Management Systems International Reviews | Glassdoor

Management Systems International Reviews

Updated July 14, 2017
38 reviews

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3.1
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Lawrence S Cooley
20 Ratings

38 Employee Reviews

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  1. "Great professional enviroment."

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

    I have been working at Management Systems International full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    It's a great company to start within the international development industry. A lot of young professionals which creates a nice working environment. The new administration is open, communicative and is driving the company to a good place.

    Cons

    Not much immediate growth opportunities. You have to be a long time if you want to actually go up the scale.

    Advice to Management

    Looking within the company for talent when there are new openings, and offer more competitive salaries to avoid losing the actual employees who are smart and enthusiastic.


  2. "Development in a Development Company"

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

    I worked at Management Systems International full-time

    Pros

    Most people want to do their best work and help you succeed too.
    The company is in the process of modernizing the workplace culture to be more inclusive and opening opportunities to junior and mid-level employees to move up. Thought it is tough when some senior-level staff are threatened by this, and other senior-level staff are adjusting well to the cultural shift.
    The company is developing it's knowledge management systems and software which is a process for current staff, but nice for staff coming on board to use the newer technology.

    Cons

    Work-life balance depends on your manager. Your manager can also act as a filter between you and some of the poisonous staff that is hanging-on during the buy-out and cultural shift so if your manager is one of those poisonous people, I'm sorry.
    I'd recommend reaching out to current junior and mid-level employees on LinkedIn and meet-up for a coffee/lunch/happy hour chat to get a feel for the culture/leadership on those teams before applying for a position in the home office.

    Advice to Management

    I think you're leading the company in the right direction. Don't let a handful of historic norms and egos block progress.
    Not having internal staff performance evaluations that area typical in personnel quarterly, bi-annual, and/or annual reviews threatens the company's integrity and hurts employee moral.

  3. Helpful (1)

    "senior management is all talk, no action"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Arlington, VA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Arlington, VA
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Management Systems International full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    The people I worked with were great and very collegial, as were the two individuals I reported to the most were great managers. The office itself is pretty fancy, and there is an amazing view of Washington DC. The Technical Directors I interacted with most were bright and had a lot of experience to share about the field.

    Cons

    There is a lack of clarity in terms of people's roles and responsibilities. Even within my department we were uncertain about what exactly some people were responsible for doing. Senior management is open to hear ideas for change; however, they never prioritize or actually do anything with what they hear. Perhaps because the organization is large and was acquired last year, organizational culture change is slow. Our president announced several initiatives last year but nothing has been done. He spouts some general information about how MSI is using these initiatives to improve the workplace but he never gets into the details about what exactly these initiatives are going to do. All talk and no action! I also think one's experience at MSI really comes down to the people you work with, and although the people I reported to were great bosses, some of them were a little hands-off and not exactly the best managers.

    Advice to Management

    Actually do something with the feedback employees give you, and give us actual information about what is being done. Don't just blather on, give us the specifics. Actions speak louder than words.


  4. "Lots of turmoil recently but some opportunities for junior staff"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Project Manager in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Project Manager in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at Management Systems International full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    -Junior staff members can get to travel and engage in interesting work if they play their cards right.
    -Project Managers are almost always hired from the paid intern pool.
    -A lot of dedicated people.
    -Some of the worst aspects of senior management have been recently purged.

    Cons

    -Generally an unorganized company with very unclear processes.
    -Junior staff members and interns are mostly given administrative work.
    -Very few opportunities for advancement for junior staff members without a masters degree and several years at the company.

    Advice to Management

    -Create a more standard promotion pipeline for project managers similar to Chemonics.
    -Give more opportunities for young staff members to work on technical proposals and analytic work.


  5. "Project Management"

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

    I worked at Management Systems International full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great people, culture, and friendly environment

    Cons

    Lack of career growth opportunities


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Under bid on projects, then expect staff to work wonders"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Technical Consultant/Systems Analyst in Arlington, VA
    Current Employee - Senior Technical Consultant/Systems Analyst in Arlington, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Management Systems International (More than a year)

    Pros

    Seems that to rise to the top you have to be willing to abuse power.

    Cons

    They go for bids without doing adequate research, willing to underbid to get contracts. They would rather penny pinch than develop technically sound approaches. In the end it ends up costing them more that it is worth.

    Advice to Management

    Figure out how to listen and accommodate to staff who do the work for you. Figure out how to dedicate more time to strategic planning, rather than ad hoc frenzied reactiveness.


  7. Helpful (6)

    "An employer that cares for you"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Technical Manager in Fairfax, VA
    Former Employee - Technical Manager in Fairfax, VA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Management Systems International full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    - Excellent facilities: brand new office space with a fantastic view of the Nation's Capital.
    - Great computer systems: desktops and laptops with great resources but not for interns
    - Great benefits like tuition reimbursement
    - Flexible schedule and telecommuting is possible.
    - Very friendly atmosphere.

    Cons

    - Stress can go from 0 to 60 on a dime so be ready;
    - Flat organization so no room to go up or move around much to another department
    - USAID focused contractor by more than 50% so no possibility of expanding into other agencies

    Advice to Management

    - Replace intern's computers called Thin Craps, they are terrible.
    - If you yell to end negotiation be ready to lose employee.

  8. Helpful (2)

    "Great new leadership"

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

    I have been working at Management Systems International full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    The company has a lot of very smart people willing to engage with staff and teach/mentor. They are great in M&E, a bunch of technical areas. Things are starting to open up with new leadership, a more transparent approach and a better work environment.

    Cons

    Some legacy issues from previous management need to be cleaned up.


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Project Management"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Project Manager in Arlington, VA
    Former Employee - Project Manager in Arlington, VA
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Management Systems International full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Little oversight; if you work well with people (esp the Cooleys) you'll go far.

    Cons

    Family-owned business run as such. Salaries open for everyone to see on shared drive. Negotiation over salaries comes without warning, via a phone call to have a sudden meeting, and is designed to catch the employee off-guard, without warning. No clear path for entry-level staff to move up. High turnover, bad company culture. Family members working for the company slack off and are resented by the regular, less well-connected employees.

    Advice to Management

    Don't pick favorites and block others. Change your company culture.


  10. "Salary"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Intern in Arlington, VA
    Former Employee - Intern in Arlington, VA

    Pros

    Good work environment, possibility of hiring high

    Cons

    Interns get very menial tasks


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