Columbia University Reviews | Glassdoor

Columbia University Reviews

Updated February 17, 2017
45 reviews

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Columbia University President and Trustee Lee C. Bollinger
Lee C. Bollinger
19 Ratings

45 Employee Reviews

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More Pros and Cons

  1. "It's pretty awful! I wouldn't recommend my grad program either."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Graduate Teaching Assistant in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Graduate Teaching Assistant in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    There is some good name recognition, at a price!

    Cons

    Exploitative working environment, no job prospects after graduation.

    Advice to Management

    Cut administration and focus on academics.


  2. "CUMC"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Graduate Student in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Graduate Student 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

    A plethora of great scientist in a small place.

    Cons

    Poor administrative organization and outdated systems.


  3. "Former IT staff"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - IT Staff in New York, NY
    Former Employee - IT Staff in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Access to a variety of different technology

    Cons

    Office conditions were awful as far as I was concerned. Especially when they ship you off-campus into Harlem into what's basically a warehouse with long shared desks (no privacy and dangerous location across from train tracks, a gas station, and intersection). Not to mention the office is full of older folks who cough up phlegm and mucous all day. Gross. Good luck staying healthy. Likely in violation of several building codes (old dusty below-waist windows, giant lead door that swings open at any moment, could easily injure you). Meeting room was tiny and windowless, with no working equipment. Had to huddle around a tiny laptop in group meetings. Elevator service was shut down often as well, sometimes out of spite from the building workers. Co-workers routinely came into work sick as a dog. In fact, I was assigned to a desk where the ceiling had collapsed onto it. Then in the middle of the day, workers jack-hammered the roof directly above my head. I was told in an email, that work was going on that day and it "wouldn't be very noisy." Even further, I was told it wasn't "technically" a jackhammer, but a different type of tool. Great. The work culture is a game of who can refuse to do work for the longest and continue to make new excuses every week. I was amused by this for about a day. It slowly became very depressing. My colleagues played this excuse-as-to-why-they-haven't-been-able-to-work game over and over and over every single week, without fail. It was enough to drive you completely insane. Eventually I just quit for my mental and physical health. If you work here, and want to learn new stuff, you can, but only to a certain point. Everyone is afraid of the real cutting-edge technology and it's seen as impossible to understand by these dinosaurs, which basically leaves you fully screwed once you leave if you try to get into the private sector. Co-workers were abusive and everything is extremely political and based on words in emails, not actions. If you're a master manipulator you might do well here. New management constantly, and hired from consulting firms. They also force you to complete the windowless basement brainwashing that is ITIL. If you point out the toxic culture to HR you will find yourself deeper and deeper into an inescapable position, because everything is based on words and no one wants to lose their job. This place may have ruined my career, to be quite honest.

    Advice to Management

    I have nothing to say to management. They don't fire people who continually do nothing, in order to protect their position, it's pretty easy to see. The advice would be to just quit.


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  5. "Dont bother"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Clinical Fellow in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Clinical Fellow in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Good name, lot of ability to learn from excellent people. The location is good for those uptown, in NJ or westchester.

    Cons

    HR is a joke, the benefits are the worst I have ever seen. The 403 doesnt allow for employer contributions for two years. HR has no information, no training is available, they tell you nothing.

    Advice to Management

    Hire people from actual "for profit" business, your beg for research dollars model is failing.


  6. "TSCU"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Admissions Coordinator in Rye Brook, NY
    Former Employee - Admissions Coordinator in Rye Brook, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Columbia University (More than a year)

    Pros

    Benefits and networking opportunities are everywhere

    Cons

    Upper management terrible, people put in positions not based on merit

    Advice to Management

    get it together


  7. "Columbia SPS - Program Ops"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I have been working at Columbia University full-time

    Pros

    Easy job. Great benefits. Get a degree while working here.

    Cons

    No one at the school knows what they are doing. Program Ops is a disorganized mess. The running joke is that someone read a 'how to' book about a brilliant idea to centralize how programs are run without a clue about how to do it. There certainly is no concern for students or education here. The school is only concerned about making money. Very disappointing.

    Advice to Management

    Cannot keep hiring people with no prior experience in education administration and giving them fancy titles. Everyone is an Associate Dean at Columbia SPS and it has devalued the position.


  8. Helpful (2)

    "Worst working experience of my life working at the Psychology Department!!!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Columbia University full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Benefits e.g. 20 plus days of vacation and sick days, health insurance is also very good.

    Cons

    Working environment/culture... working under the Director of Academic Administration and Finance.

    Advice to Management

    Change the Director! Then the job itself would be great for any experience professional.


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Good students and faculty, terrible administration"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Fellow in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Fellow in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    The students are hardworking, engaged and smart. The faculty is generally very high calibre and there are lots of interesting events and research projects happening on campus. Subsidized housing in NYC is nothing to scoff at.

    Cons

    Hands down the most poorly managed university bureaucracy I've encountered. Many people in the administration are straight up rude; others seem to be doing the bare minimum required to retain their jobs. Lots of misallocated resources with no accountability. I really can't stress enough how disappointing my experience with the Columbia administration has been. I can only attribute it to either outright incompetence/corruption, or the arrogant attitude that comes from being an Ivy in a big city. My experience with administrators and bureaucracy at a much less well regarded state school was far better, which has honestly surprised me a lot.

    Advice to Management

    Make employees more accountable and hire new people to displace the incompetent elements in the old guard. Maybe hire a new President?


  10. Helpful (2)

    "Full of micromanagers"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Leasing Assistant in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Leasing Assistant in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

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

    Pros

    Great health benefits, tuition exemption, vacation, sick, and personal days, and proximity to classes if you're a student at Columbia.

    Cons

    Insane amount of micromanaging, bullying, spying, berating, humiliating, and talking down by at least three of my supervisors.

    Advice to Management

    This is 21st century and slavery is long gone. Please show respect to everyone regardless of their title. A human being is judged not by how he treats his bosses, but how he treats those he supervises. Please grow up.


  11. Helpful (1)

    "intern"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    ok place but not a great place to work in

    Cons

    discrimination
    unfair expectations
    unfair pay and long working hours through out the week

    Advice to Management

    help people


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