MITRE Reviews in McLean, VA | Glassdoor

MITRE McLean Reviews

Updated August 9, 2017
246 reviews

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McLean, VA

246 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • In many departments, having work/life balance is just talk (in 19 reviews)

  • Management is top heavy with our new president creating another layer of management to reward his confidants (in 21 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Manager"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - IT Manager in McLean, VA
    Current Employee - IT Manager in McLean, VA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

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

    Pros

    Great place to work in northern virginia

    Cons

    Government contracting can be trying

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the good work

    MITRE Response

    Oct 26, 2016 – Public Affairs

    Thanks for the review! We're glad to hear you're enjoying your work here.


  2. Helpful (9)

    "Good exposure to tech but..."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Systems Engineer in McLean, VA
    Former Employee - Senior Systems Engineer in McLean, VA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    MITRE is a good place to work if you are fortunate enough to land in the software Dev area. There are opportunities for hard workers coming from engineering backgrounds other than software to begin a software path, but you have to work pretty hard to demonstrate yourself. Starting out you will be a professional PowerPoint engineer and have to write a lot of documents/deliverables that will be added to the ever growing pile of documents unread by the FAA or whoever your sponsor is. The details in these reports and the pure mathematical/physical science backing these documents or white papers is astonishing, in a good way. I worked with the smartest people of my life while here, both book smart and real world application smart.

    At a certain point you will realize that this is a place where it is better to show up after a few years of "expertise" at other companies. Sarcasm on expertise because I witnessed a few government lifer employees with the TS clearance and blah blah but we're probably the worst coders I have ever seen, yet they were in charge of some important responsibilities. If you start your career here, it is very likely that you will be severely undervalued because hey, they "created" you. No matter how much overtime you perform there will always be that top heavy management structure above you. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to have a team leader directly above you that values your work and speaks on behalf of you to upper layers of management. If you do not have this you will be invisible. I pushed myself out there cautiously many times in hopes of becoming more noticed, since I would rarely receive positive feedback. I worked my behind off and was a completely self taught best practice syntax software snob, and proud. When I left MITRE started approaching Booz Allen reviews, where you could work 60-70 hours a week for a month, then request a half day or two on a Friday and the sky was falling.

    In the end, great exposure to technology, great opportunities to thrust yourself into different software areas (back end, front end, big data, etc, etc), but you will one day realize that you are severely undervalued given the quality of work coming out of your office. This isn't a bad thing, because there are many hungry companies looking for people like this that will immediately jump your pay by 30% if you are a good negotiator and know your market value.

    Place to retire. Get out into the private sectors after you have gobbled up all the exposure for 4-5 years and start your six figure career path. Making 100k+ a year after serving time here is easier than you would think, I make more now than people directly above me did at MITRE, and will continue to do so forever.

    Cons

    No bonuses, raises are usually only on cycle (end of year), unless you have worked crazy hours and get an off cycle raise in the summer.

    Level 2/3 employees are very undervalued if they are not celebrated by team leaders. Promotions above level 3 seem to take place only within a small brotherhood.

    MITRE values graduate level education. Systems engineering degrees from Johns Hopkins or George Mason seem to only service the "appearance" of better work quality, however this just means more deliverables (papers) that are added to the unread pile. The people at MITRE doing the real work are the ones with solid coding skills, and a background in mathematics, aerospace, or physics. There are concepts out there that are proven to benefit the sponsor (FAA) but progress is a slow roll of a ball up the hill for 10 years, not even joking. Imagine endless meetings, simulations, papers, deliverables, etc on a project for 10 years. If the FAA were privatized it would be more like 1 year, 2 tops.

    Raises will at most be 3% per YEAR. That's what you get for working at a non profit. However, there is 7.5% salary marching on a 2% contribution. So your IRA rollover after its all over will be in good shape.

    No culture. I talked to some management layer people a few times on activities outside of work. Each time I had the distinct feeling that I should guard what I say. It just seemed like all people in management cared about was work. I feel sorry for their wives. Other management that came from industry had way more personality, however it was obvious after awhile that they only displayed a fraction of their personalities while at work.

    When I left the career development reports were growing to an alarming government rate. HR was on a binge to get people to do quarterly updates on progress. It was constant, and unrealistic. Most of my software projects were so deeply involved that they were 6 months to 1 year in length. I would literally get funny looks when my leader wondered why things were not completed yet, even though I gave weekly updates and everything was thumbs up for months, until the quarterly review. The of lower management to impress upper management on the work of the umderlings was unreal. And for what benefit? This is government politics at its finest, impress only yourselves when no one else gives a damn, and never stepping back and asking, why do I care about this?

    You will become lost in the non existent culture. Hope that your leader is very tech savvy, not just someone promoted from within that hasn't the experience. Either that or someone that is a great leader, and celebrates his/her minions to upper management.

    If you are not outgoing, you will have zero relationship with management beyond your direct supervisor.

    Advice to Management

    Celebrate your employees more. Spread information downstream freely. There are some in management that have no business being there, and compartmentalize information to keep the underlings in the dark. I am not sure if this is intentional behavior, but I was told on more than one occasion that information was above my pay grade. That kind of approach to dealing with the people you are paid to direct is unwelcome and foreign.

    MITRE Response

    Oct 26, 2016 – Public Affairs

    We're glad that you enjoyed the retirement benefits, which we aim to be above industry standard for non-profits. We recently updated our performance and compensation program to include ongoing... More

  3. Helpful (8)

    "Pay for performance"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in McLean, VA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in McLean, VA
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at MITRE part-time

    Pros

    Management for the last several years has been pushing the concept of pay for performance. This concept seems to apply to the employees and not the officers.

    Cons

    In the past several years MITRE management has been pushing the MITRE Way. This is not something new, but a resurrection of the way MITRE did things before about the year 2000.

    A newer resurrection from the past is to re-establish the dual ladder, one for technically focused staff and another for those wishing to go onto the management track. This was first adopted in the 1994 timeframe.

    Since MITRE is pushing pay for performance, maybe the officers compensation should be adjusted to what it was in the 1990s.

    MITRE Response

    Oct 26, 2016 – Public Affairs

    Thank you for taking the time to write a review. You may want to consider discussing MITRE's employment and compensation program with your HR business partner.


  4. Helpful (13)

    "Innovation at MITRE"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Member of Technical Staff in McLean, VA
    Former Employee - Member of Technical Staff in McLean, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Work life balance is good; a great place to work if you need to manage a family live

    Cons

    MITRE is unable to develop innovative technologies or processes. Management structures are severely outdated and cronyism prevails throughout both the Washington and Bedford campuses. The company is infected by a highly bureaucratic process and it never will be able to attract top talent. People who succeed at MITRE have mediocre skills and enjoy playing politics; not doing great technical and/or scientific work.

    Advice to Management

    overhaul the organizational structures and the pay scale; reward those who do great work; not those that uphold or carry out some upper managers lame ideas or program

    MITRE Response

    Oct 26, 2016 – Public Affairs

    We're proud of the employees who work at MITRE and know we have great talent here. We recently implemented a new performance and development process that we believe will address concerns and... More


  5. Helpful (5)

    "Great Place to Work"

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

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

    Pros

    Excellent work life balance; lots of flexibility in how you do your job
    Opportunity to work on national level problems
    Overall job security - minimal to no lay offs
    Great environment for collaboration

    Cons

    No bonuses etc.
    Harder to get promotion, especially into higher level management jobs
    Growth pretty much dependent on how much time the employees put into personal growth

    MITRE Response

    Oct 3, 2016 – Comms Representative

    Thanks for posting.


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Working at MITRE"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Human Resources in McLean, VA
    Current Employee - Human Resources in McLean, VA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

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

    Pros

    Why people work here--#1 the work, #2 the people, #3 the balance of work and personal life.

    Cons

    Can be slow to get things done.

    MITRE Response

    Oct 3, 2016 – Comms Representative

    We’re happy to hear you like working here. Thanks for taking the time to post.


  7. Helpful (11)

    "Company of thinkers and doers that listens and deliberately tries to change"

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

    I have been working at MITRE (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Very smart and motivated people, everyone is very "achievement focused" (goes above and beyond to honor promises), and a strong push to maximize work-life balance. Strong sense most of the time that what you do matters, and that you are making people's lives better as a result. Much of the work is hard, but I feel like I'm both doing *good* and treated well. For example, the first post on this page (requesting management do a quality survey) is now a standard practice and they started with CCG as the commenter recommended. It might take some time, but it seems all good ideas are listened to. I feel like I'm very well listened to, as long as I communicate clearly and frequently.

    Cons

    This place is a strong mix of government, academia, management, and consulting. It seems that people who don't communicate what they want feel left out. Some employees act like typical contractors waiting to be told what to do, and they seem to have the worst experiences. Those who communicate clearly with their managers and take some risks seem to rise quickly and are trusted within the organization. Lately there have been many more "business" people hired that have less of a technical background - and they seem to have trouble integrating with the deep technical roots of the company.

    Advice to Management

    Refocus on the technical core - and communicate clearly to new business-minded employees that lower quality work will not be accepted. Everyone has a duty to use the most technically appropriate solutions for their work, and we need more attention to incentivize people to use that technical mastery.

    MITRE Response

    Oct 3, 2016 – Comms Representative

    Thank you for your review. We appreciate you taking the time and making the effort to communicate your thoughts with us.

  8. Helpful (1)

    "Interesting Opportunites/Flat Organization"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Information Systems Engineer, Lead in McLean, VA
    Current Employee - Information Systems Engineer, Lead in McLean, VA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at MITRE full-time

    Pros

    There are interesting opportunities at MITRE and lots of smart people to work with. When project work is well received, it's very rewarding to know you are helping to improve a Government agency or Government environment. MITRE strives to provide work/life balance but it's not always possible.

    Cons

    Interesting project and program opportunities are available but the opportunities for promotion are limited. It's a somewhat flat organization. "Stovepiping" occurs due to how the organization is structured. There is often duplication of effort across programs and grassroots support systems. Business/Operations support elements are available in some programs and not others.

    MITRE Response

    Oct 3, 2016 – Comms Representative

    Thanks for your review. We’re pleased to hear that you enjoy MITRE’s people and that you had the opportunity to work on interesting projects that are making a difference. We recommend speaking to... More


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Great company!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Information Systems Engineer, Lead in McLean, VA
    Former Employee - Information Systems Engineer, Lead in McLean, VA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Very professional organization with high quality employees. I enjoyed my time with the company. Pay was fair with really good benefits.

    Cons

    Collaboration and information sharing were highly encouraged, however, the way managers measured this was a bit elementary and should be seriously reviewed.

    MITRE Response

    Oct 3, 2016 – Comms Representative

    Thank you for your feedback. We’re glad you enjoyed your time here.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "I Actually Love Coming to Work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Aviation Systems Engineer in McLean, VA
    Current Employee - Aviation Systems Engineer in McLean, VA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at MITRE (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Challenging and interesting work in the public interest, excellent work life balance, great employees who work with you and not against you!

    Cons

    Slow promotion rate, and raises barely keep pace with inflation. But, there are many opportunities to move within the company laterally and those options keep things challenging and interesting.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to keep the lines of communications open - the brown bags with upper management are well worth the time!

    MITRE Response

    Oct 3, 2016 – Comms Representative

    Thanks for your feedback. We appreciate you taking the time to leave a review.


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