Northwestern University

  www.northwestern.edu
  www.northwestern.edu

Northwestern University Reviews in Chicago, IL

Updated December 14, 2014
Updated December 14, 2014
439 Reviews
3.9
439 Reviews
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Northwestern University President Morton Schapiro
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168 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • People are friendly, pay is decent and they're generally pretty good about work-life balance (in 26 reviews)

  • Great Benefits- Can get great tuition assistance and healthcare benefits (in 37 reviews)


Cons
  • Ability to have work life balance most likely depends on the department with some departments being very high stress (in 10 reviews)

  • Not enough compensation for graduate students, some students take competition very negatively (in 12 reviews)

More Highlights

294 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1.  

    PhD Gradaute Student in Chicago

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Biology/Statistics Graduate Student in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Biology/Statistics Graduate Student in Chicago, IL

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

    Pros

    Lots of freedom to study what you want.

    Cons

    The salary is pretty low considering the workload.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Make reimbursements easier!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  2.  

    Northwestern University Alumni Relations and Development

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Assistant Director in Evanston, IL
    Former Employee - Assistant Director in Evanston, IL

    I worked at Northwestern University

    Pros

    Great benefits - tuition up to 10K per year, 10% 403b match, great work/life balance

    Cons

    difficult to advance from Assistant director or admin role to associate director roles. Ofter hired from outside the organization. Hiring process is sloooooow

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Do more to develop your entry and mid-level employees.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    Great working environment, excellent research

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Research Technologist in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Research Technologist in Chicago, IL

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

    Pros

    Northwestern's Feinberg School of Medicine has an excellent organizational culture, where labs are conducting cutting-edge research in a very collaborative and supportive environment. As a technician, the work-life balance is great. Time off and all other benefits are much better than anywhere else I had interviewed. Overall a very positive work experience.

    Cons

    Very little room for advancement. Salaries, though competitive compared to other educational institutions, are still very low especially given Chicago's high cost of living. Yearly merit increases are kept standard throughout institution -- giving the chance for employees to deserve higher raises would provide added incentive to perform beyond regular job requirements.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Continue recruiting excellent research faculty and staff, but give them a chance to stay at NU while progressing in their career, earning more as they gain more experience.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    PhD Programs

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - PhD Candidate in Evanston, IL
    Current Employee - PhD Candidate in Evanston, IL

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

    Pros

    Outstanding faculty
    Ability to collaborate across the department and university
    Funding for conferences and travel

    Cons

    Stipends depend on programs, some better than others

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    Excellent benefits.

    Former Employee - Staff in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Staff in Chicago, IL

    I worked at Northwestern University full-time

    Pros

    The benefits are outstanding at this institution. Highly intellectual environment with the opportunity to collaborate on forward thinking projects.

    Cons

    Very political environment. Advances depend on who you know. Ability to have work life balance most likely depends on the department with some departments being very high stress. Compensation was average, but offset by benefits.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Consider hosting required workshops covering race/gender/size differences and what is appropriate versus inappropriate conversations within the office. Consider hosting required stress reduction workshops for faculty.

  7.  

    Beautiful campus, smart people and awesome technology

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Graduate Research Assistant in Evanston, IL
    Current Employee - Graduate Research Assistant in Evanston, IL

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

    Pros

    I work in a interdisciplinary program as a research assistant. it was quite good to collaborate with people from various departments.

    Cons

    Too many smart people, so not easy to stand out.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Research Assistant

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Graduate Research Assistant in Evanston, IL
    Current Employee - Graduate Research Assistant in Evanston, IL

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

    Pros

    quite great place to work. Everyone is really nice

    Cons

    Chicago is freezing during winter.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    so far so good

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    Very interesting work experience in a very niche field of work.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Center for Forced Migration Studies in Evanston, IL
    Former Employee - Center for Forced Migration Studies in Evanston, IL

    I worked at Northwestern University as an intern (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Hours were generally flexible, my supervisor was an expert in her field and really helped me understand the area of asylum law and refugee resettlement better. I loved being able to help a few people directly but also able to amass a large amount of information for others in the field to consume. This job was also great for networking, as we constantly met other professionals in the field.

    Cons

    Could have been more organization of how interns communicated their projects to one another.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    Conservative administration, but Research Freedom

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Graduate Student in Evanston, IL
    Former Employee - Graduate Student in Evanston, IL

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

    Pros

    Northwestern has a very bright undergraduate and graduate population, and the faculty are very involved in their research careers, providing a fantastic academic research environment. The campuses in Evanston and Chicago provide a nice contrast and multiple options for the types of lifestyle someone might want.

    Cons

    As a graduate student, the general benefits and salary are fairly competitive with lower tier universities, but somewhat lacking behind the universities Northwestern would like to compare itself to. Overall, while much of the research being conducted is top-tier, there is still a general conservative air about the administration that might inhibit more daring research to be conducted.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    If graduate students had benefits and salaries that were a bit more 'mature,' particularly during their later years, then I think it would produce a more competitive research environment where the graduate students felt more like active researchers rather than students. It can be difficult to transition to an independent researcher when you're perpetually stuck being treated as a student or research assistant.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    Great University at a great location

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Graduate Research Assistant in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Graduate Research Assistant in Chicago, IL

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

    Pros

    University is close to Chicago

    Cons

    The job is not paying enough to stay at a nice place and eat healthy and travel once in a while, you have to pick one.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Increasing the graduate reseacrh assistant salaries 3K a year wouldn't cost the department as much as the annual copy paper cost, but it would increase their living standards by ~20%.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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