Harvard University

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Harvard University Reviews in Cambridge, MA

Updated November 29, 2014
Updated November 29, 2014
533 Reviews
4.0
533 Reviews
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Harvard University President Drew Gilpin Faust
Drew Gilpin Faust
234 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • For administrative positions, the work/life balance is decent because staff are unionized (in 47 reviews)

  • Lots of freedom, interesting work, great benefits, unbelievable resources (in 51 reviews)


Cons
  • bad work/life balance, low pay, minimal training unless actively sought out (in 18 reviews)

  • low pay, ceiling/plateau for researchers, no clear path for researches in public health, isolating environment (in 15 reviews)

More Highlights

241 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1.  

    Great working environment

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

    I have been working at Harvard University full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    You work at your own pace, with no deadlines to worry about. They are very supportive and care deeply about your welfare.

    Cons

    I am very happy with the Center. It's a pressure-free environment. One's level of productivity is dependent on one's personal goal and motivation.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  2.  

    Brilliant environment of some of the best faculty and students.

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

    I have been working at Harvard University as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    Many fields contributing to cutting edge research, a community of thinkers and leading researchers in their respective fields. In terms of personal growth, there are opportunities to find meaningful mentors and a work community.

    Cons

    This is a very competitive institution, and the expected work hours can be long and unyielding. Finding a work-life balance can be tough.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Evaluate the current procedures for promotion and the social structure of the work, ie meeting times in the evenings and many conferences on weekends.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    The research environment here is excellent!

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

    I have been working at Harvard University full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Many good lectures and seminars!

    Cons

    Since you are graduate student, there will be no other sources of extra income.

    Recommends
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great place to be a graduate student

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

    I have been working at Harvard University full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    One thing that sets Harvard apart is that world renowned scientists, politicians, and leaders come to campus to give talks all the time! The culture in each lab varies a lot and changes as graduate students and postdocs come and go.

    Cons

    The professors travel a lot and are really, really busy with teaching and other obligations. I hope my next boss is more available.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Positive environment, very supportive

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

    I have been working at Harvard University part-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Great people, very intelligent and helpful people, great name, job is always very interesting and intellectually challenging.

    Cons

    compensation is not too good and there are too few benefits and coverage

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    Great place to work

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

    I worked at Harvard University part-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Very smart people, very interesting research, opportunities to meet brilliant people

    Cons

    Long hours, a great deal of bureaucracy, lots of paperwork.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    More emphasis on getting students published.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Extremely positive. Be keen to apply technology into your life.

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

    I worked at Harvard University as a contractor (less than an year)

    Pros

    Harvard University is a well-structured organization that truly values and focuses on higher education. My experience at this entry-level position has been extremely positive. I learned a great deal pertaining to research. For the enthusiastic/sincere learner, this is an amazing place to be.

    Cons

    Cambridge/Boston is not a low-cost environment to live in. Be keen to apply technology into your life.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Gold standard of fundraising

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

    I worked at Harvard University full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Profound respect for colleagues, the way things are managed and the constant challenge to serve as the gold standard of development.

    Cons

    It will take a while to climb the ladder since most employees are highly ambitious and competitive. There's also politics involved, as with everything, where if you work with the right people daily you'll advance sooner.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Lots of smart people, great brand, can be professionally confining

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

    I have been working at Harvard University full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    The university resources are terrific and by and large are accessible to all--libraries, courses, people. Very open environment in terms of colleagues and ideas

    Cons

    The biggest issue, seriously, is that it is not in the Silicon Valley or New York or LA, so if your field has a commercial center their, for example technology, then you will be surprisingly isolated and behind the curve unless you travel and make an effort to stay in touch. Not true of bio, of course. Harvard is very hierarchical, and you simply have to get used to there always being people with more status, and once in awhile being reminded of your place. That said, to the outside world your place in the Harvard hierarchy tends to matter not at all, given that Harvard itself feels imposing to others. Harvard can become lazy-making for some professionals, as there is a sense of already being at the top of whatever you are doing, and the world outside tends to believe that of you as well, no matter what you really accomplish during your time there. So focus on accomplishment.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Basically I think things run pretty well. Great labs. Great opportunities to learn.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    Great research facilities and network.

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

    I have been working at Harvard University full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    I enjoyed having the chance to learn things outside of my PhD field.

    Cons

    The work-life balance was poor. Had to work many weekends, but then again that is what is expected when you do postdoc work.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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