Program Manager in Laurel, MD
Great mission but the bureaucracy and internal politics are the worst
If you can work on a great project full time as a technical staff member, you will probably like your job (if you like your manager). If you are hired without a specific project to support, you will probably have a harder time. If you are in management, you will spend most of your time outside of the technical work, being an administrator / business person, even if hired for technical skills and experience. It is a matrixed organization, and this creates many different management challenges as well as strained internal politics - it has been called "cut throat." Most people have been working there since they were interns, so it is the kind of place where you are made to feel "new" until you've been there for five years, as they say - not great for inclusivity and innovation. Promotions have a lot to do with the number of years you have dedicated to the organization, not your competency, accountability, or ability to work with others (I have never sought a promotion myself... this is a common observation). Coming to the organization as an experienced professional from elsewhere is an uphill battle. The mission is great, so if you can get past all of that, focus on your small universe, stay out of/ignore the internal politics... you might like it!
Senior Staff in Laurel, MD
Cutthroat, Mean Environment
APL has a more well-known reputation than it actually deserves. It's an organization run by young people at the execution level. The mentality is bring them in young, dangle a carrot (titles), pay them low (since), offer them a retirement plan that keeps them there for life! Make them hungry and competitive. Not a place for experienced personnel from outside APL. Parking is horrendous too! Need to plan 1/2 hour just to find parking and then walk several buildings through snow, ice, rain, etc. (or be there before the sun rises!).
Support Staff Member in Laurel, MD
APL has an environment that fosters creativity.
Nice place to work, but be prepared to have limitations placed upon you from unexpected areas, deal with an enormous amount of red tape, and face hurdles as you try to advance. There are a lot of politics, competition, and promotion within the organization is based upon Educational achievement over proven success. Fraternization, limited growth potential, and poor promotion potential define APL across all Departments and Sectors and this is the common thread that defines working here.
Mechanical Engineer in Laurel, MD
Family Atmosphere and Flexibility
I really enjoyed working as an integral part of my project sector. I felt welcomed from the day I arrived until the day I left (to go back to school for higher education). They even through a goin away party for me the day before I left!
The only thing I didn't like about JHUAPL was that they didn't pay overtime. However, since our base salaries were on the higher end, it made up for it.
Computer Scientist in Laurel, MD
The general quality and dedication of the staff is exceptional
The general quality and dedication of the staff is exceptional. From the scientific staff to the administrative support most staff members take their job and the Lab’s mission very seriously
While not every contract is thrilling or technologically advanced, most are at least purposeful and meaningful providing support for missions critical to important agencies that are essential.