Sargent & Lundy Employee Reviews

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5.0
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Excellent Company
Support Professional (Current Employee) –  Chicago, ILApril 5, 2018
My work is interesting, challenging, and rewarding, and the people I work with are great. I strive to impress them, so I push myself to continually improve the quality of my deliverables. There is always something to new learn, something new to work on, and my skills are continuously changing. I'm recognized for my contributions and appreciated for my achievements. Because of this, I have great job satisfaction and look forward to coming to the office each day.
Pros
Fantastic benefits, industry leading 401(k) plan, flexibility, great location
Cons
IBM Notes, lack of regular manager training for engineers, office amenities need updating
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2.0
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Promotions are based on how well you suck up
Project Associate (Former Employee) –  Chicago, ILMay 16, 2018
Great benefits, however unless you are willing to sacrifice your home life, you will never move up. Far too much internal political conflict, upper management gives the illusion they care.
Pros
Benefits, pay, location
Cons
politics and lies
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5.0
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Great Company
Senior Associate (Current Employee) –  Chicago, ILOctober 23, 2018
Great company that's had a lot of positive changes recently, particularly in the Power Delivery group. There have been new clients, new offices, new technologies, and managers that have shifted styles and now do a better job at coaching, training, and developing the people on their teams. A number of employees who left within the past 5 years have also returned after discovering that the grass wasn't greener.
Pros
Variety of work, training, great coworkers, flexibility, opportunity for advancement
Cons
Office amenities
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4.0
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Very Good Place to Work
Project Associate 2 (Current Employee) –  Warrenville, ILJanuary 11, 2018
As a part-time employee, I worked approx. 1600 hours per year. I did receive Health Care and about a week of PTO, but no other benefits. The work was stimulating, but never stressful. I was able to work remotely from my home a majority of the time. The management is fair and open. As a part-time employee, my job security was low, and I had no areas for advancement. Overall, it is a good company to work for, especially if you are a full time direct employee.
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2.0
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High Turnover, low pay, and stressful
Electrical Engineer (Current Employee) –  Chattanooga, TNJanuary 17, 2019
Don't work here unless you are ready to sacrifice your pay increases for the foreseeable future with the potential of being let go when management feels they would rather pretend to work on getting new clients than get some.
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3.0
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Good place to work, however, there is some favoritism issues.
Administrative Professional (Current Employee) –  Chicago, ILNovember 27, 2018
Sargent and Lundy is a good place to work. Management in my department tends to micromanage which can get in the way of creativity.

The place is conservative.
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3.0
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Large company, easily lost in the masses
Structural Associate III (Former Employee) –  Chicago, ILApril 25, 2018
Never really seems like anyone really knew you or your workload. If you're asked to go into the field it's a great experience; however, when you return it will seem like you were forgotten as an employee during your "absence."
Pros
Lots of older engineers to learn from
Cons
No work life balance, promotions are time based, not performance based (mostly)
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2.0
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N/a
Discipline Professional (Former Employee) –  Wilmington, DESeptember 11, 2018
Senior management needs thorough training in how to speak and respect individuals whom they deem "beneath them",

Some managers are excellent and fun to work with, but you're lucky if you get to work with them.
Pros
Excellent Boss
Cons
poor managers
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1.0
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Not a place I'd recommend working
Accounts Payable Specialist (Former Employee) –  Chicago, ILNovember 26, 2018
The office was beautiful and the view was amazing! What I was hired to do and what I was doing were two completely different things. Most enjoyable thing about my job was a few people I met.
Pros
Some people I met
Cons
Waste of my time
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2.0
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It is a reasonable place to work
Structural Engineer (Former Employee) –  Chicago, ILJanuary 1, 2019
I recall that we worked in teams. It was good; I wished there were more autonomy given to individual employees. I adapted and worked well with other employees to the best of my ability.
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5.0
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Good benefits, great culture.
Mechanical Engineer (Current Employee) –  Chicago, ILMay 20, 2017
Sargent and Lundy is a terrific employer that provides good pay and benefits along with a great culture. They provide an environment that is open for engineers to question and learn as they progress through the company. They also provide good mechanisms for new hires to become acquainted with the company. A good example is the sponsor program wherein new hires are paired with experienced engineers who have a similar background but work in a different department. The experienced engineer is given a budget to take the new hire out a few times a year, chat about what's going on, and help guide them. It is set up this way so the new hire has an outlet for questions, guidance, etc. where they are dealing with someone who is familiar with their situation but is removed form the new hire's direct oversight.
Pros
Good pay, benefits, and environment. Easy commute within Chicago
Cons
Short term stability
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2.0
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I worked for S&L decades ago and barely remember it.
Stress Analyst (Former Employee) –  Chicago, ILJanuary 6, 2019
Sargent and Lundy were very involved in the nuclear power plant design industry back in the 1980s when there was a nuclear plant design work being performed. That was a long time ago.
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3.0
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All eggs in one basket
Physical Designer (Former Employee) –  Chicago, ILMay 6, 2017
This is a good, long standing firm. They have great experience and fairly good vision but the tendency to grow from within became a disadvantage. Many of the Lead staff were not very knowledgeable about what needed doing and they could not answer technical questions. In addition, some of the directions given were not practical for field installation. Training was largely having the team lead showing where the instruction manuals were. This left some things up to individual interpretation which usually proved incorrect. Consequently, much time was wasted. I never saw efficiency being considered in relation to tasks or asset management. Also, the group I was working in had only one client. This became a problem in the end. In spite of all this, I enjoyed my time at this company.
Pros
Large company in center of Chicago, good salary
Cons
Wasteful and inefficient, seeming lack of experience on the floor
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3.0
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Little appreciation for employees
Associate II (Former Employee) –  Chicago, ILMarch 31, 2017
Sargent & Lundy's management cares only about their bottom line and the management's jobs. They often overwork their employees (60+ hours per week) as they promise schedules to the clients that are not realistic. They also underbid in order to get projects, then berate employees for going over budget when they were simply trying to put together a quality project.

There is little to no incentive for anyone to help others out, so young engineers simply have to learn the ropes and getting advice/information from managers and older employees is often like pulling teeth.
Pros
Good benefits, competitive salary, great location
Cons
Poor management, management doesn't care about employees
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4.0
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It can be bittersweet...
Computer Support Technician (Current Employee) –  Chicago, ILNovember 6, 2017
The people really make Sargent and Lundy worth working at. You can make some really good friends participating in/on one of the many teams/events at S & L. But office politics can (and sometimes does) ruin the work experience. There is little chance, upon you having a suggestion on how to improve an existing procedure, that it will be taken into serious consideration especially if you are a subordinate. Work procedures are near of set in stone. That having been said, many of the employees have been with the company for decades so you'd almost never have to worry about job security. All and all, it's a pretty good place to work.
Pros
relatively good job security, good work life balance
Cons
not really open to change, office politics
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5.0
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Great Employees and Learning Opportunities
Associate Engineer (Former Employee) –  Chicago, ILMarch 12, 2018
I came to S&L with experience, but I wish I had come here out of college. I got plenty of design experience on a variety of projects. The employees are friendly, some are standoffish but nice once you get to know them. It’s mostly engineers so that’s expected. The monthly Community of Practice meetings were great for meeting other employees and sharing knowledge. I worked remotely, but I left because there was no advancement opportunities unless I was willing to relocate to Chicago. I would go back if given the opportunity.
Pros
Very Organized, Great Learning Experiences, Social Networking, Nice Offices, Good Location
Cons
Can be a masculine environment with good ‘ol boy tendencies
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5.0
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Great Company
Nuclear Plant Analyst (Former Employee) –  Chicago, ILSeptember 24, 2018
Left because of reduction in force, but working there was amazing. The group I was with was always striving for perfection and continuously pushing the limits of the collective body of knowledge.
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3.0
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Good starting place for engineers but volatile atmosphere
Mechanical Associate II (Former Employee) –  Chicago, ILJanuary 16, 2013
Sargent & Lundy provided solid training and a rigid structure to the completion and management of system design projects. With standards in place helping one design a system, source the components for said system, and develop all related documentation and control schemes, I quickly improved my system design abilities. However, due to the company's lean hiring practices and volatile power industry, turnover was very high. Advancement seemed luck-of-the-draw, while a full quarter of the company's engineers was laid off in a three month period.
Pros
excellent structure, location, benefits
Cons
high turnover, distant management
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3.0
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Average Company Stuck in the Past
Senior Engineer (Current Employee) –  Chicago, ILJanuary 22, 2018
In a rapidly declining fossil fuel market, Sargent & Lundy is too used to their old ways to diversify their business and hedge their future. There is a company culture of quelling young talent to keep the aging and inefficient engineers in power.

Pay and bonuses are not based on performance which allows for a large percentage of employees to "punch the clock" every day at work with very few actual productive hours. This leads to a significant difference in work product and resentment between the intelligent, hard working engineers and the slackers. Engineers and project managers who have proven that they cannot complete a project under budget are given chance after chance while their unsuccessful projects eat in to the bonuses of successful employees and hurt the company's reputation.

All of the good leads, project managers, and project directors are so overworked that you can watch the happiness drain from their bodies after every successive "promotion" (aka more responsibility with the same pay). I find that a good way to evaluate your company is to look at your boss or your boss's boss and ask yourself, "Do I want to be in that position one day?" In my opinion, the pay is not worth the unhappiness that I see on all of our Manager's and Director's faces day after day around the office. It is very hard to walk around our office and find someone who is happy.

In the last 4 years, I have watched half of our business group and most of the good young engineers leave the company for better pay and better positions. The fossil business group has lost over 100 of their
  more... employees while our competition is hiring them and growing their business. Every person I talk to here is looking for another job at the moment. Sargent & Lundy refuses to hire experienced engineers and project managers from different industries to grow their company into new markets. The lack of diversification, creativity, and foresight at the top of the organization could be the downfall of this company.

Project directors / VP's are promoted from within which sounds great but does not work in practice. You do well as a detail oriented engineer sitting alone at your desk doing complex system calculations you are moved up to lead then maybe project manager. Now, you need to be great at a whole new skill set: managing teams of people, budgets, schedules, and communicating clearly with clients. That's where most people usually quit or plateau in the company. If you succeed as a project manager you may get the opportunity to be a project director / VP after 25 or so years where now you must learn a third skill set: business development. This is where the Peter Principle really sets in. Most great engineers are horrible at developing business because they have spent their whole career engineering things not cultivating business relationships. This is the fatal flaw in the career path at Sargent & Lundy. Project directors are so busy traveling 4 days a week trying to drum up business they do not have any time to direct their projects. This leads to bad projects snowballing into huge losses for the company. The company needs to hire dedicated business development individuals to grow into new territories and markets.

My advice to upper management: Promote your young, hard working, intelligent engineers and pay them based on their performance so they do not leave, they could be the future of your company. If these individuals are instrumental to the success of a profitable project why should the VP's be the only ones who reap the benefits? The only way to correct this path is to replace the old with the new and usher in a younger generation of engineers who can breath life into this archaic company.
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3.0
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No Balance
Senior Electrical Engineer (Current Employee) –  Chicago, ILJune 10, 2017
Some days it is extremely stressful with too much to do. Other days you are stressed out with no work while you waste other project budgets. You have to deal with all aspects of the job from scheduling to project management, while the actual managers just set arbitrary deadlines. Working in the nuclear industry is not real engineering. You will not be prepared to do real work if all of your experience is in nuclear. Configuration management is most of the job.
Pros
Good benefits
Cons
Poor management
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Overall rating

3.7
Based on 122 reviews
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