NORC at the University of Chicago Reviews

Updated August 9, 2015
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2.5
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Daniel S. Gaylin
1 Rating

Pros
  • Very flexible schedule, plenty of opportunities to work on different projects, great location (right in the Loop) (in 7 reviews)

  • Work life balance, develop skills (in 4 reviews)

Cons
  • no one really listens to you about work issues (in 2 reviews)

  • Your bathroom breaks count as your actual break time (in 2 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

9 Employee Reviews

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  1. NORC provides a cutting-edge experience on learning about healthcare reform and a collegial working environment.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Research Analyst in Bethesda, MD
    Former Employee - Research Analyst in Bethesda, MD
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at NORC at the University of Chicago full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Compared to other government contractors like Accenture or think tanks like the Urban Institute, NORC is an up-and-coming entity and is under-hyped on being involved in key health policy contracts, specifically in involvement with the Assistant Secretary of Planning and Evaluation (ASPE), Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). Because NORC is relatively younger than other players, there is a lot of opportunity for organizational and personal growth. Initiatives to share projects and educate younger employees are pervasive and senior employees are very approachable. Promotion and compensation is competitive compared to the industry, and benefits are strong (health insurance and 401k).

    Cons

    Considering NORC is officially a non-profit, people work very hard here in the interest of humanity. You can imagine a consulting-like environment, like top management consulting companies, such as McKinsey. Conversely, this could be a pro, if one sees it as beneficial professional training.

    Advice to Management

    Management does a good job with gathering feedback from employees and maintaing a fair and open dialogue. Unfortunately the over-openness may be hurting management since change happens much slower than gathering the feedback, i.e. the perception is that management is slow, even though it may not be a fair perception to management. Given I am no longer at NORC for almost 2 years, I've had the chance to step back to think objectively about what I would do if I were management: I would allow more junior employees to take more ownership in projects, internal initiatives to educate fellow employees and allow more platforms to make junior and mid-level employees empowered. NORC hires intelligent employees who are capable of independently bringing about great results and as the organization has and needs to scale, this will be critical to sustain the high quality work and fantastic culture that already exists.


  2. Stay Away! No Career Or Skill Development

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Research Analyst in Bethesda, MD
    Former Employee - Research Analyst in Bethesda, MD
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at NORC at the University of Chicago full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Nothing... DO NOT TAKE A POSITION HERE!

    Cons

    -Pay not competitive at all. -Benefit package not competitive. -Not a lot of career development or training opportunities -Management is all done through people with PhDs, who are not trained to manage at all! -They do not give you any ownership in any of the projects at all. All of them are controlled -freaks. They disagree with anyone who opposes their ideas. -People here have Master's degree and they are not utilizing all the skills that they have learned in Graduate school. Instead, they are forcing people with Master's degree to take meeting notes all day. We have Master's degrees, we can do more than take meeting notes! -Management do not thank people for the work they do, especially when they bend over backwards for them. -Some of the management/senior positions are not very approachable at all. When you ask for help, they look at you as if you are stupid -When management/senior positions have nothing to do, they will schedule unnecessary meetings. Thus, it is very difficult to schedule a meeting with them because all they do is go to meetings and create unnecessary meetings -VERY MICRO MANAGEMENT!!!! -They criticize you for all the work you do

    Advice to Management

    Train the upper level positions. They are not train to manage people nor projects. Offer more career opportunities and advancement. Do more team/company wide activities to build stronger team work atmosphere.


  3. Helpful (1)

    Working part-time. Company is well-managed.

    Current Employee - Principal Research Analyst in Bethesda, MD
    Current Employee - Principal Research Analyst in Bethesda, MD
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at NORC at the University of Chicago part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great people and well managed organization.

    Cons

    Strict adherence to rules/norms with little flexibility.


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  5. Hard Wok Pays Off

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Research Analyst in Bethesda, MD
    Current Employee - Research Analyst in Bethesda, MD
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at NORC at the University of Chicago full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Show off talents Lax work schedule Multi-task and skill development Positive attention to Junior Staff Advancement opportunities!

    Cons

    Long Hours Proposal development during regular work schedule can be frustrating Billable hours vs standard time card May not work on projects spcific to your interests

    Advice to Management

    Keep the flexible working schedules and the work at home policies equitable for all staff


  6. Great research opportunity

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Research Analyst in Bethesda, MD
    Former Employee - Research Analyst in Bethesda, MD
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at NORC at the University of Chicago full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Interesting projects, good coworkers, lots of exposure to government research.

    Cons

    Work can be a bit hectic during proposal season.


  7. Great when you're valued and they give you work to do

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Research Analyst in Bethesda, MD
    Former Employee - Research Analyst in Bethesda, MD
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at NORC at the University of Chicago full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Nice place to start your career Can form a junior staff bond Challenging and meaningful work

    Cons

    Junior staff are undervalued Huge bonuses go to the directors/senior-level staff Completely merit based even though COLA is written into every budget narrative Not a whole lot of upward movement if you don't have your PhD

    Advice to Management

    Reward junior staff more than you do. Cost of living should be given EVERY year!


  8. Helpful (1)

    Great people, but low paying and hard to advance within the organization

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Research Assistant in Bethesda, MD
    Former Employee - Research Assistant in Bethesda, MD
    Recommends

    Pros

    Extremely intelligent co-workers make it a real delight to come to work each day. Topics that the company studies are also very interesting.

    Cons

    Workload can be very seasonal and often unpredictable. Information technology tools are out of date. Merits for promotion are not adequately defined.

    Advice to Management

    Consider offering higher pay to employees to attract talent away from better paying competition. Invest in better internal software and IT tools.


  9. Helpful (1)

    Great place to learn and opportunities to work on influential projects

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Research Analyst in Bethesda, MD
    Current Employee - Research Analyst in Bethesda, MD
    Recommends

    Pros

    The career development stages are clearly outlined, so that promotion expectations are managed appropriately. There is a lot of flexibility in the way you work and what skills you want to acquire whether it is by taking a class or attending a conference.

    Cons

    Recent growth in business has meant an increase in hiring; however, this has been coupled with a lack of attention on making good systems that make working processes sustainable for the long-run.

    Advice to Management

    Management could ask more junior/mid-level staff to take more ownership of how they want to see work processes, since they are the ones most in the weeds; instead of having management listening to staff and then making executive decisions that may not always appear to consider the input they collected.


  10. Helpful (1)

    Make sure you know what you're signing up for.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Bethesda, MD
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Bethesda, MD

    Pros

    Very nice, extremely talented people.

    Cons

    Very poor communications; worked with some prima donnas.

    Advice to Management

    Leadership should make sure they follow up on personality issues that have been discussed with them.



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