Lucky prospects will find themselves in a team with young, eager colleagues who want to make a difference. Unlucky prospects will find themselves with the rest of the large engineering body, buried beneath decades of mismanagement, apathy and vitriol towards employees.
Work is often unrewarding as there is no room or time for praise or appreciation. Given the nature of how much Research & Development occurs within the engineering group there is often no satisfaction to be had with projects that never make it to production.
The negative opinion about the job security is absolutely justified. Contract positions are nothing more than cannon fodder to throw at short term man power shortages with no evaluation of the competencies of contractors or the possibility of bringing them into the fold. Salary positions are incredibly unlikely to see advancement without switching between teams and divisions, and as of late have just as much job security as contract positions. Expect to see colleagues terminated without cause, only to have their position appear on internal and external job sites within months.
They often tout their flexible work schedule, which entails punishment for using it, expectations of never leaving the facility and working atrocious amounts of overtime.
Expect management to use and abuse you while they make the same mistakes year after year.