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Employee Review of BAE SYSTEMS - Check out more reviews of working at BAE SYSTEMS

3.1Rating Details
Category
Pay4
Respect4
Benefits4
Job Security3
Work/Life Balance4
Career Growth2
Location3
Co-Workers2
Work Environment3

From Rockville, MD — 09/26/2010

BAE Systems is one of the largest Defense/Aerospace contractors in the world and operates facilities and project sites all over the globe. Your experience as an employee will depend almost entirely on the specific project you are hired to work on. The benefits are just about the only thing that would be consistent between the different business units, and Iím not even sure thatís true in all cases.

The US company is a non-cohesive collection of business units, most of which were gathered by acquisition over the last 10 or 12 years. That doesnít significantly affect day-to-day operations but does impact your ability to grow professionally within the organization over the long-term. No corporate goals or objectives encompassing the entire organization are communicated, so itís difficult to determine what an employee can work on - in terms of professional development - that might be seen as bringing greater value to the company.

Managers will tell you to make up professional and development goals because they donít have any real corporate guidance either. So, even if you do achieve your set goals, they might be pretty worthless to the project youíre working on, the current customer, and the company. Letís face it - you just dreamed them up!

Project management seems to be pretty much a question of getting direct tasking from government liaison officers, etc. and passing it along to the minions. Thereís some company rhetoric about delivering quality results to meet customer requirements but, in reality, itís about tasks, not requirements. Quality assurance or validation donít enter into it. Donít worry about whether it makes any sense or adds value - just do it.

The upside is that, at least on the contract I worked on, I never had to work very hard and I made pretty good money with decent benefits. On only a few occasions did I have to work late or on weekends and when I did, I just worked fewer hours later in the week. There was never a case where I was expected to do proposal writing or any non-billable stuff that I couldnít include on my regular time sheet. Even when some manager would ask me to do something and it ended up just getting tossed because nobody really cared, I got paid. (Your tax dollars at work.)

It does seem like communication between corporate HQ and the project sites has improved in recent years and it will probably continue to do so. Thereís also been improvements in the administration of payroll and benefits, etc. When I started, that stuff was pretty lame and I heard some real horror stories from the very early years, too.

So, itís a good place to work, at least for some people in some situations. However, itís not for the really ambitious type.
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