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Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory

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Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory

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Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory Employee Reviews about "red tape"

Updated Jan 19, 2021

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Found 14 of over 814 reviews

4.3
82%
Recommend to a Friend
87%
Approve of CEO
Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory Director Dr. Ralph Semmel
Dr. Ralph Semmel
428 Ratings
Pros
  • "Research; Applied solutions; Benefits; Opportunities for growth; work/life balance; University affiliation(in 83 reviews)

  • "Flexible hours and great benefits(in 58 reviews)

  • Cons
  • "Red Tape, less than government though(in 14 reviews)

  • "Requires a security clearance, Laurel is a bit away from Baltimore and DC(in 12 reviews)

  • More Pros and Cons
    Pros & Cons are excerpts from user reviews. They are not authored by Glassdoor.

    Ratings by Demographics

    This rating reflects the overall rating of Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory and is not affected by filters.

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    Reviews about "red tape"

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    1. 5.0
      Current Employee, more than 1 year

      Cool Place to Work

      Jan 19, 2021 - Associate Technical Staff I in Laurel, MD
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      -Lots of interesting projects -Good Benefits (medical, school, etc) -Smart Coworkers -Great for college grads

      Cons

      -Red Tape, less than government though -Cleared projects are a pain -Not great for mid-career people

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    2. 4.0
      Current Employee, more than 3 years

      Overall a great place to work

      Dec 8, 2020 - Associate Professional Staff II in Laurel, MD
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      -Work/life balance -Ability to move around the lab and work on what interests you -Free postgraduate education. Bonus if you enroll in the JHU EP program is your in-person class may be walking distance from your office -Decent PTO. As of Dec 2020, I believe technical staff new hires receive 7 days of sick, 15 days of vacation, 9 paid holidays, and 1 personal day annually -Good people, professionally but also just as humans -Good mix of senior and younger staff -Lab-level leadership seems to genuinely care about the well being of staff and supports efforts to promote a healthy and welcoming culture at APL -Good chance you can work remotely part or full time -Physical location of the lab means no city driving and is close enough to Columbia/Fulton if you want nearby activities -Social events at the lab, sector, all the way down to the group and sometimes program level -Opportunities for further professional development (technical and soft skills)...training, conferences, classes

      Cons

      -Salary determination is at the group supervisor level and the mentality towards raises is inconsistent across the lab. You'll get paid more in some groups versus others. - Salary slope stagnates after several years. They increase the start pay for new hires without increasing the raise percentages for existing staff. -Probably due to the academic affiliation, APL cares too much about GPA and postgraduate education -Parking on main campus can be rough -Red tape due to security, but this is unavoidable

      3 people found this review helpful
    3. 5.0
      Current Employee, less than 1 year

      Incredible work environment and staff

      Oct 3, 2020 - Anonymous Employee in Laurel, MD
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Every employee I’ve ever interacted with is incredibly, refreshingly competent in comparison to tech industry jobs I’ve had. Work is interesting, with lots of lateral mobility for cross-disciplinary work.

      Cons

      Like any government affiliated job, there’s some red tape associated with clearances and general workplace policy. It’s nothing major and for the most part, doesn’t get in the way of anything.

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    4. 5.0
      Current Employee

      Great place to make a career!

      Sep 25, 2018 - Anonymous Employee 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      - Extremely innovative/exciting work across many different areas (defense, space, healthcare, robotics and autonomy, AI, materials science, etc.) that has a positive impact on the world. - APL is a research center, so the majority of the work you'll be doing hasn't been done before. You will be challenged to think critically, which will help you grow both personally and professionally. - Incredibly smart and passionate people allow for a collaborative, supportive, and inclusive environment. - You are encouraged to work on the things you want to work on, and your supervisor would be happy to work with you in finding tasking that is a better match for your interests if you're unhappy in your current role. - Many opportunities to earn internal funding if you have an innovative/relevant project you want to work on. - Continuous learning is highly encouraged and supported. You can earn a graduate degree (in a field relevant to your role) at no cost to you. There are also many training and development (both technical and non-technical) courses regularly offered at the lab. - Flexible work schedules. - Great benefits, including the best retirement plan company match I've seen. - Many clubs/organizations to become a part of as well as organized social events throughout the year. - Overall: There are so many great opportunities at APL, so you will get out of it what you put into it.

      Cons

      - At times, typical red-tape found in all organizations in defense (however, I believe APL does the best job at mitigating these barriers).

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      14 people found this review helpful
    5. 5.0
      Current Employee, less than 1 year

      Great Large Organization to Start Career at

      Sep 12, 2019 - Associate Professional Staff I in Laurel, MD
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      -Interesting work -High starting salary for recent engineer grad -Great Medical/Dental insurance -Graduate school tuition reimbursement

      Cons

      -Parking -Red tape (Less than government though) -Expensive area to live

      Continue reading
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    6. 5.0
      Current Intern, less than 1 year

      Internship

      Jul 14, 2019 - Intern in Laurel, MD
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Good tasking, meaningful work, flexible work schedule!

      Cons

      Sometimes there is red tape

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    7. 4.0
      Former Employee, more than 10 years

      Excellent workplace overall, with some caveats

      Apr 18, 2018 - Principal Professional Staff/Assistant Group Supervisor in Laurel, MD
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Terrific technical staff and sense of community. APL treats employees well and clearly values its staff. Work-life balance. Pleasant campus. High job security. Interesting and challenging technical work. You have a high degree of control over your career path. Not a pro or con - culture varies widely across the lab. All the anecdotes in Glassdoor reviews, good and bad, are believable. Find out who the outstanding Group Supervisors are and work in their groups - they drive the culture and personality of their group.

      Cons

      Inter-organizational politics within APL leads to more drama than typically seen among technical organizations. Increasing red tape (internal and external). Non-technical obstacles seem to get more burdensome year by year. Some areas experience wide swings in funding leading to uncertainty on what you'll be working on.

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      1 person found this review helpful
    8. 4.0
      Current Employee, more than 3 years

      Working at JHU/APL

      Aug 3, 2018 - Software Engineer 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Great work/life balance. Lots of potential to work on really interesting projects. As an employee, you have a lot of say on what you want to work on, and how you want your career to develop. Easy to do work outside of your "title," assuming you have the necessary skills.

      Cons

      Lots and lots of politics. Easy to get stovepiped into a particular type of work due to whatever group you end up in. There can be lots of red tape due to the fact that a lot of projects are funded by the government. There can also be redundancies in work due to the nature of being a non-for-profit, as well as government sponsors not playing nicely together. Sectors/departments seem to do things their own way. For software engineers, I don't think there's a lot of great opportunities to learn here, outside of a few particular groups. In fact, I'd rate APL a 3/5 for software engineers. Many times you may be the sole developer on a project, or only work with one or two. This is definitely not a software shop...

      Continue reading
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    9. 5.0
      Current Employee, more than 8 years

      Excellent Advancement Opportunities for those who network

      Sep 6, 2018 - Senior Professional Staff I in Laurel, MD
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Your coworkers are by far your biggest asset here. My first 2-3 years, principal staff members with 30+ years of experience took me under their wing and got me into programs that are now the foundation of my career. The lab has a lot of social events through which you can meet your coworkers and forge such bonds which will pay off long term, and an extensive self-reporting program through which you can toot your own horn. Those who don't take advantage of these really huge opportunities are short-changing themselves. The years in which my performance was 'average' by my own estimate, I was seeing a 4.5% raise. APL rewards loyalty, and that is not common. Work from home is streamlined, easy, and not subject to extensive red tape. When hardware is replaced, you can retain the old for travel/work from home purposes, dramatically improving productivity when you absolutely cannot be at the lab. Program management is very supportive of 'science project' type creative work that has potential to add value to the lab. Operated both through formal grant programs that are well-advertised and informal support of program managers open to new analysis tool ideas for active programs.

      Cons

      Red tape rules for program management review of documents that require external distribution can result in good work staying inside the lab longer than it should, which can delay impact/notice. Raises for top performers could exhibit a wider range vs average than they do.

      Continue reading
      2 people found this review helpful
    10. 5.0
      Former Intern

      R&D Intern

      Sep 17, 2018 - Anonymous Intern 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Tons of resources, commonly worked with people who enjoyed challenges, friendly, they have lots of events for interns to get to know the campus, lots of cool things are usually happening too (great for bragging to friends)

      Cons

      government contracts can lead to red tape and slow processing

      Be the first to find this review helpful
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