Smithsonian Reviews in Washington, DC | Glassdoor

Smithsonian Washington DC Reviews

Updated September 21, 2017
118 reviews

Filter

Filter

Washington, DC Area

3.5
StarStarStarStarStar
Rating TrendsRating Trends
Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Smithsonian Secretary Dr. David J. Skorton
Dr. David J. Skorton
16 Ratings

118 Employee Reviews

Sort: PopularRatingDate

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

  • An amazing and collaborative work environment (in 9 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. Helpful (1)

    "Interesting, educational but quite frustrating"

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

    Pros

    This is a wonderful place to learn and be stimulated since the work we do is full of historical and scientific scholars and collections. It is encouraging to work with some people who are so devoted to their field that they stay on the job well past retirement age.

    Cons

    Because we are all federal employees, there is very little accountability. Many people do a bare minimum of work and their supervisors don't want to take the time or effort to address it--even though there are means available to do so. The workforce is weighted heavily toward late career (60+) staff and many simply refuse to acknowledge the need to implement technology. And as I said, there is little effort put forth to make these people accountable.

    Also . . . in some departments, nepotism is rife. If you want to be promoted then you need to suck up and stop worrying about being effective or furthering the Institution's goals.

    Advice to Management

    Create employee training and accountability plans and hold managers responsible for meeting them. Make it clear to everyone when a certain individual is not performing year after year and stop treating it like a dirty little secret. Everyone can see it so we might as well be open about it!


  2. "Very flexible, laid back people."

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

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

    Pros

    Very easy and comfortable. A lot of diversity and making of your own schedule.

    Cons

    Sometimes the workplace is TOO casual. Some people come dressed down, or over decorate their cubicles to the point where it is unprofessional.

    Advice to Management

    Less micro management from supervisors.

  3. "Great Staff!"

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

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

    Pros

    Moved from NY to DC and I love my new co-workers. They have comfort me to feel like I am home!

    Cons

    Lack of communication within other departments.

    Advice to Management

    .


  4. "Summer Intern"

    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
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Welcoming environment, close-knit group with few interns, and I learned a lot during this summer internship. I'll miss this office wherever I end up.

    Cons

    Unpaid position- no benefits other than the experience itself.


  5. "My experience at the Smithsonian was and is always fabulous and truly enjoyable."

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

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

    Pros

    The Smithsonian is very diverse, wonderful employees perks and the people that visit and movie stars that come there and just a host of other wonderful things.

    Cons

    parking is not so good. Walking out from buliding to building in the winter is not so nice but the Summer and Spring days make up for that.

    Advice to Management

    Always treat your employees like precious jewels because they are. Work flow is much more productive when the workers are happy.


  6. "Great place to work"

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

    I worked at Smithsonian as a contractor (More than a year)

    Pros

    Surrounded by brilliant people at all times

    Cons

    Very difficult to find funding, not as "impressive" on a resume as everyone made me believe.


  7. "Amazing work environment and job that I am lucky to have!"

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

    I have been working at Smithsonian as an intern (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Co-workers, boss, staff and visitors are all amazing.

    Cons

    It can sometimes be very busy which makes it hard to do my job to the best of my ability.

    Advice to Management

    None

  8. "Model makers Dream job."

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

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

    Pros

    The best thing about this job is the ability to work in a clean and safe environment. Concern for OSHA regulations was very high on the list of priorities. As an artist this was very important to me. The work was challenging and creative. I went home with a feeling of accomplishment every day.

    Cons

    It is a huge organization and things don't happen quickly. It can really try your patience to wait for things to happen.

    Advice to Management

    Speed up requests for work and allow overtime.


  9. "Great place to work"

    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

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

    Pros

    Great locations, good facilities, great network of professional support, great professional development opportunities, great benefits, fun place to work, you will work with a variety of experts as your co-workers, and there is pretty good job stability.

    Cons

    There are highly paid federal employees sitting in their jobs and performing the bare minimum. However, no one will ever do anything about it or fire them because that is nearly impossible to do. Budgets are tight so offices are often understaffed.


  10. "The best place to work"

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

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

    Pros

    Great coworkers, understanding bosses, constant training opportunities. I absolutely love working here. As a contractor, I have the ability to have a flexible schedule. I have a great work environment that allows for collaboration and support without the competitiveness.

    Cons

    As a contractor, I am definitely taking a pay cut to work here. However I feel that the great work environment and exciting projects make it worth it. Also as a contractor you do not receive benefits.

    Advice to Management

    I think management is doing a great job. I have never worked in a better place.


Showing 118 of 245 reviews
Reset Filters