SRI International Reviews in Menlo Park, CA | Glassdoor

SRI International Menlo Park Reviews

Updated January 21, 2018
103 reviews

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Menlo Park, CA

3.2
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William Jeffrey
18 Ratings

103 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • Money is the most important thing at SRI even though it is a non-profit organization (in 13 reviews)

  • Old buildings, soft-money research projects, high churn, ferocious competition for talent, high cost of living, (in 5 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "A relax working environment"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Intern - Student Associate in Menlo Park, CA
    Former Intern - Student Associate in Menlo Park, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at SRI International as an intern (Less than a year)

    Pros

    It was very relaxing working there. There is no much pressure. My supervisor is very nice.

    Cons

    It is expensive living around bay area compared to my salary.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "a non-profit in decline"

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

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

    Pros

    really smart, creative technical staff
    genuine desire to help change the world
    an ability to work on "DARPA-hard" challenges

    Cons

    consistently losing money
    on a "go-out-of-business" trajectory
    unwilling to make the required hard choices

    Advice to Management

    wake up and smell the coffee

  3. "Strong scientific talent caught in a financial tailspin"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Director in Menlo Park, CA
    Former Employee - Director in Menlo Park, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at SRI International full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Historic accomplishments and great colleagues with whom to work on challenging problems. Inspiring science stories in every nook and cranny.

    Cons

    The fundamentals are grounded in Washington DC -- heavy attention to federal compliance and government accounting rules. This is sharply out of sync with innovation in Silicon Valley. The scientists are stressed by federal rules and too much financial pressure -- each year, less time for the science and more demand for scientists to spend time on fundraising, bureaucracy and powerpoint creation.

    Advice to Management

    Respect your scientists and protect their ability to do great work.

    SRI International Response

    Jan 23, 2018 – Recruiting Manager

    Thank you for taking the time to share your experience of working at SRI for more than 10 years. We will be sure to share your feedback with our leadership team. Our researchers are at the heart of... More


  4. "Retired"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Contracts Manager in Menlo Park, CA
    Former Employee - Contracts Manager in Menlo Park, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at SRI International full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Interesting Scientific Work across all industries.

    Cons

    Career paths/upward mobility can be limited.

    Advice to Management

    None

    SRI International Response

    Nov 6, 2017 – Senior Manager, Public Relations

    Congratulations on your retirement -- and thank you for taking the time to write a review about your SRI experience.


  5. Helpful (2)

    "Executive Director"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Executive Director in Menlo Park, CA
    Current Employee - Executive Director in Menlo Park, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great People, Big Brains, Challenging Work

    Cons

    Leadership structure/ personnel and lack of processes

    Advice to Management

    Need Leadership Development and Accession Plans

    SRI International Response

    Sep 28, 2017 – Recruiting Manager

    Thank you for your feedback about your experience working at SRI. You bring up important points about the value of leadership development. It is one of the focus areas for our learning and... More


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Impressive Company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Researcher in Menlo Park, CA
    Current Employee - Researcher in Menlo Park, CA
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at SRI International full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    SRI's research is at the foundation of much of the technological progress coming from Silicon Valley. It offers great opportunities to conceive and develop technologies in response to needs set by government and commercial entities.

    Cons

    If you're involved in research and development, you'd better have an outside client that pays for your work, otherwise you'll be an employee who doesn't really have a job.

    SRI International Response

    Aug 24, 2017 – Recruiting Manager

    Thank you for your feedback. We are proud of the work we do for our government and commercial clients.


  7. Helpful (3)

    "Has Been"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Executive Director in Menlo Park, CA
    Current Employee - Executive Director in Menlo Park, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at SRI International full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great benefits and very smart staff

    Cons

    Poor management and outdated culture

    Advice to Management

    Sell the property in Menlo Park and invest in Amazon and Apple

  8. Helpful (1)

    "Innovative"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Research Associate in Menlo Park, CA
    Current Employee - Research Associate in Menlo Park, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Good benefits. Ample days off: shut down for 2 weeks of Christmas break. Open to career development and growth from within.

    Cons

    Some over time is required.

    Advice to Management

    Provide praise to the hard work from your employees. Sometimes people go under appreciated which causes skilled employees to look for other, higher paying jobs.

    SRI International Response

    Aug 24, 2017 – Recruiting Manager

    Thank you for your feedback. We agree, employees deserve recognition for their hard work. Although we have various programs for recognition, we realize we can expand our recognition tool box. Feel... More


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Going Through a Lot Of Changes"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Menlo Park, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Menlo Park, CA
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Organization works on some amazing projects around Robotics, Artificial Intelligence and Computer Science, Engineering, and Bioscience.
    Get to work with a lot of smart people.

    Cons

    SRI is a non-profit, which makes it difficult to compete in the Valley.
    A lot of people have worked there too long and there can be a lack of flexibility in thinking. Senior Management is trying to "shake up" thinking, but change is slow.
    Infrastructure is woefully dated.
    Annual Bonuses are limited to higher level staff.

    Advice to Management

    Keep working on making the culture more flexible.
    PLEASE, PLEASE , PLEASE speed up bringing the facilities, back shop operations, and support programs in to the 21st century!

    SRI International Response

    Jun 13, 2017 – Recruiting Manager

    Thank you for your feedback about your experience working at SRI. You bring up important points about our facilities and support systems. In order to offer the best employee experience, we are... More


  10. Helpful (5)

    "Hit or miss. You either love it or hate it. It really depends on the person and your career goals."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Menlo Park, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Menlo Park, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at SRI International full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Retirement benefits include both a 401k (employer match) and a savings plan (contributions from employer). Flexible work schedule- some have it better than others, especially those with the liberty to work from home. There are opportunities (varies with org/division) for career growth at SRI-typically, a successful employee with a Ph.D. will have contributed technically in their area of expertise (deliverables, invention disclosures, and or patents) and most importantly led/authored "winning" proposals/managed projects as project leader/manager.

    Cons

    Being hassled by management about your timecard constantly-impact and value (ROI) of your contributions may not be appropriately reflected on your timecard; leads to unwarranted stress and really makes coming to work less enjoyable. Sink or swim mentality-very similar to academia, plus your typical office politics often observed in industry. For Ph.D.'s in particular, tread carefully. If you didn't enjoy graduate school and/or your postdoc experience and decided the academic life is not right for you and you are ambitious, SRI may not be the best fit. To be successful at SRI w/ a Ph.D., you are "expected" to contribute/lead and win proposals and contribute technically to other people's projects- you must exceed these expectations constantly to "survive". Overtime, if you're not burnt out yet, your area of expertise may be in less demand, and your "value" will diminish which includes your "marketability/brand" to find another job.


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