Harvard University - Harvard = Excellence (but keep it to yourself) | Glassdoor
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There are newer employer reviews for Harvard University

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Helpful (1)

"Harvard = Excellence (but keep it to yourself)"

StarStarStarStarStar
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Career Opportunities
  • Comp & Benefits
  • Senior Management
Current Employee - Program Coordinator in Boston, MA
Current Employee - Program Coordinator in Boston, MA
Recommends
Approves of CEO

Pros

Harvard faculty are the movers and shakers of the academic world; Harvard staff are smart and well-intentioned people who are hard-working, detail-oriented and precise. It's rare to find your co-worker shirking his/her duty, or doing shoddy work. It's all about the brand. You can't beat Harvard's brand. Harvard=excellence=hard and careful work.

Cons

If you are not on the faculty, you are not integral to the core mission of the university (research and education). You have to be content to be low person on the academic totem pole: Harvard, like most universities, is hierarchical. A major downside is that the attitude toward inter and intra workgroup communication varies widely from school to school and from department to department. In some offices at Harvard, you can go for years without being introduced to others in your 25 person department who are outside your 5 person division. This every-tub-on-its-own-bottom philosophy can lead to process wheel-reinventing; unless a faculty member champions a particular innovation, no one else will learn of it. Harvard Medical School's finance, grant management, education, facilities, and human resource offices all have good reason to share information internally via newsletters and updated websites, yet to my knowledge none of these groups reaches out to share information with faculty and staff on a regular basis (probably because they have to spend so much time arguing procedures/policies with their counterparts on the Cambridge campus). Also, it is very difficult to find a better job within Harvard unless you are staying in the same school - inter-school transfers/promotions are very rare.

Advice to Management

Don't hesitate to seize the opportunities offered by the opening of the Allston campus. Make sure that Drew Gilpin Faust can forge a bond of trust with Mayor Menino. Establish bus/Zipcar service so that you can get between the Cambridge and Boston campuses in 10-15 minutes without bringing your car to work. Keep the number of deans in check.

Other Employee Reviews for Harvard University

  1. Helpful (1)

    "HBS: Not too bad for the money"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Desk Jockey in Allston, MA
    Current Employee - Desk Jockey in Allston, MA
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Everyone says the benefits are great, but if you don't have a family, then who really cares? I just want to go to the doctor when I'm sick or the dentist so my teeth don't get jacked up. The best reason is really the flexibility of the managers. Most managers don't care if you need to take time off last minute, want to work from home, or need to leave early. It's also nice to have access to free education through the Harvard Extension school and also through the University. There are also some good attempts at "practical" training through the Center for Workplace Development. Plus, if you're a member of the union, you get a raise (about 5%) every year. There are also a LOT of hotties working at HBS.

    Cons

    It can be a little stiff in the upper levels of management, and there's a culture of "we have it the worst" in most units: i.e. most offices love to think that no one appreciates them and that they get no respect. The other downside is that you can freeze your ass off in the winter if you take public transportation because there are big gaps between the bus stops and the tunnels.

    Advice to Management

    Keep it up. Take a peek at the compensation of the staff every once in a while -- I realize that the faculty compensation is important, as they're the big draw (aside from the brand), but it would be pretty sweet if HR wasn't so stingy about giving folks some raises.


  2. Helpful (3)

    "Make the most of what is available to you"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Research Assistant in Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Research Assistant in Boston, MA
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    It is an amazing educational institution with a wide variety of opportunities available to those who are willing and able to reach for them. The exposure to fascinating people and ideas is truly unique, and some of the senior faculty and management are exceptional leaders and mentors.

    Cons

    You can't eat prestige. Compensation is not always in line with what is appropriate given the marketplace and Boston. The bureaucracy can be difficult to maneuver at times, particularly in times of transition. Communication can be frustrating and piece meal at times with little attempt to explain changes in structure. This can have real impact on morale. Some senior faculty and management do not have time or interest in working with junior employees.

    Advice to Management

    Pay careful attention to who you assign to mentor junior staff - not everyone has or is interested in developing those sorts of skills.

There are newer employer reviews for Harvard University
There are newer employer reviews for Harvard University

See Most Recent

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