Harvard University

  www.harvard.edu
  www.harvard.edu

Harvard University Reviews

Updated October 17, 2014
Updated October 17, 2014
510 Reviews
4.0
510 Reviews
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Harvard University President Drew Gilpin Faust
Drew Gilpin Faust
227 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 16 reviews)

  • low pay, ceiling/plateau for researchers, no clear path for researches in public health, isolating environment (in 13 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    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
  2.  

    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
  3.  

    Curatorial Assistant

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

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

    Pros

    Flexible hours and friendly coworkers!

    Cons

    Parking on-location can be pricey

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
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  5.  

    Helps you get what you need from your employment

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

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

    Pros

    Generous pay and nice administration makes an employment at Harvard very pleasant. There are lots of people happy to help you with questions and concerns, and you can expect very nice treatment from your employers. There are so many things you could do at Harvard, you're bound to find something that pays well and offers opportunities for you to grow. Looks good on resume as well.

    Cons

    There is not a lot of training and you're expected to do what you have to from the start. You're given a lot of responsibility that may seem a little overwhelming at times, but you learn at the job and improve. Working with students sometimes is challenging, but rewarding.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    More training and fewer expectations would be nice

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    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
  7.  

    great on-campus job

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Harvard University

    Pros

    flexible schedule, good pay, rewarding work

    Cons

    work is completely self-guided, tutoring opportunities are taken quickly

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep doing what you're doing!

  8.  

    Research Intern - High School

    • Work/Life Balance
    Former Employee - Research Intern in Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Research Intern in Boston, MA

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

    Pros

    flexible work arrangements very possible. Fantastic research teams with brilliant people in every department of the university. Great company overall

    Cons

    Occasionally focused on things other than the real objective at hand. Can be rather bureaucratic at times but overall not too bad compared to other universities.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  9.  

    Good On-Campus Night Job

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

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

    Pros

    Relatively few calls at night.

    Cons

    When you get called in, the night gets eaten up very easily.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    Student Services Associate

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

    I worked at Harvard University full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Amazing benefits, including tuition assistance program, which allows you to get a Harvard degree for 90% off! Great vacation and medical benefits. Part of a highly stimulating culture, including compelling lectures, concerts, etc. Smart coworkers.

    Cons

    As with most very large institutions, Harvard has a very structured hierarchy. This can be good, but can also be a little challenging: ie: every decision is made by a committee, some lower ranked staff may feel less important, or that their opinions don't matter.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Encourage 360 performance reviews, empower all staff, including junior staff. Managers who make their staff feel empowered are more successful than those who feel compelled to watch their backs.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  11.  

    Great place to learn.

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

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

    Pros

    People! Really smart people who love that they are doing.

    Cons

    everyone is a workaholic to some extent

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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