Harvard University

  www.harvard.edu
  www.harvard.edu

Harvard University Reviews

Updated October 19, 2014
Updated October 19, 2014
512 Reviews
4.0
512 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Harvard University President Drew Gilpin Faust
Drew Gilpin Faust
228 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 17 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.  

    Good benefits, 300 year old bureacracy

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

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

    Pros

    You work with the best and smartest people. At every level, you have great talent and everyone is competent whether it's in academia or not. Once you work here everyone knows you and you'll form great connections. Plus the benefits are good even if you work part time. Just make sure you fill out the forms...

    Cons

    Bureaucracy sucks. It's taken them at least 3 months to get paid. If you're involved in teaching you'll have to deal with undergrads who are needy and graduate students who think their work is more important than yours. Depending on your position there isn't too much mobility.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Seriously, fix the bureaucracy. It's a sad day when I consider it a success that my 3 month overdue check will be issued 2 days early but only after talking to 4 or 5 different people.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Once you are in, you're in for life.

    • 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 part-time

    Pros

    As the title describes, if you land a salaried position at Harvard you are well taken care of. Benefits, good executive support and access to amazing facilities.

    Cons

    Harvard is very stingy with making employees salaries/full time. You can't get in, you wont be able to work full-time on a consistent basis, and you don't get treated well.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Figure out a system that allows non-salary/union employees to work more than 17.25 hours a week

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    Academic Opportunity with Administrative Disconnect

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

    I worked at Harvard University

    Pros

    A person can meet and worth highly talented persons across many fields.

    Cons

    An authoritarian attitude exists among some administrators and junior level staff may get away with disrespectful treatment of academic staff including those far more senior. Collegiality exists in the school, but can often be overshadowed by competition and rivalry, where teamwork, cooperation, and collaboration are called for.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Shift your riveted focus on the bottom line to helping the profesional academic staff carry out the mission of the university, at least keep from letting bureacracy get in their way.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5.  

    Transitional, from phd to career.

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

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

    Pros

    Resources, good health care benefits, smart people

    Cons

    Not a lot of investment in me, no one cares whether I succeed

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    Teaching Fellow

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Harvard University

    Pros

    Great students, good textbook and classroom technology

    Cons

    Expensive living in Boston area in general

  7.  

    Harvard is a complicated, but great, place to work

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

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

    Pros

    Competitive pay, amazing benefits, flexibility in schedule

    Cons

    Dealing with elitist personalities, academics who don't know how to manage properly

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pay more attention to the staff who supports what everyone does - they are the lifeline!

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    PhD student

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Harvard University full-time

    Pros

    Great people and broad mentorship

    Cons

    Intensive, need to self navigate

  9.  

    Very intellectual and international community

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

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

    Pros

    Working with very dedicated and motivated people. Very good benefits. Opportunity for taking classes for free.

    Cons

    These are only cautions not really cons. It is a very demanding environment. It is typical for an institute at that level. A research assistant may need to work extra hours on many days to keep a good progress.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    It varies from lab to lab. Research assistances should be more included in post-doc/graduate student seminars.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    10+ Years at Harvard...

    • 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 (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Intellectual atmosphere...mission driven...innovative people (depending on which part of Harvard you're working in...)...Promote from within...good job opportunity and security...great benefits...

    Cons

    Challenging environment for someone who is highly ambitious - which is funny since it is a place full of ambitious people.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    As you climb the ladder it becomes very challenging to compete with the "authority" that faculty have, which is understandable since it is a university. But - if they want to retain more ambitious administrators that have strong content knowledge then there needs to be more room on the ladder for them to climb.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    Harvard has been a great place for me to start my career

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

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

    Pros

    health care, special benefits, PTO, internal development, retirement, work/life balance, location, training

    Cons

    salary, limited budget, bureaucracy, space issues

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Offer more competitive salaries

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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