Southwest Research Institute

  www.swri.edu
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Southwest Research Institute Reviews in San Antonio, TX

Updated Jul 9, 2014

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3.6 34 reviews

74% Approve of the CEO

Southwest Research Institute President and Director J. Dan Bates

J. Dan Bates

(23 ratings)

80% of employees recommend this company to a friend

Review Highlights

Pros
  • They have great benefits, and if you're a go getter you can make your own way in the company(in 5 reviews)

  • Interesting work when it is available(in 5 reviews)


Cons
  • SwRI is not a national company, so a move out of San Antonio would be difficult(in 5 reviews)

  • Everybody is here 8 - 5 except when they aren't, which is quite often(in 3 reviews)

34 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews
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    • Culture & Values
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    Stimulating Technology for Engineers and Scientists

    Senior Research Engineer (Current Employee) San Antonio, TX

    ProsExcellent, very technically professional environment. Campus atmosphere and best is the R&D nature of the work means that the topics of technical study are in depth and change with each project providing a constant variety of work. Nothing stale or routine here.

    ConsContract work means heavy monetary oversight and limitations. Fiscal responsibility is needed but salaries and project work are limited.

    Advice to Senior ManagementSalaries are ok for San Antonio but low for equivalent industry. Be careful about trimming Benefits as these set SwRI apart. Don't rush to 'match' other companies. The Institute is beloved by employees and San Antonio, nurture the culture. Enhance the Tom Slick Vision of a Community of Scientists working towards the betterment of industry, government and people.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    One of the better out of college work experiences I think you could have.

    Research Analyst (Former Employee) San Antonio, TX

    ProsThe place is essentially a large research campus, much like a university. It was a very collegial environment with intermural sports and other activities. Professional development was taken seriously and they offered pertinent training regularly.

    ConsSlightly embedded old guard (much like a university). Once you make it to a certain number of years here, you don't see much upward mobility.

    Advice to Senior ManagementA little more close mentoring initiatives would have helped a new grad along a little more.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Great place to get a huge variety of experience as a young engineer.

    Research Engineer (Former Employee) San Antonio, TX

    ProsInteresting work, great retirement benefits, wonderful on-site sports and activities culture. The best part is the opportunity to work on a wide variety of projects. Be sure to check that this is the case because this varies from one group to the next.

    ConsA bit "old guard" in that they've been around doing things a certain way for quite some time - this makes them slow to adapt to workplace trends that might benefit both employee and employer.

    Advice to Senior ManagementAdapt to workplace trends more readily as it will lead to better recruiting and retention.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    • Culture & Values
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    Your mileage may vary

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee) San Antonio, TX

    ProsDepending on the team, opportunity to work on a variety of interesting technical problems. Chance to work in a variety of roles: engineering, promotional, project management. Private offices. Good retirement benefits. Intramural sports teams.

    ConsLow pay relative to many other companies. Claim that they "hire the best", but often fail to retain them for very long. Culture often seems like a relic from the past. Onerous intellectual property clause in the employment contract (no moonlighting or open-source contributions).

    Advice to Senior ManagementYour employees are your lifeblood. If you want to retain your talent and remain relevant into the 21st century, you need to show them that you value them as people, and not interchangeable cogs.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Well balanced company for work-life

    Research Assistant (Former Employee) San Antonio, TX

    ProsWork-life balance is very good.

    ConsI don't have special comments.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    Decent work environment for a shot time

    Research Engineer (Current Employee) San Antonio, TX

    ProsIf you are lucky enough to get to work on it, exciting work is done at the Institute.
    Stable work environment

    ConsConsistently have to work well over 80 hours a week
    Penny pinching is becoming a priority
    For a research institution, management is extremely risk-adverse

    Advice to Senior ManagementSome research projects will fail, but that does not mean that they are not worth pursuing.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    1 person found this helpful  

    opportunity rich environment

    Manager (Current Employee) San Antonio, TX

    Prosentrepreneurial management style. lots of room to develop your own business within the framework of a larger organization. potential is limited only by opportunity meeting your preparation. rely on your own knowledge, skills, and initiative. form strategic relationships. avoid the toxic.

    Conscan be difficult to break in. requires a fully developed adult to thrive. must be self directed. development opportunities abound, but are not deliberate or structured.

    Advice to Senior Managementdeliberately feed and encourage growth. promote values that align with healthy culture. extinguish behaviors that undermine effectiveness and efficiency. prune the dead branches.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    1 person found this helpful  

    Women not welcome

    Scientist Career Track (Current Employee) San Antonio, TX

    ProsGreat opportunities. Exciting research. The work that SwRI does is cutting edge.

    ConsWomen in technical research positions are typically hired at lower pay grades than men, promote slower, and receive less recognitions for their work. There are so few female managers, that women are rarely present in executive level meetings. Some cost centers have a hostile work environment for women, but when issues are brought to the attention of HR, they are swept under the rug no matter how bad the situation.

    Advice to Senior ManagementMove into the 21st century and realize that women can make a valuable contribution to science and engineering and that you are losing employees because you create an unwelcoming environment.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

     

    Nice atmosphere, many learning opportunities, mediocre salary

    Engineering Intern (Former Employee) San Antonio, TX

    ProsThis company does a little bit of everything, so you have the opportunity to learn a lot. The SwRI campus has a gym and a cafeteria and offers many sports club teams and exercise classes. Most of the people with whom I interacted were quite nice. In general, the company does a nice job with their projects.

    ConsEverything depends on which division and department you are in. Some departments pay more and some pay less, but overall SwRI isn't known for its high salaries. I think some departments are too focused on cost-savings.

    Advice to Senior ManagementMake salaries more homogenous across divisions and departments based on skill levels and job titles. Put the emphasis on quality and safety rather than cost-savings.

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    • Approves of CEO

     

    Very diverse experiences

    Senior Facilities Engineer (Former Employee) San Antonio, TX

    ProsGreat place to be exposed to many different business'

    ConsSome job tracks have limited growth potential

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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