Merck Specialist, Engineering Reviews | Glassdoor

Merck Specialist, Engineering Reviews

Updated March 1, 2017
15 reviews

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Specialist, Engineering

3.3
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Merck President & CEO Kenneth C. Frazier
Kenneth C. Frazier
9 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • So much passion for the mission that it's difficult to find work-life balance (in 59 reviews)

  • no work life balance, upper management should have much more outsourced (in 65 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "~"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate Specialist, Engineering
    Current Employee - Associate Specialist, Engineering
    Recommends

    I have been working at Merck (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Never let a teammate fail

    Cons

    pushing production too hard to make time for improvements/innovation


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Revolving Door for Salaried Positions"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Specialist, Engineering in Elkton, VA
    Former Employee - Specialist, Engineering in Elkton, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    People are very personable and friendly.
    A lot of very cutting-edge software and tools at your disposal.
    You will learn a lot in your first few years.
    Equipment and automation systems are well ahead of the curve for the industry, even for pharma.
    Relationships between managers and direct reports are typically very good.

    Cons

    There are 0 checks and balances against an overly-powerful, under-qualified Union.
    Leadership is concerned only with how they are perceived, not with how they actually function.
    Very low morale across every department.
    "We" vs. "They" mentality across all departments. Inter-departmental relations are starting to break down.
    Entire technical departments have completely turned over several times within the last 3-4 years.
    Quality systems are very clunky and result in a lot of non-value-added work.
    Visual management and communication cascades are extremely broken.
    Training of salary employees is nearly non-existent, despite very specific software and processes.

    Advice to Management

    Salaried employees and young talent are not dispensable. Stop blaming attrition on the area, it's a great place to live. Give the factories the resources they need to do their job. Stop rolling out "flavor of the month" programs. Esse quam videri.


  3. "MERCK Review"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Engineering Specialist in West Point, PA
    Current Employee - Engineering Specialist in West Point, PA
    Recommends

    I have been working at Merck full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Competitive compensation and benefits, flexible work schedule

    Cons

    Short on resources, career opportunities,


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  5. "Good Company to work for"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Specialist, Engineering in West Point, PA
    Current Employee - Senior Specialist, Engineering in West Point, PA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Merck (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Good people and resources to do your job.

    Cons

    A lot of red tape for change to happen

    Advice to Management

    Be a good mentor to your employees


  6. "Ok to work for"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate Specialist, Engineering in Elkton, VA
    Current Employee - Associate Specialist, Engineering in Elkton, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Friendly work environment. There is some opportunity to learn from senior engineers.

    Cons

    No way of moving up in the company. Very old work environment, not friendly to young engineers who are looking to develop and advance.

    Advice to Management

    Promote within.


  7. Helpful (4)

    "Middle of the pack, trending downwards"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Specialist, Engineering in Durham, NC
    Former Employee - Specialist, Engineering in Durham, NC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Merck full-time

    Pros

    Average or better pay
    Annual bonus
    Work life balance/summer hours
    Paid volunteer hours
    Inclusive environment
    Technical training opportunities

    Cons

    Lack of oversight by management
    Cumbersome decision making process
    Lack of recognition
    High turnover
    Steady decline in benefits

    Advice to Management

    Stop micro-managing
    Be open to suggestions
    Provide constructive criticism


  8. "Reasonable"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Engineering Specialist in Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Senior Engineering Specialist in Boston, MA

    Pros

    Good work life balance, stable work conditions.

    Cons

    Stagnating environment, lack of vision.

    Advice to Management

    Remove red tape, focus on talent and performance, as opposed to visibility.


  9. "Moved on..."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Associate Specialist, Engineering in Durham, NC
    Former Employee - Associate Specialist, Engineering in Durham, NC
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Merck (More than a year)

    Pros

    I met some great and hard-working colleagues. Great for learning the industry and getting experience, a good stepping stone.

    Cons

    Workload fluctuates often. Few development opportunities. Your satisfaction will depend on what department you work for. Corporate culture is overbearing and can focus on the wrong things.

    Advice to Management

    Ensure employees are happy and are getting the experience they want.


  10. Helpful (2)

    "Specialist Engineer"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Specialist Engineer in Elkton, VA
    Former Employee - Specialist Engineer in Elkton, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Merck full-time

    Pros

    You will learn a lot in a short period of time. Once you have felt like you are not learning on a day to day basis, find a new position at a different company.

    Compensation is quite good to begin with but as time goes on just know that new people being hired will be making more than you (industry standard). Yearly raise are below inflation (~1.85%). Benefits are standard within the industry. 6% 401k, 75 cents on the dollar (so 4.5%). No stock options unless you are very high up.

    Good holidays, quite flexible with working hours, if possible e.g. work 0600 to 1500, or 0900 to 1800.

    Maternity/Paternity is average for the USA. Paternity leave, a week off. Nothing comparable to Europe.

    Cons

    Biased Bonuses. At every company there is some type of bias when it comes out to giving bonuses. This usually entails getting input from other departments (technical operations, operations, maintenance, automation, etc.) and have that input dictate into your year-end review. Yet at Merck, for 2014, I did not receive input from other higher level individual contributors (my colleagues) and only got input from the operations department. I received the middle grade in the bonuses which is fine, but the fact that my reviews were not from a wide variety of people is pathetic. Also, I have colleagues who work extraordinarily hard and contribute work that contains amazing of value to the company just be sidestepped by someone else because the other person got along better with the manager.

    As for culture & values…know that the business comes first.

    Advice to Management

    My advice to lower level management is to enable the employees to do their work. Do not micromanage and do defend your employees. There is too much micromanagement going on and it needs to stop. IMing, texting, phonecalls, and emails constantly during the day to see if the job is being done. As for defending your own employees, there was none at the time. If business dictate that work would fall on a weekend, then looks like you’ll be working the weekend. Working a day on the weekend didn’t happen just a few times in a row, it occurred about 3 months straight.

    My advice to SLT (site leadership team) members is to realize how far removed from the process they are. Their perspective is so lost that they have no idea what goes on, on a day by day basis. There is so much lost time because there aren’t just the right tools to execute a job. SLT get it right the first time. I cannot believe how many times SLT would implement a new system and that system would just not be feasible whatsoever.


  11. "A good place to work"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Specialist, Engineering in West Point, PA
    Current Employee - Specialist, Engineering in West Point, PA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    You learn a lot of things in the company, the training for the most part is good but needs a little upgrade.

    Cons

    Going through a lot of changes and is currently not the safest place to work in terms of job security.

    Advice to Management

    Stabilize the ship and let people who have the requisite experience run things.