There are newer employer reviews for Harvard University
There are newer employer reviews for Harvard University

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Helpful (1)

Excellence at work

  • Work/Life Balance
  • Career Opportunities
  • Comp & Benefits
  • Senior Management
Current Employee - Director in Cambridge, MA
Current Employee - Director in Cambridge, MA

I have been working at Harvard University

Recommends
Approves of CEO
Recommends
Approves of CEO

Pros

Harvard is a world class institution with smart people, abundant resources and outstanding opportunities for personal and professional growth. The culture within my own academic setting is diverse and respectful of divergent views. Benefits are excellent and life/work balance is taken seriously.

Cons

The university is very decentralized; traditionally organized as 'every tub on its bottom'. It can be tough to navigate the landscape but there is encouragement for greater cooperation across units.

Advice to Management

Keep up the good work! As a relative newcomer I am impressed with president Faust's messages encouraging collaboration and innovation across the university.

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  1. Helpful (1)

    Harvard = Excellence (but keep it to yourself)

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Program Coordinator in Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Program Coordinator in Boston, MA

    I have been working at Harvard University

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Harvard faculty are the movers and shakers of the academic world; Harvard staff are smart and well-intentioned people who are hard-working, detail-oriented and precise. It's rare to find your co-worker shirking his/her duty, or doing shoddy work. It's all about the brand. You can't beat Harvard's brand. Harvard=excellence=hard and careful work.

    Cons

    If you are not on the faculty, you are not integral to the core mission of the university (research and education). You have to be content to be low person on the academic totem pole: Harvard, like most universities, is hierarchical. A major downside is that the attitude toward inter and intra workgroup communication varies widely from school to school and from department to department. In some offices at Harvard, you can go for years without being introduced to others in your 25 person department who are outside your 5 person division. This every-tub-on-its-own-bottom philosophy can lead to process wheel-reinventing; unless a faculty member champions a particular innovation, no one else will learn of it. Harvard Medical School's finance, grant management, education, facilities, and human resource offices all have good reason to share information internally via newsletters and updated websites, yet to my knowledge none of these groups reaches out to share information with faculty and staff on a regular basis (probably because they have to spend so much time arguing procedures/policies with their counterparts on the Cambridge campus). Also, it is very difficult to find a better job within Harvard unless you are staying in the same school - inter-school transfers/promotions are very rare.

    Advice to Management

    Don't hesitate to seize the opportunities offered by the opening of the Allston campus. Make sure that Drew Gilpin Faust can forge a bond of trust with Mayor Menino. Establish bus/Zipcar service so that you can get between the Cambridge and Boston campuses in 10-15 minutes without bringing your car to work. Keep the number of deans in check.


  2. Helpful (1)

    Not as much $ as private sector, but worth it for benefits and stability.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Accountant in Cambridge, MA
    Current Employee - Accountant in Cambridge, MA

    I have been working at Harvard University

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    The best reasons to work for Harvard are the generous benefits package that is offered, and the work-life balance provided by the time off. Also significant is the brand name of the university and the size of institution, which means many opportunities in the accounting/finance side of things are consistently open in various schools and departments around campus.

    Cons

    The decentralized structure can make some work difficult, since every school or group handles things in their own way. Also, many long-term employees can be resistant to change and increased efficiency through changed business practices, which can be extremely frustrating at times.

    Advice to Management

    Larger bonuses for high performers to recognize performance.


There are newer employer reviews for Harvard University
There are newer employer reviews for Harvard University

See Most Recent

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