Northwestern University

www.northwestern.edu

Northwestern University Reviews

Updated January 27, 2015
Updated January 27, 2015
460 Reviews
4.0
460 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Northwestern University President Morton Schapiro
Morton Schapiro
173 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

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    PhD Student

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Northwestern University

    Pros

    Fairly standard PhD experience compared to other universities

    Cons

    None that i can think of

  2.  

    exciting research opportunities

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

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

    Pros

    I really enjoyed the research that I took part in. Things were never done in a silo and the work really benefited from efforts by a diverse team of researcher backgrounds. Benefits are good- decent paid leave and medical benefits. Parking on campus was too pricey for me but public transportation is pretty good around there.

    Cons

    They seemed to talk a lot about how you can move up and around the company but I never really saw that where I worked.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I could tell when some staff thought I was a student when they treated me differently. Staff or student, everyone should be treated with respect.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3.  

    Strong culture of learning and discovery

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

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

    Pros

    So many opportunities for cross-discipline learning and professional development. Northwestern is a place you truly fall in love with. All administration, faculty, staff, students— everyone bleeds Purple and is deeply committed to excellence.

    Cons

    Being a higher-education institution the opportunities to grow academically abound. Unfortunately, this means the vast majority of staff members are pursuing higher degrees and certification making it more challenging to stand out from the crowd. As a result, graduate and post-graduate accomplishments are generally not celebrated with promotion and/or raises as one finds in the private sector.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Overall a stellar environment to work in, however there remains a salary gap between NU and the open market in some specializations, causing ambitious talent to outgrow the pay scale designed. I miss the community I experienced there, however!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5.  

    Northwestern University

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Northwestern University

    Pros

    Highly ranked private university. One of the best chemistry departments in the country with a rich tradition in inorganic chemistry.

    Cons

    Evanston can be an expensive place to live.

  6.  

    Great school

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Northwestern University

    Pros

    very well organized, great location, nice research facilites

    Cons

    gets really cold in winter, payments are low

  7.  

    Great experience, fantastic opportunities

    • 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 3 years)

    Pros

    Note - being a graduate student is very professor dependent. Personally I have a laid back professor who let's me pursue my passions here at Northwestern. Weekly group meetings occur where each student in the lab presents on their progress from the previous week - expectations are reasonable.

    Cons

    Graduation Politics: Aiming to graduate early can be a challenge - it is not in the professors interest for you to graduate in under 5 years so they will tend to make it difficult. However there are deadlines set by the university to ensure PhD students do graduate in approximately 5 years so the university will push unwilling professors to help their students graduate in the long run.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Make it easier for engineering students to enroll in business classes. Northwestern has a top business school and many engineers are interested in getting involved. Also allow engineers to enroll in more entrepreneurship classes.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    Good

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Northwestern University

    Pros

    money amount is OK for living in evanston

    Cons

    weather sucks during the winter.

  9.  

    Teacher for Saturday Enrichment Program

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

    I have been working at Northwestern University as a contractor (more than a year)

    Pros

    The teacher resources are exceptional.

    Cons

    The teacher evaluations are biased.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    Mixed Bag

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

    I have been working at Northwestern University full-time

    Pros

    The benefits are outstanding. I don't know of any place any more that offers matching retirement much less putting an additional 5% on top of the match. The tuition discounts are great.

    Cons

    It's difficult to get ahead in some schools depending on where you land and the politics are very heavy at times. High turnover makes it difficult to be efficient when you're always dealing with new people who don't know what they're doing. Also, many of the schools are top heavy with too many people in administration. Lastly, good luck if you land in a department with an rarely seen "lifer" as they're sure to be bitter and unwilling to adjust to changes because "that's not how they did it in my day".

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Come down off your ivory towers. Get into the thick of it with your employees and show them you have some kind of concern for them. Try rolling up your sleeves to make coffee with the hourly folks instead of sitting back to watch them make it.

    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    While I liked my office, I felt that the university overall did not value its employees.

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

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

    Pros

    Low stress environment, world renowned university. It is a beautiful campus with a good reputation which helped me get my next job.

    Cons

    HR is atrocious, terrible salary, horrible benefits. During an HR presentation the head of HR told us that in order to get better maternity leave and childcare options, it would need to be federally mandated. They just weren't very concerned with being a school that values its staff. I knew about this from speaking with academic employees as well. We were all dealing with sub par working compensation.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Make the environment more attractive to keeping and maintaining employees.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

Northwestern University Photos

Work at Northwestern University? Share Your Experiences

Northwestern University

 
Click to Rate
or

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.