AER Reviews | Glassdoor

AER Reviews

Updated March 10, 2017
23 reviews

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Full-time Part-time

3.3
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Guy Seeley
1 Rating

23 Employee Reviews

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  1. "Good people, reasonable work environment"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Research Associate in Lexington, MA
    Former Employee - Senior Research Associate in Lexington, MA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

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

    Pros

    Very friendly, and intelligent people. Cross between an academic, and corporate environment. Great for transitioning from grad school to corporate world.

    Cons

    paper time sheets, with occasional daily auditing. Soft money environment can be stressful.

    Advice to Management

    ditch paper time sheets.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Good place to start a career or end a career but not grow a career"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Lexington, MA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Lexington, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at AER full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Top-notch science. Smart co-workers. Family friendly (flexible hours, kid's holiday party with gifts).
    Good benefits (no or low health deductibles, 401k match, ESOP through parent company).
    Accomplishments are acknowledged and highlighted in company meetings.
    Hybrid of academia and corporate worlds.

    Cons

    Low pay (10 to 20% below market).
    Large raises (greater than 3%) only if you threaten to quit with another job offer. Accomplishments are not rewarded (Employees of the year only get a paper certificate in a plastic frame).
    Company is completely reliant on government contracts (essentially a consulting company) so if there are no new contracts in the pipeline, your job is not secure. They have not been able to replace the "big" contract that is winding down.
    Therefore there is little to no opportunity for growth and promotions (company isn't growing and upper management rarely turns over).
    Support departments (HR, Finance, IT) are understaffed, overworked and treated as disposable and easily replaceable (they are seen as overhead or cost centers as opposed to being positioned as a corporate resource).
    Decision making often based upon cost, not upon needs.
    Traditional old school inflexible top down corporate management and culture.
    Little to no formal training available.

    Advice to Management

    Actions speak louder than words. If the employees are truly your most valuable asset, treat them accordingly and listen to them. Communicate truthfully with the staff about how the company is performing. All they have been hearing is "things are looking up", "next year will be better" over and over for the past 3 years but then they see people getting laid off and then receive little or no raises and bonuses.

  3. "not a career, but a good first job"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Lexington, MA
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Lexington, MA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at AER full-time

    Pros

    - good benefits
    - flexible schedule
    - ability to work independently
    - interesting work
    - bright coworkers
    - convenient location

    Cons

    - little opportunity for advancement
    - no growth potential in the world of government contracts
    - your job is only guaranteed as long as your funding
    - low profit margins means the budget is tight
    - outdated computer equipment

    Advice to Management

    protect the health insurance from cuts. it is your greatest offering and retention tool.


  4. "Pleasant environment, low pay"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Lexington, MA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Lexington, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at AER full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    -Friendly people to work with
    - decent benefits

    Cons

    - Company extremely under pays.
    - Company does not care about you unless you are making them money.
    -Company does not reward you efforts unless it benefits them

    Advice to Management

    treat and pay employees what they are worth.


  5. "Great job, but no security"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Lexington, MA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Lexington, MA
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at AER full-time

    Pros

    The work-life balance is great. The work and subject matter of interesting. There are lots of bright employees. Schedules are flexible. The health insurance is good.

    Cons

    The company has been steadily laying off staff for almost two years. Management is trying to refocus from government contracts to commercial product but it has not been happening fast enough to stem the decline and prevent starvation. Nobody got raises that kept pace with inflation this year. Hardware and professional development budgets are inadequate.

    Advice to Management

    You need to create more opportunities for career development and advancement. Morale is very low in the face of constant staff reductions. Everyone feels stuck in one place at best and is constantly waiting for the axe.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Sinking ship"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Lexington, MA
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Lexington, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at AER full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Some flexibility in work hours
    Ability to work from home if bad weather
    Relaxed environment
    Friendly coworkers

    Cons

    Forced to use outdated technology and hardware
    Very disorganized management
    No clear goals
    Work load varies on a day to day basis

    Advice to Management

    Reorganize the company and get rid of the dead weight at the top. Most of the upper management are stuck in their ways and leading the company in the wrong direction. They have an inability to adapt to new markets.


  7. "Valuable exposure to great C++ programmers and to scientific algorithms put into a real-world application."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Greenbelt, MD
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Greenbelt, MD
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great requirements chain, thorough code testing, latest language features, effective and enjoyable collaboration with other programmers and scientists, pertinent and well-run meetings, friendly, quick and helpful administrative folks.

    Cons

    If the facility is closed -- bad weather or power loss -- you have to burn vacation time even if travel to work is possible. Time-keeping is very 1980s. Office chatter could be very bothersome.

  8. "Experience depends on exact location within the company structure. Highly diverse between divisions."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Lexington, MA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Lexington, MA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at AER full-time

    Pros

    Many people have a flexible work schedule. Interesting work. Recommended for those who like to create solutions.

    Cons

    Rapidly changing company with not enough vision and direction to unite the workforce. High turnover.

    Advice to Management

    Be careful of morale.


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Good company but getting unstable..."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Staff Scientist in Lexington, MA
    Former Employee - Staff Scientist in Lexington, MA
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at AER full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Smart people, okay benefits, good location.

    Cons

    Not too much career growth opportunities, or career advancement.
    Company's structure is inflexible and very hectic.
    No long-term business planning and stability.

    Advice to Management

    Company needs better sales force and technical management.


  10. Helpful (2)

    "Incompetent management, high turnover, very few, if any, career opportunities"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Lexington, MA
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Lexington, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

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

    Pros

    A few very good scientists, in general competent and friendly workforce,

    Cons

    Low salaries, lack of direction, inconsistent policies, arbitrary promotions, family run business. Salaries based on contracts. "Full time" positions are not guaranteed for more than a year or two,

    Advice to Management

    Replacing competence by arrogance works only so long but it surely alienates your employees.


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