as a contractor (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Fun place to work, interesting coworkers. Easy access to restaurants, transport, etc. Perks like free IMAX movies, etc.

    Cons

    Being a contractor is like being a 2nd class citizen, expect poor pay, no benefits, poor management from supervisors. Also the method of getting paid is a nightmare, sometimes taking over a month.


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


  5. 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
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    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.


  6. Great People

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Unix Engineer
    Former Employee - Senior Unix Engineer
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Everyone is pleasant, hardworking and great people to work with.

    Cons

    It pays to be a workaholic

    Advice to Management

    Your doing a fantastic job.


  7. Great Team; So-So position

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    Former Employee - Administrative in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Administrative in Washington, DC
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Smithsonian full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Manager was pleasant, helpful. Department, located in Natural history museum, consisted of intelligent, friendly scientists. Great coworkers; close to Metro station.

    Cons

    Not much room for advancement if working in administrative field. During summer months its hard to find a quick place to eat lunch due to the summer crowds.


  8. Graduate Level Internship

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

    I worked at Smithsonian as an intern (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Generally nice people to work with. Curators can often come with egos. Good collection, but not the best.

    Cons

    Often have to deal with bureaucracy. Change moves slow. Technological aptitude is a not very high as many employees have been there for a long time and don't learn new tech. Moral can be low due to low wages, poor advancement.

    Advice to Management

    If you primarily focus on expanding/growing the art collection, the employees will be left behind and leave for different opportunities.


  9. Helpful (1)

    Disorganized, real talent gets lost

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

    I worked at Smithsonian full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Caliber, name brand of organization, people are always impressed by "Smithsonian," views on the mall are nice, steady supply of interesting programming for staff

    Cons

    No real talent in administration, people come to the Smithsonian really expecting something special because it's well, the Smithsonian, and are really, really disappointed. Administration staff severely overworked and likely underpaid. Bad talent never gets fired only demoted and moved around. Many people stay because of name and nothing else. I would not recommend the Smithsonian to anyone who is really looking for an engaging and inspiring career -- if you like brand names, go for it -- but you certainly don't get brand name quality here.

    Advice to Management

    On the outside, the museums are nice. They're well-maintained, etc. On the inside, it's a zoo...


  10. Contracting

    Former Contractor - Contractor in Washington, DC
    Former Contractor - Contractor in Washington, DC

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

    Pros

    The Smithsonian offered many opportunities for individuals to expand their horizons. Great program for interns, wonderful to be surrounded by such great minds.

    Cons

    Difficult to commute to the Mall during the summer, low pay, no oversight, must sign up as a business if you do any contract work for them.


  11. Sounds fascinating, but ultimately, it's the government.

    Former Employee - Secretary in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Secretary in Washington, DC

    I worked at Smithsonian full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    You can wander around the museum on your lunch break.

    Cons

    You're working for the government, in all its Kafka-esque, everything-in-triplicate craziness.

    Advice to Management

    Oh well, better here than Asia.



Showing 25 of 133 reviews
Reset Filters
RSS Feed </> Embed

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