Smithsonian Reviews | Glassdoor

Smithsonian Reviews

Updated November 22, 2017
165 reviews

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165 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • It provides a great work/life balance (in 6 reviews)

  • Great people, exceptional cause, interesting work (in 10 reviews)

Cons
  • Most people ahead of you are in full time permanent positions (in 10 reviews)

  • Not much room for advancement if working in administrative field (in 4 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Intern"

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

    I have been working at Smithsonian full-time

    Pros

    Good opportunities to learn from experienced individuals

    Cons

    No career options beyond the internship


  2. Helpful (3)

    "Advancement Specialisd"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Smithsonian full-time

    Pros

    The opportunity to learn more about advancement, strategic planning, campaign, donor relations, stewardship, portfolio management, prospecting, annual giving, major gift donors, special event and planning, etc. There is potential for an opportunity to develop professionally, become knowledgeable about the stages of development.

    Cons

    African-Americans are treated unfairly and discriminated against. Performance Evaluations and Appraisals are extremely late and graded unfairly towards Blacks. Low potential for a raise, step increase, or promotion. Diversity and Inclusion do not exist. African-Americans are held to different rules. African-Americans are few in senior management positions.

    Advice to Management

    Do a complete overhaul in senior management. Move towards the 21 century in the hiring process to include more minorities. Get rid of the obstacles that hinder African-Americans to progress and move in their careers. Create a sold diversity and inclusion program to include all nationalities; Change the culture and face of the museum from only Whites to a more diverse culture. Make those that are able to retire, retire and let new faces and employees be able to apply for positions.

  3. "James E. Webb Intern"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Great enrichment experience, wonderful peers, and a fun working environment.

    Cons

    I was working in National Museum of American history, so all your work tends to be a smaller part of the whole.


  4. Helpful (1)

    "Research Scientist"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Research Scientist in Suitland, MD
    Current Employee - Research Scientist in Suitland, MD
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Smithsonian mission is broad, collections fascinating, intellectual environment, research freedom, good budgets

    Cons

    Bureaucracy, lack of accountability for supervisors, subject to whims of Congree, very male dominated and uneven compensation and advancement for female scientists

    Advice to Management

    Senior management should improve atmosphere for female scientists with sensitivity training for unit directors and other management; institute greater accountability for hiring decisions, review and promotions; improve promotion potential and leadership opportunities for women; and apply compensation commensurate with that of male peers.

    Also, reduce bureaucracy (paperwork, forms, and administrative requirements) for professional staff. That work should be the responsibility of administrators.


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Education Specialist"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Education Specialist in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Education Specialist in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

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

    Pros

    Access to wide range of cultural objects. The Smithsonian has a constant audience which is ideal for an Education Specialist.

    Cons

    The Smithsonian can struggle between being an museum for the nation and being a local museum for Washington DC, often the local audience is overlooked.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to promote both local and national endevours and help those that are new to understand the red tape and pace that comes with government work.


  6. Helpful (3)

    "Not worth your energy!!!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Retail Associate in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Retail Associate in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Smithsonian full-time

    Pros

    Co workers and metro transportation paid monthly.

    Cons

    No appropriate raise according to your hard work. For example (literally) would be getting a raise of 15 cents or less. No family life balance. No respect. Favoritism. Discriminatory with regard to race, maternity and age. Late night shifts. Working company events and staying late shifts until 10pm and getting home at 11pm or later and scheduled and early shift the following day.

    Advice to Management

    ....no need to waste my time and energy with advice that won't be taken into consideration or more importantly advice that is never followed with an action.


  7. "INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY SPECIALIST"

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

    I worked at Smithsonian full-time

    Pros

    EXCELLENT WORK ENVIRONMENT, GOOD LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES

    Cons

    Not good opportunities to raise within the Institution

    Advice to Management

    Create development employees process

  8. "Progressive Institution, Archaic Employee Treatment"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Administrative in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Administrative in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Flex work hours, telecommute policy

    Cons

    Health insurance premiums are atrocious. Maternity leave is a JOKE. Overworked employees and understaffed.

    Advice to Management

    Take care of women & families


  9. Helpful (1)

    "SI"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Education Specialist in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Education Specialist in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Smithsonian (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    good benefits, for trust employees 12% of your salary in your 401k without any match requirement.

    Cons

    very slow promotion rate and potential


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Great educational institution, not without its issues"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Smithsonian full-time

    Pros

    Mission that's easy to get behind; bright, dedicated people

    Cons

    Bureaucracy makes it a slow-moving ship

    Advice to Management

    Hire more business-oriented professionals


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