Smithsonian Reviews in Washington, DC | Glassdoor

Smithsonian Washington DC Reviews

Updated May 19, 2017
39 reviews

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Washington, DC Area

5.0
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Smithsonian Secretary Dr. David J. Skorton
Dr. David J. Skorton
3 Ratings

39 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Great work environment, friendly people, everyone loves to be there (in 9 reviews)

  • I have the fortune to work behind the scenes and with the public at the same time (in 5 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. "Great Summer Internship"

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

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

    Pros

    Paid summer internship - a rarity in DC! A great opportunity to work at a respected institution on important historical and social issues. Also, lovely to be in DC and have access as an intern to the wealth of the Smithsonian's resources.

    Cons

    General populations tends to be older, lots of bureaucracy and resistance to change - probably indicative of public sector generally though, and not specific to the Smithsonian.

    Advice to Management

    Be more willing to hire young people and try new things! Continue to hire more interns, and make the most out of their time because they truly want to help!


  2. "Research Intern"

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

    I have been working at Smithsonian as an intern

    Pros

    One of the best internships I've ever had. The staff is passionate and kind, the work is meaningful, and they are flexible about conflicts. This is one of the best places for a student to both be involved in the "real" scientific community while still being in school. I could not recommend working at the Smithsonian more.

    Cons

    Wish I could've interned longer than 10 weeks!

  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)

    "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.


  5. "Superb"

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

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

    Pros

    Lots or organized field trips, social events, and professional development opportunities for interns. Supervisors who are looking out for you and actually care. Lots of flexibility and choice when it comes to projects, no busy work. Plus benefits like skipping lines and free weekly IMAX movies! I loved my experience at the Smithsonian!

    Cons

    N/a - it was everything I could ever ask for and more

    Advice to Management

    Outreach to more schools


  6. "Natural History Museum - Intern"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Intern - Monthly in Suitland, MD
    Former Employee - Intern - Monthly in Suitland, MD
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Smithsonian (Less than a year)

    Pros

    As an intern in the Department of Invertebrate Zoology I was working with some of the world's leading researchers on all things invertebrate. Everybody was down to earth and inclusive. We regularly had guest speakers via Skype during lunch hours. Often went out to lunch and for meals. Overall it was a fun environment to be in.

    Cons

    At the time Metro was under construction so commuting was sometimes difficult. D.C. is a pricey area.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Pretty great place, not going to lie"

    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

    Pros

    At least at the Museum of Natural History, it is a casual and collegial oasis in Washington, D.C. I have the fortune to work behind the scenes and with the public at the same time.

    Cons

    Relies heavily on contract positions with no guarantee of future funding. For those like myself who are funded through a private gift that may expire, there is little effort into seeking to continue that position unless it aligns with museum priorities.

  8. "Incredible institution"

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

    I worked at Smithsonian full-time

    Pros

    Working for the 'Nation's Museum' was an opportunity of a lifetime. The accessibility and proximity to scholarship and advance research was second-to-none. The opportunities for intellectual stimulation are limitless.

    Cons

    A bit bureaucratic at times.


  9. "Good place to work at, but"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Designer in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Designer in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Smithsonian full-time

    Pros

    Most everyone is passionate about what they do and it's a great atmosphere to work in. Pay isn't that high but once you move up the supervisory role, it can increase. Overall, everyone is great to work with and it has the feel of a more organic non profit environment while still having the structure of the federal government. Great work life balance. No one can force you to stay longer and work overtime since it's the government.

    Cons

    Pay is low, some people are lifers and have lost passion and skill in what they do. It is the federal government..


  10. "Accounts Payable Techician"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Contractor - Accounts Payable Technician in Washington, DC
    Former Contractor - Accounts Payable Technician in Washington, DC

    I worked at Smithsonian as a contractor (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Experience in government accounting.

    Cons

    There is no growth potential in position within the department.


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