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RAND Research Assistant Reviews

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Research Assistant

3.0
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RAND CEO Michael Rich
Michael Rich
1 Rating

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Pros
Cons
  • Internal labor market is stressful; you need to be fully covered at all times, which can be difficult if you work on the domestic side (in 11 reviews)

  • There is a dark side to the "internal labor market (in 11 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Great place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Research Assistant in Arlington, VA
    Former Employee - Research Assistant in Arlington, VA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at RAND part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Interesting work, casual colleagues, incredible freedom!

    Cons

    Freedom can be costly if you don't have good instincts about projects


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Research Assistant, Santa Monica"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Research Assistant in Santa Monica, CA
    Current Employee - Research Assistant in Santa Monica, CA
    Recommends

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

    Pros

    It's a great place to work on interesting problems with intelligent people. It's satisfying to know that we help improve the rationality of government decision-making. One of the best things is the almost-nonexistent hierarchy; there are hardly any tiers of management between researchers and executives. Furthermore, it has a fairly relaxed culture in comparison to the typical corporate feeling.

    Cons

    While the overall benefits package is all ok, my salary has been unsatisfactory. I'm hoping that I can remedy this through a change in job titles. Otherwise, I may leave.

  3. Helpful (4)

    "Lots of variety, no room for growth"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Research Assistant in Arlington, VA
    Current Employee - Research Assistant in Arlington, VA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    There is a huge variety of work available. On a given day, you may work with economists, political scientists, sociologists, and defense analysts. The office is quite nice, and there are lots of resources to do good research. For policy the pay is OK, but much of the work can be similar to work done by (and compensated by) the private sector. The work is extremely flexible: staff at all levels are given flexibility to work from home and work flexible hours.

    Cons

    There are limited opportunities for formal professional development or growth. Most junior staff are too busy over-loading with project work to take time to learn new skills. One of the big cons of the 'internal labor market' is that project leaders will only bring staff onto projects who already are experienced in the methodologies being used. This means it's hard to 'learn by doing' because you are generally only invited to do things that you've done before.

    Advice to Management

    It is unclear what the various roles are meant to accomplish. When problems are brought up, nobody thinks it's their job to address them or fix them, which means that nothing (major or minor) can really change.


  4. "All day interview"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Interviewee Research Assistant in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Interviewee Research Assistant in Washington, DC
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Paid trip to DC. Interesting researching their research.

    Cons

    If you want to get hired show that your a salesman.


  5. "Awesome place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Research Assistant in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Research Assistant in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Incredibly smart people, great infrastructure, stimulating work. Very collegial work environment. One of the best places I've worked.

    Cons

    None that really mattered very much.

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the great work.


  6. Helpful (3)

    "Great for gaining experience but not a career."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Research Assistant in Santa Monica, CA
    Former Employee - Research Assistant in Santa Monica, CA
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Flexibility in working hours, telecommuting, interesting work, prestigious, high caliber of staff. Good benefits, excellent facilities, access to great lectures

    Cons

    if you don't have a PhD you are undervalued and underpaid. The RA position is a stepping stone (2 year max). If you want to get great experience before moving on with your education this is ideal.

    Advice to Management

    Provide more opportunities for RAs to develop into Project Associates. The Project Associates should be better paid and have more opportunities to lead their own projects.


  7. Helpful (2)

    "RAND - Objective Analysis steps from the beach"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Research Assistant in Santa Monica, CA
    Current Employee - Research Assistant in Santa Monica, CA
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Prestige, brilliant and fun coworkers. Across the street from the beach. Santa Monica is way cool.

    Cons

    compensation compared with similar institutions seems a bit low. They have a graduate school? Strange.

    Advice to Management

    continue to listen to employees, as you used to in the good old days.