National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) Reviews | Glassdoor

National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) Reviews

Updated December 22, 2016
30 reviews

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4.0
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National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) Director Anthony (Tony) Beasley
Anthony (Tony) Beasley
12 Ratings

30 Employee Reviews

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  1. "Mechanical Engineer"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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

    I worked at National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Cutting edge science and exposure to working in a respected federal government research lab

    Cons

    Engineers/scientists are promoted to senior leadership, and they often do not have management experience


  2. "Student windows administrator"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) part-time

    Pros

    Its chill and they work around your schedule.You learn a lot on the job.

    Cons

    Sometimes its hard to work on things for long periods of time.


  3. "Interference Protection and RF Management Co-op"

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

    Pros

    The job was very exciting, in the sense that every day was very different. One day I was driving a manlift around the VLA, and the next I was doing research on antenna designs. Yet another day would find me doing analysis of existing antennas around NRAO sites.

    Cons

    The only con for the specific site that I was working at, the VLA outside of Socorro, NM, is that it is very out of the way.


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  5. Helpful (3)

    "Some good, too much bad."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    Helping to understand the origins of the universe, not just making the rich richer.

    Some really great people. Some interesting technologies in very narrow fields.

    Better than average time off.

    Cons

    If you are not an Astronomer, you are a second class citizen.

    If you are not good with politics, expect to be ground under foot by those who are.

    Stagnant wages, benefits take-backs, and politics drove out many of my peers.

    Except for a few areas where NRAO is a technology leader, most technology at NRAO follows the herd. Some technologies fall behind the herd.

    Advice to Management

    Base decisions on solid technical and business grounds, not on politics. Do not tolerate politics.

    Study industries that have successfully reduced bureaucracy and increased productivity. NRAO management was an impediment in both areas.


  6. "NRAO Review"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Great experience with science, astronomy, technical knowledge, people are brilliant and willing to share information. Challenging work!

    Cons

    For non-scientific positions, salary plus compensation is not close to similar positions in industry, yet the work is more challenging.


  7. "Internship"

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

    Pros

    I interned over the summer. The research opportunities were great.

    Cons

    Very few people of color and/or women worked here.


  8. "Great Place Brilliant People"

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

    I have been working at National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    The work environment is really nice, There are lots of things in place to engage people from the scientific talks, colloquia's, staff presentations and staff organizations. The benefits package is really generous especially around leave and contributions to retirement plan. There is an office of inclusion and diversity and great public outreach. The CEO is supportive and has an open door policy.

    Cons

    There are some opportunity with coaching management. There are some people with in the organization that don't adapt well to change.

    Advice to Management

    Seek training and literature in addition to what the HR department offers. Being a technical person and expert in a particular area does not qualify a person to be the best manager. It takes work and self evaluation.


  9. "I love this place!!"

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

    I have been working at National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great environment, generous leave time, contributions to my retirement, intelligent staff, excellent awareness of diversity and inclusion in staff and Director is leading an initiative to create more awareness around this in the culture.

    Cons

    Culture and pay can be hard to adjust if you are coming from industry. However if you enjoy working around amazing people and things in science than it trumps some of the culture shock.

    Advice to Management

    I would encourage management to read books or get training in managing people and seeking additional resources in helping to manage people and performance. Most managers are pretty good at managing people but clearly better at the more technical aspects of the job.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Glory Days are Over"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Some really great employees work at NRAO. The VLA, Green Bank and ALMA Observatories are gems and the best the world offers in radio astronomy.

    Cons

    Constant funding cuts are eroding pay, benefits and NRAO's future. Management at NRAO and AUI demonstrate self preservation over all else and employees are absorbing the cost. Sadly, the future of NRAO is not promising.

    Advice to Management

    New management is needed.


  11. "Manager"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Good place to work. Excellent engineering design projects. Engineers are allowed great freedom on design choices

    Cons

    Lower pay and reduced medical benefit. Organization is burdened by project management and accounting processes designed to eliminate risk. This aversion to risk does not allow ground breaking designs



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