Mathematica Survey Researcher II Reviews | Glassdoor

Mathematica Survey Researcher II Reviews

Updated Jun 19, 2014

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2.0
0%
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Approve of CEO
Mathematica President Paul Decker
Paul Decker
2 Ratings
  1. Helpful (7)

    "Nice salary but work is boring"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Survey Researcher II 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Mathematica full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Smart people all around, some interesting projects, great opportunity for bookish PhDs to learn business skills, nice salary relative to other similar companies, nice work/life balance

    Cons

    Terrible management in survey division, cold working environment, work not divided in an equitable manner, some supervisors and division managers (especially in DC survey division) play favorites, little accountability at higher levels, little contact with the outside world (all communication outside of the company must go through project directors), not much opportunity to learn substantive or methodological research (or survey research) skills,

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    Mathematica2014-06-20
  2. Helpful (10)

    "Unfulfilling job working for managers who lack efficacy"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Survey Researcher II 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Mathematica

    Pros

    - the salary and benefits are good. - at the researcher level, the private office space is very nice - it's a very polite workplace

    Cons

    - the talents of survey researchers with advanced degrees are being wasted in the survey division - the survey work is boring, almost entirely focused on managing survey operations, and there is NO way to get interesting research work at all. Additionally, there is a lack of understanding of what survey research or methodology is, even by senior survey management. - Mathematica is very behind the times on survey technology - managers consistently disrespect staff they don't like. I speak from the perspective of someone in the Survey division (I suspect the situation is different in the Research division). But once you're branded, you can't get interesting work. This never happened to me, but I have seen it happen to many colleagues. - the lack of diversity among researchers and survey researchers is frustrating. Other reviewers have commented on this very nicely, so I won't repeat things except to say that the lip service given to "diversity" is bothersome. - Senior leadership in the survey division is frustratingly rigid and not open to suggestion. They take suggestions and requests as personal attacks, as though asking to work on a project when they didn't originally think of you for it is somehow disrespecting their authority. They will give lip service to hearing your concerns, but I haven't ever seen them actually take constructive criticism into account.

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    Advice to Management

    Nothing in my review is news to anyone. Survey staff have been saying these things for years. But for what it's worth, rethink how you hire in the survey division or rethink how you divide work between the survey and research departments. Take diversity more seriously. Hire better senior managers in the survey division. I think they are a big reason we see so many good people leave the company.

    Mathematica2012-05-01
  3. Helpful (14)

    "The work is dull, the company and its leadership unimaginative, but it's a stable, good paying job"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Survey Researcher II 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Mathematica

    Pros

    The company hires people with advanced degrees. Most people have a private office, which is nice and helps productivity when you have a lot of writing tasks. The pay is decent (though not adjusted for office location). The benefits are decent. Mathematica is well respected and can serve as a good stepping stone to a different job or different career. In principle, Mathematica doesn't have a set number of people at each level, so you if you have the skills, you can be promoted to the next level without waiting for someone to retire.

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    Cons

    The company is very hierarchical in how it is structured. Communication from management can be slow, and messages are usually delivered long after decisions have been made, and without input from staff. It's also sometimes inconsistent - you'll hear different things from different people at the same level. Oftentimes there's a lot of petty one-upmanship with people trying to undermine you. Superiors not always understanding/empathetic towards employees. Most people are nice, but many harbor resentment and envy, especially when they feel threatened - that is, they're high up and worried a "cheaper" person will make them obsolete. This problem has more to do with management than those individuals per se, but the management structure and incentive system causes several senior people to feel that way. The company has very questionable promotion practices. In terms of hiring, there is little diversity, despite the office locations in cities with diverse racial and ethnic populations. At the professional level, the company hires few people from underrepresented groups. It's also curious that the few non-whites they do hire take (on average) much longer to get promoted than their white counterparts (at all levels, junior to senior, and all divisions, health, human services, and survey). The HR department is friendly but their staff don't really do anything/advocate for you when you have a problem. Training is haphazard and less than satisfactory. It takes forever to get work when you first join the company, especially "interesting" work. Expectations for junior staff are low in some respects (in terms of analytical ability, leadership ability) and high in others (going after work, remaining billable). Most importantly, opportunities for learning and developing career skills are very limited if you're a survey researcher. Also, opportunities for promotion are limited in reality and don't often seem based on merit.

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    Mathematica2011-05-31
Found 3 reviews