SES Reviews | Glassdoor

SES Reviews

Updated May 22, 2017
42 reviews

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Full-time Part-time

3.4
Star Star Star Star Star
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Karim Michel Sabbagh
7 Ratings

42 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Flexible, Good Team Environment, great benefits (in 5 reviews)

  • Work/Life balance very high with lots of possibilities to blow off steam and balance your work duties with sports and nature (in 3 reviews)

Cons
  • Most promotions go to those located in the Luxembourg office (in 4 reviews)

  • Location - in the countryside, hard to reach by train (in 3 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (1)

    "Good Company to Work For"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Accountant in McLean, VA
    Former Employee - Senior Accountant in McLean, VA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Flexible, Good Team Environment, great benefits

    Cons

    Small company so little room for growth opportunites, Very top heavy management


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Great Company"

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

    I worked at SES (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    SES is one of the leading satelite communications company in the world with over 50 satellites in orbit. Company size is about 1400 worldwide with parent company located in Luxembourg. SES has great benefits. On-site cafeteria giving SES employee's a 10% discount. They have free lunches once a month from May to September. Free holiday lunch (St. Patricks Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas). New associates start with 3 weeks vacation maxing out at 6 weeks. No personal days because of all the vacation time, unlimited sick days, but don't abuse it. They are very health conscious, providing free fitness classes 3x a week plus on-site gym. Tuition reimbursement. Award winning Learning & Development program. Very innovative and interactive and many on-line courses to choose from to do at your own pace. There are many during the year that are provided, some mandatory.

    Cons

    Not too many opportunites for advancement. Most promotions go to those located in the Luxembourg office. In the US, it seems they promote the Washington DC office more. The Satellite Operations Center is located in Princeton so that office isn't going anywhere with such a recent significant investment. CEO is fairly new - 2-3 years. I had very little direct contact with him but I hear he has a very agressive management style, bullies subordinates. I believe he is very capable in leading the company, he just needs to show more respect to the people that make him look good.

    Advice to Management

    Don't lay off exceptional, high performing employees because they happen to be "sitting in the wrong seat". Take the time to vet out the dead wood and then make it work.


  3. "NOC Engineer II"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Network Controller Technician II in Culpeper, VA
    Former Employee - Network Controller Technician II in Culpeper, VA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at SES (More than a year)

    Pros

    Good company and they take care of there people

    Cons

    I Cannot think of any cons for this company.


  4. "Account Manager"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Account Manager in Burr Ridge, IL
    Former Employee - Account Manager in Burr Ridge, IL
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Flexibility with schedule and timing

    Cons

    busy season in summer for 2 months

    Advice to Management

    None


  5. "Great company, kind people"

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

    Pros

    In building cafeteria where SES employees get 10% off
    Building is closed for all major holidays including the day after Christmas
    The company hosts a free Thanksgiving luncheon for all employees

    Cons

    Not too much staff interaction, so it is hard to learn everyone's names
    Managers are usually not in the same office or continent
    Interacting with managers in a different country can be hard due to time difference


  6. Helpful (11)

    "Great "Work" Life Balance. No growth opportunities. Zero. Nada"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Manager in Princeton, NJ
    Former Employee - Manager in Princeton, NJ
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    This company is the heaven if you have passion to take things lightly and quiet. Some of the perks are unique and probably now unheard of any other company (at least in the US). Great 401k match, OK health insurance, relatively high job stability, airline travel on business class and 5 weeks of vacation (yes, you read right, five weeks). Workload is light as it gravitates towards the ones who deliver, so 50% of people are taking it very calmly. Pay is OK too. Some very cool people to work with.
    Overall is a very quiet place to work if you have low expectations, no desire to grow and are settled for a quiet life to pay your mortgage waiting for retirement. Industry is damn stable and this company has margins above 70% with loads of cash to spare. Environment is OK, in DC office there is a collegiate ambient while in Princeton office is a bit less friendly but still OK. Luxemburg and the Hague are totally different stories.

    Cons

    Well, first things first. Absolutely zero growth chances. This company looks like a state owned (it is sort of) with an over staffing of 30-40%. People look for things to do to pretend they are busy, no career opportunities and if they are so - limited - they are filled in Luxemburg: a place in the countryside around farms and cow waste smell. There are tons of people that you do not know what they do and have been there forever, lots layers of management and no flat organization: low level analysts do not you dare to contact VPs, you will totally ignored. Blue blood only melts with blue blood. If you want career progress, work on exciting stuff, looks elsewhere.
    Second, company is damn white male oriented. Not many females - and almost nobody at an important position - and very little share of minorities. Recently, lots of pressure for latinos to relocate to Latin America based on the country they were born (you get the idea ;)).
    HR is a joke. you will laugh or cry with the annual reviews. The system to reward people (bonuses) has a socialist touch trying to spread it across everybody (in America you usually reward out performers and fire under performers). So forget about doing the extra mile to earn more, it is not going to happen. Workforce is also kind of old, company is not attracting young folks. I have to say though, there are some very nice people around so it is not 100% bad.
    This company is also very very but very political. If managers have nothing to do, they engage in other activities such as conspiracy. The company works like a monarchy, with the CEO deciding on everything and the rest of VPs and managers working to please him. No intelligence needed. Everybody agrees with him. So people invest their time in intrigues in the kingdom. Some ethical issues - love affairs, over spending, etc - are also apparent with HR doing nothing.
    Last, I think the business is due for a hit. Most of the revenues and profits come from selling DTH capacity to Germany/France/UK. We are all seeing changes with OTT services, Internet and demographic changes. When that happens, the party here will be over and margins will take a nosedive. Company is slow to make changes, the same incumbent mentality you see everywhere companies enjoy fat profits so to be fair this is just another case of corporate blindness. This is sad, because you see all that wealth and money not properly investment in the future.

    Advice to Management

    Improve pay based on performance. Fire under performers (in Europe too), get rid of some old guard high level VPs and EC members, bring new blood and ideas. Take a fresh look at the business.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Great Place to Work"

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

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

    Pros

    Team oriented, goal oriented, good salary, start with 4 weeks vacation

    Cons

    Most is not all decisions are based upon the European headquarters model of how to do things. This was a GE company at one time. Things like telecommuting that were a great benefit for worklife balance were taken away.

    Advice to Management

    You should revisit work life balance for your staff


  8. Helpful (3)

    "Very pleasant working environment for employees; good pay and benefits"

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

    I worked at SES full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Very employee friendly atmosphere. In general, employees are intelligent, friendly and easy to work with. Management in the U.S. cares about employees.

    Cons

    Working in the U.S. is sometimes a challenge as many of the decisions are being made in Europe. However, you can make a difference if you try.

    Advice to Management

    Take more chances


  9. "Tremendous growth opportunity!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Natioanl Sales Director in Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Natioanl Sales Director in Boston, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at SES full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Earnings potential is fantastic for 2014

    Cons

    A lot of travel for short periods.

    Advice to Management

    Continue as you are.


  10. Helpful (4)

    "Great benefits, good people, weak management"

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

    I have been working at SES full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Good compensation, great benefits, smart workforce, in general a nice place to work. Vacation policy is very generous. Work/life balance is good even though employees are prohibited from working from home.

    Cons

    Upper management communication is pitiful, CEO manages by consensus, common sense doesn't typically prevail. If you're ambitious, this isn't the place for you. Higher level jobs are filled in Luxembourg.

    Advice to Management

    Learn how to manage. Listen to your employees.


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