Harvard University Reviews

Updated August 30, 2015
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662 Employee Reviews

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  1. Scientist

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Investigator in Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Senior Investigator in Boston, MA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Good place for outstanding persons

    Cons

    So so for average guys


  2. Financial Analyst

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Financial Analyst in Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Financial Analyst in Boston, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    low stress, great work life balance, great benefits- must take advantage of the educational benefits in order for this job to have value below director level.

    Cons

    low growth opportunities and low compensation, people stay in their roles for an extremely long time. Great place to work once you hit the director level (retirement job, low stress levels), other than that I would look elsewhere.


  3. Helpful (1)

    Ripe with opportunities if you know how to cultivate them

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Coordinator II in Cambridge, MA
    Current Employee - Coordinator II in Cambridge, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Harvard University full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great landscape of opportunities, both for professional and personal fulfillment. I've met a bunch of people who never planned on staying long but they find themselves here 7 or 8 years and are still very happy. The Law School hosts lots of staff appreciation events.

    Cons

    Schools are siloed so look for cross-school collaboration opportunities, or join cross-school groups in your area of expertise (Case Studies Affinity Group is a great example). If there are none in your wheelhouse, set one up. Most folks here is great to work with and love to connect with each other. I've seen a small few folks stay too long under the wrong manager or with the wrong job and they've gotten burnt out. Look for these signs early and get some accomplishments under your belt as leverage for your next job. You will likely earn less here than in the private sector, but the lifestyle, benefits, security and opportunities as a whole are far richer. Depends on what you want. I have young kids so this is huge for me,

    Advice to Management

    The management various so much between programs and departments. The best managers I've worked with are excellent facilitators. Their true skill is identifying the right team members and tweaking the horizontal and vertical expectations so everyone feels interconnected with their peers but have some control over their own pursuits. Not leading is nearly as bad as leading incorrectly. If you're the boss, be accountable and stand up to/for your people. I have experience lack-luster leadership in some cases, mostly due to a fear of the faculty. Identify your best people, especially those who you feel threatened by, those are likely your best team members and could be your strongest allies.


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  5. HKS

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    I met some amazing, funny, smart people working here.

    Cons

    tons of unnecessary pressure. everything is always "on fire."


  6. Good if you get the right boss, otherwise not!

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

    I have been working at Harvard University full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Great benefits, close to T

    Cons

    GREATLY varying treatment depending on boss, weak HR support


  7. Like you'd think

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

    I worked at Harvard University (More than a year)

    Pros

    Smart people, lots of good research facilities and services

    Cons

    Co-workers are driven to the point of being one-dimensional and creating an atmosphere of pressure


  8. Postdoc

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Postdoctoral Fellow in Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Postdoctoral Fellow in Boston, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Harvard brand, available benefits include Harvard courses

    Cons

    High pressure work environment, postdocs have limited benefits (considered training position so no retirement benefit etc). No support for postdocs with kids. No formalized career development plan. Salary is at NIH minimum (unless one has fellowships).


  9. Postdoc

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Cambridge is a great city to live in and the university is in a convenient location with a lot around.

    Cons

    The cost of living in Cambridge is very high. You have to be quick on your toes to find a good apartment.


  10. Working at HarvardX

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Course Developer in Cambridge, MA
    Former Employee - Course Developer in Cambridge, MA
    Doesn't Recommend

    I worked at Harvard University (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Gained experience in the field of MOOCs, worked on all aspects of 3 different online courses: created assessments, communicated and met with faculty, built courses on the edX platform, worked as a Teaching Fellow once courses went live, managed online discussion forums, sent weekly emails to 10,000+ students, worked closely with video editing teams, interns and other course leads, attended weekly research lectures, etc.

    Cons

    Work culture is poor. Office is very hierarchical, not a lot of interaction between management and temps or interns despite their integral involvement in course development. And mind you these temps and interns have degrees from Harvard University (BAs and MAs). Four of 5 lead course developer positions went to white males, which is disappointing given the global education focus of MOOCs. The Indian female hired for the 5th position quit after 3 months. She was replaced by another white male.

    Advice to Management

    Harvard University places importance on diversity issues, yet I didn't see diversity being important at HarvardX in terms of hiring practices. Also, the office was very divided in terms of rank with management not speaking to certain people despite their involvement in projects for months. Preference was given to external candidates over hiring from within.


  11. Helpful (1)

    Great and fine institution of higher learning

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Manager of Network and Linux Systems in Cambridge, MA
    Current Employee - Manager of Network and Linux Systems in Cambridge, MA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Benefits, flexibility and Job security. 35 hour work week. Continued education.

    Cons

    Lack of upward mobility. No rapid growth. Stagnant organization. Can be career suicide.

    Advice to Management

    Reduce management layers. More boots on the ground.



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