Mathematica Policy Research Reviews | Glassdoor

Mathematica Policy Research Reviews

Updated October 20, 2018
147 reviews

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3.5
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Mathematica Policy Research President Paul Decker
Paul Decker
74 Ratings

147 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 20 reviews)

  • "Positive work environment, healthy work/life balance, interesting work" (in 16 reviews)

Cons
  • "Large variation in quality of project directors" (in 9 reviews)

  • "Not a lot of staff development for junior staff" (in 8 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Featured Review

    Helpful (3)

    "Great culture!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great fellow employees, flexibility to work from home if needed and slow-paced, but meaningful work.

    Cons

    If you're the type of person who needs constant interaction, the offices might seem a bit quiet. However, everyone is so friendly that you can just walk into their offices and chat. Basically, it's what you make of it.

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the good work.


  2. "Lots of (exciting) change"

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

    I have been working at Mathematica Policy Research full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Incredibly talented and committed colleagues, flexible work environment, strong benefits including lots of PTO, lots of access to senior management including lots of town halls with the CEO, and interesting work. Employee owned, so when the company does well I do too, and the company has done well consistently. Also like the very visible committment to diversity and inclusion.

    Cons

    Uncertainty as the research field changes. Hard to know how much your job will change and when, but it's also an interesting opportunity.

    Advice to Management

    Keep communicating openly and honestly. Don't worry about how staff will respond, we're adults -- tell it to us like it is.

  3. Helpful (4)

    "Started off great - then eventually became unbearable"

    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
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Mathematica Policy Research full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Overall was a great company. Took care of its employees. Managers and co-workers (most of them) were willing to help you out. Bagel Fridays. Generous PTO. Employee-owned company, so you had your 401k with company match, plus stock options. You were able to do well for yourself there.

    Cons

    Took a turn for the worse around 2016, and continued for my last two years there. At the Princeton location, you started to see a mass exodus of good talent and good people. The new people that came in (management and non-management) did not absorb MPR's culture - they tried to take it and make it into something else. Sometimes felt forced to "have fun" there - phony. Re-orgs, information kept under wraps, became more and more corporate by the day. Too many people took advantage of the work-from-home option, and now offices and floors look deserted. The first few years for me were great. The last two years left a lot to be desired, and I knew I had to get out. Thought about trying to transfer to the DC office.

    Advice to Management

    Promote from within. Carefully choose potential outside employees that will adhere to the company culture instead of hijacking it.


  4. Helpful (8)

    "Not what it used to be"

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

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

    Pros

    Overall mission is positive
    Flexible schedule
    Can work from home on occasion
    Lots of PTO (especially after 5 years)
    Actively trying to be more diverse and inclusive
    Decent Benefits (except medical)
    Bagel Friday’s

    Cons

    Loss of Culture (too many higher-ups hired from outside instead of promoted from within).

    Project based structure, which means you rarely work with your supervisor. Also this creates competing deadlines, and little authority on which projects take precedence.

    Too many people working from home, office feels empty. (“Shared Office Space” = Vacant)

    Moving up in the company requires more friendships than talent.

    Yearly increases went from 3-5%, down to 0-1% with no warning.

    Medical Insurance is terrible, and confusing for doctor’s offices. It’s coverage isn’t very good either. Lots of out of pocket expenses.

    General moral is low, and people that have been with the company a long time are feeling excluded

    Turnover is much greater than it was years ago. And we are losing good talent.

    Advice to Management

    Stop recruiting upper management, and develop existing staff for the roles. For those that have come from outside they should absorb Mathematica’s culture, not implement their own.

    Supervisors need to be more involved and not just there to sign time sheets.

    Too many projects competing for the same resources (staff), Push to reduce overhead is coming at the cost of supervisors being less involved with their staff.

    You need to stop ignoring complaints where members of upper management are treating all levels of staff poorly. What is the point of exit interviews if you don’t take the information seriously?


  5. "Associate Director"

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

    I have been working at Mathematica Policy Research full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Great supportive and collegial culture, good benefits, focus on quality of work, employee owned and driven, , work life balance is good outside of international work

    Cons

    Takes a while to advance, few management opportunities outside of project work relative to company size, quite hierarchical


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Effing HR, man"

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

    I worked at Mathematica Policy Research full-time

    Pros

    I loved coming to work here.

    Cons

    I'm a disgruntled former employee. Just never trust HR, ever. They look out only for management. Also, there's 1 particular VP at this company who is basically a vindictive egomaniac.

    Advice to Management

    Try a loving-kindness meditation to develop some compassion.


  7. Helpful (3)

    "Be warned, This is not an IT company but poses as one."

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

    I have been working at Mathematica Policy Research full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Competitive salary, decent attempts at making staff mingle.

    Cons

    Pretentious people. Interdepartment politics galore. There are no processes, no standards, everybody is a rogue agent. The communication trickling down from senior management is sorely absent. The senior management makes decisions without understanding the ground realities. There is even a hint of racism abound for an organization that is supposedly so open minded. HR is non existent. No collaborative culture. People at almost all levels, specially senior management, block their calendars to show they are busy. Even when they are at work, they would close their office doors. Did I mention there is no communication down from management? Well it needs to be said twice. Stay away, or run away if you can.

    Advice to Management

    Wake up, Figure out what you want to do as your primary business. If all you want to do is one off research and evaluation papers, STOP lying to yourself and stop going after IT projects. Stop hiring application development staff if you are not going to change your mindset. This is 2018 and you are not in college anymore. Grow up and embrace the change in project management practices, development methodologies, testing processes.

    Mathematica Policy Research Response

    Oct 8, 2018 – Associate Director, Human Resources

    Thank you for your candid feedback. Mathematica is a mission driven organization and we are committed to do work in areas that align with the mission of improving public well-being by conducting... More

  8. Helpful (3)

    "Will the real senior management please stand up !!"

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

    I worked at Mathematica Policy Research full-time

    Pros

    Good amount of PTO
    Good Pay (which at times is bad because you price out the competition)
    Nice selection of Tea and Coffee

    Cons

    Mis-management galore. Politics all over the place. Antiquated policies and processes. Don't have a good handle on staff development. Multiple bosses for one person. Project problems are brushed under the rug till very late. most of the work is put on the shoulders of a few staff members. Newly hired senior staff have no idea of the culture of the company. Management wants to hire people to address gaps in the knowledge but does not empower them to take appropriate actions. Senior management is too distanced from staff and does not understand project problems. New Project Directors have no idea how to to run a project. Supervisors harass people with asinine demands.
    Mr. Decker is great on the web conferences but has never taken a chance to meet and listen to the staff.

    Mathematica Policy Research Response

    Oct 8, 2018 – Associate Director, Human Resources

    Thank you for your candid feedback. We are always working to make and keep Mathematica a great place to work for everyone we hire—and we are disappointed when staff don’t think we have met that mark... More


  9. "Hope they don’t lose the magic"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Mathematica Policy Research full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Very collaborative colleagues and a commitment to quality research

    Cons

    Focus on billable rates and uneven supervision

    Advice to Management

    Develop, disseminate, and follow a clear 5-year vision for each division


  10. Helpful (1)

    "nice company, nice salary/benefits"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Mathematica Policy Research full-time

    Pros

    Nice salary structure overall, but incentive compensation is too subjective...employees don't know what to expect or to calculate

    Cons

    way too much overhead from real estate to IT projects

    Advice to Management

    consolidate office space, put in some cubes and open spaces to work. not everyone needs an office...and support a universal work from home policy not just selected departments


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