USRA Reviews | Glassdoor

USRA Reviews

Updated March 22, 2017
8 reviews

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3.0
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Jeffrey A. Isaacson, Ph.D.
2 Ratings

8 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (5)

    "HQ in disarray"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Staff Researcher in Baltimore, MD
    Current Employee - Staff Researcher in Baltimore, MD
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Very interesting mission. The non-profit aspect is very fulfilling. The focus on STEM education makes one proud. The scientific work is pretty good

    Cons

    Unfortunately there is a poisonous work environment up at the headquarters. Not as much in the field. Many employees feel like they work for NASA which is delusional to be honest.

    Advice to Management

    The word in the field is that the CFO is very abusive to everyone at the headquarters. It's too bad because many great people have been fired by her or have left to escape her. The CEO is ok. The executives need to grow up and remember they support us scientists and engineers not the other way around.


  2. Helpful (2)

    "Ask for what you deserve!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - User Experience Designer in Columbia, MD
    Former Employee - User Experience Designer in Columbia, MD
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at USRA full-time

    Pros

    Great coworkers, relatively stable, reasonable benefits, super interesting work!

    Cons

    Salary, contractual job, powerlessness of management

    Advice to Management

    Be your employees' biggest advocate when it comes to negotiating on the contract. Offer supportive middle management that has the time to fully familiarize themselves with the positions you sponsor.


  3. "Great people, terrible pay."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Contractor - Anonymous Contractor in Greenbelt, MD
    Current Contractor - Anonymous Contractor in Greenbelt, MD
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    They will pretty much pay for your education. Middle management it very considerate and concerned for your happiness.

    Cons

    This year's merit increases had more to do with the company's desire to market itself as cheap labor than actual job performance.


  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5. Helpful (3)

    "USRA as contract labor"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Scientist in Mountain View, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Scientist in Mountain View, CA

    Pros

    Great deal of personal flexibility while working for Uncle Sam.

    Cons

    You are hired to do a job. Management is highly compensated for expanding the business and increasing revenue. Your job is to keep the customer happy. There is no opportunity for advancement within USRA. Use this position as an opportunity to feather your nest and move on to the next position.

    Advice to Management

    HR development would help in improved customer service.


  6. Helpful (6)

    "The truth about USRA"

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

    I have been working at USRA full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Mission is interesting. The benefits are good. Vacation & holidays aren't as good as government employment but way better than commercial. Retirement has decent matching. Unless you are in executive management, bonuses are comical. USRA is a steward of taxpayer money, so they should be conservative with how bonuses and the like are being applied. Being employed as a RESEARCHER or EXECUTIVE MANAGEMENT, there are plenty of advantages including work life balance. Being employee on the mid to lower level on the business side, the benefits aren't as great. As far as compensation goes, management has been making an effort to provide rhyme and reason to what employees are paid, creating awareness on what is expected in order to be considered for promotion.

    Cons

    Caution: Undergoing major reorganization prepare for headaches and additional workload. With any reorg, in any company, there are plenty of headaches. Upper management could have prepared, communicated, or enlisted individuals working at the company longer than 1 year for input on the changes and the impact of said changes. That is in the past, and we must work in the present. Advice to anyone considering working here: If you are interested in not being a team player, interested in being a slacker and only doing the bare minimum, interested in simply collecting your paycheck, please do not work here. USRA needs individuals who care about the work product they put out. USRA needs individual who are self motivated. USRA also needs to get rid of all the dead weight in the company that provide little or no benefit.

    Advice to Management

    Upper management spouts the work life balance rhetoric (some even seem to believe it) while at the same time expecting something else. If you are making $250k do you believe that someone making $60k should be as devoted to the company or work as much as you? The more you make, the more you should work and be devoted to the company. Executive management needs to lead by example. If you want to see passion and excellence in your employees, then be passionate and excellent yourself. Also, try to remember, taxing lower level employees without praise, only makes them leave. Calling individuals one trick ponies or shrugging off the amount of work some people do, doesn't make them devoted to the company. It makes them bitter and leave. Even if you think they are morons, don't say it. If you are unhappy with their work product, write them up and start the process of getting rid of them. Remember the golden rule: Treat others how you would like to be treated.


  7. "You are what you make it."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    If you are favored by management they will make sure you are always happy.

    Cons

    If you are not apart of the "in crowd" it is obvious and you will not enjoy the work environment.

    Advice to Management

    Stop favoring a select few.


  8. "Good company"

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

    I have been working at USRA full-time

    Pros

    Gives you a lot of freedom

    Cons

    Salary grading not always fair


  9. "NASA Contractor"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at USRA (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great employees at Moffett Field location.

    Cons

    Communication from the Home Office and Management team needs improvement.


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