Harvard University

  www.harvard.edu
  www.harvard.edu

Harvard University Reviews

Updated December 16, 2014
Updated December 16, 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

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Silver handcuffs

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

    I have been working at Harvard University

    Pros

    Job security, benefits, lots of time off, high pay relative to other higher ed and not-for-profit sector employers

    Cons

    Slow progression, lots of bureaucracy, low pay relative to private sector employers

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Create more opportunities for motivated individuals to climb quickly and reward top performers with more bonuses and merit-based salary increases

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Boring but Well Paid

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

    I have been working at Harvard University full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    - Low stress
    - Great Benefits
    - Probably the best pay in higher ed

    Cons

    - Too low stress (nothing happens)
    - The people are a little cold
    - You can work your way into a dead end quickly
    - Advancement opportunities run low after a while

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  3.  

    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
  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5.  

    Great benefits, but office politics might make or break you

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

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

    Pros

    Most employees are very dedicated and committed to their work. The benefits are excellent. Plenty of vacation days. Great reputation.

    Cons

    Office politics play a major role in whether an employee gets ahead or is encouraged not to stay on. (Severance packages as an "exit strategy" are not uncommon.) High turnover rate in some (but certainly not all) departments. Each school within the university is its own fiefdom (has its own administrative team, has its own work culture, and sets its own policies, to a great extent). A job at one school is not necessarily a foot in the door to another job there, or another job at any of the other schools. Administrative salaries tend to be lower than the industry average.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    No point in writing anything here, since management wouldn't care.

    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    Very Diversified Place to Work

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

    I worked at Harvard University part-time

    Pros

    The University is decentralized so your work experience will be different depending on dept and manager/director. I had a great and supportive manger. I was able to work from home when needed because my work can be done remotely and on a laptop.

    Cons

    The University is decentralized so your work experience will be different depending on dept and manager/director. No communication from the director, we did not know our mission and the status of our business was never shared with the staff.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    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
  8.  

    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
  9. 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
  10.  

    Great place to work and collaborate...busy!

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

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

    Pros

    Always interesting and stimulating to talks to attend-- most often about topics of great relevance to todays challenges. Students, staff and faculty are more approachable and friendly than you would assume.

    Cons

    A lot is expected from you. There is a culture of always "being busy" or "looking busy" that sometimes I wonder how productive people really are, or how much are they really contributing.

    Positive Outlook
  11.  

    Post-Doc

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Harvard University

    Pros

    Great research environment. Very smart and kind people across the board driven to produce excellence in their field.

    Cons

    long hours, low pay. Lot of red tape when trying to get permission for access to certain departments.

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