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VTT Reviews

14 reviews

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2.8
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VTT President & CEO Erkki KM Leppävuori
Erkki KM Leppävuori
3 Ratings

14 Employee Reviews

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  1. "Possibilities for organizational renewal"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Scientist in Espoo (Finland)
    Current Employee - Senior Scientist in Espoo (Finland)
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at VTT (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    -Great place to do applied research
    -Very multi-disciplinary, good know how in many technical fields
    -New CEO seems very promising and could help in renewing VTT

    Cons

    -Communication is sometimes poor and strategic direction is missing
    -Too many fragmented and isolated projects
    -Lack of leadership
    -At the moment government funding for R&D is being reduced which makes it challenging to find project funding

    Advice to Management

    -Appreciate your people
    -Work on company culture and leaderhip skills of your managers
    -Find a clear strategy with your employees and take determined steps in implementing it


  2. "Research scientist"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Research Scientist
    Former Employee - Research Scientist
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Coworkers! Excellent and professional coworkers, who were always open and supportive to others. Many have PhD degree and/or long experience in their fields. Loved the solidarity.

    Cons

    Strategy is lost. Are you a reserch institute, a subsitute to university or a collaborative institute linking industry to research world?
    Management style fromstone age: day by day more regulations, less and less freedom to even think.

    Advice to Management

    Learn to respect the law


  3. "Management, please learn some lessons"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Principal Investigator
    Former Employee - Principal Investigator
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    nice people... usually, communication within the organisation, collaboration & sharing ideas with other employees (but only on roughly the same level) was very good.

    The place also used to be a very international playing ground, although this has gradually declined over the years, and in my last year (2014), there was very little of it left.... with a poor outlook in future, I hink.

    Communication with other researchers OUTSIDE the organization was also usually very good, and there were many opportunities to participate or even coordinate in International networking projects, such as many EU projects with partners from the rest of Europe. With declining funds available, these options, however, have gradually disappeared.

    Also communication with national research groups in academia was usually quite okay, these rank as the best of my experiences while at VTT.

    Cons

    It was generally difficult to define a clear line between contract research and academic research within the organisation ... you can do either one or the other.

    However, if you want an academic career, VTT is not a good place, in particular after the revisions done in 2015 to the structure (now a non-profit company or OY; whatever that means in practice remains to be seen). Now, this is hardly the place to conduct research that leads to higher impact publications; if this is your goal... go elsewhere.

    Research portfolio has been re-arranged several times during my time, and often changed on short or literally, no notice at all. The reasons for such decisions were also usually not communicated in any way.

    By far the worst experience, therefore, relates to the management. It lacks any clear line of development, consistency; shows poor long-term vision, and was constantly shifting focus ... projects were constantly tossed around or terminated prematurely for reasons that often remained obscure.

    Communication between management and employees was the worst I have ever experienced in any organization. There was simply no interest, it seemed, to properly communicate with those "below" within the line management, and no emails nor phone calls were answered. This also shows a strong degree of disrespect to employees.

    Most importantly, for the economic welfare of the organization: Important decisions were simply not made or not communicated timely - when it would have been strategically smart to react quickly.

    It remained often unclear what exactly was the case or what may have been the reasons behinds such non-decisions ??? Simple procrastination, indecision, lack of interest ? It will remain a mystery to me.

    Advice to Management

    just communicate ! The notorious lack of communication has, in my direct experience, led to missing several good opportunities for partnering & developing a higher visibility with foreign (not Finnish) companies, or even the formation of "strategic alliances" which could be longer lasting sources of income than the usual small, short-term project of which there were so many at VTT. This is a pity, since Finnish economy in this field so strongly depends on entering the European market. Even more so, as VTT is barely known outside Finland.

    The management has to work on this issue if they want to survive in a tough market, in particular when the reason to exist for large-scale, government-owned research organisations (with an immense bureaucratic burden) becomes increasingly questionable.


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  5. Helpful (1)

    "Good place"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Research Trainee in Espoo (Finland)
    Current Employee - Research Trainee in Espoo (Finland)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

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

    Pros

    Good place to work for

    Cons

    slow growth and lots of bureaucracy


  6. Helpful (1)

    "OK for research"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Researcher in Espoo (Finland)
    Current Employee - Researcher in Espoo (Finland)
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    extremely flexible working hours, 6 weeks of vacation

    Cons

    academic research is not appreciated


  7. Helpful (2)

    "One of the worst employers ever"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Very good colleagues. Excellent team spirit.

    Cons

    Top management does nothing else nut consume basic funding amd increase bureaucracy.

    Advice to Management

    Leave the company.


  8. Helpful (1)

    "Research Scientist"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Research Scientist in Espoo (Finland)
    Former Employee - Research Scientist in Espoo (Finland)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

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

    Pros

    Research resource available for work is probably second to known in Nordic nations. Equipments are often free to use internally if you know how to operate - garage scientists' heaven.

    Cons

    Unfortunately, it is sometimes hard to work when you are in the position, no access to lobby line managers for funding. All work is project based, no project, no money to run your work but difficult to get project proposal approved? you would be stuck in the dark...

    Advice to Management

    We are losing approval from Finnish people!


  9. Helpful (3)

    "Possibilities are endless for the motivated self-starters"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Research Scientist in Oulu (Finland)
    Current Employee - Research Scientist in Oulu (Finland)
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook

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

    Pros

    - Relaxed and informal office culture, and great colleagues (we spend free time together)!
    - Long holidays (30 d/a), and flexible working hours
    - Best brains in Northern Europe as colleagues - someone will know the answer to your problem!
    - Project management responsibility early in career, possibility to affect on the contents of the research projects and work on the topics of your interests

    Cons

    - Getting funding for research projects is difficult, and there is little money allocated for project preparation (even though it takes time!)
    - The research infrastructure is generally good, but some of the hardware (scientific instruments) is a bit worn-out and outdated. Replacement investments are scarce and their processing takes a long time. It is embarrasing to work with customers using old instruments.
    - Salary is (to my experience) 10 % lower when compared to similar positions in industry.

    Advice to Management

    Common direction is missing


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Amazing colleagues to work with"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Scientist
    Former Employee - Senior Scientist
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

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

    Pros

    Colleagues are skillful, intelligent and helpful. I absolutely loved to work with them.
    Very long holidays and a short work week (36 h)

    Cons

    The worst thing was to hear from more than one customer that agreements are not respected
    Management is very formal and inflexible, Administration from the Stone Age

    Advice to Management

    Please, learn Lean and Leadership


  11. Helpful (1)

    "Good opportunity for individual work, bad for team work"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Research Scientist in Espoo (Finland)
    Current Employee - Research Scientist in Espoo (Finland)
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

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

    Pros

    - if you are lucky, you can do anything you like
    - not too many meetings, so the project management does not often disturb the actual work

    Cons

    - too many managers and other support staff
    - relatively low salary, little bonuses
    - too many organization changes that don't really help
    - bad software development practices



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