Columbia University Reviews in New York City, NY | Glassdoor

Columbia University New York City Reviews

Updated December 7, 2017
190 reviews

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New York City, NY Area

3.0
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Columbia University President and Trustee Lee C. Bollinger
Lee C. Bollinger
68 Ratings

190 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • benefits, work life balance, opportunities (in 87 reviews)

  • great academic atmosphere also great location as in new york city (in 56 reviews)

Cons
  • Low salary for living in such an expensive place as New York City (in 34 reviews)

  • Columbia doesn't pay as well as nearby institutions where students face similar cost of living (in 25 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Exposure to good opportunities, but far"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Fellow in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Fellow in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Columbia University full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    There are department lectures so you can learn about many kinds of research
    Many seminars on campus
    Postdoctoral organization provide wellness seminars and guidance
    Depending on your PI, great work/ life balance

    Cons

    Long commute if coming from Brooklyn or Queens
    Diversity is lacking
    There can be lots of red tape

    Advice to Management

    If there can be improvements to communication, workers can navigate the job easier.


  2. "Need to hire more competent staff"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Grants Administrator in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Grants Administrator in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Columbia University full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Flexible working environment and good name in your resume. That’s all I have. I don’t have 20 words to write so what should I do?!!!

    Cons

    Incompetent staff especially mid and high level managers and directors which is also reflected on their choices of operational level employees!
    So much politics make you feel like you are working in a third world institution not an Ivy League university !!

    Advice to Management

    Need to hire more competent staff which means pay more for new managerial positions (not only old directors make all the money!!!)

  3. "Ph.D. candidate at Columbia University"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Ph D Candidate in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Ph D Candidate in New York, NY
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Many high-quality colleagues for support and collaboration. Prestigious degree awarded for completion.

    Cons

    Low wage compared to cost of living, Not much support for dependents

    Advice to Management

    Provide more support for dependents of Ph.D. candidates


  4. "Good benefits, low pay"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Columbia University Officer of Administration in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Columbia University Officer of Administration in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    I have worked at two Columbia University administrative departments across all three campuses. There are several pros and cons to Columbia. Here are the pros:

    - Good vacation policy, unlimited sick leave, good work-life balance
    - Good retirement benefits. You immediately vest in your retirement plan and the university matches 3% of your voluntary contributions. After two years as an officer, the company matches an extra 5%.
    - Lots of free food, lots of events
    - Great tuition benefits

    Cons

    Columbia University pays below market rate compared to other universities and hospitals in the area. In asking my peers that work at other institutions, the pay can range up to 30% less at Columbia. A lot of my colleagues leave for other institutions, and the turnover rate at Columbia is very high. There is no stability and projects are left unfinished. Other people have to pick up the slack, often starting projects from scratch.

    It is a fast-paced environment -- while great and lets you learn a lot in the short amount of time-- also makes you question the low salary for the amount of work you are doing.

    Management does not seem to have a clue or don't seem to care to improve things, unfortunately. In the past 2 years, there has been a complete change of staff within the department I am currently working for.

    Advice to Management

    Please pay attention to why the turnover rate is so high.


  5. "Protect Postdoctoral Research Scientists"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Research Scientist in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Research Scientist in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Columbia University full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Columbia University offers a lot of opportunities in professional development

    Cons

    Postdoctoral Research Scientists are not protected in any way. Relatively low pay with no annual increase and lots of pressure to work long days including the weekends.

    Advice to Management

    Review the policy, compare to other major research institutes in New York City


  6. "Postdoc at Columbia"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Fellow in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Fellow in New York, NY
    Recommends

    I have been working at Columbia University full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Good environment, advanced science and facilities

    Cons

    Poor administration, slow management, long processing for PO


  7. "Residential Mechanical Supervisor"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Columbia University full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    The benefits they promise.
    The schedule is good
    The support staff is dedicated

    Cons

    The benefits you never get to use.

    Advice to Management

    Promote within.

  8. "Experience is heavily dependent on supervisor"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Research Assistant in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Research Assistant in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Columbia University full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    - Working at a prestigious institution
    - Learning and acquiring knowledge about research
    - Location is nice

    Cons

    - Administration very difficult to navigate - particularly HR in the place where I worked
    - Pay is very low
    - In my case, workload was tremendous and disproportionate to the amount of pay and hours I was receiving. Often times I would be asked to do things after hours even though I was told that it would be a 9-5 position (there is no compensation for work done outside of these hours).
    - Little to no support from supervisor - this is dependent on where you will be working.
    - Watch out for red flags from supervisors who say that they don't do timesheets. It might seem convenient to not have to do them until you find that you're being asked to stay late when your regular shift is 9-5. This should be reported to HR.

    Advice to Management

    - Treat your research assistants with a little more respect
    - Just because you're in a supervisory position doesn't mean you shouldn't have to deal with administrative things like timesheets and other paperwork
    - Create an environment in the workplace where individuals feel safe asking for help instead of reprimanding employees for doing this. It's part of the learning process.
    - Respect the NY labor laws - you shouldn't have employees doing unpaid work late at night, and they shouldn't be made to think that it's normal.


  9. "Good brand name but complex environment"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate Director in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Associate Director in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Columbia University full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Great brand name to have on resume. OK compensation and benefits.

    Cons

    Almost no proper recognition/advancement opportunities from the senior management, depending on the department, it can be a very complex environment. Management can be slow to take action.

    Advice to Management

    More recognition and advancement opportunities to top performers.


  10. "Columbia is what we all know it is"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Contractor - Enrollment Specialist in New York, NY
    Former Contractor - Enrollment Specialist in New York, NY
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Columbia University as a contractor (More than a year)

    Pros

    Salary and benefits, Work-life balance

    Cons

    Disorganization, Beuracratic nightmare that takes five or six people to sign off on an email, Lack of responsibility and leadership from managerial positions

    Advice to Management

    Employee responsibility. Everyone, including management, passes the buck to the next person. University-wide issue, beyond specific colleges.


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