Milken Institute Reviews | Glassdoor

Milken Institute Reviews

Updated October 6, 2017
23 reviews

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3.0
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Michael Klowden
15 Ratings

23 Employee Reviews

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  1. "Change means more opportunity!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Santa Monica, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Santa Monica, CA
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Milken Institute full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    For years we've have the same technology with little to no changes. We're finally hiring people with strong technology, communications and marketing backgrounds and investing in resources for change. It finally feels like we're moving forward!
    Good vacation/decent benefits; generally nice/good people to work with

    Cons

    Some people are scared of the change because they don't know what they're doing! For those of us who want to learn and improve, it's exciting. That said, the office is a bit dated as is the no work from home policy.

    Advice to Management

    Keep hiring and investing in our teams. We're understaffed, especially at Global time. Understand that technology changes things and the commute to downtown SM is hard for some of us due to traffic. Test work from home days.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Growing Pains"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Santa Monica, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Santa Monica, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    The Milken Institute is trying to grow but encountering a lot of issues in the process.

    With new management things may have a chance of making positive change.

    On the positive side, you're near the beach and they recently moved to 3 weeks paid vacation. Also, you have an opportunity to work on projects that have real impact if you are a part of the research team.

    The Milken Institute Global Conference is one of a kind and you won't find that type of experience anywhere else.

    Cons

    The average employee tends to last 1-2 years at the Milken Institute before moving on to new opportunities. I was employed at the Milken Institute for more than 5 years and witnessed high turnover.

    The Milken Institute is trying to grow but encountering a lot of issues in the process.

    The organization has a strict no remote work policy (no working from home).

    Advice to Management

    Retain employees by offering career development, training, and train managers on how to lead and manage. Focus on team building and unity.

  3. "Poor management, disgruntled workforce"

    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
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Milken Institute full-time

    Pros

    1. Near the beach
    2. Everyone starts with three weeks vacation
    3. Friendly and smart people, lots of happy hours, etc.
    4. Pretty easy to move up entry level = assoctiate to senior - if you stay long enough

    Cons

    1. Outdated management practices that do not foster a modern work environment; lack technology too (laptops people, better software)
    2. Nepotism rules the day, more important to be liked than what you actually do
    3. No HR, this leads to uneven salaries, promotions, firings, etc.
    4. No investment in employees, little flexibility in telework (except for certain people, see #2)
    5. Lots of turnover as a result of not having resources to really do your job and then a poor work environment
    6. Departments do not work together, at all, ever.
    7. Little transparency in what research gets funded or projects approved. Budgets are a mystery.
    8. Limited benefits, not a great retirement plan
    9. Really hard commute

    Advice to Management

    There need to be some changes at the top and in the culture. There has been rapid growth and they have hired a lot of new people but eventually those people leave very frustrated. Clean house and move forward.


  4. "Avoid this place unless you like to be abused"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate, Events Marketing in Santa Monica, CA
    Current Employee - Associate, Events Marketing in Santa Monica, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Milken Institute full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    They offer health insurance. That's it.

    Cons

    Where to start? Milken Institute is currently restructuring and has brought in some of the most horrible people imaginable. My boss has a boss who spends most of their time gossiping and talking poorly about everyone at the Institute. If they don't like you, they will make up false reports and lies about you. Basically they will harass you until you quite or get let go. There is no communication either within teams or between teams. The entire organization is a mess. Everyone hates it there which is why people are quitting on a weekly basis. Most people spend their days job hunting because they're so desperate to get out of there. The people there are mostly fake nice and barely tolerable. Even worse now with the new management team. Unless you're desperate for a paycheck, avoid this place like the plague. You'll seriously want to kill yourself if you work here longer than a month.

    Advice to Management

    There is no hope for this place. Pack up shop and call it a day.


  5. "Good first job"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Milken Institute full-time

    Pros

    great work life balance. fun people to work with.

    Cons

    lack of upward mobility.


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Decent place to work"

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

    I have been working at Milken Institute full-time

    Pros

    Despite some of the negative reviews this is a better place to work than it might appear. Proximity to the beach, health-related activities, shopping, etc. cannot be beat. There are a few Centers within the Institute that do work closely aligned to the Institute's mission. There are several opportunities to get involved with their annual events. In general most employees are engaged and the atmosphere is pretty collegial.

    Cons

    Traffic getting to/from Santa Monica is terrible.

    Advice to Management

    There needs to be higher standards for transparency, accountability and reporting.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Intern"

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

    Pros

    Nice people, great support, highly engaged in med. research

    Cons

    None I enjoyed my time at here.

    Advice to Management

    None

  8. Helpful (10)

    "Honest Opinion"

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

    I worked at Milken Institute full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Prime location, great work/life balance, friendly staff (most of them), overall stress free environment, exposure to high profile political and industry leaders and complimentary admission to attend annual Global Conference.

    Cons

    Very minimal opportunities for growth, favoritism amongst select departments and people, HUGE disparity in pay, no solid HR person, cheap (but only with employees!) ZERO transparency. Upper management is completely detached and clueless. They really could not care less about the regular employees. Too cheap to even go all out and put together a really nice holiday party for staff...it is held onsite and catered by in house kitchen.

    Great place to work if you're looking to intern, your first real job or you are a retiree, not if you are trying to get ahead in your career/financially. No matter how well you perform year after year they will feed you the same tired line, they are a non-profit and cannot afford to pay you more than a couple dollars more. Meanwhile upper managements salaries are grossly inflated and they get hefty bonuses as well. What it is they do to justify all of this, who knows? They are not finding a cure for cancer or saving abused children. Irresponsible and ridiculous amount of spending on business travel (which then turns into a personal vacation!), dinners and courting potential donors. This could go towards something more meaningful such as improving employee morale, retention and a more sensible pay scale.

    Needless to say, turnover here is extremely high. The ones that are still there really don't want to be, but it's a safe job. I am SO glad I realized my self-worth and took my biggest and most important investment (ME) elsewhere. I am MUCH happier and an even better employee now.

    Advice to Management

    Get a clue. Invest in your staff and SHOW them you appreciate them. Hire leaders that actually CARE to see their employees grow and that know HOW to lead, not just talk about leading. Need an entire dismantle and re-org of this place.


  9. Helpful (5)

    "Save yourself the trouble"

    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
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Milken Institute full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Has "divisions", "centers" and "affiliated organizations" that are doing great, cutting edge things in cancer and healthcare.
    Can attract true movers, shakers and power brokers to their events and those of affiliates and centers.
    Has longstanding and well-established and respected ties in DC in healthcare and finance fields.

    Cons

    Office politics are absolutely out of control stupid.
    Senior management is completely oblivious and nepotism and favoritism abound.
    The truly smart and great employees are in the bottom up to the middle, above that you can hope for mediocrity at best, incompetence at worst.

    Advice to Management

    Time to sunset some people, not just programs.


  10. Helpful (3)

    "Research Associate"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Research Associate in Fremont, CA
    Former Employee - Research Associate in Fremont, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Milken Institute full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Smart peers and colleagues at the associate level
    Lots of movers and shakers come around
    Stable and isn't going anywhere, though you might
    Turnover for strange reasons

    Cons

    Massive office politics
    Very strong political leaning to the right fiscally
    Not much room for advancement

    Advice to Management

    Keep your senior staff in check, and ask them to actually work with one another instead of despising one another.


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