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.
Challenging and Important Work in a Culture of Respect
Training/Emergency Management Consultant (Current Employee) – Panama City, FL – October 13, 2017
I felt valued and respected as a member of a professional team held to high standards and capable of producing excellent and much needed work to support the client's mission. The work is fast-paced and rigorous, and the management provides tools and support to ensure employees can accomplish tasks.
Group Leader (Former Employee) – Panama City, FL – August 23, 2017
ARA is hands down the best job I have ever had. First off they treat their employees EXTREMELY well. Second the work is very interesting with a lot of hands-on development. This is not some mega firm where you are going to spend months working on a single part in some giant assembly that you will never see built. I only have two cautions with ARA. The first is that they almost exclusively work on government contract so stability is not the highest. The second is that experience you get may be more generalized as the most useful people are those that can change roles quickly.
Government contracting so stability is not the highest
Can't complain much, its a very good company to work with. If you are creative and bring work, you will be just fine. There are a lots of opportunities you can take and for the most part, as any company, there are ups and downs, but the benefits are great and if you are good they try to keep you employed. You just have to work the way up form the manager and his bosses. Sometimes is a struggle to find the job you are an expert and if you are an engineer, forget about someone finding work for you, you will be actively looking for your own jobs or if its a large job that requires group assignments, expect a lot of collaborating in proposals often.
benefits, lots of renowned professionals you can collaborate with
lack of keeping up with job security, not all divisions are equally balanced as of good management, often you need to look for jobs instead of a team dedicated to that
Employee Owned Company respecting your ability for inovation
Office Liaison (Current Employee) – Littleton, CO – June 5, 2017
This Company is a relaxing environment. We do a lot of fun and interesting work. I take care of the Office Management. I'm always busy helping others, which I love to do. My favorite part of this job is hosting conferences, meetings and lunches.
Good company to work for if your are a caregiver for young children or elderly parents. If you are part of the administrative staff do not plan on advancing your career. This company is completely horizontal with next to no chance of promotion or training.
terrible benefits, short sighted/fearful management
Very short sighted and small minded. Spend tons of money on a hung plant building that only has less than 20 workers in it and having customers when they visit drive over 150 miles on back woods roads and then stay at someone house because the nears hotel is over 100 miles away was to not smart.
Initially, there was lots of potential to learn new things, but eventually discovered there is little room for growth. Pay scale very low when compared to averages in the area. Management is basically revolving door, which is frustrating.
Senior Research Engineer (Current Employee) – Littleton, CO – February 15, 2017
ARA is, first and foremost, a marketing organization. Every manager is where he/she is because or their marketing. This makes for a good marketing organization but misses in other areas of performance from a technical, leadership, and administrative perspective. The culture is management-by-numbers and sometimes this causes a lack of teamwork and camaraderie.
ARA does some interesting work and if you can be part of that, it can be worth putting up with the negatives.
If you have established an expertise and relationships with your sponsors, and you want marketing to be a large percentage of your working hours, then ARA is worth a look. Otherwise you will find it difficult to establish relationships with sponsors with the thin resources you will get.
An employee-owned company with a great ESOP.
Layers of managers, with few leaders. A company that literally has almost nothing but its people, professional development should be a priority. But it isn't.
I have been employed here for 10+ years. I love the company. They care about their employees and try to help them further their careers. They have absolutely EXCELLENT benefits -- health, dental, 401K, and vision. Their Paid Leave policies are beyond wonderful and are flexible.
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.