Charles Stark Draper Laboratory Reviews | Glassdoor

Charles Stark Draper Laboratory Reviews

To filter reviews, or .

Found 141 reviews

3.4
StarStarStarStarStar
Rating TrendsRating Trends
54%
Recommend to a Friend
59%
Approve of CEO
Dr. Ken Gabriel
41 Ratings
Pros
Cons
  • "It compensates upper management handsomely, at the cost of fair treatment of the army of brilliant engineers who make all of the magic happen(in 7 reviews)

  • "disorganized management, very few deadlines, too much emphasis on military(in 5 reviews)

More Pros and Cons
  1. Featured Review
    Helpful (3)

    "Draper"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Webmaster in Cambridge, MA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Charles Stark Draper Laboratory full-time for more than 20 years

    Pros

    Nice working environment, good people, progressive

    Cons

    Positions easily replace by outsourcing, but that's business

    Charles Stark Draper Laboratory2019-01-14
  2. "Legal Intern"

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

    I worked at Charles Stark Draper Laboratory

    Pros

    Flexible, independent, fridays are off if you work more on weekdays

    Cons

    No real cons, if you are not independent you might feel left out

    Charles Stark Draper Laboratory2019-01-21
  3. Helpful (1)

    "Managed Chaos"

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

    I worked at Charles Stark Draper Laboratory full-time for more than 9 years

    Pros

    Draper has excellent benefits, similar to other companies Cambridge.

    Cons

    Senior Leadership is ineffective. Employee's do not understand their roles. Training is needed company wide. Work life benefits is great as long as you are part of the in crowd.

    Advice to Management

    Stop hiring people because you like them, make sure they are also qualified.

    Charles Stark Draper Laboratory2019-05-13
  4. Helpful (2)

    "Lack of consistency"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Charles Stark Draper Laboratory full-time

    Pros

    Rewarding technical work, can really make a difference for your customers

    Cons

    Management, not leadership; inconsistent standards applied to different people

    Advice to Management

    You have smart, capable people, hold them to the same standards and let them thrive

    Charles Stark Draper Laboratory2019-05-06
  5. "Corrupt"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Member of Technical Staff 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    The benefits are good which helps you forget the daily abuse.

    Cons

    Morally corrupt and ethically unsound senior staff, incompetant human resources office, rampant emotional abuse

    Advice to Management

    Seemingly afraid of backlash from CEO, engineering leadership refuses to acknowledge or assist in substantiated accusations of misconduct, which runs abundent while upper management looks the other way preaching a “no tolerance policy” that simply does not exist. New endeavors are expensed at the obliteration of any work-life balance with demands from the CEO resulting in some employees sleeping on the property to accomodate...

    Show More
    Charles Stark Draper Laboratory2019-05-19
  6. Helpful (1)

    "Great Company"

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

    I have been working at Charles Stark Draper Laboratory full-time for more than 2 years

    Pros

    The best benefits I have ever had in my career. 2 to 1 retirement match and great Vacation and time off plans. Ability to work within a company that is doing some of the most cutting edge work in the country.

    Cons

    Sometimes Programs and Engineering are not on the same page, however for the most part they do a great job with the amount of growth we have experienced over the last 4 years

    Advice to Management

    Keep listening to the employees and continue to be as transparent as possible

    Charles Stark Draper Laboratory2019-04-09
  7. Helpful (2)

    "Overall solid place to work, but not as youthful as you would hope"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Systems Analyst 

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

    Pros

    Pay is competitive. I was a 6 month coop with only a few years of college under my belt but still made $22/hour. Funding is good for programs, especially those in Defense. Work environment in the summer is loose - can take fridays off / half day with enough hours mon - thur

    Cons

    Slow moving industry due to bureaucracy, but since the funding is there through military contracting it can help speed up the process. Feels very old school there, everything is done by the books. Means there is a lot of experience and knowledge to gain but pushing innovation is difficult

    Charles Stark Draper Laboratory2019-04-04
  8. Helpful (3)

    "Many interesting projects, poor management"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Member of Technical Staff in Cambridge, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Charles Stark Draper Laboratory full-time for more than 4 years

    Pros

    Diversity of programs with an entrepreneureal approach. If you have the reputation and the skills you can work on it.

    Cons

    It is difficult to bring things to completion, to build a record of success in one area that is impactful to the field. There are many short programs meaning that people are pulled from one place to another and split their time innefeciently.

    Charles Stark Draper Laboratory2019-03-09
  9. Helpful (9)

    "What was an amazing place to work, has headed steeply downhill, with no end in sight."

    StarStarStarStarStar
      Former Employee - Anonymous Employee 

      I worked at Charles Stark Draper Laboratory

      Pros

      Dedicated, talented staff. Interesting technologies. Draper has all the makings of an amazing place to work, and a history of incredible achievement. It was a true not-for-profit and thrived as such. Draper’s success in engineering and technology development is top notch.

      Cons

      Leadership, leadership, leadership. A “code of ethics” and diversity goals which don’t apply to the old boys‘ club at the top of the management chain. Draper innovation culture is not surviving the consistent, unfair treatment of employees. Diversity and fair wages are policies for appearance only. In my early years here, I saw a highly functional not-for-profit. However, in the last 4 years Draper has sold its soul...

      Show More

      Advice to Management

      Allow 360 reviews and take them seriously. Your talent pool is disgruntled and most of it is because of terrible leadership. Your attrition rates are be telling you there is something awry. Until you take that seriously, your best talent will keep leaving once they see your true colors.

      Charles Stark Draper Laboratory2019-03-04
    • Helpful (8)

      "Great job for recent PhD...and tiresome politics."

      StarStarStarStarStar
      • Work/Life Balance
      • Culture & Values
      • Career Opportunities
      • Compensation and Benefits
      • Senior Management
      Former Employee - Senior Member of Technical Staff in Cambridge, MA
      Recommends
      Neutral Outlook
      Approves of CEO

      I worked at Charles Stark Draper Laboratory full-time for more than 4 years

      Pros

      This was a wonderful first job straight out of a PhD program. You can work on multiple projects (varying in interesting-ness), tons of research needed for projects & proposals & the IRAD programs. Great exposure to new tech. Some wonderful and brilliant colleagues. Attempts to modernize office space & procedures. Attempts to gather information on employee needs. Upper management is relatively accessible. Work-life...

      Show More

      Cons

      Depending on your area of expertise, you may end up in a department that is new or lacking in a lot of steady work coming in, leading to a lot of "dry spells" where competition for good work gets a little heated and political. It doesn't feel good. I am ambitious and hard working, and I often felt very replaceable, under valued, and discouraged to seek leadership positions because of my place in "line" waiting for them....

      Show More

      Advice to Management

      More objective/transparent staffing procedures. More promotions or rewards. Opportunities for leadership. Don't hire a bunch of people for a new research area then blame them for not having work to do in their field.

      Charles Stark Draper Laboratory2019-01-30
    Found 141 reviews