Van Andel Institute Employee Reviews

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Great Place to Work
Internship (Former Employee) –  Grand Rapids, MIJanuary 24, 2018
Loved working here! I would recommend this job for an internship! I learned and gain experience using real world data, research tools, and presentation skills. I liked how you pick when to do your work (It doesn't have to be a 8-5 job, you can choose when you arrive and leave!)
Pros
Food, People, Security
Cons
Short Internship
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Productive and stressful workplace
Molecular biologist researcher (Former Employee) –  Grand Rapids, MichiganOctober 19, 2016
The SMC hospital serves the whole country, so it receives a lot of specimens every day which makes it stressful especially when the lab is short of staff. However, the learning experience is priceless. We learn how to use the software, many staining procedures, attending Fine Needle Aspiration procedures and evaluating the adequacy of each aspirated sample.
The management is highly organized that we get the job done on time and the co-workers are very co-operative making the work environment less stressful and more encouraging.
The hardest part of the job is doing multiple tasks at a time, which makes it hard to complete all of the tasks at once.
The most enjoyable part of this job is that we deal with real patients and the more we do for them the happier we feel. We find it very rewarding every time we make a diagnosis.
Pros
Gaining experience in many fields
Cons
Work overload makes it stressful
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Good enviroment and good benefits
Housekeeper (Current Employee) –  Grand Rapids, MIApril 4, 2016
A day at vai is always good because I get o work on my own, people here are mostly very nice and treat you with respect. I have learned a lot about customer service and also had improve my English.I learned to use a scrubber too.
My supervisor is the nicest ,kind I ever had.
My coworkers are also nice and respectful.
l don't know if there is hardest part, I guess if there is I would say everyday are almost the same wish could make it a little bored.
The most enjoyable part is the flexibility, I can always go to my kid meeting or appoint and just pay my time later.
Pros
flexibility, good management, great benefits
Cons
same task everyday
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Very involved, fun, easy going work environment
Facilities Intern (Former Employee) –  Grand Rapids, MIMarch 27, 2016
Great place to do a summer internship. I worked with a very helpful group of people who made the experience fun and exciting. The pay isn't top notch but if you're looking for a stress free work environment, Van Andel is a great option. Most enjoyable part of the job was the extra curricular activites and events that were offered to all of the interns within the facility. The hardest part of the job was performing the duties of my job without interfering with other departments or intruding on their space.
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The Most Dysfunction/lack of respect and fear of Management I have ever Experienced- I was warned from day one
Marketing and Development (Former Employee) –  Grand Rapids, MIJune 5, 2015
Marketing and Development department is a mess, as every single person there warned me from day one. There is so much dysfunction, in fact, I was told I probably should leave as soon as possible, literally from every manager and associate in the department. I was told it is impossible to please the Director of Development there, and the constant turn-over says it all.

The politics are just so unfortunate- unfortunately, every single manager talks poorly of the director and no one understands why he still has a job.

Beware.
Pros
Good compensation, beautiful building, cafe
Cons
Culture
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Productive work place, a collection of brilliant minds
Intern Michigan State University (Former Employee) –  Grand Rapids, MIJune 30, 2014
Most mornings involve prepping solutions and materials which are dependent on the nature of the experimental analysis and data collection. The experiments are somewhat time-sensitive since they typically involve live animal models that are on a reverse day/night cycle - fidelity of data hinges on the replication of experimental details during the time course of the study. Afternoons are generally when most of the technical execution of the experiments occur.

Through this internship I enhanced my laboratory capabilities since it was the first time I have had to work with animals. I have also added several techniques to my skill set, primarily related to animal handling, behavior testing, surgery prep, perfusions, neuronal cell culture and various histological techniques.

Management is straight-forward with each intern answering to a single lab supervisor and primary investigator.

Co-workers were a pleasure to be around and always willing to help, while learning on the job is necessary... co-workers are always willing to lend a hand to make the process smoother.

Hardest part of the job is keeping up with the simultaneous experiments and sheer volume of data that is collected. Staying organized is key.

The most enjoyable part of the job is the satisfaction that comes with constant development and improvement of one's skills within the laboratory.
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Excellent Starting Job
Animal Caretaker (Former Employee) –  Grand Rapids, MIOctober 23, 2012
A typical day at Van Andel institute: every morning, the caretakers do daily health checks for the mice. These must be done first thing in the morning. After checks, the rooms must be swept and mopped to sanitize. The caretakers set up in their respective rooms and change the dirty mouse cages that are due to be changed for that particular week. At the end of every week, all the caretakers feed every cage so the mice have sufficient food supply for the weekend.

I developed a close relationship with most of my co-workers. Being an animal caretaker requires being part of a team, and I very much enjoyed that aspect of my job. We all got along most of the time and were able to settle disputes fairly easily.
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Overall rating

3.5
Based on 8 reviews
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3.8Work/Life Balance
3.7Compensation/Benefits
2.5Job Security/Advancement
3.0Management
3.0Culture

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