Union of Concerned Scientists

www.ucsusa.org
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Union of Concerned Scientists Reviews

Updated March 19, 2015
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4.4
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Ken Kimmell
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Employee Reviews

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  1. Great place with passionate people

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

    I worked at Union of Concerned Scientists

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    They're awesome at what they do. Enjoyed the comraderie and culture. They're a fun group of people with brilliant minds.

    Cons

    There isn't any huge issue there. Just the norm

    Advice to Management

    Keep it up.

  2. Great organization, but to advance your career, you might need to move on

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

    I have been working at Union of Concerned Scientists full-time

    Pros

    One of the best things about UCS is working with smart, talented, highly motivated colleagues. There's a sense of shared values and strong work ethic that makes collaboration and teamwork a real pleasure.

    Cons

    The supervisory model can sometimes feel as thought it is geared towards inexperienced, junior staff and can feel overly controlling if you are at a more middle or mid-senior point in your career and used to more independence and autonomy. It's also not clear what the path is to promotion -- that is, how you might go from analyst to lead analyst to senior analyst. There's no transparency or benchmarks about the process, so even if you have an outstanding performance evaluation, you don't know exactly how performance factors into promotion or if there are specific things you can do to work towards a promotion. People do get promoted, but that seems the exception rather than the norm. More often, people just leave when they want to take their career to the next level. The organization additionally has problems with diversity, which management openly acknowledges but has not been able to fix.

    Advice to Management

    You are already able to attract smart, talented, motivated people. If you want to retain more of them for more than a few years, provide more opportunities for internal promotion and be transparent about the process for moving ahead. Also, modify your supervisory model to be more encouraging and supportive to your more innovative, creative, and independent thinkers. Maybe offer a supervisors' workshop on how to delegate effectively. Lastly, recognize that diversity isn't just about hiring more minorities. It's about embracing different experiences and different perspectives. Your difficulties in recruiting a diverse staff are not disconnected from an internal culture that can feel oppressive to innovative, creative, and independent thinkers, no matter what their race or ethnicity.

    Union of Concerned Scientists Response

    Mar 17, 2015HR Partner

    UCS is a relatively small organization with about 150 staff, spread across five issue-oriented programs, four functional departments and four offices. Given our size and structure, we aren’t able to ... More

  3. I never want to leave!

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

    I have been working at Union of Concerned Scientists

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

    Pros

    What a great place to work! Family friendly, caring environment and excellent leadership!

    Cons

    Can't think of any - but we do work really hard!

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the good job!

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


  5. Helpful (1)

    Wonderful learning experience, with excellent, dedicated, knowledgeable, and fun colleagues.

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

    I worked at Union of Concerned Scientists as an intern

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

    Pros

    Colleagues - Everyone is smart and committed; it's a very motivating environment. Many opportunities to learn a lot and participate given you take initiative. Get the feeling you are taking part in meaningful, impactful work.

    Cons

    Not totally convinced I was actually taking part in meaningful, impactful work, though it felt like it. It's hard to tell how much of a policy victory/defeat can be chalked up to the organization's efforts. The tasks assigned to me tended to be unfocused, which was sometimes good considering I could shape my experience how I wanted it.

  6. Helpful (1)

    An incredible learning opportunity with very smart co-workers!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Cambridge, MA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Cambridge, MA

    I worked at Union of Concerned Scientists

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    UCS staff are all very dedicated to their job and to the mission of the organization. My colleagues were passionate, smart, and friendly. This is a medium-sized nonprofit that is managed well and has competent administrative and fundraising staff in addition to the programmatic staff.

    Cons

    There has been a struggle between the forces of growth and change and the nostalgia for the smaller egalitarian organization that it used to be.

  7. Helpful (1)

    An engaged working environment

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Cambridge, MA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Cambridge, MA

    I have been working at Union of Concerned Scientists

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    The culture--people here are engaged, intelligent, and passionate about what they do. You get the sense that you are fighting for an important cause alongside great people with shared environmental values.
    Work-life balance is also very positive, there are a lot of parents with young children here, and flexible schedules are possible.

    Cons

    If you're looking for a lucrative job, nonprofits aren't the right place to work. And environmental causes aren't always the most politically tractable so successes can take a while in coming. If you don't share the environmental, liberal values of most employees, the work might not be as engaging.

    Advice to Management

    Great communicators and motivators, a little slow on decisionmaking

  8. UCS is a really nice place to work!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC

    I have been working at Union of Concerned Scientists

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    One of the best places to work!

    Cons

    culture is to work hard

    Advice to Management

    none

  9. More Sales than Science

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

    I worked at Union of Concerned Scientists full-time (less than a year)

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

    Pros

    You're working with lots of intelligent people who are often well-connected in the science world.

    Cons

    I was in outreach, and what this basically meant was calling UCS members repeatedly (sometimes I was ordered to call the same person half a dozen times) to try to convince them of whatever the issue was that week: attending a convention, writing a letter to the editor... It really started to feel like harassment towards the end. And that's basically all I was ever allowed to do. It seems like higher up employees are treated decently, but if you're starting at the bottom, it's basically a waste of time and energy.

    Advice to Management

    There was a pretty massive difference in the respect the scientific staff and the "non-scientific" staff received.

    Union of Concerned Scientists Response

    Mar 26, 2015HR Partner

    This does not sound like UCS’s workplace and isn’t consistent with our mission or how we operate. Our staff are encouraged to provide feedback with an open door policy and exit interviews as we ... More

  10. Great atmosphere and committed employees, but limited opportunity for professional growth.

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

    I worked at Union of Concerned Scientists

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great benefits. Collegial work environment. Opportunity for flexible schedule, depending on your supervisor or position, but not available to everyone.

    Cons

    Flexibility, work-life balance and professional growth depend almost entirely on your immediate supervisor. Starting salaries are low, Limited opportunity for advancement. No transparent process for promotions.

    Advice to Management

    Spend less time on performance reviews and more time thinking about professional development. People are often pigeon-holed in one type of position.

  11. Great place to work

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

    I have been working at Union of Concerned Scientists

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    UCS is well run, and full of passionate people who care about the work. It's a great place to work.

    Cons

    It's a flat organization which means it's pretty hard to move up in the ranks. That also makes it a collaborative place to work.

    Advice to Management

    I don't have any

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