Smithsonian Reviews in Washington, DC | Glassdoor

Smithsonian Washington DC Reviews

Updated August 17, 2017
45 reviews

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Washington, DC Area

4.0
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Approve of CEO
Smithsonian Secretary Dr. David J. Skorton
Dr. David J. Skorton
6 Ratings

45 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Great people, exceptional cause, interesting work (in 9 reviews)

  • An amazing and collaborative work environment (in 9 reviews)

Cons
  • Not many full time positions available (in 9 reviews)

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

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Eye Opening and Amazing Opportunity"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Intern - Communications and Marketing Intern in Washington, DC
    Former Intern - Communications and Marketing Intern in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Smithsonian as an intern

    Pros

    My supervisors were amazing and really gave me the opportunity to grow and explore my interests within the communications and marketing world. I felt that they trusted my capabilities and gave me responsibility that allowed for me to learn and grow as a professional.

    Cons

    Communication within the museum as a whole is difficult at times. Every office and individual is so busy with their own projects for the museum it can be difficult at times to get in contact with those you need to speak with.


  2. "Amazing"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Intern - Museum Technician in Washington, DC
    Former Intern - Museum Technician in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Smithsonian as an intern (More than a year)

    Pros

    Metro access to all facilities, something I love is they also have opportunities to work with kids which is my goal by the end of all my schooling.

    Cons

    Not any in mind...a job is a stepping stone to a career...
    There are many places to pick from so deciding may be a con lol

  3. "research"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Recommends

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

    Pros

    Amazing opportunities for investigations.
    Flexibility to work across all SI museums.

    Cons

    Work/life balance is a bit difficult, due to the amount of work to accomplish.


  4. "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


  5. 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


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Unique work environment, excellent work/life balance"

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

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

    Pros

    There are few places as diverse and interesting as the Smithsonian. Most employed by the institution are passionate about their often very unique jobs. Colleagues are enjoyable to work with and there is a focus on work/life balance

    Cons

    As a quasi federal agency, there is a bit of extra red tape to work through. Career and promotional paths are not often clearly delineated.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "NMAI is a great forward thinking place mired in typical gov mumbo jumbo"

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

    Pros

    Being one of the newest museums NMAI has a lot of young, passionate folks.
    There are also a lot of actual Native Americans truly committed to the mission after years of waiting for the museum to be ready.
    The museum is less focused on traditional trail of tears type stuff, and more focused on broadening the definition of native people as it's a very diverse group.

    Cons

    Lots of management nonsense - for example, they wanted the media team to move over to the Suitland location but they are really tied to what's going on the Mall so the team got split and rotate days between the two locations. Very confusing set up and odd management decision

    Advice to Management

    As with most gov organizations, work on efficiency and ensuring decisions are logical

  8. "Contractor"

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

    I have been working at Smithsonian as a contractor (More than a year)

    Pros

    Interesting work, fair pay, good people

    Cons

    Very limited chance for advancement. Your chances of getting permanent work from being a contractor is the same as an external candidate with similar experience.

    Advice to Management

    Stop relying on contractors to get all the work done, and then pass over them when permanent positions become available. Leads to very low morale.


  9. "Volunteer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Freelancer - Volunteer in Rockville, MD
    Former Freelancer - Volunteer in Rockville, MD

    I worked at Smithsonian (Less than a year)

    Pros

    I have passion on ARTS and helping people.

    Cons

    No income or job opportunity.

    Advice to Management

    I recommend to remodel/undated all the restroom in "The Castle".


  10. "Postdoc at the Smithsonian"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Contractor - Anonymous Contractor in Washington, DC
    Current Contractor - Anonymous Contractor in Washington, DC
    Recommends

    I have been working at Smithsonian as a contractor (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Low stipend, no benefits, no opportunity to apply for NSF grants

    Cons

    High cultural environment, lots of money from the goverment


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