University of Pennsylvania Reviews

Updated August 1, 2015
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University of Pennsylvania President Amy Gutmann
Amy Gutmann
291 Ratings

Pros
  • Great culture and work life balance (in 26 reviews)

  • Great benefits and a fun environment (in 27 reviews)

Cons
  • There isn't alot of room for advancement (in 6 reviews)

  • low salary, low chance for promotion (in 9 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

621 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (1)

    UPenn has a number of staff positions in a diverse and exciting environment.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Programmer Analyst in Philadelphia, PA
    Current Employee - Programmer Analyst in Philadelphia, PA

    I have been working at University of Pennsylvania

    Recommends
    Recommends

    Pros

    Benefits are great, including tuition, retirement, health. Family issues are taken seriously, and personal time is respected. Hours are flexible depending on staff positions, while environment is very diverse and understanding. Access to campus events and facilities are a good plus. There are thousands of staff positions which allow ample of movement and promotions. Free holiday break in addition to max of 24 vacation days per year. Preferential treatment for Penn connections when your kids apply as students. The top staff (President and VPs) are top-paid executives with years of experience in both education and private sectors.

    Cons

    Salary is not competitive compared to the private sector, although tuition benefits might trump the difference if you take classes or degree programs. Each school is very independent and staff efforts sometimes step on each other due to lack of collaboration.

    Advice to Management

    Centralizing more staff and increasing collaboration between schools may create more efficiency.


  2. Helpful (1)

    A diverse and great place to work.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Healthcare Worker in Philadelphia, PA
    Current Employee - Healthcare Worker in Philadelphia, PA

    I have been working at University of Pennsylvania

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    This is a diverse, highly rated and respected university. They have excellent benefits and compensation. You can take classes and earn a degree at a fraction of the cost. Your children, if accepted to the University, will get 75% of their tuition paid for and 50% at other institutions. The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania is in the top10 and the University of Pennsylvania Medical School is in the top 2 of the country.

    Cons

    Parking is not free and there is a waiting list for certain garages. Salaries are low to average for new workers.

    Advice to Management

    I would advise Senior Management to listen to their employees and to spend more time learning and understanding our issues.


  3. Great place to work with smart people, has a very entrepreneurial atmosphere.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Research Assistant in Philadelphia, PA
    Former Employee - Research Assistant in Philadelphia, PA

    I worked at University of Pennsylvania

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Academic environment means you are surrounded by smart people who want to get things done. It is a great place to hatch new ideas and work in a collegial environment. Great benefits.

    Cons

    Business administrative staff have a lot of bureaucracy to wade through. It is difficult to find money to do certain things.

    Advice to Management

    Senior management needs to increase fundraising efforts to help top talent spend more time on research and less time on writing grants.


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  5. Newbie plans to stay

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - IT Support Manager in Philadelphia, PA
    Current Employee - IT Support Manager in Philadelphia, PA

    I have been working at University of Pennsylvania

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Here are the best reasons to work at UPenn: free undergrad education and most-free graduate education within SAS, upward mobility, work-life balance, and amazing benefits.

    Cons

    I do not have any complaints about my employer.

    Advice to Management

    I do not have feedback to provide right now as I am new to the University.


  6. Mechanical Engineering Ph.D. student

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - PhD Student in Philadelphia, PA
    Current Employee - PhD Student in Philadelphia, PA

    I have been working at University of Pennsylvania

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Extremely flexible work schedule Very bright co-workers Interesting projects Decent health benefits High quality of life in Philadelphia Great administrative staff

    Cons

    Very low pay Very bad female to male ratio Some irrelevant course work Some arrogant students and professors Slow pace of research

    Advice to Management

    Make the graduation time line more defined. Seek to solve the problem of aimlessness Offer slightly higher pay with time


  7. University of Pennsylvania Graduate Student

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Graduate Student Researcher in Philadelphia, PA
    Current Employee - Graduate Student Researcher in Philadelphia, PA

    I have been working at University of Pennsylvania

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Penn has a great network of researchers and clinicians to draw from for your research. Philadelphia is a great place to live and get around. Stipends in engineering are pretty good.

    Cons

    The graduation requirements in the college of engineering seem to morph every year, kind of confusing. A lot of the engineering courses are poorly taught and the overall selection of courses for graduate students is limited.

    Advice to Management

    My only advice would be to expand the available course curriculum to allow students to expand their breadth of knowledge beyond what is accomplished in the research lab.


  8. University of Pennsylvania is a great place to work, but the system has flaws that frustrate advancement.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Research Specialist D in Phila, PA
    Current Employee - Research Specialist D in Phila, PA

    I have been working at University of Pennsylvania

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Penn is a community of terrific people, opportunities for collaborative efforts, continuing education at all levels, all based in a vibrant city.

    Cons

    There are limited opportunities for professional growth as a staff member in research. You often have one job title, but actually perform a different job altogether. HR designed many job titles, but they are unevenly applied and at the whim of the supervisor.

    Advice to Management

    Take evaluations seriously, apply real merit increases, not just the cost-of-living increase to everyone across the board year after year.Improve employees investment in their jobs by giving them something to work toward.


  9. a great office environment

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate Director (Student Services) in Philadelphia, PA
    Current Employee - Associate Director (Student Services) in Philadelphia, PA

    I have been working at University of Pennsylvania

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    excellent benefits - retirement, great health insurance, vacation, holidays, tuition remission. accessibility to some of the best minds, good room for growth respect for administrative professionals

    Cons

    culture of royalty among faculty poor raises, no bonuses parking on campus is terrible difficult to be promoted/receive meaningful raises without changing jobs entirely

    Advice to Management

    Offer opportunities for staff to be promoted within their current role; this would decrease some turn over and encourage longevity.


  10. Excellent support for professional development; fair compensation

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Administrative Assistant in Philadelphia, PA
    Current Employee - Administrative Assistant in Philadelphia, PA

    I have been working at University of Pennsylvania

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    -Generous retirement package with matching up to 5% after first year of employment -Winter holiday vacation in addition to generous vacation day accrual -Fair compensation -Tuition reimbursement toward undergraduate or graduate degree -HR staff members offer outstanding professional development programming and one-on-one career counseling -Opportunity to be in contact with world-class scholarship and research -Access to first-rate library, lectures, cultural programming

    Cons

    In certain schools and departments, operations can be quite hierarchical. As can be expected at an Ivy League university, you'll run into some big egos. Insufficient representation of people of color at higher levels of management. Communication to administrative-level employees is not always as clear as it could be. The University is very decentralized, and it can be difficult to find out what's happening in other schools and centers.

    Advice to Management

    Generally, leadership seems sensible. Continue to support humanities programming alongside your strong agenda for biomedical research. Thank you for investing in not only your faculty, but your administrative staff!


  11. Great place to be a Ph.D. student in robotics. Of course it depends who your advisor is

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Ph D Student in Philadelphia, PA
    Current Employee - Ph D Student in Philadelphia, PA

    I have been working at University of Pennsylvania

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    I have lots of intellectual freedom. My advisor is rather hands off but always supports me in what I want to pursue.

    Cons

    It can take a long time to finnish one's phd here because it is not very guided. You have to be on your own and manage your own time and be able to motivate yourself.

    Advice to Management

    Be more hands on with your students and guide them through the process. If they get off track tell them early on.



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