Orbital Sciences Reviews | Glassdoor

Orbital Sciences Reviews

15 reviews

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Orbital Sciences Chairman and CEO David W. Thompson
David W. Thompson
8 Ratings

15 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Great cafeteria, beautiful location & surroundings, great people to work with (in 12 reviews)

  • Lots of technical challenge and interesting work (in 12 reviews)

Cons
  • Middle and upper management is stuffed with people going nowhere (in 8 reviews)

  • This type of work environment fosters open collaboration between team members (in 7 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Never Learned Their Lesson - Keeping the Wrong Ones!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - SUPERVISOR, and CONTRACTING OFFICE TECHNICAL REPRESENTATIVE in Chandler, AZ
    Former Employee - SUPERVISOR, and CONTRACTING OFFICE TECHNICAL REPRESENTATIVE in Chandler, AZ
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Orbital Sciences full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    A multi-talented workforce with many good solutions waiting to be heard from the trenches but mid-level managers and directors filter and change all inputs going to upper levels

    Cons

    Management's ears are never open and they penalize those who speak out against crony assignments, directors without proven results, and managers with bad behavior.

    Advice to Management

    Look above the grass line and unfog your glasses to recognize truly talented resources and promote them by replacing the directors.


  2. Helpful (3)

    "Sad to see such potential deteriorate."

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

    I have been working at Orbital Sciences full-time

    Pros

    I would have said opportunity, pay and benefits a little over two years ago. Now, nothing comes to mind other than it being a source of temporary income.

    Cons

    Job security, pay, and incompetent management resulting from years of complacency.

    Advice to Management

    Stop rewarding incompetent management. In other words, your cheese has moved.


  3. Helpful (1)

    "Director of Programs"

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

    I worked at Orbital Sciences full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Fun Projects, State of the Art Technologies

    Cons

    Company has fundamentally changed from it's beginnings.

    Advice to Management

    Poor long term planning...


  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Poor Management"

    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
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    cool product line and enjoyable engineers

    Cons

    old management not concerned with changing protocol or internal procedures to better productivity

    Advice to Management

    get out of the way


  6. Helpful (3)

    "Constant struggle"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Manager
    Current Employee - Manager
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Orbital Sciences full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    The people are great to work with and some interesting projects.

    Cons

    Constant layoffs. Very segmented organization with no sharing between business groups and no opportunities to change between groups. Possibility of promotion is nearly impossible. Upper level management is disconnected from actual work, risks and opportunities.


  7. Helpful (6)

    "Confirmation of Previous Review"

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

    I have been working at Orbital Sciences full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    A place of very dedicated and intelligent people. Program Managers often (specially for small spacecrafts) mingle with their team of leads and engineers. (Please note: they are the real warriors there!).
    The environment, despite the RIFs terrorizing the Company, is friendly and progressive - even with the incompetent Upper Management.

    Cons

    What was written by the review entitled “Crushing schedules, demoralizing work environment, low raises, and little opportunity for advancement...” is VERY TRUE! No need to re-write what was so well expressed!
    As long as Orbital continues to let Tech Ops get away with its unrealistic and out-of-touch leadership, the Company will continue to loose its brilliancy that once characterized its achievements.

    Advice to Management

    Dissolve Tech Ops. Give its Management the taste of their own recommendations by "kindly" letting them go... Make the rest of the Company happy - Phoenix style!


  8. Helpful (11)

    "Crushing schedules, demoralizing work environment, low raises, and little opportunity for advancement..."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Principal Engineer in Sterling, VA
    Former Employee - Principal Engineer in Sterling, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Orbital Sciences full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Talented, intelligent, skilled coworkers. Much of the work is interesting and challenging. Shift differential pay for non-prime shifts. Good quality housing for employees on launch campaigns. Most employees outside of Tech Ops have private or semi-private offices. Benefits are competitive.

    Cons

    Quality of work life varies tremendously depending on the department you are in (as can be seen by the disparate reviews here). Engineers in Tech Ops typically work in small, noisy, dilapidated cubicles, sometimes sharing those cubicles with two or even three three other engineers. Tech Ops is run like a blue-collar factory with management more focused on assigning blame and taking punitive actions rather than rewarding people for jobs well done.

    Raises are embarrassingly low and seemingly unrelated to performance appraisals, especially for over-40 employees. Promotions, which are rare, are often based on cronyism rather than skills and performance. Management provides little guidance as to what is necessary to advance within the organization.

    Employees are often worked to the point of exhaustion to meet unrealistic deadlines. When contract incentives are won, top program management collects *very* generous bonuses, while those who worked so hard might get a treated to a buffet-style lunch or a few hundred dollars (after months of work).

    Employees on launch campaigns spend weeks or even months on the road while travel policies become ever worse, such as per-diem being cut to 70% of government rates. That kind of miserly policy speaks volumes about how little they care about the employees.

    Management's obsession with time cards, mindless, seemingly endless, online "training" courses, and producing meaningless metrics is maddening.

    Advice to Management

    Start factoring staff morale into the raises and promotions of supervisors; lower morale should mean lower raises and less chance for promotions for the responsible supervisors (sort of the reverse of how it works now).

    Give people raises that reflect the cost of living and their increased value to the company as they gain knowledge and experience.

    Provide employees with accurate, annual assessments of what they need to do to advance their careers.

    Share contract performance incentives by giving substantial bonuses to the employees doing the actual work.

    Hire a firm to perform anonymous employee satisfaction surveys. Actually pay attention to the results and take corrective actions.

    Upgrade the Satellite Manufacturing Facility. Replace the cubicles with offices. Put in new carpeting. Paint doors, handrails, walls, and everywhere else the paint is damaged or worn off. Upgrade restrooms. Take down the intelligence-insulting signs. Make it a pleasant, professional place to work.

    Recognize that there is often 24/7 staffing in the Satellite Manufacturing Facility. That means you need night-time janitorial and building services. You need an inclement weather policy for second and third shift. You can't have someone work from 11PM until 8AM and then tell them that they have a mandatory meeting at 1PM.

    Get rid of demoralizing policies such as reduced per-diem rates. If you want to save money, don't do it on the backs of the employees; find ways to cut capital equipment costs, equipment lease costs, and costs for services.


  9. Helpful (6)

    "Bureaucracy and process over people. You are just a number here... Orbital ATK"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chandler, AZ
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chandler, AZ
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Orbital Sciences full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Venue is in a good part of town, close to freeway and quick access to the 347 freeway for Maricopa. Execs are trying to hold on to reasonable benefits despite changes in health care. If you are expanding your family most of your hospital visit is covered. Orbital ATK merger has a chance of improving the company.

    Cons

    Orbital does not invest enough in new technology and leans out the IT staff until it is critically thin. It has much to do with the top management starting at the CIO. You won't get the hardware and software approved by the CIO that you need to create a well performing network and then you will be scorned when it does not perform.
    To survive you will need to be really awesome at telling everyone you are awesome. Even then, keep your stills current and resume up to date. Orbital expects every kind of certification before you are hired and then after you get the job do not want to keep you current. If you don't advance yourself and keep your skills current nobody will help you. There is little hope of advancement mainly because once you are hired there is no place to go.

    Advice to Management

    Get a new CIO from an outside source before the Orbital ATK merger. The current CIO values bureaucracy and process over people. The current CIO if he gets the "Orbital ATK CIO Job" will turn happy people at ATK with good jobs into a skeleton crew of over worked miserable people. "Orbital ATK" has a chance to be a better company after the merger but if the same wolves run the show, it will be worse and even more impersonal that before. Train people so well that they could work any place they wanted but treat them so well that they would never want to leave.


  10. Helpful (5)

    "Disappointed"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Gilbert, AZ
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Gilbert, AZ
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Orbital Sciences full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Very knowledgeable first-line employees and interesting, challenging work. Very bright engineers in several select groups.

    Cons

    Since the division in Gilbert, AZ was purchased by Orbital, employee morale has steadily declined. This division is no longer the energetic, fast paced and cohesive team it used to be due to the extremely toxic culture forced upon it by remote upper management in Dulles.

    Pay raises are poor and embarrassing, even for superior performers. NO technical training. Very tight overhead budgets make process improvement difficult. Even simple process improvement initiatives need to be authorized at extraordinarily high levels of management.

    No sense of team or common goals between employees and upper management.

    Advice to Management

    Senior Management is unprofessional, not conducive to team building and focuses on negatives instead of accomplishments. There needs to be a significant cultural change for this company to attract and retain the best and brightest.


  11. Helpful (8)

    "I left for less money"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Dulles, VA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Dulles, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Orbital Sciences full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Some great people put into difficult situations by management who only seem to care about bonuses and short term profits.

    Cons

    There is definatley a good old boy network of nepotism runing the company. You even get snubbed for what college you didn't go to. If you don't have a degree forget going there.

    Advice to Management

    Review the Peter Principle



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