University of Chicago

  www.uchicago.edu
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University of Chicago Reviews in Chicago, IL

Updated Jul 21, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.6 206 reviews

90% Approve of the CEO

(no image)

Robert J. Zimmer

(10 ratings)

78% of employees recommend this company to a friend

Review Highlights

Pros
  • The University offers good benefits and a great work atmosphere(in 24 reviews)

  • Good benefits and reasonable work-life balance, if you want it(in 11 reviews)


Cons
  • Senior management is allergic to responsibility, yet repressive of initiative(in 6 reviews)

  • There is little room for career growth and the salary is mediocre(in 5 reviews)

206 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews
in
    • Culture & Values
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    • Senior Management
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    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Academic Environments Are Not All That You'd Expect

    Clerical (Former Employee) Chicago, IL

    ProsI was hired into a clerical position as an entry-level (recent grad) employee. There were lots of training opportunities, especially for specific software applications, if you knew which ones to pursue and could make the case for their relevance to your supervisor. Benefits were great and afforded lots of options; leave time was very generous (3 weeks vacation, 5 personal days, 10 sick days, lots of holidays, summer hours).

    ConsMentorship was minimal, and the bureaucracy made moving within the organization difficult.

    Advice to Senior ManagementDon't hire smart, aspiring young people to do primarily rote data entry and filing unless you plan to really take the time to invest in their professional growth; growth along a clerical (union) trajectory is not the same thing, and very different skills are required to succeed in administrative support positions than in a strategic or analytical role.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    Supportive environment for research-oriented undergraduates

    Research Assistant (Former Employee) Chicago, IL

    ProsThe faculty are very supportive of students who are interested in research. It's easy to approach labs, and most will take on undergrads with minimal experience. Undergrads get to participate in lab meetings and get hands-on research experience. There are often opportunities for summer and post-grad employment. Most labs are open to their undergrad research assistants completing honors work towards a senior project in the lab, often in conjunction with a graduate student.

    ConsSome labs expect undergrads to complete a considerable amount of administrative or secretarial work, in addition to research tasks. As an undergraduate, there are few opportunities for advancement.

    Advice to Senior ManagementBe explicit in the proportion of time expected for different tasks in job descriptions.

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

    • Culture & Values
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    • Approves of CEO

     

    Good place for scientific research

    Graduate Research Assistant (Current Employee) Chicago, IL

    ProsThe atmosphere for research is really good in University of Chicago. They are now building the new Institute of molecular engineering to strengthen the week part of engineer there.

    ConsThe salary for the staff is not very high, however, the benefit for child education is good since they will compensate the tuition for college study.

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

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    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
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    Good Development Job

    Prospect Research Analyst (Current Employee) Chicago, IL

    ProsExcellent professional development opportunities, balance of self-initiated projects and assigned projects, very professional staff. Well compensated for nonprofit field. Taken seriously as a professional.

    ConsVery large department, difficult to get to know everyone.

    Advice to Senior ManagementThe regular employee mixers and all-staff meetings are very useful--it is easy to get lost in such a huge department!

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

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    Decent first job out of college

    Research Assistant (Former Employee) Chicago, IL

    Prossmart people, lovely campus, decent benefits

    Conslow pay, little room for advancement

    Advice to Senior Managementget pay/advancement opportunities in line with peer institutions

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

     

    Brilliant

    Student Support Associate (Former Employee) Chicago, IL

    ProsVery friendly environment, flexible schedule

    ConsNot too many cons as far as I remembered

    • Culture & Values
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    • Approves of CEO

     

    Excellent.

    Postdoctoral Scholar (Current Employee) Chicago, IL

    ProsGood training in leadership, competitive academic environment in one of the top-tier universities in USA, and constant intellectual challenge that will never leave you bored.

    ConsSometimes work can get too competitive, and the location of the University is not in the best of neighborhoods in Chicago, but as long as you stay vigilant then it is fine.

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

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    • Approves of CEO

     

    Great place to work. Good professional environment and collaborative nature of work.

    Postdoctoral Scholar (Current Employee) Chicago, IL

    ProsIt has a very collaborative environment. Lot of opportunities for networking with researchers.

    ConsLocation could be a problem for people looking to network with others in the industry.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    • Disapproves of CEO

    3 people found this helpful  

    Toxic- It's not just a Britney Spears song.

    Assistant Director Development (Former Employee) Chicago, IL

    ProsRelationships with peers tend to become very strong, as many times we have had to rely heavily on one another to complete tasks and projects- which tend to come down with pressure and very last-minute.

    I have made friendships with co-workers that I treasure and who have understood how difficult working at UChicago has been.

    UChicago looks nice on a resume- but was not worth it in exchange for the deplorable working environment.

    ConsI like to consider myself a true optimist- but this is the absolute worst working environment I've ever been in. I almost don't know where to begin...

    Advancement opportunities are rare, and promotions have been given to those people who (among other things) verbally abuse their coworkers and have been documented incidents during my time there. For a promotion, the worker is almost always a white male (which seems to contradict the "diverse working environment" UChicago likes to tout) and appears to always have an unusually close relationship with their boss. In other words, the "yes" man is alive and well in this office.

    The actual team dynamic is disastrous. Micro-management is considered effective management, and I (along with my coworkers) were not trusted to make any type of decisions over programming whatsoever. Ironically, mistakes or failures would then be attributed to the same staff who did not have any control/decision making over those processes to begin with. While HR is aware of team issues and the horrible morale, no steps have been taken to address the situation- and supervisors have never openly recognized it with staff.

    Trust between staff and management is non-existent. I have been made aware of examples when my supervisor has given me directions (which I had in handwriting from them), and then in my following through on those directions, denied any involvement (and blamed me) to those higher-up when it became a problem. "Throwing Under the Bus" could be an Olympic sport- and my career at UChicago suffered when I refused to participate (along with some of my coworkers). Staff are very rarely, if ever, thanked for their job. While it seems small, just knowing that someone/anyone recognized my work would have really made a difference in how I felt about my job there.

    Any type of disagreement/criticism with management is severely frowned upon- there have been meetings where people have been expressly asked not to bring any of their issues/concerns to management as they will not be considered (for being too "negative" in nature). However, a condescending tone with staff is a hallmark of the office culture. The irony.

    For a prestigious university with such a hefty endowment (approx. $6.67 billion dollars), as well as the pressure of hitting high goals (with an understaffed team), compensation is significantly less than at local/peer institutions. If you're in development and are looking for competitive pay, you will not find it at UChicago.

    Underneath the shiny veneer of our logo, the University of Chicago has proven to me that no matter what your non-profit status is or how altruistic your mission statement may be, it exists as a quagmire of the worst aspects of a job. Arrogance, favoritism, sexism, duplicity and opportunism lives within the walls of their development offices.

    Advice to Senior ManagementYou don't deserve advice.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Diverse work place

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) Chicago, IL

    ProsLarge institution filled with all kinds of opportunities to grow your career. Faculty are generally nice to work with. Great people are among the workforce.

    ConsBusiness climate appears obvious and maintained only to the senior management. Young folks cannot sense professionalism easily. Needs more management leadership. Things are sometimes very slow and there is lack of incentive to work hard.

    Advice to Senior ManagementNot yet.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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