Staff Mechanical Engineer (Former Employee) – Littleton, CO – March 4, 2015
Each day at Applied Research Associates was different. Being a consulting/contracting firm (dealing mostly with government and military) presented various challenges and projects. A typical day would usually consist of reviewing lab write ups/white papers, preforming a variety of tests, generating lab reports, and finally submitting lab reports.
I learned a variety of tasks including (but not limited to) preforming various tests, generating test protocols, generating lab write ups, designing and manufacturing test jigs/fixtures.
The management at Applied Research Associates was relatively strict, but still very knowledgeable. They were very strict on meeting deadlines and being under budget, which is completely understandable when dealing with contracts. But it can however make for a very stressful work environment.
My co-workers were very knowledgeable and came from a variety of backgrounds and schools/degrees. It was not unheard of for an engineer to work with a physics major. It made for very interesting group dynamics, but also made it easier to generating new concepts by having people from different backgrounds.
The hardest part of the job was generating the white papers and lab reports while still meeting the, usually, tight deadlines.
The most enjoyable part of the job was the challenge. Every day you worked on something different, it was great for keeping you stimulated and interested in the work you were doing. Each day was a great learning opportunity.
Staff Scientist (Former Employee) – USSTRATCOM, Offutt AFB, NE – April 9, 2014
ARA is a Department of Defense contract firm so I had direct client interfacing while planning military exercises for United States Strategic Command. A typical day included collaboration with other working groups, developing training and exercise objectives and identifying requirements to meet those objectives. Coordination with trusted agents and other planners to build story lines and integrate those vignettes with the master scenario. Co-workers were other DoD contractors, government civilians and military members with varying skill sets. The hardest part of the job was working with the exercise scripters to integrate smaller story lines. The most enjoyable part of the job was during exercise execution when we got to see the flow of the exercise and how the training audience reacted and worked together to develop solutions to the problem set created.
Typical day of work at ARA includes little to no communication with/through staff. Great experiences and work with customers. Coworkers, with the exception of a few, have little to no communication and/or personal skills. There is little to no appreciation for employees and even customers. Nepotism and management "favorites" ruin the work environment.
Worked with 12 personnel daily ensuring they got assistance from me in equipment checks & accountability, training, and deployment of personnel and equipment. My co-workers were all active duty Air Force members that were subject to deploy to any location in the world with only short notice. The hardest part of the job was making sure members were ready to meet military requirements to support our country. The most enjoyable part of my job was knowing job satisfaction that they were ready and that I made that happen.
Research Assistant (Current Employee) – Newport News, VA – August 5, 2013
Our work is mostly research oriented. We conduct experiments sing our equipments depending on the project we are handling and the runs usually go on for 7 hours. Most of our work involves research to find out how to get better results by going through a lot of papers and articles. We are guided by my adviser and Post-Doc who mention our goals and assist us in understanding our experiments better. The hardest part is getting the machine to work properly as it gives trouble from time to time while the fun part is the freedom we are offered. We can conduct experiments with our own ideas provided they are feasible. This has helped us gain a lot by means f trial and error.
easily identified as I am a 1 deep position (Current Employee) – easily identified as I am a 1 deep position – May 14, 2013
Outstanding to work for. Great support form all levels of management and branches of the company. As a contractor, I am at a remote site, and have never actually met my supervisors face-to-face, but have any support if needed. They leave you alone to perform your job, and the review/ratings for promotion/pay increase is very fair! As a recently seperated veteran, this company was an easy transition to make. But- with all DoD contracting firms, job security is only as good as the politicians and the needs of the military. No fault of the company- but I got my sequester notice. They are assisting us every step of the way to the last day- and helping to us to find other jobs.
Administrative Assistant - ARA Southeast Division (Current Employee) – Raleigh, NC – September 19, 2012
Working at ARA allows lots of people interaction with interesting projects being developed by Scientist, Engineers, and Software Developers. The culture is very strict, and based in military/government schools of thought.