MDRC Reviews | Glassdoor

MDRC Reviews

Updated July 2, 2018
41 reviews

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4.1
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MDRC President Gordon Berlin
Gordon Berlin
22 Ratings

41 Employee Reviews

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  1. "Working at MDRC"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Receptionist in Oakland, CA
    Current Employee - Receptionist in Oakland, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    I love working at MDRC. The staff are so kind and there is just a great energy in the office. Everyone works hard, but the office makes it a point to make it fun when possible.

    Cons

    I haven't seen a downside to MDRC, which is wonderful.


  2. "Technical Research Analyst"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at MDRC full-time

    Pros

    Great place to learn programming skills and experimental design.

    Cons

    Slow pace of work, slow advancement, can be boring.

  3. "Equal opportunity, culture and diversity"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at MDRC full-time

    Pros

    MDRC is very unbiased and gives equal opportunity.
    Very welcoming.

    Cons

    Workload can be high at times.


  4. Helpful (2)

    "Comfortable, Lacking Efficiency"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Analyst in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Analyst in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Very smart people who are thoughtful and have nuanced understanding of the systems we're operating within.

    Great work life balance. Lots of time off, flexible working arrangements, excellent benefits.

    Enjoy project-based work and the opportunity to interact with different systems, populations, and research methodologies.

    Highly ethical, rigorous, and considerate team members.

    Cons

    Sink or swim form of management., and there tends to be a lot of managing up. I do not feel that the org prioritizes my career development, because they're mainly focused on filling project needs.

    Organizational change is like turning the titanic. Change management practices are almost nonexistent, upper management do not seem to challenge themselves to stay technologically relevant or efficient in work processes, and leadership do not seem to take managerial responsibility for improving the performance of poorly functioning departments.

    Policy relevance has room for improvement. There is a disconnect between the knowledge we as an organization generate and our ability to make it relevant in the ideologically driven world we live in. We could be better at the storytelling aspect of this work to connect the evidence to the mission of ending poverty.

    There can be a disconnect between MDRC's culture and the communities we work with. Staff need to be trained to be culturally sensitive and partnership-driven in our work with social service providers. There is a lack of diversity within our senior staff; we don't always practice what we preach when it comes to building pathways to opportunity.

    Too many meeting. Business is conducted in a very "old school" manner. Efficiency is laughable.

    Advice to Management

    Bring in upper management who are great managers, rather than great researchers. Build better pathways to career growth and focus on keeping your existing staff flourishing and challenged, rather than focusing on immediate needs. Keep pushing towards a more diverse, inclusive and partnership-driven culture. Focus on rewarding performance rather than "paying dues" as a way to grow.


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Technical Research Assistant"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Technical Research Assistant in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Technical Research Assistant in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Working with data to analyze important social programs, and coworkers are all bright, motivated individuals who care about what they are doing.

    Cons

    Lack of natural light in the office.


  6. "Research Analyst"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at MDRC full-time

    Pros

    -Opportunity to work in a collaborative, fast-paced work environment
    -Colleagues are passionate about their work and there is room for growth within the organization
    -Friendly working environment (Friday Parties)
    -MDRC is the type of organization where one can constantly learn and grow
    -Exposure and opportunity to collaborate with other national partners in equity-driven work

    Cons

    -Lack of diversity
    -Can sometimes feel elitist and very hierarchical
    -Slow to promote
    -Lack of professional development opportunities

    Advice to Management

    -Invest time and money for employees to learn and grow within their role


  7. "Good if you're looking for a career in research"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Research Analyst
    Current Employee - Research Analyst
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at MDRC part-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Flexible with regards to the percent time you work (60% and up gets benefits), well-regarded in the social policy research industry; interesting projects

    Cons

    Can be bureaucratic; harder path to advancement if you aren't a researcher, not a culture of staff development,

    Advice to Management

    Spend more time training supervisors in managing staff

  8. Helpful (2)

    "Good mission/values, inefficient and poorly managed"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Research Assistant
    Former Employee - Research Assistant
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at MDRC full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    The work is true to the stated mission; in general people care about the programs being evaluated and the people they serve. Competence/talent of others can be hit or miss, but many have a lot to contribute. Solidarity among RAs (and some analysts) and opportunities to make valuable and lasting professional connections, as well as personal friendships with like-minded people. Mostly low stress and slow pace. Opportunities for domestic travel, depending on portfolio.

    Cons

    Ingrained culture of rampant and tolerated inefficiency. Far too many useless meetings that senior staff somehow justify to themselves. Resources wasted on unnecessary site visits, delayed timelines and poorly vetted projects that sometimes fall through. Hard to see what impact, if any, the research findings have on actual policy. Very siloed - senior staff pride themselves on knowledge in their area of expertise, and embrace lack of knowledge in other areas as evidence of the highly "specialized" experience they bring to the table.

    Some amount of administrative work should be accepted for any entry-level position, but RAs are given far too much, and for far too long. RAs can easily go years spending the majority of their time scheduling an inordinate number of meetings and writing up notes that are never read. RA talent is wasted and senior management is aware, but pretends the issue is more complicated than it is to justify inaction. Frustratingly, some Associates have demonstrably less to contribute to the work than RAs who are not given opportunities to. RAs may be happy for a year, but almost without fail by the end of year two, are miserable and actively searching for a new job. Depending on other offers/options, not the worst choice right out of undergrad, but it would be wise to start on an exit plan early.

    Advice to Management

    Stop paying lip service to valuing RAs and actually give them meaningful work and competent supervision. Vet projects better to prevent easily avoidable and consequential problems that sometimes sink projects.


  9. "Nice Place to Work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at MDRC full-time

    Pros

    Learning opportunities; great health insurance; up 20 days vacation plus holidays and sick days

    Cons

    Work life balance could be better; work pace not steady - periods of high and low intensity


  10. "Technical Research Assistant"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at MDRC full-time

    Pros

    Incredibly smart peers and superiors. Motivated and diverse staff. Meaningful research. Great resources for grad school endeavors.

    Cons

    Can sometimes be slower-paced than one may hope but comes in cycles.

    Advice to Management

    Stay in Manhattan to attract the best talent.


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