Northwestern University Reviews

Updated July 15, 2015
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Northwestern University President Morton Schapiro
Morton Schapiro
8 Ratings

Pros
  • There is a great work life balance and an understanding that people do have to put their families first some times (in 26 reviews)

  • Great Benefits and growth opportunities (in 37 reviews)

Cons
  • Ability to have work life balance most likely depends on the department with some departments being very high stress (in 10 reviews)

  • The health insurance offered graduate students could be improved (in 12 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

13 Employee Reviews

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  1. Program Assistant

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Northwestern University

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Attractive campus and good location.

    Cons

    Not competitive pay, abusive management, under-qualified HR, inaccurate job description, harassment, insufficient pay increase, high turn over rate, no workplace integrity, managers exhibit bullying behavior to subordinates.

    Advice to Management

    Cease the systemic abuse of your employees.


  2. Disappointing environment

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Assistant Professor in Evanston, IL
    Former Employee - Assistant Professor in Evanston, IL

    I worked at Northwestern University

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Decent benefits but I can't really list many more pros

    Cons

    Culture of volunteerism. Ask for personal sacrifice into personal time with no compensation. Make employees pay for parking and gym.


  3. I was so disappointed by my experience here. I was expecting great things in a position I typically enjoy.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Instructional Designer
    Former Employee - Senior Instructional Designer

    I worked at Northwestern University full-time (Less than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Salary rates and benefits are reasonable. Northwestern also works hard to maintain brand prestige. Financial advantages also mean there are plenty of professional development opportunities if you can make time to attend conferences, etc.

    Cons

    Individual colleges and departments are run like kingdoms, and people's experiences are wholly dependent upon the whims of leadership. No HR appeals help.

    Advice to Management

    Trust and recognize that your employees are capable, honest and want to do good work. Value the truth over perceptions. Listen to complaints filed with HR, rather than using HR as a buffer for bad managers and a means to further target employees. Complaints are not made lightly.


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  5. Poor management of Alumni Relations

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Program Assistant Alumni Relations & Development in Evanston, IL
    Current Employee - Program Assistant Alumni Relations & Development in Evanston, IL

    I have been working at Northwestern University full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Good benefits including medical, time off, etc.

    Cons

    Very top down, old man's club. Lack of employee satisfaction. Compensation is low among our peers. Alumni are rude and extremely privileged.


  6. The pros and cons of working at Northwestern University

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Evanston, IL
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Evanston, IL

    I worked at Northwestern University full-time (More than 10 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Very friendly coworkers. Beautiful campus. If you are into performance metrics, this is the place for you. Pays better than fast food restaurants.

    Cons

    Although they do pay better than fast food restaurants, it's hard to make ends meet with the salary they give pay you. It started out as a very friendly place to work, great coworkers, and we had wonderful management. Lately they have drastically changed their management style. Everything is now performance metrics. Coworkers are afraid to talk to one another or take time off. I've heard from people that they have been restructuring and laying of or "retiring" loyal workers who have work there for years.

    Advice to Management

    Performance metrics might seem to be a good idea to management. You will be able to count how much you've progressed immediately. However, what you've lost are loyal employees' intuition and insights of what they can do to help Northwestern if just given a chance and a few more resources. Many of these talents can't be measured. If given the chance, many if these employee's would have gladly produced innovative projects to get more people interested in Northwestern (donors, students, interested people). You did save a few thousand dollars by eliminating these people but have lost millions/billions of dollars that could have been generated with these peoples skills.


  7. Dead End

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Marketing Manager in Evanston, IL
    Former Employee - Marketing Manager in Evanston, IL

    I worked at Northwestern University full-time (More than 5 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Work life balance is good -- its a very lax environment and paid time off is about as high as you will find anywhere. It is very easy to shove off work, there are no real deadlines. It is next to impossible to get fired from here. If you are just looking for a job with semi-decent pay, good benefits, and not much else going on, work here.

    Cons

    Complete lack of communication (and often understanding) through all entities. If you are really good at what you do, you don't belong here because the employee system rewards mediocrity. It is nearly impossible to get fired, so people who should have been long gone will be sticking around to make your life more difficult. God forbid you should try to change something to make it more efficient or make more sense. With many jobs there is little to no room for growth. Sometimes you will be promised growth but have to be there for a bit to see that it is not happening.

    Advice to Management

    Allow people that excel to change the status quo -- they are excelling because they know what they're doing.


  8. salary is poor- I would say below average

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Analyst/Programmer in Evanston, IL
    Current Employee - Software Analyst/Programmer in Evanston, IL

    I have been working at Northwestern University full-time (More than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    tutiion benefits, health insurance etc.

    Cons

    salary, if you are go-getter then what are you doing there? if you have plans for your kids college funding then stick there.

    Advice to Management

    increase the salary of the current employee otherwise they will also be gone like so many good people you lost.


  9. Mixed bag turned to hellish descent

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Northwestern University

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Great students. Great possiblilites that never emerge

    Cons

    Pay is bad. Colleagues great at first in the Chinese program and PAAL. Then became two-faced with ulterior motives and Chinese Communist/Red Guard tactics to oversee staff and professors. Demoralizing!

    Advice to Management

    Be fair and democratic, not authoritarian and self-serving, sepecially middle-managment. Top management needs to oversee middle. Professors work hard and get hurt if they don't play politics.


  10. Director of Operations in a multi million $ federally funded Research Center

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Director of Operations in Evanston, IL
    Current Employee - Director of Operations in Evanston, IL

    I have been working at Northwestern University full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Great science, outstanding faculty, excellent students, superb reputation

    Cons

    Upper management is largely clueless about how faculty directors manage personnel and funds. Certain faculty get "rockstar" status based on their scientific accomplishments and can misuse federal funds without intervention from the university leadership.

    Advice to Management

    VPs are usually arising from within the ranks of faculty. Hence, impartial oversight does not take place.


  11. A paycheck

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Evanston, IL
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Evanston, IL

    I have been working at Northwestern University

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    NU has a great benefits program with very affordable health care options and other retirement savings plans. My co-workers are fun and lively and are very responsive to emails. Getting time off for vacation and personal things is pretty easy within my department.

    Cons

    Despite the school's public reputation and prestige, there is not a lot of room for advancement or career growth at NU.



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