Management Sciences for Health Reviews | Glassdoor

Management Sciences for Health Reviews

Updated March 26, 2017
38 reviews

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Management Sciences for Health President and CEO Marian Wentworth
Marian Wentworth
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38 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Much better work/life balance at entry-mid level than at other similar nonprofits (in 9 reviews)

  • Great benefits and good work/life balance (in 10 reviews)

Cons
  • No opportunity for growth for entry, junior- or mid-level staff (in 11 reviews)

  • In many situations, junior staff are not empowered to push back on such requests (in 9 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (4)

    "Management Sciences for Health---Great Benefits!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate in Arlington, VA
    Current Employee - Associate in Arlington, VA
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Excellent benefits!
    This is a good place for people who want to get hands on experience in the international public health field.

    Cons

    If you are not part of a clique you will have a hard time advancing your career or getting the respect you deserve. In theory the organization promotes collaboration within the organization, but unfortunately it rarely translates into reality. Employees rarely display humility, i.e. an eagerness to try something new and embrace ideas no matter the source.

    Advice to Management

    You need to embrace change and advance people no matter their clique status within the company. Diversity, Diversity, Diversity --- needs to be a priority for the board of directors, management team and upper management. An ethnically diverse environment in the rank and file only is not an ethnically diverse organization.


  2. "Mid-level and junior staff not given a chance to do technical work"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Arlington, VA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Arlington, VA
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Management Sciences for Health full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    MSH's DC office is in a good location, ability to work with field staff has been a good experience, I've learned a lot from senior staff (but haven't been allowed to practice it).

    Cons

    Many of the administrative/program coordinator level staff wind up leaving after 1 year since there is no movement up unless you have a masters, ditto for Progam Officers/Associates. Often much of the "technical" work is only done by the older staff who have been at MSH for 10-15 years. There isn't a desire across the centers/projects to train junior staff, and this causes many of us to want to leave.

  3. Helpful (5)

    "Good people, mediocre organization"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Arlington, VA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Arlington, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Management Sciences for Health full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    On an individual level, the company has many interesting, accomplished, and competent people. It also has a good benefits package, lots of vacation, and tends to be pretty accommodating of its employees life demands.

    Cons

    There is little attention paid to to lower- and mid-level employees. Technical work tends to stay only at the highest level, and doesn't give younger staff opportunities for professional growth. Also, there is a lack of transparency in how decisions are made about promotions and salaries. The pay differential between lower and high level staff is pretty substantial for an NGO.

    Advice to Management

    Move away from the "old boys club" mentality at the upper level of the organization, and start encouraging and rewarding growth and contributions at all levels of the organization.


  4. Helpful (5)

    "Good Learning Experience- but Overly Bureaucratic and Slow to Change"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Cambridge, MA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Cambridge, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Management Sciences for Health full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    -Great learning experience if you are interested in Government contracting, global health

    Cons

    -SLOW to change despite all of the "initiatives". Overly bureaucratic complicated structure
    -Too many initiatives! Work loads are already demanding and now are coupled with new initiatives and task which are flowed DOWN from Senior Management without buy in from staff actually doing work.
    -Compensation department is unfair and non transparent despite compensation reviews completed recently.
    -Little money for trainings and professional development.
    -Most staff are pleasant however at times some staff can be rude, unprofessional.

    Advice to Management

    Take time to get buy in from the lower level employees when creating new initiatives. LEAD rather than manage. Allow departments to have flexibility to create own intitiatives in line with goals.

    Seriously review consistency and fairness of pay policies. Why does one unit average 2% increases and another much higher? PPRD is too burdensome. Not value for money! Also, be transparent about career ladder, pay policies, and salary scales. TRAIN HR! Inconsistencies and unfair practices have led to several staff leaving.

    You say that MSH's goal is to be a learning organization however no resources are dedicated to ensuring that goal is reached. All staff should have the opportunity for professional trainings. Invest in your staff!


  5. Helpful (4)

    "Good organization but some parts of the organization need some major work"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Medford, MA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Medford, MA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Management Sciences for Health full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    MSH is very well respected in the industry. There are opportunities for advancement and career growth if you are in the right departments and/or work for the right people. Most people are nice and very helpful.

    Cons

    It can be very bureaucratic. Not sure what direction MSH is trying to go - it changes year to year. HR lacks the people skills needed for human resourcing.

    Advice to Management

    When MSH has new goals, provide resources (including sufficient money) to allow staff to truly work towards that goal.


  6. Helpful (9)

    "upper management needs to be more transparent"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Management Sciences for Health full-time

    Pros

    - nice, intelligent colleagues who know their field well
    - can-do IT department
    - nice support staff
    - good finance and program management expertise

    Cons

    - HR department is slow to respond and not detail-oriented
    - old-school cabal leading the company
    - kill-the-messenger attitude at leadership level
    - bureaucratic
    - hire older, staid chiefs of party in the field and pass over dynamic middle managers
    - lack of transparency at upper levels in HQ and field offices
    - quality of management and operations in different field offices varies widely
    - some shady things appear to be happening in field offices and donors are starting to notice
    - some support offices in HQ are staffed by people that don't want to do their jobs - just pass the buck

    Advice to Management

    - sunlight is the best antiseptic
    - don't punish staff who bring issues to your attention - approach the issues with an open mind and seek to learn from those below you
    - foster a culture of transparency and openness to new ideas
    - don't hire only older COPs - look at how donors are hiring these days (younger, more dynamic managers) and follow suit
    - conduct internal financial and programmatic audits at both HQ and in field offices - and follow the recommendations to continually improve the company


  7. Helpful (16)

    "Some great people, great mission, but imploding because of "leadership""

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Cambridge, MA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Cambridge, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Management Sciences for Health full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    MSH has some great people, great mission, very good systems (in some cases), dedicated support staff who work hard and long hours, very well recognized by USAID, strong pharmaceutical programming, excellent COO, finance, and contracts staff. Very wide current footprint around the world. Smart junior technical staff. Some departments give great moral support and work-life balance.

    Cons

    Poor leadership at the very top, terrible HR - cold, "black box" decisions, zero "human" qualities, very tightly tied to USAID work (so extremely precarious if they lose projects - which they are), some very senior technical staff give junior staff NO opportunities, some senior long term MSH technical staff are rude, insulting and self-congratulatory which is extremely distasteful in "team" meetings, very poor business development senior staff. Due to lack of vision and focus, the project scope is shrinking and quality or projects and proposals dropping significantly.

    Advice to Management

    Focus on listening to people who give advice rather than penalizing them. Reward staff for the hard work they put in. Conflict is not always bad in discussions, it can lead to resolution of problems. Morale is terrible due the poor decision of moving to Medford and not being transparent with the staff about this move. The "pep campaign" to get people excited in moving to Medford was a complete failure - showing pictures of smokestacks, not being transparent on who gets the few offices and the terrible open-plan office is completely opposite from the Arlington office. CEO getting a huge private office, conference room and river view is a complete morale destroyer. You are losing staff from lack of vision, support, and terrible morale.

  8. Helpful (10)

    "Increased productivity and stronger work ethic does not translate to better opportunities for advancement."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Project Associate in Medford, MA
    Current Employee - Project Associate in Medford, MA
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Management Sciences for Health full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Good social work environment, excellent benefits, plenty of time off, highly entertaining stream of conciseness rants from the CEO. If one is so inclined, it is quite easy to coast by doing the minimum required of a position.

    Cons

    Management does not seem interested in developing its employees to build a strong and dedicated internal pipeline. Those who have been at MSH longer term have not had a steady career track allowing for specialization. Instead you are on your own to find new opportunities within the organization ignoring any strengths one may have. The culture promotes mediocrity in their pay scale increase structure. Everyone falls into the middle tier regardless of actual output/ productivity. There is little emphasis on trying to retain or develop good employees. Specifically for project associates, those with a significantly larger workload (5+ projects) are regarded and (not) rewarded at the same level as those with less demanding workloads (1-2 projects).

    Advice to Management

    Shift the corporate focus back to facilitating the success of project design and implementation. The project win rate has plummeted and project performance has also suffered due to a lack of resources and man power dedicated to project implementation and management. The recent shift seems to focus on building a more vertically integrated corporate structure losing sight of the intended purpose of MSH. There is also a very strong "good old boys'" club mentality based on mutual back scratching instead of workplace/ project performance.


  9. Helpful (8)

    "Great public health NGO...on paper."

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

    I worked at Management Sciences for Health full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Good benefits including medical/dental coverage, 401K, vacation/sick leave. Fun and relaxing work environment. Colleagues are very knowledgeable in their subject matters.

    Cons

    One's success at MSH largely depends on which center/project you're on, and how much experience you have. Senior level staff don't really take the time to train junior level staff. The pay is horrible, and there's a lot of turnover. Unless you're well established in your career, most people leave within less than 5 years as there is little opportunity for growth.

    Advice to Management

    Treat entry and junior level staff as equals, not as expendable commodities. Take the time to train and nurture them and allow them to grow within the organization.


  10. Helpful (7)

    "Most stressful workplace"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Management Sciences for Health part-time

    Pros

    I gained valuable experience in government relations and event planning. The office was also a beautiful location and we had access to complimentary coffee and tea all day.

    Cons

    I experienced poor communication from supervisors both to me and between each other which made my job uncessisarily difficult. I also saw very clear favoritism and disrespect for deadlines among department leaders.

    Advice to Management

    Please take a course on interpersonal communication and lead by example in managing event related stress.


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