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Mathematica Employee Reviews about "work life balance"

Updated Jun 12, 2021

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Found 28 of over 333 reviews

3.8
75%
Recommend to a Friend
92%
Approve of CEO
Mathematica President Paul Decker
Paul Decker
151 Ratings

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Consultants of Fishbowl, I'm 31 and have ~$2m. No kids, student loans, etc... I'm also getting CTL'd. If you were in my position, would you scramble to get a new position or retire early?

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Reviews about "work life balance"

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  1. 5.0
    Current Employee

    Mathematica

    Apr 28, 2022 - Health Researcher 
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Interesting work. Competitive pay. Good work life balance if you hold yourself to it and talk to your supervisor when things get too busy. Very kind colleagues who want you to succeed. Strong work from home culture, though there are also offices if you prefer to work in one.

    Cons

    None come to mind. Sometimes we run out of bagels on Friday mornings. Whomp :(

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  2. 2.0
    Current Employee

    Unimpressive culture and management but good benefits

    Aug 11, 2011 - Researcher 
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    The salary and benefits are very good compared to other policy research organizations. Mathematica has a rigorous internal process for producing good deliverables, although these products lack flare. Staff are smart and capable. You have the opportunity to work in different policy areas from labor to early childhood. Work life balance is respected.

    Cons

    The organization lacks commitment to diversity beyond it being a "buzz word" despite diversity awards, community service work, and a nicely written but hollow diversity statement on the corporate website. There is no diversity/cultural competency training, no mentorship or affinity group programs, diverse employees are not asked to help with recruitment, and diversity/cultural competence is not a topic in interviews. Mathematica does have a summer fellow program for people doing research on minority groups but ironically few of these fellows are racial and ethnic minorities. There are few people from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups in the organization, especially in the research divisions and among senior management. Staff exhibit very little cultural competency or awareness and can be very quick to judge or assume without trying to understand something from a different cultural or personal perspective. However, there is a lot of gender diversity and limited diversity of Asian American/Pacific Islander, Arab American, and international backgrounds. I admit that I am not an underrepresented minority but if you are and are considering Mathematica you should find an organization that does more to actually support you professionally day to day and holds itself and employees accountable for diversity. Professional development opportunities are limited: there's no professional development plan and few company sponsored professional development opportunities. Your development as a research professional is not going to be about learning new theories in your discipline, research and evaluation design methods, or new quantitative or qualitative tools and techniques but learning about how Mathematica does these things. This is an important distinction since Mathematica and its senior managers are not necessarily up on the most current research or practices and many are unwilling to use them since they are not safe or familiar. The culture is very uniform. The structure is very hierarchical (which some may like). These two things stunt innovation, growth, and change. In general, the company goes with what's been done before because it has worked in the past rather than try to develop new or improved practices. Therefore, reports and briefs are a cookie cutter version of one another regardless of whether you are studying an early childhood program or an employment program. Also, internal policies do not change and suggestions may be encouraged but will probably not result in anything actually happening. Success depends on your willingness to do things the "Mathematica way" and conform not your capacity to truly lead by developing new methods. Managers and staff are nice but not necessarily open minded, emotionally intelligent, or supportive and can be very judgmental toward things that are different. The company does a poor job of integrating new staff and getting them good work; it may take 6 months to 2.5 years for you to truly begin to get work that will interest you. This may have been fine in the past but this is an era where workers are expected to change jobs every few years, especially if their work is unsatisfying. Also, because the culture and people are so uniform, you'll have a hard time if you come from a background or have experiences and perspectives that are different from other staff. I would say this is especially true in research.

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    17 people found this review helpful
  3. 2.0
    Current Employee, less than 1 year

    Has potential but falls short

    Nov 28, 2017 - Program Associate in Washington, DC
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Work life balance is second to none Great benefits Overall nice colleagues committed to the vision DC has a modern office space with nice amenities

    Cons

    I've heard Mathematica described as a place filled with unhappy people who refuse to leave. And in my experience that is exactly right. It is close to being an amazing company. Unfortunately it is plagued with lagging leadership who won't innovate or change, disinterested managers who make or break you, inconsistent project directors with asinine demands, and junior-mid level staff constantly having their days hijacked by crises that could have been avoidable.

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    16 people found this review helpful
  4. 2.0
    Current Employee, more than 3 years

    If you haven't been there 15 yrs already, don't bother

    Jun 7, 2021 - Senior Researcher 
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    - a good place for junior staff to learn various aspects of project management to prepare for an advanced degree - possibility of work-life balance due to flexible work hours but often not feasible given the amount of work that is assigned - a lot of genuinely nice people work here

    Cons

    - absolutely no foresight or plans to integrate new professional staff; onboarding processes that can take 2 to 3 year or more - no respect for work done prior to Mathematica - the work that got you the job - it no longer matters because it is not done the "Mathematica way" - staff work in silos with their close friends; need to be very social and introduce yourself (or in a sense re-interview) with each person in your division to have any hope of ever being added to a project team. - no transparency about future projects or division strategy

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    6 people found this review helpful
  5. 5.0
    Current Employee

    Entry-level respect

    Apr 19, 2015 - Research Assistant Programmer II in Washington, DC
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Employees at all levels are treated with a lot of respect. Even if you are right out of college you can be given a lot of responsibility and your opinion on high-level issues will be treated as valuable insight. There are also a huge amount of opportunities to learn new skills and take your career towards the subjects that you're interested in. The perks are nice too: a full-size office (yes even right out of college), solid salary, typical corporate benefits, stock bonus, above-average vacation time, and a lot of job security. 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.

    Cons

    A lot of pressure to be innovative and forward-thinking. You need to manage your own workload and schedule. You get regular promotions, but it's also hard to quickly climb the corporate ladder.

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    6 people found this review helpful
  6. 2.0
    Current Employee, less than 1 year

    Repetitive and boring work

    Aug 5, 2020 - Pricing Analyst in Princeton, NJ
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Nice people Good work life balance

    Cons

    Poor training Very repetitive work and boring

    1 person found this review helpful
  7. 3.0
    Current Employee

    Management challenges but good compensation and a commitment to high quality work

    May 28, 2011 -  in Princeton, NJ
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Mathematica produces high quality work and has very smart and talented people that are skilled in their policy areas. The compensation package is competitive and the need for work life balance is appreciated and recognized. I worked as a mid-level researcher at the corporate headquarters so I don’t have firsthand experience in the other divisions or offices.

    Cons

    1) Colleagues are generally nice and supportive but many are quick to judge or make assumptions about different ways of looking, speaking, or thinking. There is no diversity training, discussion of cultural competence, or internal programs to support staff from diverse backgrounds. This is coming from someone who identifies as White but came to Mathematica from an organization that did much more in the area of diversity. 2) The corporate culture is uniform so perspective is limited and thinking outside the box is encouraged but not always welcomed. 3) Mathematica lacks diversity in the health and human services research divisions; there are very few staff from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups . There is some diversity along the lines of staff from traditionally non-underrepresented racial and ethnic groups and gender. 4) Mathematica has a very top down style in everything it does. Decisions are made at a very high level with little input from lower level employees and when input is collected it’s not clear if or how it influences decision making. 5) Management does not communicate the issues that are being considered by management in a consistent way. Management does a bad job of communicating final decisions. 6) Policies and procedures are often unclear: you can ask two people (even high level managers) the same question and get two very different responses. 7) Mathematica does not do a good job of integrating new staff into projects or the work environment.

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    12 people found this review helpful
  8. 4.0
    Current Employee, more than 10 years

    Good place to work

    Oct 9, 2017 - Anonymous Employee in Princeton, NJ
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Work life balance is great.

    Cons

    Lack of transparency as company gets larger.

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    1 person found this review helpful
  9. 5.0
    Current Employee

    Great company culture exciting work

    Jan 1, 2021 - Senior Health Policy Analyst in Washington, DC
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Work life balance is embraced and policies are implemented to prevent burn out

    Cons

    Obtaining project work can sometimes be challenging

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  10. 3.0
    Former Employee, more than 3 years

    Rating Mathematica a 2.5: there are pros, but they're increasingly hard to see

    Aug 15, 2019 - Analyst 
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    The quality assurance principles at Mathematica are fantastic and set the company apart from its peers. You will feel confident in the products you deliver to clients because they are thoroughly vetted—not all companies can say the same. If you have a question or need to work through the best way to do a task, people are very open to talking with you and offering guidance. Mentorship and quality of projects varies greatly by who you know. Some people are lucky enough to work with senior staff who take an interest in them, but it is not uncommon to hear people at the C level who have been trying to break into different project areas for years without much success. The company is also flexible and generous with their work from home policy. As far as the office culture, people are friendly. I didn’t feel Mathematica was particularly introverted.

    Cons

    First, let me reiterate the critique from another recent review: “retention has become a major issue - good people are leaving the company at a steady pace due to the lack of any semblance of work-life balance and limited opportunities for growth. Corporate leadership is aware of the issues but they ascribe to the “burn out and replace” management philosophy.” This comment was true to my experience. People in the international, health, and admin divisions (e.g., comms) are staffed well above 100% for months on end. Employees are expected to be available after they leave the office and on weekends to meet deadlines. The junior staff (B levels) do this work without appropriate compensation as they are encouraged by project directors to not report overtime worked. There is an idea that everyone at Mathematica is nice, and most are, but the energy of the office feels stressed out and antisocial due to everyone being stretched beyond their bandwidth. Almost no one takes a lunch break away from their desk. So good employees are leaving. They would rather have a work/life balance or at least be paid at market rate for their time and effort. Mathematica is a consulting company, but it doesn’t pay like one or recognize (and compensate) hours logged. Employees are only evaluated for promotions once per year and there is no meaningful bonus to speak of before the D level. Salaries are also not adjusted based on office location—this matters given our offices are in extremely expensive places. For C level staff and below, yearly raises are essentially the cost of inflation.

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    25 people found this review helpful
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