Employee Review

  1. 2.0
    Former Employee, more than 1 year

    OK place to work

    Nov 8, 2015 - Senior Scientist in Bellevue, WA
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Very smart employees- most people have PhDs. Interesting projects that change frequently. On the cutting edge of applicable science and engineering. Pays relatively well.

    Cons

    Sometimes you will be working for the evil do-ers and trying to make it seem like they did nothing wrong. You have to keep track of every single hour you work. Its tedious and annoying and doesn't leave much room for professional growth, since this isn't "billable". Vertical structure, there is only one way to up! There is no changing divisions to get different kinds of experiences or move up. This means there is lots of competition among coworkers but at the same time you need to "market" to coworkers to get put on their projects, so this creates a very weird dynamic. How one develops themself in this company is a total mystery. You need to get more clients to be promoted but no one teaches you how to do that and everyone is very protective of their clients and contacts because that is their bread and butter. Too many people who have been in the company at the same position for 10+ years. Its not inspiring.

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    6 people found this review helpful
  1. 5.0
    Current Employee

    Good Company

    May 15, 2021 - Regulatory Toxicologist in Houston, TX
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Excellent Co-workers, good benefits, good culture.

    Cons

    Marketing credit system to advance. No advancement track purely for technical expertise.

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  2. 2.0
    Current Employee, more than 5 years

    Good jumping off point if you have a weird PhD and can't find a job

    Jun 11, 2021 - Manager 
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Some of the consultants are wonderful, awesome coworkers who are very smart and very kind and good people to be stuck in the trenches with. It kinda functions as an "industry postdoc" - Exponent hires well-rounded, generally smart STEM PhDs with good critical thinking skills, regardless of whether you have specific experience building widgets, since they assume you can probably figure out how to build widgets if you need to (which is great!). This means that it's going to be much easier to get in at Exponent and then pivot to something more pertinent to industry later (where people generally want to hire widget builders who have, in fact, built widgets before) The alumni network is quite strong. From my experience, everyone who has left Exponent will happily help out anyone who is trying to leave Exponent. A former employee friend who has another friend who was a former colleague works at Company X and you need a rec? Sure, your friend will definitely introduce you and this person who you barely know will probably happily provide a reference. If you do manage to get over the intensity of keeping your UT up and decide "by golly, UT be damned, I haven't had a proper vacation ever, so I'm going to just take 5 days off!" then you can probably make it work a bit longer (or at least take your time to thoughtfully interview at other companies so you don't wind up in a fire after the time in the Exponent frying pan) Pay is generally transparent (except for the murky "secret bonuses" and other nonsense games they play to try to convince some high performers to stay - but that isn't a Pro). If you have more billable work, you will generally get paid more than someone (at the same or an adjacent level) who has less billable work. So yes, you could coast for a bit and not work that hard and still make an OK salary (especially depending on where you live), but for a company that is hiring PhDs from top-tier research institutions, "coasting" and "under performing" generally aren't desired characteristics for these people. By far the absolute best pro of working at Exponent: As soon as you manage to escape to greener pastures, your sense of what a "bad job" is has been so remarkably warped that just about any job (barring some fire/frying pan scenarios) will seem like sunshine and rainbows nearly all the time. Sure, maybe some new coworkers aren't the smartest and maybe you still have to have a work phone/late calls with Asia if you're in hardware, and maybe you have a crappy week/day, but that's nothing compared to the hell you just suffered through at Exponent. (I have in fact, thought "well, this was my first bad day at my new job. But MAN it is SO MUCH better than the average day I had at Exponent!") The grass is SO GREEN on the "post Exponent" pasture

    Cons

    Work life balance. One track. The "Run away unless you have no other options" review sums things up with an entertaining story, albeit slightly hyperbolic. Broadly, everything boils down to $ The company only cares about making the company money. Historically, if you were a fresh STEM PhD and liked to talk with people/do things other than super intense focused research, you didn't have very many options for a career, so that created a fantastic pool of fresh PhDs for Exponent to hire from. Who cares if they only stay for 2 years or so, since we can just hire more to replace them? And since Exponent generally charges by the hour, if someone brand new takes twice as long, as long as the client's pockets are deep enough, great, we can bill double. (more money for the company!). If the client's pockets AREN'T deep enough, who cares, we'll just not let the new person (or more likely, the squeezed manager in the middle) bill their time and then the company still makes the same amount of money, and the company just doesn't pay that squeezed manager or new hire as well. The company is doing just fine. Once you realize that making Exponent money is literally the ONLY thing that matters to Exponent, it's very easy to see the rationale of all their choices. Now, you may ask "well what about all those studies showing that it costs more to hire someone new rather than retain someone?" To that, I redirect you above to the afore-mentioned "new people may do things slower so you can charge double." The value that a good team player who cares about his colleagues, actually teaches them things on the job, and helps set reasonable deadlines (another skill that can get honed while at Exponent) can't easily be counted in dollars and cents (ironically, those traits are "invaluable," or "priceless" which Exponent translates to "not valuable" or "can't charge for that - there's no price!"), so since it isn't easy to translate that to $$ for the company, Exponent doesn't care about it. There's really so many terrible things about working at Exponent that it really isn't worth typing them all out, and in some sense, doing so would more likely diminish the potential value of this review to potential candidates looking for that first job out of grad school. I'll stick to the "Exponent only cares about making Exponent money" because every single bad thing about the culture can be traced back to that statement.

    3 people found this review helpful

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