Raytheon BBN Technologies - Excellent experience as an intern. | Glassdoor
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Helpful (1)

"Excellent experience as an intern."

Star Star Star Star Star
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
  • Comp & Benefits
  • Senior Management
Former Intern - Intern in Cambridge, MA
Former Intern - Intern in Cambridge, MA
Recommends
Positive Outlook

I worked at Raytheon BBN Technologies as an intern (Less than a year)

Pros

Awesome company culture, professional people and exciting work. There was a great balance between professionalism and a casual environment. Everybody took the time to get to know me when I first started working and shared their advice.

Cons

I really don't have anything negative to say about my experience at BBN. This is a technology centered company and relevant experience definitely helps employees do well. The company is located in a convenient spot off of public transportation but be careful to plan your travel around traffic patterns.

Other Employee Reviews for Raytheon BBN Technologies

  1. Helpful (1)

    "Great place for an all-rounded research career, *as long as you can keep yourself funded*"

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

    I have been working at Raytheon BBN Technologies full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    I work with some of the smartest people in my field. Roughly 70% or more of BBN's technical personnel have a Masters degree and above, and 25% of the technical personnel have PhDs. I love the collaborative work culture, and the team spirit. At BBN, you get to work / do research on what you like to work on, as long as, either you can bring in funds for the work you want to do, or find someone else in BBN who has the money to do what you want to do, and is willing to take you on. BBN's profit-share bonus policy on getting in new contracts is a good incentive.

    Cons

    The pressure of bringing in funds can at times get nerve racking, particularly if you are Scientist grade or above. BBN doesn't qualify for the (relatively easier) SBIR funds because BBN is too big to apply for those. BBN is not as big as defense contractors like Northrop, Lockheed or Raytheon (who now owns BBN by the way), to get big sole-source contracts from to keep a big team billable for years with a few capture-managers ensuring that the funds keep coming in. At BBN, each Scientist (or Senior Scientist, and above) is the person who is making the sales pitch to the customer (usually DARPA, and other similar agencies), AND is also the one doing the technical work. The average size of contracts are only slightly bigger than typical academic / university research grants. Because of that reason, and since BBN is supported completely on soft money, one has to constantly keep on the lookout for funds to keep the business afloat. Since the time of the Govt. sequestration and budget cuts, things have been particularly hard.

    One VERY annoying factor in recent years has been the constant interference of Raytheon Company into BBN's culture, and way of life and doing business; starting from using their ridiculously inefficient travel-system, the hundred different online trainings one has to take every year, international travel policies, the six-sigma certification requirement (which I have gained nothing perceivable from), to having to use three different passwords and keyfobs to log on your online account in order to check what course you still need to finish. Its ridiculous. I miss the pre-2009 BBN.


  2. Helpful (5)

    "Looking for a vibrant, engaging place to work? Look elsewhere."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Scientist II in Cambridge, MA
    Current Employee - Scientist II in Cambridge, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Raytheon BBN Technologies full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    The benefits are quite good (health insurance, up to 10% 401K matching). There is also a lot of flexibility schedule-wise. Pay is decent.

    Cons

    People say that BBN is an extension of MIT (because so many MIT grads work there), but nothing could be farther from the truth. There are a few small pockets of very bright people, but on the whole, the people are not very intelligent (but they *think* they're very intelligent---a dangerous combination!)

    The projects could have interesting research components associated with them, but often they do not because the timelines are very short and often rushed. One of the senior management officials once told me that, in order to be successful at BBN, you need to possess "functional A.D.D." In other words, you need to be happy with working on something for a little while and then dropping it completely to work on something totally different. In practice, this means that if you like research and/or thinking, this isn't the environment for you.

    BBN prides itself historically on being an environment that creates one or two first-of-a-kind prototypes, but the general trend is moving in the direction of being more production-capable (to create tens to hundreds of the same system). People blame this on the recent Raytheon acquisition, but as far as I can tell, Raytheon is playing no part in this; it's a combination of the senior management and the direction that DARPA is moving (the latter of which is beyond BBN's control).

    The quality of managers is absolutely horrendous. First, all line managers are still technical staff and, hence, have a lot of technical work that they themselves are trying to complete. This very frequently means that they don't have the time or desire to actually manage when difficult situations arise. In particular, both managers and HR have *zero* skills when it comes to resolving inter-staff conflict. Poorly behaved staff members continue to behave poorly because no one in a managerial position talks to them to let them know that their behavior is not appropriate.

    Overall, the environment is very sink-or-swim. If you're not happy with what you're doing, it's 100% up to you to find something that's a better fit for you, and no one is going to help you transition to a more suitable project. Morever, it is *extremely* difficult to switch between departments, so make sure that you really like the department that you're hired into or else.

    On the whole, there's really not a whole lot that's positive about the environment. The work isn't challenging, there aren't many (any?) support mechanisms to help with career advancement, and the minute your billability drops too low, they're more than willing to lay you off. It's a wonder that the morale isn't actually worse than it is.

    Advice to Management

    Invest in better (possibly non-technical) line managers. At the very least, reduce the work load of line managers so that they have time to actually deal with their employees appropriately. Also, learn to be more supportive of the individual career goals of the employee, rather than just using talent for your own immediate purposes.


There are newer employer reviews for Raytheon BBN Technologies
There are newer employer reviews for Raytheon BBN Technologies

See Most Recent

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