MITRE

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MITRE Reviews

Updated 17 August, 2014
Updated 17 August, 2014
433 Reviews

3.5
433 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
MITRE President and CEO Alfred Grasso
Alfred Grasso
313 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • people pretty much respect your schedule and are supportive of work life balance (in 122 reviews)

  • Good Benefits; however, not as good as they were 25 years ago (in 29 reviews)


Cons
  • Work-Life balance has deteriorated as well as benefits (in 12 reviews)

  • Some upper management seems to talk out both sides of their mouth -- dishonest and hypocritical (in 16 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1. 15 people found this helpful  

    Diminishing company with pockets of gold

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer  in  Bedford, MA (US)
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Bedford, MA (US)

    Pros

    So MITRE is a tough nut to crack. There's a lot of excellent things, a lot of terrible things, and a whole lot of meh in between. Honestly, your experience at MITRE will be 99% dependent on which department you join. Some departments are focused on systems engineering (i.e., you read and write requirements documents while maintaining SharePoint all the time) while some do advanced prototyping (i.e., you do cutting edge research that is several years more advanced than anything in the public sector). Don't trust what you hear in interviews about what work you'll be doing; if possible, ask someone who works there about the department you're a candidate for.

    MITRE is a not for profit and thus doesn't build "products". However, it does develop "operational prototypes" which are basically products in all but the legal sense. You will spend time maintaining software. But you will also have the opportunity to work on a wide variety of projects and rotate between them every 6-18 months.

    Every now and then, you do get to work with someone that is crazy good. I mean, they invented technologies like HTTP or SMTP. That part's awesome and not likely to be found outside of places like Google.

    The work life balance is excellent. You have a flexible schedule, managers rarely set hard deadlines, and it's unusual to put in more than 40 hours at a time.

    And they've been reducing benefits gradually over the last several years, but they're still better than your average company in terms of paid time off or responsibility entrusted to young employees.

    Cons

    Pay. Pay sucks. When you come to MITRE, you will receive a fair offer that will be market competitive. However, your yearly increases end up putting you well below market in 3-4 years. So you you ask -- "why do people stay rather than leave?" because make no doubt about it, over half the company has been there for 15+ years. This answer is two-fold: 1) you are a mediocre engineer and frankly couldn't get a job elsewhere 2) you are an absolute rockstar, best in the world, and on a really kickass project that you absolutely love. Unfortunately, MITRE is on a trend towards more #1 and less #2. Frankly speaking, they're a not for profit and shouldn't be expected to be competitive in pay since they make up for it in work life balance, etc. But there is a trend where the old talented engineers are retiring, the young talented engineers are moving to startups, and you end up with under-performers who would be fired at any other company.

    Another reviewer put it best -- "MITRE is a great place to work as little or as much as you want". MITRE is that now ex-girlfriend that you wish you had ended things with several years ago.

    The company is convinced it's not a software shop but in several of the departments, that's just not true. And common software development practices of testing, continuous integration, using source control, commenting code, etc. are just not followed.

    The promotion process isn't great. You basically put in your time rather than being promoted based on performance. For example, if you have a masters and come in as a level 2 (e.g., software engineer), you'll hit level 3 (e.g., sr. software engineer) in 18-24 months regardless of how good you are. Going from level 3 to level 4 will usually take 5-10 years and again depends more on your networking ability or department rather than skills.

    So if you're a rockstar engineer who wants to do good things in the world, get a job at MITRE (let me or someone else validate the department / project you choose!) However, you'll do yourself a disservice in staying there longer than 3 years which sucks because, as a rockstar, you'll be on a really fun project.

    Alternatively, if you're not the best engineer (or prioritizes life over the job) who wants to pull a decent paycheck for the rest of your life, this is the company for you.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Fire under-performers, invest in your employees, make your pay competitive, and "10x all the things".

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great spot for senior technologists

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Engineer  in  McLean, VA (US)
    Current Employee - Senior Engineer in McLean, VA (US)

    Pros

    Work life balance, access to some very interesting and innovative work.

    Cons

    Limited entrepreneurial opportunity other than internal research which has little financial reward

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Direct project management versus matrix mgmt

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3.  

    Fantastic company that actually cares about improving the US federal government

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

    Pros

    Strong sense of purpose permeates the culture. Employees have open and frank conversations about helping the US gov't with its challenges.

    Cons

    If you're outside of the Bedford Mass or McLean area, you won't benefit as greatly from the perks.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Smart company trying to do the right thing

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Lead Systems Engineer  in  McLean, VA (US)
    Current Employee - Lead Systems Engineer in McLean, VA (US)

    Pros

    1. Smart people with diverse skills to share, interact with and contribute to good causes.
    2. Ample opportunities to excel and grow professionally.
    3. Choices provided for work-life balance decisions.

    Cons

    a. People sometimes become too smart for their own good...and others'.
    b. Need to stay away from some type-A, ladder climbers.
    c. Networking can become more important than performance.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hire the right kind of people, keep them happy, and help them work smartly.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Facility Security officer

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Facility Security Officer  in  Annapolis Junction, MD (US)
    Current Employee - Facility Security Officer in Annapolis Junction, MD (US)

    Pros

    Good benefits and retirement packages

    Cons

    not much room for promotion

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    An academia-like environment with a wide variety of sponsors and projects

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    -Flexible schedule
    -Good opportunities to learn
    -Experience in working with latest technologies

    Cons

    -Uncertain promotion track
    -Sometimes questionable performance reviews

  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    MITRE tries hard to do the right thing; execution is often lacking as are clear and consistent goals.

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

    Pros

    MITRE has some very bright people and has well established position in the public sector. Some of the work is truly fascinating; one has opportunities to parlay technical skills & interests into research programs. Some of the work programs truly make a difference in the world.

    Cons

    MITRE values work-life balance. However, as MITRE is really more aptly described as a collection of many projects rather than a consistent corporate culture, you may be expected to work long hours, weekends, and holidays depending on the project to which you are assigned.

    In addition, some of the sponsor set just plain do not like contractors, and show little compunction about publicly berating you.

    In addition, in recent years many former military have been hired into the company and subsequently promoted too quickly into management and without having been socialized. While some of these people are excellent, many are not. Some dislike civilians and make little attempt to hide their contempt.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Decide what kind of company you want to be, then articulate a clear vision. Establish goals and objectives consistent with that vision. Make the culture consistent with your vision, and then hire and socialize accordingly.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    A very good engineering consulting company that works in a large variety of government areas.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Systems Engineer  in  Washington, DC (US)
    Former Employee - Systems Engineer in Washington, DC (US)

    Pros

    This is a friendly, intelligent company that seems to be very good at employing talented people and giving them interesting things to do. It seems there is a reasonable level of autonomy and a good attitude about respecting employees as people and professionals.

    Cons

    It's a bit old school (could be a pro for some I suppose ) and it sometimes feels limiting to be in a company that exclusively deals with government contracts. Also, as someone working on a government site rather than at a MITRE office, I sometimes felt out of touch.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Provide a bit more involvement to help offsite workers feel integrated in the company.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 3 people found this helpful  

    Downhill trend with upper management leading the way

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

    Pros

    Some very bright people work at Mitre . Most are quite cordial and share their knowledge.
    The benefits are good , retirement being one of the better deals . Next is work / life balance ,, Also a con
    as I'll explain next.

    Cons

    I'll first address work life balance . While it is great to have flexibility with arrival and departure times , Mitre
    has taken this to an entirely unheard of level . It is not uncommon to see employees arrive between 1000 to 1100 hrs.
    I must admit these people most likely put in their time but how can you run a business this way ? Many people don't
    show at all .. Again, are they doing work ? You bet ,but how efficiently is the company running ? This leads to
    much employee strife . For instance , this person barely even comes to work or that person is in with management .

    The review system, P&D is not working as it was suppose to . It has been hinted that a new review method will be put
    in its place . This would be a very welcome change for employees and management .

    Management. See below.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I've noticed that most mid to high level managers have never managed anywhere other than Mitre .

    This inherently causes the types of problems that Mitre faces . The tactics / methodologies to solve problems
    is almost always the same , put out a survey , gather your group once or twice and all should be right with the world .
    Try incorporating some practices of for profit companies

    You need to act !! Managers are busy on their own projects but at this time in the companies history you need to
    be out and about , amongst your people on a daily basis .

    Lastly stop talking / surveying . You have all the info. you need right here on Glassdoor !!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 3 people found this helpful  

    No chance to go up

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

    Pros

    It's OK for work life balance, but most companies would allow someone to take off a half hour early if they needed to and either remove it PTO or make it up in the week with little hassle. MITRE wants to know every day and hour off you need weeks in advance.

    Cons

    No room for growth. You will be underpaid for the work you do in this field and in this location. No one is ever in the office. There are several rented locations that are never full and they're building a new office in Tyson's Corner. No chance to learn about the other opportunities that MITRE has. If the Government ever did a proper audit, I'd be curious to see the work being billed versus the work actually being done.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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