Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories "friday lunch" Reviews | Glassdoor

Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories Employee Reviews about "friday lunch"

Updated Dec 18, 2019

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3.9
82%
Recommend to a Friend
90%
Approve of CEO
Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories President Edmund O Schweitzer III
Edmund O Schweitzer III
261 Ratings
Pros
  • "Good job of informing employees of company direction with Friday lunch(in 38 reviews)

  • "Relax work environment, healthy workload(in 18 reviews)

Cons
More Pros and Cons

Reviews about "friday lunch"

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  1. "A great place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Buyer 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Friday lunches, and management that continues to improve the company

    Cons

    Location is somewhat out of the way

    Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories2019-12-18
  2. Helpful (1)

    "Worked as an assembler for more than 3 years on swing-shift."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Assembler in Pullman, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    The work is decent and not very physically demanding, depending on what department you're in. If you're one of those people that just wants to work for that paycheck and not deal with anything else, this might just work out. They have an ESOP that kinda encourages employees to work the whole nine yards. Some supervisors are more down to earth than others and actually will try their best to help you in whatever you want to do...or not want to do. The place also offers free lunch on Fridays (quality may vary) and 24/7 access to their small, but free gym. Also there's a daycare for employees with kids, but that isn't free and is mostly there for the day shift people. There are some interesting and great people to meet and work alongside there. One of the most memorable things for that place is the new friends I met, considering that when I applied I thought I wouldn't get to know anyone well since I was socially introverted and not from the local area. They sometimes give out free water bottles and other trinkets during important meetings. You can change jobs internally if you don't like your current one. You'll just have to wait for an open position, however long that takes.

    Cons

    The work, although decent, is very repetitive. Expect to be doing the same thing for about two weeks at least until they cycle you out to another area. Parking can be hectic, especially when day shift is leaving for the day and you're just coming in. Personally I found it easier just to come to work earlier or park very far away. Pay is probably enough if you're living by yourself and in an apartment at best. If you have a family to support, even doing overtime (when available) might not be able to do the trick. Pullman is great if you like looking at hills and open sky while having absolutely nothing to do besides work and drink. There's WSU, but only if you're a college kid. Moscow, Idaho has plenty more to offer in terms of entertainment, shopping, and activities. You will breathe and embrace SEL, or at least they'll try to make you do so. They expect you exemplify the values to everyone you meet and use this to convince others how great it is to work at SEL. Also most of their manufacturing techniques come from one book that seems a little outdated. It is supposed to enlighten people to why SEL is doing things the way it does, but it's definitely not a page-turner. Do not try hard to argue or question their goals or ideas, lest you want to make your personal advancements more difficult. The sane people and focusing on your task at hand is all you'll really need, unless you really want to climb to highest areas of the career ladder. Nepotism is definitely at work here, although it has waned a bit from when I first started. Not enough to say it'll go away though. Decent supervisors are apparently rare. I guess I was lucky to have two who actually knew how the whole thing was in reality and were just trying to make the best of it. There is also conflict between supervisors regarding how to do things, and not just the ones across shifts but sometimes in the same department. It can make the meetings a little awkward honestly. They like to cycle unsuccessful concepts and processes over and over, especially with new people who are unfamiliar to them. Sure they change a thing or two slightly, but not enough to call it new and probably will be discarded again later on. Finally there's the black little birds that nest around SEL during the summer. If you walk close to their territories, they'll aggressively swoop down at you and try to defecate on you as well. Doesn't help that they nest near the sidewalks and parking lots. Company doesn't really do anything about them and I don't know if they actually can. Just an annoyance really.

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    Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories2019-09-16
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  4. Helpful (1)

    "Fun Company with Lots of Learning Opportunities"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Electrical Engineer 
    Recommends

    I worked at Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories full-time

    Pros

    -Career growth and learning is very important. -Friday lunches were great time to learn more about the company with free lunch

    Cons

    -Given how hard it can be to get through the interview process, the pay isn't the best

    Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories2019-08-21
  5. Helpful (6)

    "Unprofessional"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Manager 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Free lunch on Fridays and culture of teaching

    Cons

    1. All their principles are based on a book from the 80s and they apply it to concepts/departments that have no relevance to the concepts of manufacturing 2. Pride themselves on hiring within, however now has caused a culture of close minded- ness and lack of innovation 3. Most employees are unengaged 4. Unless you are a foreign national that requires citenzenship or someone living in one of their obscure locations without any opportunities, don’t bother working here.

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    Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories2019-08-28
  6. Helpful (7)

    "The longer you work here the more unsettling it becomes"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Intern - Accounting Intern in Pullman, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories for more than 3 years

    Pros

    It was a really good introduction to industry. The work was challenging and rewarding. I learned a lot of applicable skills and how to navigate a job in a corporate environment. I got to work with some genuinely good people within my team and overall the department I worked in was good.

    Cons

    The company values are constantly emphasized, during your orientation, during Friday lunch, during standup meetings, but they are not practiced. Upper management talks a good game of treating employees with respect and listening to them. In reality they're just saying the right thing in order to play along with the game. Advancement in the company has little to nothing to do with ability and everything to do with buying into the company culture and being a good little pawn. Step out of line or ask questions and you'll either be dismissed as if you don't matter, as in my case, or intimidated until you fall back in line, as was the case of a friend of mine who used to work here. Building a strong "company culture" is often cited as a strength, but it is not. It's a cult where new ideas are not permitted. SEL is very proud of the fact that they promote management from within instead of hiring new people from outside but it's not a good thing. All these internally promoted managers are a bunch of yes-men who are often not capable of doing their job and they promote their own employees to save money and to preserve their cult-like culture.

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    Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories2019-07-24
  7. Helpful (11)

    "Good place to learn and grow, but avoid indoctrination and brainwashing. Don’t blindly drink the cool-aid."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Engineer in Pullman, WA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    ESOP continually grows. Innovative within its company niche and hardware roots, but fails to adapt to new technologies such as software A.I. and automated manufacturing (SEL hardware is still manufactured by hand). Friday lunch is informative when it is not brainwashing employees. It is a good company to learn and grow as an entry level technical employee. But once you’re mid-level and senior-level, it is difficult to stay when you’re working many hours for below average compensation.

    Cons

    Pay scale is very bad, but ESOP makes up for it in several decades when you retire (I rather get the compensation up-front). Company promotes cult-like indoctrination of employees. They hype up the company so much to make employees think that they are lucky to work there which somehow justifies the long hours for below average salaries. When you’re salary, expect long hours for little compensation (no overtime). I recently talked to the former SEL CEO who left to become an executive at Schneider Electric (one of SEL’s competitor) and he identified that other companies were just as innovative, pro-academics and pro-community. SEL just brainwashes their employees to think that they are the only ones doing it. There is rampant nepotism within the company, family members (or in-laws) get promoted at a faster rate than high-performing employees. There are many hypocritical management policies, such as the notion they SEL is proud of their “made in America” products, but yet they have manufacturing plants in Mexico.

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    Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories2019-04-11
  8. Helpful (11)

    "Great place to start a career or intern; don't stick around too long"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Project Engineer in Pullman, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories full-time

    Pros

    Good pay for the area. High pay for the area. Nice office to work in. They provide standing desks and generally any ergonomic needs. The fast-paced environment will allow you to learn quickly. Engineers who travel get to fly on the company jet from time to time.

    Cons

    If you are salaried in the engineering services department, generally you will end up working much more than 40 hours a week. They don't give comp days for working weekends. If you work a weekend good for you; see you on monday. You're required to be in the office from 8-5, and any extra time you spend is not recognized or rewarded. One of the best stories of them expecting you to work excessively is during friday lunch a guy asked about working four ten hour days and getting friday off, the CEO responded by saying he should always be working 10 hour days.

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    Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories2019-04-23
  9. "Good place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Lead Engineer in Dallas, TX
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories for more than a year

    Pros

    Take care of the employee, free Friday lunch, people are nice

    Cons

    Located in a small town

    Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories2019-02-01
  10. "SEL"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Intern - Anonymous Intern 

    I worked at Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories

    Pros

    Good job of informing employees of company direction with Friday lunch

    Cons

    Can't think of any downsides

    Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories2018-11-20
  11. Helpful (21)

    "R&D Engineer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
     

    I have been working at Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories

    Pros

    Secure job if you keep out of the way of the managers. ESOP can be a great asset for you in the long run. Health benefit is good for the area but average overall within the country. Friday lunch meeting is fun although take everything you hear with a grain of salt.

    Cons

    Generally engineering salaries are very low and massive overtime is somewhat expected. This company is plagued with exceptionally bad R&D managers who do not care for their employees, only about the insane deadlines of their projects. Bigger the project, the more likely you will end up in a multi-year death march and there is no turning that ship around. Unfortunately this is very systematic and same project management mistakes are done over and over again. Despite the company being employee owned you won’t get to make any decisions which is a shame because this company has potential to be so much better.

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    Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories2018-02-09

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