Society for Neuroscience Reviews | Glassdoor

Society for Neuroscience Reviews

Updated July 19, 2017
43 reviews

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2.4
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Marty Saggese
22 Ratings

43 Employee Reviews

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  1. "Decent organization, friendly people"

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

    I have been working at Society for Neuroscience full-time

    Pros

    Really smart coworkers who do really important work. Decent benefits and pay. Plus the basic hours are 8:30 - 4:30. Great free lunches and casual fridays.

    Cons

    Good benefits but the starting salary is very low compared to other sized organizations. Staff at the manager level and below are underpaid at least $5-20k, Which tells me that leadership really don't value their employees.

    Advice to Management

    Management really does care, but you need Find your future star employees and pay them enough to keep them there and happy. You can't keep losing good talent due to poor retention tactics.


  2. "I worked for the society for one and half years"

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

    I worked at Society for Neuroscience full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    There are some really good dedicated employees working at various department, especially the procurement team. The Sr. Procurement manager is the most associative, supportive and strong team player I know. He knows a lot about contracts and contract management. He is a great mentor, has an open door policy and he rocks like Elvis working hard.

    Great benefits
    Annual meeting
    Location and building

    Cons

    New managers need lots of training some get emotional about their jobs.
    Micro-management is high
    Job security not guaranteed
    Salaries not competitive

    Advice to Management

    Invest on staff and increase diversity at all management levels.
    SfN delivers well to it members at various venues.

  3. Helpful (9)

    "Toxic Work Environment-- Do Not Work Here!"

    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
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Society for Neuroscience full-time

    Pros

    Friendly colleagues (at the associate and assistant levels, and some managers). Free lunches.

    Cons

    Do not work here at any cost-- there are much better organizations in DC and beyond.

    This organization is poorly run and has a lot of shady practices. All of the points made in the previous reviews are true: SfN is a toxic, horrible, and unhealthy work environment, with low morale across the board.

    Experiences vary depending on what team employees work on, but there are several specific directors who are incredibly unprofessional, petty, narcissistic, passive aggressive, deeply insecure, and self-unaware. These directors are also ridiculous hypocrites-- they tell support staff not to engage in specific behaviors, but then they do the opposite of what they say; it's a very 'do as I say, not as I do' environment. These directors gossip loudly in the hallways and in their offices, and badmouth/disparage other employees at all levels behind their backs in meetings. They're also self-obsessed, continuously relating meeting topics to their own personal issues, and making support staff uncomfortable since they're forced to listen. Instead of dealing with the low morale issue, and looking inward at their part in the creation of this toxic environment, these directors work around protocol to target specific employees and place the blame for the negativity on them. This pattern of treatment amounts to workplace bullying. Instead of working to create a better workplace for everyone across the organization, individual employees are reprimanded and pushed out, while other employees receive special treatment and are not held accountable for their actions. These directors are disliked by support staff throughout the building, and they treat support staff on other teams as if they work directly for them. It's obvious that these people are deeply unhappy with themselves and the fact that they ended up at SfN at this point in their careers.

    The organization also ascribes to a strict hierarchy. Directors are puppets of the execs, and managers are puppets of directors. The level of micromanaging on some teams is ridiculous: managers cannot make any decisions on their own. They are often given lines and specific words to regurgitate to their reports, and support staff never receive a legit reason for any decisions. On certain teams, the managers that succeed are the ones who have no backbones and allow themselves to be controlled.

    The treatment of managers and other directors is similar to Stockholm syndrome-- it's shocking that they lose their ability to have common sense and think critically. They do exactly as they are told by execs, and do not have the power to make any decisions beyond that. If you are an assistant/associate level employee and you stand up for yourself you are made to feel as if you are crazy. The treatment of employees is tantamount to mental abuse.

    As far as the work, there is no original thought in this organization-- all content is recycled. Issues repeatedly come up at the last minute and are treated like emergencies. The turnover rate is also high, and even though the execs see this, they make excuses (delusion runs rampant at SfN). The organization also hires a lot of temps that have to prove themselves; SfN dangles the possibility of turning temps permanent, so that the temps suck it up and stay even though it's obvious that the organization has a lot of problems.

    This is not a place to spend any part of your career.

    Advice to Management

    Treat employees with respect, and actually listen to feedback. Change the way the organization is run from the top down. Evaluate the effectiveness of directors: hold them accountable for their actions, and for wrongly acting beyond protocol.


  4. Helpful (1)

    "Fantastic Experience"

    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 Society for Neuroscience full-time

    Pros

    Warm, welcoming, and collegiate. I worked at SfN for almost two years. In my time with the organization I met some of the smartest, strategic, and most innovative thinkers in the nonprofit industry. Everyone stands behind the mission and that is seen by the quality of work they produce. I enjoyed being pushed to better myself professionally and was often recognized for my contributions. The office is located in NW DC and is very convenient for commuting. Excellent benefits and office perks.

    Cons

    Not a lot of upward mobility. This I feel is due to the fact that many of the staff have been there for a long time and love working there.

    Advice to Management

    Allow for more out of the box thinking.


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Great place for me"

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

    I have been working at Society for Neuroscience full-time

    Pros

    Fast-paced dedicated staff serving one of the most exciting fields in science. Overall, a great place to work if you are a go-getter.

    Cons

    The pace of the organization means it's not a great fit for folks who want to coast.


  6. Helpful (5)

    "Worst Job Decision Ever"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Associate in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Associate in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Society for Neuroscience full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    There were no pros and I wish I never came across this job listing at all. The company is clearly instructing interns to write good reviews.

    Cons

    Every single thing. Horrible working conditions, no support from upper management, negative outlooks, no room for promotion within the company.


  7. Helpful (5)

    "Come in with eyes open and you'll do ok"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Society for Neuroscience full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    The location is good. Benefits are solid. The hours are a strict 7 hours and if you know what you are doing, the job can be very easy. The public facing website is branded separately from SfN, and is not as restrained as the organization (see below), which has led to an absolutely fantastic and creative website. Also, much to the surprise of people who haven’t been here that long, things are WAY better than they were in the 2011-2014 era. They threw money at us one year and implemented a salary process that makes sense, got us a cappuccino machine, opened up the laptop and work-from-home policy, and have tried to treat us more like humans. It’s all superficial stuff, but people should still appreciate the attempt. I’ve had worse jobs.
    They’ve had such a hard time hiring in the past few years that they tend to “hire up” which means hires are slightly underqualified for the job- this can be a GREAT way to move in or up in the extremely competitive Washington, D.C. market. I wouldn’t recommend someone take a job here that they are supremely qualified for, you’ll be bored immediately.

    Cons

    Read the reviews for the themes: there are several common ideas across departments, job title, and time. New employees spend a lot of time fighting to do more and better things before giving up. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen a new employee assume their predecessor was a poor employee and that everyone will be impressed with their new idea, just to learn that the asinine policy is on purpose. You can almost see the light in their eyes die as they become as cynical as the rest of us.
    Examples: The membership is large and diverse, and so SfN won’t take a stand on certain issues for fear of making members mad. As a result, the organization is not strong on any issues. SfN is not quoted in the media, ever. All staff, including the ED, is invisible- staff can’t be in photos or speak on webinars or in publications even if it’s on a topic where expertise is held by staff. All of these things make it hard to sell the organization as a worthwhile place of expertise.
    Membership is finally realizing that their membership gets them entry to the annual meeting and not much else, and levels are dropping off. Attempts in the last few years to show the benefits of membership have all been show- there has been very little attempt to actually create new or better member benefits. They do this to staff as well- telling us everything is great without actually listening and trying to make things better.

    Advice to Management

    All in all you're just another brick in the wall.
    This review will just be tossed in with the others, so I’m not sure advice will help until my eventual exit interview. When certain people move on, the place will have the ability to change quickly and easily for the better.

  8. Helpful (3)

    "Beautiful office space, but low morale and pay"

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

    Pros

    The company has a great office. They have invested in commercial real estate as part of their income, so they've given themselves the top floors in a great building. The staff lunch room is well stocked of drinks and comfy. Lots of kind and wonderful people working there.

    Cons

    A lot of my peers shared a feeling of being undervalued. there didn't seem to be a process by which you could gain professional development, We weren't encouraged through an internal pipeline to move up in the company. And pay was well below market.


  9. Helpful (4)

    "Toxic environment"

    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
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Society for Neuroscience full-time

    Pros

    - Nice office space
    - metro accessible
    - some nice junior staff
    - can leave at 5 everyday

    Cons

    - toxic environment; very gossip oriented
    - lack of professional behavior among senior directors

    Advice to Management

    Value your staff more


  10. "Director"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Society for Neuroscience full-time

    Pros

    Innovative, collaborative, inclusive, diverse, challenging

    Cons

    unfriendly supervisor, difficult work environment


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