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Mathematica FAQ

Have questions about working at Mathematica? Read answers to frequently asked questions to help you make a choice before applying to a job or accepting a job offer.

Whether it's about compensation and benefits, culture and diversity, or you're curious to know more about the work environment, find out from employees what it's like to work at Mathematica.

All answers shown come directly from Mathematica Reviews and are not edited or altered.

40 English questions out of 40

March 14, 2020

What are perks and other benefits like at Mathematica?

Pros

Excellent people. Very smart, very dedicated. That is really the secret behind the brand. Work is varied and interesting -- you will have no shortage of challenging projects. And supervisors are very supportive of individual growth, helping you find opportunities to build new skills. People make careers at Mathematica, which says a lot. Leadership is stable and forward-thinking. And they offer a professional yet highly flexible and accommodating work environment. A great place for wonky types.

Cons

Pay is not the most competitive, but is compensated by overall benefits package including shares in the employee-owned company.

Pay is not the most competitive, but is compensated by overall benefits package including shares in the employee

March 14, 2020

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January 25, 2022

What is health insurance like at Mathematica?

Pros

Good pay and health benefits.

Cons

Over time every day and night.

Good pay and health benefits.

January 25, 2022

See answer

August 4, 2021

Does Mathematica offer unlimited time off?

Pros

- Technical work was interesting - supportive colleagues and many senior staff that acted like mentors - Flexible work hours, easy process to request time off - Attitude to WFH is becoming more accepted, WFH was easy during COVID - A network of resources for questions, colleagues who are very knowledgeable about their fields of expertise - The supervisor structure is great, and if your supervisor is kind and thoughtful — you’re set - Individual employees (not so much the company as a whole) care about transforming policy research practices to be more equitable and less harmful - Work feels adjacent to academia, support from the company for taking classes and going back to school

Cons

- Hard to take PTO (there’s a culture of continual work and sometimes you have to work more in order to take the time off) - Few opportunities for community-building outside of work that aren’t the initiatives of a few motivated employees - even though working overtime isn’t encouraged, there is a lot of pressure on projects to get things done efficiently and quickly - sometimes budget constraints mean that QA practices are shortchanged - Little transparency from management about D&I efforts; the new promotion/compensation framework was rolled out with little staff engagement prior and felt less transparent than the previous system - Among research staff, hard to see a path forward without an advanced degree - unnecessary expectations and pressure placed on newly trained, inexperienced staff - Everyone is “always busy” and often you don’t have time even for formal professional development opportunities (because of pressures from project work) - Easy to get burnt out - Work is very hierarchical and somewhat siloed—a lot of unnecessary duplication of the same task - At the junior level, attribution and expectations for credit on deliverables could be clearer. Reports sometimes do not acknowledge the junior staff who contributed many hours of their time to getting it done - not a place to work if you want true radical and equitable change—the company is “nonpartisan” and communication from management is more reactionary than proactive

Advice to Management

- Make management’s decisions even more transparent. Include more junior staff and younger/less tenured staff in executive committees that have decision-making power - Dedicate more time to professional and social development - Provide unlimited sick days and make it easier to take PTO so employees can stay physically and mentally healthy

Flexible work hours, easy process to request time off

August 4, 2021

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January 5, 2021

What is the retirement plan like at Mathematica?

Pros

-Very friendly and collegiate colleagues. I work with my best friends! -When offices were open, I loved going into the office every day -Employee owned -Great retirement contribution matching -Great upward mobility for senior staff/those with advanced degrees -Extremely flexible work hours and location -Work-life balance is amazing! We're expected to work 8 hours a day and get our work done. There's no nonsense around working late to make a good impression or get promoted. In fact, my supervisor is concerned if she finds out I've been working more than 40 hours a week. -Fantastic place to learn and grow if you're into research. A lot of mentorship opportunities. -Extremely rigorous research methods. I often tell people that I work for a psuedo-consulting firm that's less concerned with the bottom line and more concerned that our deliverables are high quality. Sometimes it feels like I work in academia (in a good way!). -Work on multiple projects at once, meaning you rarely get bored -Generally very proud to work here! Hoping they fix some of the benefits/management issues so I can work here for a long time.

Cons

Caveat that management says they're working on many of the following (hope to update this in the future!): -Low pay with no location adjustment. Pay is low especially considering that offices are in expensive cities. -Employee satisfaction seems to differ significantly based on their division and their specific supervisor. Human services and international have less positive reputations than the health division. Ability to get promoted seems tightly linked to your supervisor and how much they're involved in your professional growth. -Can be harder to grow professionally within the company if you start in a junior role. Management says that there's a path for every employee, but employees that start at the C (analyst) and D (researcher) level have a clearer path than B (associate) level employees. -Work-life balance is great for the analyst level, and less good at the researcher level or the associate level. Associates in particular work more hours than any of my colleagues at other levels, and it feels like they're taken advantage of because of their low salaries. Huge burnout and turnover at the associate level because of this (long hours with low salaries) -Management is not transparent about promotions and how the promotion process works. -Can be harder to succeed and get promoted if you're not an extroverted go-getter. You're ultimately responsible for getting more work for yourself, and that requires talking to your colleagues and finding the right fit among projects--which can be tough to do since we're spread out all across the US, so it's not as simple as chatting at the water cooler. Many opportunities come from personal relationships with colleagues. -Mostly white

Advice to Management

Be more transparent about the promotions process; increase pay for employees (especially in expensive cities); and work on retaining B level (associate) employees

Great retirement contribution matching

January 5, 2021

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August 19, 2021

What is paid time off like at Mathematica?

Pros

Mostly great colleagues, good benefits, good flexibility

Cons

Trade flexibility for time - Lots of flexibility on when you work but the expectation of the business model is working 45+ hours per week on a typical week, much more in busy season, and PTO though available is rarely able to be used.

Lots of flexibility on when you work but the expectation of the business model is working 45+ hours per week on a typical week, much more in busy season, and PTO though available is rarely able to be used.

August 19, 2021

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40 English questions out of 40

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