KEY NOT FOUND: coverImgAlt
Logo

National Museum of Mathematics

Is this your company?

National Museum of Mathematics

Add a Review

National Museum of Mathematics Reviews

Updated Jul 21, 2021

To filter reviews, or .

Found 29 of over 39 reviews

2.0
24%
Recommend to a Friend
34%
Approve of CEO
National Museum of Mathematics Executive Director Cindy Lawrence (no image)
Cindy Lawrence
14 Ratings
  1. 5.0
    Former Employee, more than 1 year

    Want to be part of something awesome?

    May 27, 2019 - Anonymous Employee 
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Working at MoMath, you have to be ready to really be part of its Mission. If you love the Mission, then you’ll love it there. Everyone wears many hats, but that’s part of the fun. It’s a roll-up-your-sleeves type of job! The atmosphere at MoMath is very similar to a start-up business. Still learning, but improving with every lesson. The people who work there are some of the best people I know that are real hard workers. Also, if you’re lucky and work in the actual Museum, you’ll get to meet famous Mathematicians and some celebrities depending on your role. The longer you stay, the more everyone feels like family. If you’re at the Museum you’ll also start to form relationships with customers and members—which is some people’s favorite part.

    Cons

    I do know that during the week in the morning, the Museum gets a lot of school groups coming in. The Museum staff then sometimes has to handle guest complaints from very upset customers. I understand that it can’t all be sunshine and rainbows though.

    Be the first to find this review helpful
  2. 1.0
    Former Employee, less than 1 year

    Run away as fast as you can

    Oct 20, 2020 - Interpreter in New York, NY
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    The coworkers are great people and make it somewhat bearable.

    Cons

    Upper management (Cindy) treats her employees horribly, and it's her way or you're fired (or have lots of barriers set up in front of you that force you out). Everyone starts here thinking, this is such a cool unique opportunity and a great mission, excited to engage the public with math in a fun way, and break down the barriers for children to see math isn't hard or scary; but quickly everyone who works there (literally, everyone, and it's no secret amongst floor staff) gets disheartened and disappointed very quickly. Personally, I was treated horribly, personally targeted and values much less than my male coworkers, after I had the audacity to stand up for myself and not take being mistreated and used. For a non-profit, Cindy cares an awful lot about personal profit, and there are even rumors of tax fraud and evasion circulating around her, along with more recent accounts of racism and classism (of which I can also attest to from my time there). I read negative reviews before accepting the job, and thought hey all disgruntled former employees leave bad reviews, but seriously, if these negative warning reviews can save even one person from entering into such a toxic environment I will be glad.

    Continue reading
    5 people found this review helpful
  3. 2.0
    Former Employee, less than 1 year

    Glorified Babysitter

    Dec 9, 2019 - Interpreter in New York, NY
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    I really liked all the people who worked there, great group of human beings!

    Cons

    Don't really use any mathematic skills, even though it requires a bachelors in Math and sometimes a masters. Had full time employees doing the same menial tasks as high school intern. Does not pay a livable wage, and only gives 30 minutes for lunch since they are constantly understaffed. Upper management doesn't care about the museum employees at all and never listen to suggestions for improvement.

    Continue reading
    4 people found this review helpful
  4. 1.0
    Former Employee, more than 3 years

    its a place to work

    Aug 30, 2020 - Museum Interpreter 
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    They paid me money Floor workers are amazing people

    Cons

    Terrible upper management minimum wage was responsible for washing my own uniform without extra pay regular day was incredibly draining

    3 people found this review helpful
  5. 4.0
    Former Employee, more than 5 years

    Would Recommend

    Aug 24, 2019 - PT Interpretor in New York, NY
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    No two days looked exactly the same - you meet great people from all around the world who visit every day. Most of the visitors are really delightful and excited to learn. Also, you get a different schedule every day which keeps things interesting. You wear different hats which can diversify what you do in a week - whether on the floor talking to visitors or working on a special project or helping host an event. I was at the museum for 5 years, which gave me a really interesting look at how it changed over that half a decade period. While the changes were slow, it was nice to see the progress that the museum made - new and exciting exhibits as well as new feats to the pre-existing exhibits. Also, when I began a lot of the exhibits would break down often and they eventually hired someone to be on call to fix quick issues that came up throughout the day, which was a nice response to the employees and visitors. May get to meet some celebs who stop by every so often. So flexible! As a student, having management and the higher-ups understand the responsibilities I had made such a difference. They also understand that life happens and that outside factors can affect you too.

    Cons

    The trainings are really early and are not always the most engaging which can make it difficult to show up to work 1.5 hours early.

    Continue reading
    Be the first to find this review helpful
  6. 1.0
    Former Employee, less than 1 year

    Frenetic and Frustrating

    Jan 4, 2019 - Anonymous Employee 
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    As many have stated, MoMath staff members are incredibly hardworking, patient, and passionate. They do everything they can to brighten the office, and are always willing to help a fellow employee in any way they can.

    Cons

    From day one, there were multiple red flags: --I came back from orientation to find that the person sitting next to me had unceremoniously left, without explanation. --I was told that a very large portion of my job would include HTML, which was not on my resume, nor was it mentioned during the multiple in-person or phone interviews. --I was informed at orientation that I was expected to work on religious holidays (Christmas Eve/Day, etc.) and other widely recognized days off. Staff could try to request off using vacation days, provided too many others hadn't already. --The duties that were emphasized during my interviews were immediately back-burnered for duties that I was picking up "temporarily" since they were perpetually short-staffed. Again, all of this happened my first day. Over the next two months, four of the remaining twenty office employees left. There was a general atmosphere of distrust and a prohibitively burdensome level of involvement from the executive director. There were constantly shifting and changing procedures and job assignments. Incomplete or rushed instructions provided by harried staff resulted in frequent errors. I was often expected to work 10-12 hour days, and each day was a Sisyphean struggle to get the information/approval needed to do the most basic parts of my job.

    Continue reading
    10 people found this review helpful
  7. 3.0
    Current Employee, less than 1 year

    I liked it as a part-time job

    Apr 21, 2019 - Docent in New York, NY
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    -Great coworkers -getting to share a love of math -interacting with the public -decently low-stress

    Cons

    -minimum wage -i hear bad things about upper management but don't have any particular negative thoughts myself

    Continue reading
    Be the first to find this review helpful
  8. 1.0
    Former Employee

    Just don't work here

    Mar 28, 2019 - Anonymous Employee 
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Co-workers are pleasant, hard-working, and genuinely believe in MoMath's mission (this compliment excludes senior management). MoMath has enormous potential to provide an essential service to children around the country. In any case, if you've only experienced happiness and good fortune in life and want to know how the real world works, MoMath is an excellent primer for 21st century disillusionment.

    Cons

    Many of MoMath's sins are typical of any non-profit: low wages, terrible benefits (I've searched far and wide, but zero dentists in NYC take our insurance), a chaotic work environment, etc. What sets MoMath apart is the unmatched greed, ego, and incompetence of upper management. First, the greed: MoMath's claims of being an "educational institution", a "non-profit with a limited budget", and "the nation's only museum of mathematics" are nothing more than excuses to charge exorbitant admission rates and barely pay their employees a living wage. MoMath earns millions of dollars per year, yet little of that money seems to be directed at actual museum operations - why else would so many exhibits be perpetually out-of-order? The executive director wastes no opportunity to shaft visitors of more money. Admission rates are raised frequently and arbitrarily, and price hikes are blandly justified as adjustments to match inflation. When school groups cancelled their field trips for devastating winter storms and ACTUAL terrorist attacks, the ED charged cancellation fees and refused to provide refunds. MoMath charges $20 for tap water, yet their penny-pinching ways are apparently not enough to pay their employees a decent wage, let alone overtime. MoMath refuses to pay their employees overtime unless the time is agreed upon in advance, and even then employees only receive comp-time in 5 to 15-minute increments because, in the words of a manager, "the point is not to give you usable time". Eventually, MoMath grew tired of fighting the overtime battle, so they only assigned overtime-exempt employees to work late-night events, meaning these employees worked nearly 20-hour days without receiving any extra compensation. When those employees understandably quit, MoMath resorted to relying on high school volunteers for free labor - let's wait and see how that story ends. Next, the incompetence and inflated ego of MoMath’s upper management. And what better example of MoMath’s dysfunction than the infamous Free Pi day? Upon receiving four free personal pies as a gift on 3/14, the ED decided to advertise free pie on Pi Day, naively not expecting thousands of hungry New Yorkers to respond to the promise of free food. Four pies to feed the thousands: the biblical parable that nobody asked for. Yet managers seem to prefer this level of chaos. Employees are prohibited from taking ownership of their work and must instead ask the ED for approval on every mundane decision. As a result, every project is a “time-sensitive” fire drill: employees spend their days waiting for the ED's signature instead of doing actual work, and when they finally get the green light, must rush to get things done. What's more, the ED seems to take offense to suggestions for improvement, rejecting employees' proposals with rude, paragraphs-long emails. It’s no wonder that MoMath's website still looks like some college freshman's Intro to HTML capstone project from 2003. Most upper management work remotely, allowing them to claim that they are too busy to respond to urgent emails. Yet somehow the ED finds the time to read employees' emails (a la big brother) and point out grammatical errors on a regular basis. On the rare occasion that managers do interact with employees, they stage “training sessions” where employees are blamed for problems that were caused by managers’ own ineptitude. Otherwise, managers spend quite a bit of time complaining that they've been "putting out fires all day". But can you really brag about putting out fires if you lit them yourself? MoMath's only saving grace is its peculiar knack for hiring creative, intelligent, all-around lovely people. This is, of course, overshadowed by terrible management tactics which quickly extinguish any light and hope. Employee bonding is reminiscent of brotherhood in a refugee camp, with a pervasive "us versus them" group mentality. The support and empathy among coworkers has been my life raft at MoMath, but a workplace culture shouldn't be predicated on a shared hatred of management. The ED crudely attempts to revive the office culture by offering leftover hors d'oeuvres from Museum events and $2 Breyer's ice cream; once, as a reward for raising over $2 million, the ED paraded a box of donut holes and some leftover crab dip from last night's dinner party around the office as if they were precious jewels worthy of our profuse gratitude. At the same time, any real attempts to foster a positive working environment are strongly discouraged. Consider the time employees organized a surprise birthday party for the ED. The ED stared blankly through the birthday song, then ripped off her balloon hat and wordlessly returned to her office to keep working while the rest of us swallowed cake in an uncomfortable silence. The next day, we were notified that birthday parties had been banned from the office. No, this isn’t that town from "Footloose". This is MoMath, where nice things violate Policy. If I typed out every employee grievance at MoMath, I could fill a small library and, as with all libraries, those grievances will never be read or addressed. Feedback is either ignored or discouraged at MoMath; in all of my attempts to confide in my manager, I've been chided for being disloyal to MoMath's mission, re-educated about MoMath's nebulous "policy" (which was slightly different in every conversation), and sent back to my desk without any supper. In one instance, I was told unironically that the ED reading my emails and correcting grammatical errors was NOT an example of micro-managing! Not surprisingly, my emails were heavily monitored in the days following that meeting. If you've made it this far and still harbor hopes that you can make a home at MoMath, know that many employees have tried and failed to be the change at MoMath. They’ve all quit by now. MoMath has always been a terrible place to work and, if things continue in this fashion, that will never ever change. To those of you who love math and want to do some good in the world, don’t come to MoMath. You’d be better off doing literally anything else.

    Continue reading
    16 people found this review helpful
  9. 1.0
    Former Employee, more than 1 year

    You'd better love math in your heart-of-hearts

    Nov 30, 2018 - Anonymous Employee 
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    I wasn't initially sure whether or not I would write a review of the museum as I left it, because I have such conflicting feelings about it and there are still people working there that I genuinely care about and I do still truly believe in the museum's mission. I've often said that it's hard to imagine a more wholesome mission than getting little kids excited about the wonderful world of math. It's like a very good dog cuddling a freshly baked loaf of wholewheat bread under a brightly lit Christmas tree - it's pretty wholesome, is what I'm saying. I turned down a lot more money and vacation time before I went to work at this museum because it made me feel good to do it, and I still feel good for having done it. I don't regret it at all, but by the time I left, it was clear to me that my efforts would be better spent elsewhere.

    Cons

    Because here comes the conflict, and this is something that you're going to have to be aware of if you are thinking about working here - the executive director is an omega-level micromanager. I don't want to be unkind to her here, because she really does an enormous amount of work for the museum. Too much, I would argue, as she is involved in literally every level of every process and every thing that happens in the museum office. This is the flattest organization I have ever worked for; as far as I can tell, the org chart is basically the executive director and then everyone else in a mass. The managers are not really empowered to make any decisions on their own, and even as the lowliest office drone, you will find yourself working directly with her on every project that comes across your desk, and she will be personally making every decision that shapes whatever it is that you are doing. And don't make the mistake of thinking that this is mentorship, because she will always be there, doing that. And once again, I don't want to denigrate her, or her level of effort. In a weird sort of way, I was honestly impressed. I swear she must work more hours a week than Elon Musk to do all of the things that she somehow finds the time to do. I'm not sure when she sleeps - there would be emails at 3am on a Sunday, and no one would be surprised in the slightest to see them. But as enormous as her contribution very clearly is, it represents a real bottleneck that very seriously limits the potential work output of the museum office. People are expected to stay after work to complete things or make point revisions to things that could have been done hours or days ago, but the executive director wasn't available for whatever reason at 10am, and now it's 6pm and she is available right now so here we go again. Things that are foreseeable weeks or months in advance will often not even be looked at until the afternoon of the Friday before they need to be sent out, because proposed changes have been ignored by the executive director while she personally saw to the hundred thousand other things that she feels she has to personally see to. There are simply too few hours in a day and days in a week for her to get to it all in anything approaching a timely manner. And it's really too bad, too, because it's hard to imagine the museum ever doing anything more than it already does, or ever getting any bigger or any better than it already is, because she is already stretched as thin as it is possible for a person to be stretched. And I don't think that's going to change, either, because she would have to completely change her management style in order to take a few steps back and give herself more time to "direct" things "executively" instead of essentially doing them all herself. I am not certain she is capable of ever doing that. Nor does it have to be this way - the museum attracts plenty of smart and talented people that believe in it, want it to succeed, and are willing to put in the work to make that happen. I have seen them chased away time and again due to the frustrating, stultifying reality of working under a boss like this. If you are reading these reviews trying to figure out whether or not you'd like to work here, I'd like you to know a few things. One, they are almost all true. The museum has a history of employee exoduses and it has earned that history. I am writing this four years after some of these reviews, but the essential realities they describe have not changed. After this amount of time has elapsed, I would not expect them to. Two, there really are some genuinely great people working here, and they were a pleasure to work with. If working in a non-profit math museum is something you would very much like to do, you can definitely make it work for a period of time. I say a period of time because, three, there is not really a career path here. In the time I worked at the museum, I saw exactly one person elevated in position or title, and he was simply expected to do his old job in addition to his new job. In the end, this is neither the best, nor the worst place in which I have ever worked. It may have been the most frustrating, however, so I still can't recommend it. Walking around the museum, you can really see the potential of the place. It's constantly jam-packed. There's clear enthusiasm for the topics, and there's definitely a donor base to keep the funds rolling in. It's great to see kid's eyes light up as they engage with exhibits - and some of them really are really neat. But knowing that the future of the place is more or less down to the contributions of one person while seeing the potential contributions of many others being summarily ignored is just supremely frustrating. This museum can, and should be, better than it is.

    Continue reading
    13 people found this review helpful
  10. 4.0
    Current Employee

    Every Experience is Different

    Aug 11, 2015 -  
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    You get to meet a lot of great and interesting people. Working at the museum, you encounter a lot of odd characters- both visitors and employees. I think that's a major part of what makes my job fun. Most of the days are regular office hours (which is unheard of at a lot of other museums). Working at MoMath, you have to be willing help out a bit and 'pitch in'. Everyday is not like the one before. If you like irregularity and spontaneity... then this is the job for you. You should have a positive attitude and your experience at MoMath will be great!

    Cons

    It's depressing to see so many people leave so soon after you getting to know them. It can tend to be a revolving door at MoMath. I just wish everyone's experience was like mine, maybe we would have more long-term employees if so. Also, there can be some communication issues since everyone is so busy at times.

    Continue reading
    1 person found this review helpful
Viewing 1 - 10 of 29 Reviews

Popular Careers with National Museum of Mathematics Job Seekers

JobsSalariesInterviews

Work at National Museum of Mathematics? Share Your Experiences

National Museum of Mathematics logo
or