Harvard University

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Harvard University Reviews

Updated Jun 21, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.9 466 reviews

91% Approve of the CEO

Harvard University President Drew Gilpin Faust

Drew Gilpin Faust

(216 ratings)

84% of employees recommend this company to a friend

Review Highlights

Pros
  • For administrative positions, the work/life balance is decent because staff are unionized(in 43 reviews)

  • Lots of freedom, interesting work, great benefits, unbelievable resources(in 48 reviews)


Cons
  • bad work/life balance, low pay, minimal training unless actively sought out(in 14 reviews)

  • low pay, ceiling/plateau for researchers, no clear path for researches in public health, isolating environment(in 13 reviews)

14 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews
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    • Culture & Values
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    1 person found this helpful  

    PostDoc at Harvard

    Postdoctoral Fellow (Current Employee) Boston, MA

    ProsThe only long term benefit might be the brand name to help find a job and advance in your career later.

    ConsHarvard pays a very low salary. The work condition and the equipment is mostly old and miserable.
    The work environment is horrifying.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    Review of Department of Biostatistics, Harvard School of Public Health

    PhD Candidate (Former Employee) Boston, MA

    ProsAfter you graduate, people will think that you are smart and it will be (hopefully) easy to get a job.

    Cons- While the professors do great research (on their own), they do not want to teach students, and are therefore terrible teachers
    - The staff is incredibly unprofessional and will insult and intimidate students
    - Many students were not paid at least once or twice during their time at Harvard
    - Students are required to be teaching assistants for free, even if they are externally funded
    - All absences relating to personal illnesses or family crises/illnesses/death are treated as failure to show with regard to the written qualifying exams (you will not be told this in advance!)
    - The classes are pretty low level and poorly taught. Expect to learn everything you need to know off the internet or from textbooks

    Advice to Senior ManagementHire people who want to teach and don't hate students

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Terrible. A Career Killer.

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee) Cambridge, MA

    ProsEverything built by you in house means you gain many engineering skills

    ConsThe lab is severely mismanaged. The day to day activity is micromanaged. Work goes unpublished. No conference travel.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    • Culture & Values
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    • Disapproves of CEO

     

    Over educated babies with no interpersonal skills - makes working there difficult.

    Staff Assistant (Former Employee) Cambridge, MA

    ProsConnections. There are so many alums.

    ConsSelfish, arrogant people in all staffing levels - who don't know how nor really want to do work.

    Advice to Senior ManagementLeave.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    Most political place you'll ever worked at...

    (Former Employee) Cambridge, MA

    Pros- 4 weeks vacations + 1 week winter break
    - good health benefits
    - work load = ok

    o Harvard does have very good benefits, they try to give you a good work/life balance.

    Cons- extremely political environment
    - people are all about themselves
    - team-work non-existence
    - many incompetent and condescending management

    o It depends on which department you work in, but most department have incompetent leadership. Most department are extremely conservative with close minded people as leader. Since it's non-profit, majority of the management are unprofessional, often condescending and some are even racist. Overall, not a healthy environment to work in.

    Advice to Senior ManagementNeed to take a closer look at management and should get rid of people regardless of their age and status.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Greed, incompetence, and socially dysfunctional describe the management at Media Technology Service

    Harvard Media Technology Services, Audio and Visual Technician (Former Employee) Cambridge, MA

    ProsA lot of down time! If you like being able to do what ever you want while getting paid then this is the job for you! 80% of the time you are there you get to do what ever you want on your email. Free rental a lot of audio and video equipment. BEWARE this is all completely over weighed by the cons.

    ConsNot only is the management the most socially awkward and mean spirited people i have ever had the misfortune of working with, but these people love to treat their part time employees like mindless workers instead of human beings. I am not the only employee with this experience.
    While working here I was lied to about hours. I had multiple emails confirming my hours and schedules, but when the semester rolled around the management decided to give 75% of my hours to unpaid interns. Keep in mind I have a graduates degree! Also, take into consideration that I am not the only person this was done to. I found out later on, that the only reason they gave my hours to unpaid interns was so that the management could receive bonuses for rolling back expenses. This made my life very stressful for about a month while I found another job to fill these hours, considering I was relying on these hours.
    I was also treated very unfairly for multiple jobs that were never explained to me. Something that in a normal work environment would be treated as a learning experience. DO NOT WORK HERE.

    Advice to Senior ManagementStart treating employees like people, instead of objects you can stab in the back.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    Worthy of a Harvard Business School Case Study

    Senior Business Analyst (Former Employee) Cambridge, MA

    ProsLooks great on your resume! People very nice...initially.

    ConsManagement disorganized. Data silos. Customers inaccessible. Little direction, if any, from lower level management. Very long time frames for any decision, including project timelines.

    Advice to Senior ManagementFigure out how to eliminate the politics, especially among the IT staff. It's not a contest...it's a team. I've worked in multiple Harvard schools/departments, and have the same advice for each.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
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    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Work at Harvard to take advantage of the educational benefits (TAP), not for professional/career development

    (Former Employee) Cambridge, MA

    ProsTuition assistance program is excellent.

    ConsThe enormous wealth of the institution of Harvard does not translate into support or reasonable pay for the staff.

    Pay is extremely low compared to positions of comparable workload, demand, expectations, and stress within the private sector. Zero raise and incentive structure; no bonus system based on merit and accomplishments. You can work extremely hard and for long hours every day, doing top-notch work above and beyond expectations, but you won't be compensated for it. No professional mentoring at all. No professional training beyond what is needed to move to another job within Harvard itself. Management are mostly professors who are not at all invested and have no stake in providing professional development opportunities or challenges for the staff. Therefore, there is very little opportunity to develop as a professional here, and no exposure to private sector opportunities.

    All of Harvard's resources cater to the needs and the schedules of the students; staff are not even considered in the decisions that effect the entire community.

    Harvard is decentralized at even the lowest level, and thus an extremely inefficient bureaucracy. Like the University offices and departments, the staff themselves are isolated from one another; no networking, advocacy, or social opportunities. Advocacy is stifled.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    educational

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) Lander, WY

    Prosaccess to public transportation and diverse customer base

    Consenvironment suffers from a greatly inflated sense of its own importance;

    Advice to Senior Managementgo work in the trenches of the working class for one year; confine yourselves to a working class salary for one year in Boston; live within the means of a working class family in Boston for one year and then take a look at Harvard; good luck..

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    2 people found this helpful  

    no growth

    Engineer (Current Employee) Cambridge, MA

    Prosyou can brag that you work for Harvard, vacation time good

    Conssalaries below market
    benefits they brag about ..just comparable to any company
    bonuses nill
    hardwork .. a lot
    more input- less output

    Advice to Senior Managementsome people are happy abouut slow and growth with good cvacation time nd so..
    I am not

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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