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I worked at Thornton Tomasetti full-time (More than 3 years)
Every day came with a unique and interesting challenge, designing complex and high-profile structures all over the world. As a design engineer, I gained experience in structural steel gravity/lateral system design and reinforced concrete gravity system design, and was exposed to wide variety of analytical tools and modeling software. Had the privilege of working with some of the most talented and well-regarded people in our profession. It is very much a sink-or-swim environment, which I liked.
Extremely poor work-life balance. Countless late nights were spent frantically trying to meet deadlines. I'm fine with working late nights and long hours for a week or two every few months, but when it becomes the norm, something needs to be done. Moreover, the pay is not at all commensurate with the duties and expectations that come with the job.
Advice to Management
You've managed to build a firm of highly talented, young engineers that come to work every day because of the passion that they have to work on innovative projects. Passion, however, can only take you so far. If you want to stop losing your brightest minds, 1) start actively promoting better work-life balance, and 2) start paying your engineers a salary that is more in line with the work that they perform.