Mathematica Policy Research Reviews | Glassdoor

Mathematica Policy Research Reviews

Updated April 6, 2017
110 reviews

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Full-time Part-time

3.4
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Mathematica Policy Research President Paul Decker
Paul Decker
53 Ratings

110 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 7 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. "Mostly great. Better for senior staff"

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

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

    Pros

    Work-life balance. Work 40 flexible hours a week, no more. Work from home if you want to or need to. Laid-back atmosphere.

    Cons

    Not a lot of staff development for junior staff. It's kind of understood that you will leave and get an advanced degree before coming back at the senior level.

    Advice to Management

    Invest in training for the junior staff


  2. "Project Assistant"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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.


  3. Helpful (7)

    "Missing Management Oversight"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Researcher in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Senior Researcher in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    The company is full of smart, hard-working, and thoughtful employees. The family-friendly policies and supportive atmosphere make this a great place to work for individuals with families. The expectation is to work hard but minimize working overtime (unless absolutely necessary). Everyone is happy to step in and help make sure no one is overwhelmed.

    Cons

    I've been with the company for 3 years now and am still struggling to find work to keep me fully engaged. The management doesn't help senior staff find work- you are completely on your own trying to find projects where you can assist. This is even further complicated by the fact that project directors have staff they prefer to work with so are not keen to include new individuals even if they bring the appropriate skill set. However, management emphasizes the need to increase billable hours and then does not help staff find billable work. This is demoralizing to staff that want to contribute to the organization's success but feel that their efforts are thwarted.

    Advice to Management

    Management needs to sit down and look at staff skills and availability against existing projects and INSIST that staff get put onto projects where they can positively contribute. A once per year reconciliation process is not an effective way to manage a company of this size and leads to staff discontent when individuals are not fully utilized


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  5. Helpful (8)

    "The mighty have fallen"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Family friendly company"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    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


  7. Helpful (4)

    "Project Assistant"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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.


  8. "Survey Operations at Mathematica Policy Research"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    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


  9. Helpful (18)

    "Just getting worse"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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.


  10. Helpful (2)

    "The place keeps getting worse"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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.


  11. Helpful (11)

    "Company has grown too fast and is paying the price"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Researcher II in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Researcher II in Washington, DC
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Very interesting projects, a lot of smart and hard working colleagues, attention to quality

    Cons

    Very poor on transparency- a lot of information is kept from employees, for example how raises and promotions work is kept secret and those who know are told not to share the information. The company has also grown way too fast and lacks appropriate policies and procedures for an organization of its size. This leads to a lot of chaos and poor management. Big difference in what the company says and does, for example work life balance is promoted but at researcher plus, it doesn't exist if you want to do well.

    Advice to Management

    Be more transparent- withholding information on how raises and promotions work is ridiculous. Work quicker to develop standard policies and procedures, the amount of discretion for many decisions by supervisors and managers is a lawsuit waiting to happen.


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