Northwestern University
3.7 of 5 335 reviews
www.northwestern.edu Evanston, IL 5000+ Employees

Northwestern University Reviews

Updated Apr 16, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.7 335 reviews

                             

92% Approve of the CEO

Northwestern University President Morton Schapiro

Morton Schapiro

(123 ratings)

80% of employees recommend this company to a friend
335 Employee Reviews
Relevance Date Rating
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Review Highlights

Pros:
  • "The benefits cannot be beat, and work-life balance is outstanding"
    in 21 reviews
  • "Great Benefits- Can get great tuition assistance and healthcare benefits"
    in 33 reviews
Cons:
  • "Salaries are lower than comparable corporate positions, but the benefits and work-life balance make up for that"
    in 7 reviews
  • "too cold in winter, too much snow"
    in 4 reviews
  • Show more review highlights

Reviews

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  • No Opinion of CEO

 

research tech

Research Technologist (Current Employee)
Chicago, IL

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

Prosgood working hours. goo dresearch work.

Conschicago winters. commute to downtown from suburbs.

Advice to Senior Managementkeep doing the right things

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Great Learning Experience

Research Assistant (Former Employee)
Evanston, IL

I worked at Northwestern University part-time for less than a year

ProsI really learned a lot about data analysis and improved my organizational and presentation skills during my experience as a research assistant at Northwestern University. People in the lab are all very supportive and help me whenever I need.

ConsResearch project can sometimes be boring. There are also tech problems that don't get solved quick enough. Also paychecks always arrive later that expected.

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Great

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at Northwestern University

ProsBenefits benefits and the clout

ConsLayers of admin makes things move slow at times

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Northwestern

Graduate Research Assistant (Current Employee)
Evanston, IL

I have been working at Northwestern University full-time for less than a year

Prosprestigious
organized
pay is good
feel good environemnt

Consnot that much
benefits could have been more
work pressure is so-so

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World-class medical research institute in a great city

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
Chicago, IL

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

Prostop-notch scientists, great support staff, lots of funding, and the Chicago campus is located right by the beautiful Lake Michigan

ConsWhen compared to other academic institutes I can't think of any. The Winter weather can be brutal in Chicago.

Advice to Senior ManagementYou might want to avoid the usual dysfunction one would expect when an institute is run by PhDs and MDs. Just be aware of it. You might be the best in your area of academic expertise but that doesn't make you good managers. Don't be too stubborn seek outside consulting help or incorporate a few top-notch MBAs with good track records to your upper management. You don't have to look too far. Just reach out to your very own Kellogg MBA alums.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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An Odyssey

Graduate Research Assistant (Current Employee)
Evanston, IL

I have been working at Northwestern University full-time for more than a year

ProsIn addition to being one of the best chemistry departments in the country, Northwestern pays it's students quite well (relatively speaking) and provides decent health insurance. The esteemed nature of the department is also beneficial in the grant writing process and reviewers very favorable towards the departments "atmosphere" or environment. Almost all of the research groups are well-funded and doing world-class research!

ConsThe biggest problem with working at Northwestern is the layout of Evanston with respect to restaurants. Zoning laws in evanston leave few good choices within walking distance from campus (food trucks are also prohibited). For a graduate student, this is a pretty serious source of concern. ;)

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Pretends to be a great place to work; I know a lot about it as I've been working there for 10 years.

Business Administrator (Current Employee)
Evanston, IL

I have been working at Northwestern University full-time for more than 8 years

ProsIf you work long enough and your children get excepted to NU, you can benefit from the tuition reduction that is generally ridiculously high.

It's hard to be fired if you do nothing but say "Hi" and "Bye" to superiors, work 9 to 5, never have any ideas and never contradict those who are in charge.
Very political, and politically correct, very bureaucratic, very unfair unless you meet certain "requirements" for staying.

Good benefits comparing to other places.

ConsIf you have talents, abilities to create things, if you really care about the students (who very often are prima donna style students), if you have your principles, run away from that place.

Salaries suck comparing to other Universities. If you are a staff member, you'll be seriously underpaid. Everyone, no matter who you are, how many years you dedicated to the University is replaceable.

The best NU internal joke: "It's like a beautiful girl. Looks good, treats you like sh..."

Many top managers don't have enough education to even get the positions of Deans, Associate Deans, Master Degree program directors and if you are more educated than them--guess what? You are fired or they create such an environment for you that you leave.

Many professors don't have Master's degree, some of them did not have even Bachelor's degree in the field. Is not that a shame for the University that pretends being part of IVY League? Students complain about those instructors but if they meet University "spirit", they will never publish those complaints.

I can go on and on but will add just one thing---some of their best alums will never give University any money--I know that for a fact. The University never became a dear place for them.

Advice to Senior ManagementMoney can't buy everything. You need to value people who work and study there.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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It was ok

Software Engineer (Current Employee)
Chicago, IL

I have been working at Northwestern University part-time for less than a year

ProsLots of autonomy. Worked alone

ConsToo much autonomy. Worked alone.

Advice to Senior ManagementCare more

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Very pleasant atmosphere.

Human Resources Assistant (Current Employee)
Chicago, IL

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

ProsProfessional but laid back atmosphere.

ConsAcademia can be challenging when it comes to compensation for workload.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Depressing

Program Assistant III (Former Employee)
Evanston, IL

I worked at Northwestern University full-time for more than 3 years

ProsDecent pay and great benefits. The work was not at all demanding, and the day always ended at 5 PM.

ConsWonderful professors and students but a typically stilted, snail-paced, bureaucratic place to work as an admin.

Advice to Senior ManagementI saw a lot of waste in my three years there. Superfluousness. People sitting inactively in positions they were terrible at, just collecting a paycheck. I was appreciative of the fair pay and benefits, but I could have never stayed more than a few years. The only incentive to working there seemed to be a steady paycheck.

If there had been better, happier people around me, my experience might have been better.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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