Northwestern University Reviews

Updated June 29, 2015
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Northwestern University President Morton Schapiro
Morton Schapiro
192 Ratings

Pros
  • There is a great work life balance and an understanding that people do have to put their families first some times (in 26 reviews)

  • Great Benefits and growth opportunities (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)

  • The health insurance offered graduate students could be improved (in 12 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

536 Employee Reviews

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  1. Not bad

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

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

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Flexible work schedules (to a point), very little overtime, great benefits, can get a Northwestern education for almost nothing

    Cons

    Lots of bueracracy and red tape. Compensation is not competitive. Limited opportunities for upward movement

    Advice to Management

    More distinct career paths. Pay people competitive wages instead of paying outside employees more. Don't hire consultants when a full time employee could do the job


  2. Enjoyed the work

    Former Employee - Program Associate in Evanston, IL
    Former Employee - Program Associate in Evanston, IL

    I worked at Northwestern University full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Nice place to work, nice colleagues, easy access to downtown Evanston. Easy-going work environment.

    Cons

    Hierarchical structure can be stifling.

    Advice to Management

    Don't hesitate to encourage professional development opportunities for all employees.Although NU offers PD workshops, these workshops can be costly and out of reach for some departmental budgets.


  3. OK for graduate students

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Northwestern University full-time

    Pros

    NU pays you just enough to live in Evanston, and they are going to raise salaries next year.

    Cons

    Location-wise, Chicago area is notorious for its cold windy weather. You should take that in to account if you want to accept your NU offer.


  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5. Research Engineer

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

    I worked at Northwestern University

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great community and work culture, and numerous opportunities for career growth.

    Cons

    Have no cons. The work culture was good.

    Advice to Management

    My experience was great overall and do not have any specific inputs to the mgmt.


  6. Siloed and unimaginative

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

    I worked at Northwestern University

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Great benefits; easy, low-pressure work environment. The people on my particular team were really nice, smart and supportive. Work hours are incredibly reasonable; nobody stays past 5:15 ever.

    Cons

    Incredibly siloed environment; nobody communicates with anyone. There is a general lack of passion and imagination here; it seems to be a place where once-creative or drive professionals are put out to pasture, so to speak, because the benefits and hours are good so people just really come here to chill and build up their 401K.

    Advice to Management

    Pretend like you care about your staff, because it's really, really obvious that you don't. Learn people's names and their positions and what they do around here. Walk around every now and then, rather than just sitting in your office and never leaving. Also wash your blazer because you're a little stinky.


  7. postdoctoral employment

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

    I have been working at Northwestern University (More than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Strong Materials Science Department. Excellent instrument facilities.

    Cons

    Collaborative project are super slow. In many cases very little dedication from collaborators towards the common projects.


  8. Data Analyst

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Northwestern University

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Flexible hours and smart and collaborative professors

    Cons

    Projects can move too slowly sometimes.


  9. Working at Northwestern, Research

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

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

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Excellent employee benefits including health, dental, vision, disability, life insurance, sick days, vacation, personal floating holidays etc. The best are the education benefits; up to $10,000/year for graduate school.

    Cons

    Although the benefits are great, the pay is not as comparable to other sectors. Easy to get locked into one job class or pay for a long period of time, merit increases are less than 3% per year.


  10. Helpful (1)

    Some good, some bad

    Current Employee - Program Assistant IV in Evanston, IL
    Current Employee - Program Assistant IV in Evanston, IL

    I have been working at Northwestern University

    Pros

    Great health care, retirement, and tuition benefits. In a well run department it can be a very vibrant and fulfilling place to work. Can also be a wonderful opportunity to learn about cutting edge research.

    Cons

    Working at NU often feels like a caste system to me, and the faculty are in the cloud hovering over the pyramid of administrative deans, senior management, middle management, and administrative staff. A hierarchy is evident in most all corporate employment structures, though the separation between faculty and staff is more apparent than I ever experienced working in corporations.

    This is unfortunate because a large portion university activities happen because of the work being done by those at the bottom of the hierarchy.

    Because university staff positions do offer a number of great benefits, and this should not to be overlooked or minimized, even entry level positions have many applicants. This allows the university to ignore what I believe is a pretty significant employee morale issue. A dysfunctional department will still be able to easily attract new staff, and many employees will remain in dysfunctional departments just to hold onto a great healthcare package.

    Advice to Management

    I think the university could benefit greatly from an external review of the cultural standards and business practices within the myriad of offices across its two main campuses.


  11. great university

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

    I have been working at Northwestern University full-time

    Positive Outlook
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    great community, room for advancement, great benefits

    Cons

    can't think of any cons.



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