Smithsonian

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Smithsonian Reviews in Washington, DC US

Updated Jul 26, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

4.0 41 reviews

49% Approve of the CEO

Smithsonian Secretary Wayne Clough

Wayne Clough

(24 ratings)

45% of employees recommend this company to a friend

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Behind the scenes look at incredible collections that aren't on display (in 3 reviews)

  • Great benefits after two years of employment and committed people (in 4 reviews)


Cons
  • No possible full time for my position (in 4 reviews)

  • Unpaid position- no benefits other than the experience itself (in 3 reviews)

More Highlights
41 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews
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    Positive but monotonous

    Prospect Development (Former Employee) Washington, DC (US)

    ProsI worked there as a summer intern at the Office of Advancement. Great perks (free webinars, conferences, talks, networking event, unlimited access to Smithsonian museums (including rides, movies, butterfly walk-throughs that you normally must pay for)), great colleagues and a sense of unity within each office

    ConsBecause it is such a large institution, the sense of unity isn't spread throughout. Each office is separate and most hire internally. Many internships lack any financial support.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    This is a wonderful work environment, in the world's largest museum and research center.

    Research Administration (Current Employee) Arlington, VA (US)

    ProsSo many smart people, so many fascinating projects. There is a wide diversity of activities, cultural and scientific, from the exhibits and education programs seen by the public to the research in the labs. Its just like "Bones".

    ConsMore than half the budget is federal appropriation, so when congress shuts down, so do we. Units can be rather insular, difficult sometimes to cross boundaries.

    Advice to Senior ManagementManagement has been good in recent years, no real complaint.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Fun, interesting place to work!

    Intern (Former Employee) Washington, DC (US)

    ProsGreat workplace if you're passionate about the topics with which you're working.

    ConsYou have to be flexible and ready to deal with deadlines set months or years in advance.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    HR iNTERN

    Human Resources Intern (Former Employee) Washington, DC (US)

    ProsGood opportunities to know people their and conduct informational interviews.

    ConsIt's not that fast-paste. Sometimes you need to ask for work to do, but it depends on when the internship is.

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    Incredible experience as an intern, but not much of a chance for paid work.

    Intern (Former Employee) Washington, DC (US)

    ProsBehind the scenes look at incredible collections that aren't on display! We also got to go on exclusive tours at other museums beyond mine own
    Working with leaders in their field

    ConsBureaucracy, bureaucracy, bureaucracy - very challenging to work through the system
    Limited job opportunities - many employees have been working there for decades and it's hard to get a job as an intern with the limited turn-over and growth of the organization

    Advice to Senior ManagementFind a way to hire your interns!

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    Fantastic Intern Program!

    Human Resources Intern (Former Employee) Washington, DC (US)

    ProsOne of the best intern programs! Besides going behind the scenes and being allowed after hours at museums, most employees - even directors - are willing to go out of their way to speak with you about their experiences and give career advice.

    ConsSome departments are more active or involved than others in the program so its what you make of it. The more people you reach out to the more you'll get out of the experience.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Excellent Experience

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) Washington, DC (US)

    ProsGovernment Perks, Staff are a dedicated group

    ConsLong Lead time on replacements. Under staffing

    Advice to Senior ManagementFund your IT infrastructure. Stop over working staff

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    The best place to work

    Research Analyst (Current Employee) Washington, DC (US)

    ProsGreat 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.

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

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    1 person found this helpful  

    Great freedom but not great pay

    Museum Specialist (Current Employee) Washington, DC (US)

    ProsI love the freedom I have at my job, my office has a great view and I get to learn interesting things and interact with people all over the globe. An academic atmosphere where no one is in any hurry.

    ConsThe institution is chronically understaffed and a good portion of the staff are totally unproductive. Not the place for an ambitious career minded individual. Giving 110% will not be rewarded and you will just shoulder the burden of those retiring and those that will not pull their own weight. Considering the education and experience expected to gain employment you could easily make TWICE as much at another agency.

    Advice to Senior ManagementMy direct management is "hands off" and departmental management is either MIA or unconcerned, which can be both a benefit and a curse. HIRE more, PROMOTE more, and that would improve morale and productivity immensely.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    Great place to work

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee) Washington, DC (US)

    ProsGreat 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.

    ConsThere 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.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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