Physical Sciences - Great company for a young scientist to learn to develop and manage programs. | Glassdoor
There are newer employer reviews for Physical Sciences
There are newer employer reviews for Physical Sciences

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Helpful (1)

"Great company for a young scientist to learn to develop and manage programs."

Star Star Star Star Star
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
  • Comp & Benefits
  • Senior Management
Current Employee - Principal Research Scientist
Current Employee - Principal Research Scientist
Recommends
Neutral Outlook
Approves of CEO

I have been working at Physical Sciences full-time (More than 10 years)

Pros

Plenty of opportunity to work across a broad range of technologies and to learn new skills. Ph.D. scientists are encouraged to develop their own technical programs, usually based on their doctoral or postdoctoral work. Career advancement is achieved by winning significant numbers of contracts, hiring new staff, and eventually building a business area. The company is employee-owned so benefits are excellent. Most contracts are funded by the Federal government, many through the SBIR program. Management has significantly increased internal investment in promising technologies in recent years.

Cons

If government funding priorities change it may be necessary to reinvent yourself technically. It can be very difficult to transition technologies to commercial products.

Advice to Management

Accelerate investment in commercialization activities for promising technologies.

Other Employee Reviews for Physical Sciences

  1. "A White-Bread Workplace: non-toxic, but not very good, either."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Physical Sciences full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    -PSI has excellent stock options (if you stay for at least 5 years) and excellent benefits.
    -It is a very relaxing place to work; you can come and go as you please, and you direct your time as you see fit while you are working. Even the pace of work while you are there is very easy-going.
    -Within the constraints of the rigid advancement system, you are free to direct your own work: for example, I know a junior researcher who ended up writing research proposals within a few years of arriving. He just kept asking to be the proposal writer and now he's the go-to guy for proposal writing.
    -The whole company is employee-owned, with monthly meetings about the company's financial health.
    -A big pro is that the tech they work on is very, very cool. Not just "cool" in the "blog cred" sense, but also "cool" in the "technically challenging and builds my skill set/resume" way.

    In all, this company has good tech and good benefits: a very stable employer.

    Cons

    -Everything is determined by charts and tables. Your degree, years of experience, and seniority within the company directly determine everything from your salary (which is non-competitive, but comes alongside fairly good benefits), to your number of office-mates, to the size of the whiteboard you are allowed to use(!). (Example story: I once had a coworker outright told "You are clearly qualified for [next position up the ladder], please re-apply in a year when you meet the chart's requirements.")
    -The individual with whom I initially negotiated salary was outright hostile, laughing in my face as I presented my argument. Indeed, the non-engineering departments seem to have some friction with the engineering departments, and this bleeds over into the work.
    -OpSec/InfoSec is questionable: on the main campus, visitors are given visitor badges, and regular employees have no badges. In other words, to escalate your privileges from visitor to employee, merely take off your badge. The security department has raised this concern with the executive management multiple times, I am told, but the executive management does not care.
    -Ethics are questionable, too: "no matter what, always lie on your timecard and say you worked exactly 40 hours" is baked right into the employee handbook, for example.
    -Management in general is very hands-off. This would be a pro for a small startup, but at a large defense contractor like this it ends up causing a bureaucratic nightmare. Departments, project contracts, and subsidiaries are unable to get the resources they need from the apathetic executives.
    -If you've gotten this far in the review and have been wondering why I haven't discussed the engineering process, it's because there is none. For example, the hardware guys have no document control on their technical drawings; the software guys have no dedicated version control to speak of. Some departments kluge together a formal process for themselves, but that makes inter-department cooperation that much more difficult.

    In all, this is a very stereotypically "old" company, in terms of mindset and behavior. It lacks agility and is not a strong place to stay in the long term.

    Advice to Management

    This company is the exact kind of company young engineers are warned against joining: an inflexible mindset bogged down with decades of "we've always done it this way." If you focus too much on this quarter's profits, you might hurt the company's health (and therefore profits) down the line.

    Physical Sciences Response

    May 14, 2017 – EVP Defense Systems

    The reviewer acknowledges the “good tech” present at the company but fails to appreciate the environment that produces that “tech.” PSI is not a large defense contractor, which is why all this ... More


  2. "Great for New PhD Grad with Hustle"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Principal Scientist in Andover, MA
    Current Employee - Principal Scientist in Andover, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Physical Sciences full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    I learned so much in my year and a half at PSI, mostly because the job involved wearing a lot of hats and being very self-motivated. The compensation and benefits made the long hours worth it. I learned to manage a budget, manage a schedule, manage a team, and juggle multiple projects with competing deadlines. After my postdoc it was a nice change to transparency into the financials of the company and how the grant writing process works. I like absolutely everybody at the company, they're all very brilliant and fun to work with and learn from.

    Cons

    With such fast-paced schedules it can be difficult to get the time you need to really do the tasks right. Also, as with most companies with an engineering and physics emphasis, there are not a lot of women, so there was not a lot of understanding when it came to being a new mother. Opportunities are hot and cold, learn to diversify or else risk losing everything.

    Advice to Management

    Try to give management time to support and mentor junior employees more.

There are newer employer reviews for Physical Sciences
There are newer employer reviews for Physical Sciences

See Most Recent

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