Mathematica Policy Research Reviews in Princeton, NJ | Glassdoor

Mathematica Policy Research Princeton Reviews

Updated March 23, 2017
22 reviews

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Princeton, NJ

2.3
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Mathematica Policy Research President Paul Decker
Paul Decker
10 Ratings

22 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Good work/life balance too - you just need to put in the 8 hour each day whether it's in the office or at home (in 16 reviews)

  • Positive work environment, healthy work/life balance, interesting work (in 13 reviews)

Cons
  • Many junior staff are not well-trained, which tends to place a significant burden on more senior (or more attentive) staff (in 8 reviews)

  • Because you will work with many different project directors, it's up to you to let them know if you are busy on other projects (in 7 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (1)

    "Project Assistant"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Project Assistant in Princeton, NJ
    Current Employee - Project Assistant in Princeton, NJ
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Mathematica Policy Research part-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Flexible hours, but only if you are willing to work weekends/evenings. Friendly people for the most part - a couple of sour apples, though.

    Cons

    Poor training and for a company that is computer-based, they should get it together since they train on so many projects. Computer systems need to be updated to make their applications more user-friendly. Staff often does not seem to know how to accomplish something when survey staff asks questions. Seems more like 'fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants' for a company that's been around since the 80s.

    Advice to Management

    Hire people that can actually TRAIN staff rather than using project directors who can't seem to get to the nuts and bolts of what staff need to learn to do their job. And pay people project assistants a little more. You might be able to keep some of them longer and wouldn't need as many HR people to keep hiring them. And, advise project staff during the interview process that most of their time will spent WAITING to speak to a respondent rather than actually speaking to anyone.


  2. Helpful (11)

    "The mighty have fallen"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Manager in Princeton, NJ
    Former Employee - Manager in Princeton, NJ
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Mathematica Policy Research full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Good benefits and perks. Work with intelligent colleagues in a professional yet casual environment. There was hints of the founder's 60's hippie culture that lasted until recently, when too many external executive hires drove the culture to a much more corporate environment.

    Cons

    Going back to around 2014, the environment really started to change. What was once a family friendly, collegiate great place to work, turned into a back-stabbing, cut-throat corporate cliche. President Paul let the inmates run the asylum, and there was competition between divisions/departments. New execs came in, did a few failed re-orgs and lay-offs, and things were never the same. An exodus of old guard leadership followed in 2015/2016 as a result.

    Advice to Management

    Good luck to ya. What was once a great company, industry leader, and great place to work and build a career, is now shell of itself.

  3. Helpful (1)

    "Family friendly company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Princeton, NJ
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Princeton, NJ

    I have been working at Mathematica Policy Research (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Flaxible in working hours and nice people

    Cons

    A lot of changes are made recently


  4. Helpful (4)

    "Project Assistant"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Project Assistant in Princeton, NJ
    Current Employee - Project Assistant in Princeton, NJ
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Mathematica Policy Research part-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Friendly co-workers, relaxed work enviorment and the ability to set your own schedule is nice. Good work life balance.

    Cons

    Extremely low pay, raises are insultingly low, no benefits for the first year. Having to harass people on a daily basis.

    Advice to Management

    Pay more.


  5. "Survey Operations at Mathematica Policy Research"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Princeton, NJ
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Princeton, NJ

    Pros

    The Company does exciting work

    Cons

    Work at the call center is not always available


  6. Helpful (21)

    "Just getting worse"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Analyst in Princeton, NJ
    Current Employee - Analyst in Princeton, NJ
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Mathematica Policy Research full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    If you enjoy your email and internet use being monitored then you'll love Mathematica. Pay and benefits are average. They tout their flexible, progressive environment but management can override these any time they are inconvenient. Its a great place for the upper management and executives who get bonuses even though business is down and there are layoffs.

    Cons

    On going layoffs as business shrinks. Beware of reviews here from management shills and toadies. Projects are frequently mismanaged so they end up working you like a dog to meet deadlines and requirements. It is a miserable place.

    Advice to Management

    Learn to manage and not just be reactive.


  7. Helpful (3)

    "The place keeps getting worse"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Analyst in Princeton, NJ
    Current Employee - Analyst in Princeton, NJ
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I have been working at Mathematica Policy Research full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    If you enjoy your email and internet use being monitored then you'll love Mathematica. Pay and benefits are average. They tout their flexible, progressive environment but management can override these any time they are inconvenient. Its a great place for the upper management and executives who get bonuses even though business is down and there are layoffs.

    Cons

    On going layoffs as business shrinks. Beware of reviews here from management shills and toadies. Projects are frequently mismanaged so they end up working you like a dog to meet deadlines and requirements. It is a miserable place.

    Advice to Management

    Learn to actually manage and not be reactive. Stop killing morale.

  8. Helpful (8)

    "Great benefits but a rough work environment"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Systems Analyst in Princeton, NJ
    Former Employee - Systems Analyst in Princeton, NJ
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at Mathematica Policy Research full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    This company has a great number of benefits. Their insurance offerings are great though expensive. They off 401k matching as well as an Employee Stock Ownership plan. This is not the typical "stock options at a discounted rate", they just hand you X shares of company stock for each year you have been with the company, depending upon your level. The company stock is independently valued and has done nothing but grow in the past 10 years. Also once you've been with the company for 10 years you receive 6 weeks of paid time off per year. So there are some great benefits.

    Cons

    The software application department is not its own department and is located under the survey division. This causes some oddities in supervisory reporting. They have just done a large department restructuring and laid off 1/5 of the entire department. Those who are left are now being greatly overworked and many are not very happy.

    Advice to Management

    Split the IS department separate from the survey division. Stop laying off key personnel. Invest in training of current staff. Recognize those who keep the business running.


  9. Helpful (10)

    "Survey Researcher"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Survey Researcher I in Princeton, NJ
    Former Employee - Survey Researcher I in Princeton, NJ
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Mathematica Policy Research full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Collegial atmosphere. It's great to work with smart people. The projects they take on are interesting and meaningful and contribute in real ways to the welfare of people. In this way, the work is satisfying and real. Promotions can come quickly if you do good work consistently.

    Everyone has an office with a door, which is unusual in this day of cubicles and open offices.

    Cons

    Mathematica grew very quickly in the last decade and created layers of beauracracy that impede getting things done. They take quality seriously, which is great, but often things take forever to get done because of the layers of review required from very senior people. This causes unnecessary delay and makes projects expensive and bloated. There's a certain amount of distrust of junior people taking on projects so projects are managed by very senior and very expensive people. The company is very top-heavy, not letting junior people take ownership of even minor projects.

    Advice to Management

    Ease up on the idea that every project needs to be overseen and QA'ed by three VPs. It creates unnecessary bottlenecks and makes projects drag on. The company would benefit from more agility and responsiveness to project demands if junior people didn't have to wait for senior people to approve and oversee every detail.


  10. Helpful (2)

    "unorganized"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Princeton, NJ
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Princeton, NJ
    Doesn't Recommend

    I worked at Mathematica Policy Research full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    there is always free food in the office... to make up for the cons?

    Cons

    lack of organization or training, the hours are terrible, and the work is only available as the projects last. when the project is done, you could lose hours completely.

    Advice to Management

    Better training!!!


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