Harvard University

  www.harvard.edu
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Harvard University Reviews

Updated Jul 17, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.9 466 reviews

91% Approve of the CEO

Harvard University President Drew Gilpin Faust

Drew Gilpin Faust

(216 ratings)

84% of employees recommend this company to a friend

Review Highlights

Pros
  • For administrative positions, the work/life balance is decent because staff are unionized(in 43 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)

466 Employee Reviews
Relevance Date Rating
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    Harvard has been an excellent place to work.

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsColleagues and smart and dedicated; work is meaningful; family-work balance is manageable.

    ConsAs with any non-profit or educational institution, the salaries are not what they would be in the private sector.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

     

    postdoc in biology

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    Proschallenging project, you can learn a lot in academic research

    Consno promotion; low salary; hard to find a job

     

    Sloooow

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    Pros-Flexibility
    -Great benefits
    -Great energy in H. Square
    -A lot of smart people
    -Potential for interesting issues and work

    Cons-Variable leadership
    -Not enough work to do, a lot of staffing (and some people abuse the flexibility)
    -Also lot of smart people -- makes it very hard to distinguish yourself
    -Overly-academic approach

    Advice to Senior Management-Borrow more practices from the business world in running an office
    -Find more stuff for your staff to do! Not busy work

  1. We want your feedback – Are these company reviews helpful to you?  Yes | No
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    1 person found this helpful  

    Tough culture for one of the finest higher ed institutions

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsWorking with my clients and colleagues was a very enjoyable experience, most of the time. There are definitely people here who like to throw around titles to get what they want, but I would say in the entry level and mid-management positions the people are great.

    ConsThe leadership at the Law School supports a culture in which managers are right regardless of the situation. This makes it difficult for those of us who are great at what we do, but have a manager who is in the leadership position because of time served, but not necessarily ability to manage and lead. My manager seems to be a good person, but is a terrible manager. He does not listen to others when he does not agree with them, he is afraid to make tough decisions, and he plays favorites. From what I hear from my colleagues, in other departments, they have managers who are the same, but even when going to HR for support, you are basically told to deal with it.

    In addition to the above, there are plenty of people who are just not good at their jobs, but they have been here forever and no one makes them do what they need to so they can have the necessary skills to carry out their roles. People like this are protected, while high-performers are forced to pick up the slack until they eventually tire of doing everyone else's job and leave.

    Advice to Senior ManagementYou have alot of very talented people at the Law School, but your inability to hold managers accountable for leadership development for themselves and staff development for their employees will drive all of the good people away. There does not have to be an "us versus them", but senior leadership has allowed the culture to become this way because you allow managers to take on roles they are not fully prepared to embrace.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Mixed feelings. Overall, OK experience.

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsStimulating environment. Intelligent and inspiring colleagues. Good benefits. Good resources.

    ConsPoor salary. Very long hours. Internal competition. Poor management.

    Advice to Senior ManagementIt's academia so people tend to live in their own heads to perhaps greater extent than elsewhere.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    Best job I've ever had

    Coordinator (Current Employee) Cambridge, MA

    ProsAwesome 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.

    ConsI'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.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    Salary

    Postdoctoral Fellow (Current Employee) Cambridge, MA

    ProsHelp you get excellent work experience

    ConsLow salary may lead to slow down personal development considerably

    Advice to Senior ManagementKeep up with good work

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
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    • No Opinion of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    PostDoc at Harvard

    Postdoctoral Fellow (Current Employee) Boston, MA

    ProsThe only long term benefit might be the brand name to help find a job and advance in your career later.

    ConsHarvard pays a very low salary. The work condition and the equipment is mostly old and miserable.
    The work environment is horrifying.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    Summer job; fine but nice place to work

    Intern (Former Employee) Cambridge, MA

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

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

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Research Associate - HBS

    Research Associate (Current Employee) Boston, MA

    ProsLots of freedom, interesting work, great benefits, unbelievable resources.

    ConsExperience highly dependent on the professor for whom you work. It's a career pause.

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