Smithsonian

  www.si.edu
Work in HR? Unlock Free Profile

Smithsonian Reviews in Washington, DC

Updated 18 August 2014
Updated 18 August 2014
81 Reviews

4.1
81 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Smithsonian Secretary Wayne Clough
Wayne Clough
36 Ratings

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

44 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Air Space Museum in Smithsonian

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Sales Associate  in  Chantilly, VA (US)
    Former Employee - Senior Sales Associate in Chantilly, VA (US)

    Pros

    I can't imagine why anyone would dislike this place. This was a great place to work- nice environment. There are some good people working at the museum, but these are the down-to-earth hourly oompa loompas that are trying to make a living at a minimum wage.

    Cons

    Favored employees get the benefit to continue to work there. Very slow raising the hourly rate.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Positive but monotonous

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

    Pros

    I 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

    Cons

    Because 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.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    Government Red Tape

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

    Pros

    Incredible opportunities and resources, government benefits, and talented colleagues make the Smithsonian an appealing workplace. Plus you can't beat the name recognition on a resume.

    Cons

    There are forms upon forms to fill out, everything is heavy in procedure and red tape, and the institution moves slowly. Once someone is employed there it is impossible to get rid of them regardless of their competency.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  4. We want your feedback – Are these company reviews helpful to you?  Yes | No
  5.  

    Not terrible, great internship opportunity but crippled by bureaucracy

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

    Pros

    Networking, resources, amazing curators and shows

    Cons

    Unpaid, bureaucracy, not a good way to get a foot in the door

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Please do not gossip about former employees like mean high school girls. Highly unprofessional staff who constantly complain about being burned out AT work. Terrible role models and supervisors for interns.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

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

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

    Pros

    So 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".

    Cons

    More 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 ManagementAdvice

    Management has been good in recent years, no real complaint.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Fun, interesting place to work!

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

    Pros

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

    Cons

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

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    HR iNTERN

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

    Pros

    Good opportunities to know people their and conduct informational interviews.

    Cons

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

  9.  

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

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

    Pros

    Behind 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

    Cons

    Bureaucracy, 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 ManagementAdvice

    Find a way to hire your interns!

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    Fantastic Intern Program!

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

    Pros

    One 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.

    Cons

    Some 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.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great freedom but not great pay

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Museum Specialist  in  Washington, DC (US)
    Current Employee - Museum Specialist in Washington, DC (US)

    Pros

    I 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.

    Cons

    The 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 ManagementAdvice

    My 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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

Worked for Smithsonian? Contribute to the Community!

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.