Harvard University

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Harvard University Reviews in Cambridge, MA

Updated September 17, 2014
Updated September 17, 2014
488 Reviews
4.0
488 Reviews
Rating Trends

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Harvard University President Drew Gilpin Faust
Drew Gilpin Faust
223 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • For administrative positions, the work/life balance is decent because staff are unionized (in 44 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)

More Highlights

222 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    I had an opportunity to work with very smart people.

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

    I have been working at Harvard University full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    good facilities, smart people, nice campus

    Cons

    hard to balance life and work
    tough and competitive

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    no advice

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Great place to work, but lots of bureaucracy

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

    I have been working at Harvard University full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    There are lots of reasons to love working at Harvard: wonderful hours (9-5PM on the staff side), intellectually stimulating work, brilliant people, lots of resources, Thanksgiving/Christmas vacations free, pay is good.

    Cons

    There can be a lot of bureaucracy depending on which department you work in. There is very little opportunity for more than a standard 2% raise or a bonus unless you are near the top of the department, so you should definitely negotiate high when you come in. While I think there may be opportunities to bounce around to different jobs at the school, I have personally seen few people advance from within in my department.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    1.) Create a promotion friendly environment within departments
    2.) Reward hard work with raises or bonuses

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    Good place to cultivate extra-curricular interests

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

    I worked at Harvard University full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    Excellent benefits, wonderful training and learning opportunity. Great community of people. Lots of opportunity to learn and engage in work that is outside what would count strictly in job requirements.

    Cons

    Fairly limited career opportunity for non-academics. Salary is less than industry, but only very slightly. Staff management is not really well matched to faculty in sheer intellectual capacity. This can cause some drift staff manager strategies vs. University strategy.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Not much advice, they've clearly got a good thing. They have exception people working for them for less than industry pay.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Awesome place to work!

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

    I have been working at Harvard University part-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Great people, very flexible and caring!

    Cons

    Not too much growth here!

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    Great place to build a career!

    • 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 for more than a year

    Pros

    There are many smart people. Therefore, you can easily help each other.
    It is very competitive environment.
    Culture is flexible in general.

    Cons

    Does not compensate well as compared to other academia.
    Health benefits do not cover many area, although health care teams are very professional.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Need to compensate better for their employee.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    Best job I've ever had

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

    I have been working at Harvard University full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Awesome work-life balance. You get 15-20 vacation days (depending on your status), 3 personal days, holidays, and the week of Christmas through New Years paid time off. I'm a staff assistant/coordinator which means I'm in the HUCTW union. They negotiate our raises, which are automatic and around 3.29% increase per year. You get 12 sick days per year and can use those hours for doctor appointment or to take a dependent to the doctor. You get to take up to 6 classes per year for FREE at the Extension school and Summer School (2 courses a semester). The health benefits are fantastic. I pay next to nothing for my medication and it's easy to get an appointment with a doctor or dentist at the health center on campus. There's also a pharmacy next door. Harvard encourages healthy living, so you get free flu shots and a $150 rebate on health club memberships. Also, management doesn't get on your case if you call in sick. If you are sick, they want you to stay home. The same attitude goes for vacation. I've worked at places that frown on vacations. Not at Harvard. You can take a month off if you have the vacation time and nobody will bat an eye. I could really go on an on about working here. You are apart of a community and there are so many ways to enrich yourself if you can advantage of the opportunities. There's a reason most of my colleagues have worked here for 10-25 years. Like me, they recognize that it doesn't get better than this. We are always surprised when someone does quit (which is rare). The best thing about working here is the people. I have the best co-workers and the best boss. It's a very happy work environment.

    Cons

    I'm sure everyone must say this, but it is weird that Harvard is so decentralized. I can't think of too many cons other than the pay is a little under market. I could make much more working for a biotech in Cambridge, but then again, I wouldn't get the great benefits Harvard offers. The HR department seems a little removed from the rest of the group. Other places I worked, I regularly interacted with HR. They have great people running the HR department, I wish they were a little more visible.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Salary

    • 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 for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Help you get excellent work experience

    Cons

    Low salary may lead to slow down personal development considerably

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep up with good work

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    Summer job; fine but nice place to work

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

    I worked at Harvard University full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    It's a really, really nice place to work with a lot of very interesting place.

    Cons

    Personal experience -- I was just doing a summer job, so not all the work was particularly glorious. To be expected, however.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    Great work environment

    • 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 part-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Opportunity to work with the world class faculty, culturally stimulating environment, opportunity to work with the brightest minds. Best resources are available for doing research. Mission-driven.

    Cons

    Pay is okay, but not sufficient to afford a living too close to the school. Could improve on the health services/ insurance coverage, the Holyoke clinic is pretty much useless.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    Conflicting priorities

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

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

    Pros

    Excellent benefits, independence. The exact situation may depend on your local environment and people. It may be excellent or not.

    Cons

    Office politics, management layers may not conducive to producing results, since they are possibly working with divergent goals.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Encourage people with hands-on the job to work with each other to solve problems.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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