Stanford University

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Stanford University Reviews in Palo Alto, CA

Updated November 20, 2014
Updated November 20, 2014
775 Reviews
4.2
775 Reviews
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Stanford University President John L. Hennessy
John L. Hennessy
360 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • There is a strong sense of community among staff and work-life balance is valued (in 46 reviews)

  • Great Benefits; beautiful campus; lot of training (in 61 reviews)


Cons
  • The number one problem is the inadequate salary regarding cost of living in the heart of the bay area (in 26 reviews)

  • Sociopathic managers, poor salary, no advancement, poor work-life balance (in 11 reviews)

More Highlights

121 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Exciting place to be, but lonely at times.

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

    I have been working at Stanford University full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Amazing to be working along Nobel Laureates, cutting edge developments, and innovations. The opportunities are incredible. Resources are abundant and taking big leaps are encouraged.

    Cons

    Insular and competitive, which is not conducive to real scientific progress. Not a lot of collaboration. No real network for postdoctoral fellows who can fall between the cracks. Everyone is out for themselves, for funding, papers, etc.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    A very unique university with strong entrepreneurship environment

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Scholar in Palo Alto, CA
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Scholar in Palo Alto, CA

    I have been working at Stanford University full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Huge amount of resources ranging from technical side to business side for an engineer

    Cons

    I have no bad experiences so far

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  3.  

    Great place for scientific research and meeting people.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Palo Alto, CA
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Palo Alto, CA

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

    Pros

    Many opportunities to interact smart people with quite different minds. Easy access to both academia and industry connections. Nice campus is a plus.

    Cons

    Too expensive to live at Palo Alto. Will have heavy traffic during football games. No clear road signs for directions to most of the buildings.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Fantastic experience

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Scholar in Palo Alto, CA
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Scholar in Palo Alto, CA

    I have been working at Stanford University full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Wonderful coworkers and good postdoctoral salary and benefits. Everyone is intelligent and driven.

    Cons

    Must have a bike to move aroubd freely. Campus shuttles however run frequently bit only up to a certain time and frequency.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  6.  

    Administrative Assistant

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Administrative Assistant in Palo Alto, CA
    Former Employee - Administrative Assistant in Palo Alto, CA

    I worked at Stanford University as a contractor (more than an year)

    Pros

    Great Benefits
    Great staff and opportunities

    Cons

    the campus wasn't as safe as it could be...

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Good Environment, poor employer as they don't prepare for their employees to come onto the team.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Migration Technician in Palo Alto, CA
    Former Employee - Migration Technician in Palo Alto, CA

    I worked at Stanford University as a contractor (more than an year)

    Pros

    nice environment to work in, positive teammates.

    Cons

    poor management, and employers, poor planning and no concern for employees also no follow through on problems nor resolutions to issues that arose.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    get things in order for on boarding, before bringing employees on

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8.  

    Don't do graduate school, folks...unless you like pain.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Graduate Student in Palo Alto, CA
    Current Employee - Graduate Student in Palo Alto, CA

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

    Pros

    Probably the best and most diverse place to do research...in the world. There are tons of resources.
    The weather is also probably the best...in the world. And the campus is lovely.
    I didn't encounter any issues with egos, even with the professors here. There are always a few bad eggs, but most of the people are very kind and friendly.

    Cons

    No social scene. Doesn't matter even if you try to create a social circle, because nobody else does.
    I wouldn't say everyone here is a genius, certainly very smart and very diligent. I suspect most of the best students and potential professors go out into the real world.
    High risk, low reward research. Same standard problems encountered in any graduate project: it's hard for professors/students to come up with new influential ideas all the time, and so not all projects have a pay off. Likewise the publish or perish attitude forces professors to engage in low quality or uninteresting research simply to get a paper.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Some of the more cruel professors should be fired. I fortunately never encountered them. I think a general bit of advice for pursuing research is that even the most abstract of research problems should also have some real world application (and not some made up one like quantum computing or room temperature superconductors--these are pipe dreams at the moment). This criterion is how they decide who wins the Nobel prizes, so it's probably a worthy goal if more professors should operate with this mentality.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Challenging

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Manager in Palo Alto, CA
    Former Employee - Manager in Palo Alto, CA

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

    Pros

    Great Institution, libraries, and campus

    Cons

    Incredible workload prevented ability to take advantage of classes and some other career advancing benefits.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    More employee surveys and training.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    It was mostly positive, though I was kept in the dark about my employment prospects.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Post Doctoral Lecturer in Palo Alto, CA
    Former Employee - Post Doctoral Lecturer in Palo Alto, CA

    I worked at Stanford University as a contractor (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    The people I worked with were fantastic. They were so interesting and helpful.

    Cons

    I didn't like working under some professors, who were very arrogant and demeaning.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be more democratic about what people have to say about their superiors.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  11.  

    Great benefits; departments vary widely in culture

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Project Manager in Palo Alto, CA
    Current Employee - Project Manager in Palo Alto, CA

    I have been working at Stanford University full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Excellent benefits, many of which are not obvious at first (free career counseling, crisis counseling).
    Beautiful surroundings
    Stable, secure

    Cons

    Lower salaries than the private sector
    Some nonacademic departments are completely mismanaged.
    WOrk hours were utterly inhumane, in my area

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Decide if you're a nonprofit or not.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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