FDA Reviews in Arkansas | Glassdoor

FDA Arkansas Reviews

Updated August 5, 2017
6 reviews

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Arkansas

3.1
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FDA Commissioner of Food and Drugs Margaret Hamburg, M.D.
Margaret Hamburg, M.D.
1 Rating

6 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • excellent ppl, interesting work, great work-life balance (in 40 reviews)

  • Flexible Work Schedule, learning and training opportunities, great work/life balance, benefits (in 18 reviews)

Cons
  • Project managers are expected to be full time secretaries and also be "regulatory experts" by working weekends (in 9 reviews)

  • As with any government agency, there can be a lot of red tape (in 9 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Perfect job if you don't mind down time"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Microbiologist in Jefferson, AR
    Current Employee - Microbiologist in Jefferson, AR
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at FDA full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    It's the government so your choice of some of the best vision, dental, and health insurance. A very good retirement plan if you choose the right one. As long as you do your job and don't blow up the lab, you're assured a promotion each year, at least this holds true at my lab. People are very kind and they usually have some kind of luncheon every so often.

    The work is easy most of the time and challenging once in a blue moon. Since our workload is dictated by the amount of money Congress allots us, we can only work the samples that are sent to us by CSOs. Thus, the trend is it's usually busier in the summer and a tad slower in the winter. Therefore, you find things to do with your time not in the lab.

    Living in Little Rock is cheap with your dollar going very far so it's ideal for post-graduates. It's definitely a great place to start, with the government. You will travel around the country for trainings and they usually put you up in decent hotels.

    Flexible work schedules after your probation is completed and OT and/or CT can be earned quite easily working weekends. Van/car pools available to alleviate the long commute (some types are reimbursable).

    Cons

    Remember how I said you have down time? Well to some people it can be maddening. In fact, some days will seem like an eternity because of it. But again, there isn't much you can do about it.

    The commute is a bit of a bear. Although there is no traffic in Little Rock (compared to living in an actual city), highway driving for 35-45 minutes one way, everyday, can get old real fast.

    The lab is in the middle of nowhere, literally. Expect to bring a lunch or torture your bowels with the cafeteria food sold onsite. On that same note, phone reception is very poor. The first time you roll up to the lab you'll pass through the country resembling any horror movie about hillfolk.

    The lab is open everyday all year so working weekends/holidays is required, but you can trade with another analyst if they are willing.

    Structurally, it is a relatively new building, built in ~2001. Aesthetically, the inside is drab and dull. Management tried to remedy this by hanging up pictures analysts had taken, but there are more blank spaces on the walls than pictures so it has little of the intended effect.

    The analysts are divided into 3 teams and the supervisors tend to agree with each other, but there are "things" that one team does that another will not.

    People here are usually quaint and cordial with each other, but because there are some people that live to gossip more than they should (perhaps this is everywhere?). This is to the point where you just avoid certain people.

    Management does their best to appease the analysts but sometimes our suggestions are either brushed off, excessively explained that they are not needed, or will flat-out say they won't do it for an unspecified reason.

    Not many people know how to move up in the FDA, with exception to the immediate step of supervisor. You ask management about the opportunities in the FDA and they will tell you there are many but nothing really specific. If you expect to move up you need to already know someone in high places. When the monotony of the job sinks in, and it will eventually, you start to question why you took this job in the first place. This is why networking is so very important. If you know someone way up they might be able to advise and help you find something better suited for your talents. If you just want a 9-5 job then this isn't a problem. People come here to die. But once you get here, it's difficult to get leave on your own.

    Advice to Management

    As a government employee I kinda understand you have to work with what you have, but sometimes the analysts need more incentive to work. I might be the only one with this opinion.


  2. "NCTR"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Contractor - Orise Fellow in Jefferson, AR
    Current Contractor - Orise Fellow in Jefferson, AR

    I have been working at FDA as a contractor

    Pros

    Much to learn. Great, smart people with a lot of potential.

    Cons

    The location is in the middle of nowhere. No benefits. Poor lab management and overall guidance.

  3. Helpful (1)

    "Pathways Intern"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Intern in Jefferson, AR
    Current Employee - Intern in Jefferson, AR
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great hours, excellent leadership skills, fantastic coworkers

    Cons

    Disorganized, does not fulfill promises, low pay

    Advice to Management

    Stop hiring interns as cheap labor


  4. Helpful (1)

    "review for FDA"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Fellow in Jefferson, AR
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Fellow in Jefferson, AR
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at FDA full-time

    Pros

    top-of-line instrument. regular work schedule. stipend is much higher than university

    Cons

    a lot of bureaucracies. evaluate and promote people based on their connections and relationship with management, not on their qualifications

    Advice to Management

    hard to believe management will do anything to improve the deficiency.


  5. "Orise Fellow"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Jefferson, AR
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Jefferson, AR
    Recommends

    I have been working at FDA full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    development of approaches for the drug safety assessment

    Cons

    the site is remote and lack of communication


  6. "good place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Visiting Scientist in Jefferson, AR
    Current Employee - Visiting Scientist in Jefferson, AR
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Visiting scientist is a Federal government employee, you would have good work/life balance, and good benefits like health insurance, dental/vision insurance, pension, TSP etc.

    Cons

    It's a rural location, it is hard to find good school for kids, ............................................................................................................................................................

    Advice to Management

    no advice


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