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tremendously intellectually fulfilling, but grueling and extremely demanding

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

I have been working at MIT full-time (More than 5 years)

Recommends
Positive Outlook
Approves of CEO
Recommends
Positive Outlook
Approves of CEO

Pros

If you enjoy the opportunity of working with some of the brightest minds in the world, both faculty and students, as well as investigating a field of interest that you have chosen and developed yourself, you will love working at MIT.

Cons

If you enjoy strict working hours, and highly defined responsibilities, and a lot of team projects then MIT may not be the place for you. It's for self-directed, highly motivated, highly autonomous people. Boston is an extremely expensive city and it's mostly suburban, so be prepared for a commute.

Advice to Management

MIT "management" (really administration) are tops- I have never worked with more understanding or positive administration.

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  1. Helpful (3)

    Fulfilling mission, grueling hours, highly dysfunctional culture

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

    I have been working at MIT full-time (More than 8 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    The work could not be more meaningful. You're working alongside the world's brightest minds on the most interesting problems. You'll have the freedom to work autonomously to solve fascinating problems of great importance.

    Cons

    MIT's highly dysfunctional culture presents a big challenge to keeping talented people. Some will never leave because they "drank the kool-aid," (so the saying goes at the Institute) and believe that there's no place for them outside the Cambridge bubble. I didn't realize how bad it was until I went to Silicon Valley and learned what kind of lifestyle is possible when one prioritizes and balances lifestyle, career and family.

    The work is grueling and extremely hard. Depending on your position, expect to work 60+ hours per week. You'll be answering emails throughout your weekend, evening, family time and yes, even in the middle of the night. It's an email-heavy culture, and people respond right away, even at the oddest of hours (you'll be expected to do the same).

    There's also a lot of competition, jealousy and perfectionism -- a result of the strict academic culture that permeates every aspect of MIT life. Those who are willing to sacrifice their sleep, sanity and marriages get ahead. A favorite (well-known) professor of mine always looked filthy and in need of a shower (how many times I wanted to wash her hair for her). Between her small children and teaching and research career, showering just seemed like a luxury.

    Institute leadership is dysfunctional, paranoid, demanding and petty. The culture got somewhat better after President Reif took over MIT, but it's hard to change long-standing attitudes and frankly the craziness of the administration.

    MIT could also do a better job of retaining and EQUALLY PAYING female employees.There's an unspoken 15% ceiling on raises, even if you get a raise and take on a big leap in responsibilities. When you come into a position already being paid less than your male colleagues, the gap widens every year. Resentment sets in when you're fairly senior in your career, but get $15,000 - $25,000 less than the men who were hired after you.

    Advice to Management

    Leadership: therapy, weekends, better values and priorities
    HR: pay women equitably; do salary surveys to ensure that gaps in pay don't widen as employees advance

  2. Good place to start

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

    I worked at MIT full-time

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Worked on every part of the company, emails, marketing, registration, set up, strike down, committee meetings, lunches etc. Wide variety of experience

    Cons

    Very small team of people, relied upon volunteers

There are newer employer reviews for MIT
There are newer employer reviews for MIT

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