Charles Stark Draper Laboratory Reviews

Updated Jul 10, 2020

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3.1
34%
Recommend to a Friend
40%
Approve of CEO
Charles Stark Draper Laboratory President and CEO Dr. Ken Gabriel (no image)
Dr. Ken Gabriel
56 Ratings
Pros
Cons
  • "Upper management seems to disregard complaints(in 13 reviews)

  • "New CEO is making changes without much strategy(in 6 reviews)

More Pros and Cons
  1. Featured Review
    Helpful (1)

    "Fun place to work"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Developmental Engineer in Cambridge, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Charles Stark Draper Laboratory full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Exciting cutting edge technology Vibrant work staff Great benefits

    Cons

    Traffic is horrible during the evening commute.

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  2. "good place to work"

    5.0
    Former Employee - Visiting Scientist 

    I worked at Charles Stark Draper Laboratory part-time

    Pros

    collaboration, friendly environment, good quality science

    Cons

    good place to work. nothing bad comes to mind

  3. "Poor Management and budget control"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Quality Technician in Cambridge, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Charles Stark Draper Laboratory full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    People in section where nice

    Cons

    Poor management, politics plays big , Group Leaders have no clue what there people do in there departments. Never see them till meetings happen, To many people who have been there forever, lay off people who actually do the work and have most experience. Keep program managers who go way over budget

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  4. "Upper Management Needs To Recognize Their Implicit Bias."

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Contract Procurement in Cambridge, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Charles Stark Draper Laboratory full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Draper has/had many great technology advanced projects and if you were fortunate, you had the opportunity to work with some great people and projects. The benefits were good.

    Cons

    In the past recent years, with the change of new management, the company took a turn for the worse and upper management ruled with a draconian attitude. My Manager was disrespectful, condescending , created a hostile/toxic environment and displayed Implicit Bias attitudes towards me and several other minority employees. Even some of my non minority employees were telling me that the manager's actions were characterized to one who is Implicitly Bias. Many complaints were made to Human Resources and Legal and to my knowledge, no actions were taken against that Manager. I was once told by one of my manager, "You have everything to make it in this company except for one thing". I went down the list of what that possibly might be and every-time was told "no that's not it" . The only words i did not say, is my skin color and the implicit bias attitude of upper management at Draper, at the time.

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  5. Helpful (1)

    "Happy new employee"

    4.0
    Current Employee - Senior Scientist 

    I have been working at Charles Stark Draper Laboratory full-time

    Pros

    Lots of very interesting projects

    Cons

    Charge code system is horrible

  6. "Stay away"

    2.0
    Current Employee - Senior Member of Technical Staff in Cambridge, MA
    Doesn't Recommend

    I have been working at Charles Stark Draper Laboratory full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    there are some interesting projects

    Cons

    Draper has started blocking personal web mail.

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  7. Helpful (6)

    "Bad when there's any fluctuation"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Biomedical Engineer in Cambridge, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Charles Stark Draper Laboratory full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    The colleagues are incredible and the work can be very interesting. There is a flexible schedule and under good management styles there is plenty of autonomy. You have the opportunity to work with various teams, which builds your network.

    Cons

    Management is driving the company to the ground by not bringing in contracts. People wait around with no work, even for years. The company isn't doing well financially and big changes are coming. Too often, people can be "out to get you" -- and management tends to throw people under the bus (everyone goes through it -- and it's horrible each time.) There are too many cases of bullying.

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  8. Helpful (3)

    "Lots of favoritism"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Member of Technical Staff in Cambridge, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Charles Stark Draper Laboratory full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    40 hour weeks--very few people work more than 8 hours/day. The pay is pretty good--as I was job hunting trying to get out, I kept hearing that companies couldn't meet my salary requirements, and I was only asking for what I was currently making!

    Cons

    Favoritism and cronyism were rampant while I was there. They don't like outsiders. They seem to prefer people who enter the lab fresh out of grad school and stay there for their entire career over people who join mid-career, as I did. Ironically, they lose those young people due to the culture of insularity. People at all levels join and all excited about new opportunities, but they can't get an in to those opportunities and leave. I have also never seen such petty undermining and backstabbing on the way up the corporate ladder.

  9. Helpful (5)

    "Great benefits, but that is it"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Director in Cambridge, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Charles Stark Draper Laboratory full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Great benefits is about it

    Cons

    Poor untrustworthy upper management. Cheat the government consistently. Many quality people are leaving.

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  10. "Great scientific organization with limitless projects to dive into."

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Product Engineer in Saint Petersburg Beach, FL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Charles Stark Draper Laboratory full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Scientifically satisfying work. When projects come to an end ability to search throughout the organization to find something mentally stimulating for the next project.

    Cons

    Like any business, your manager or project manager can make work less fun.

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