Harvard University Reviews | Glassdoor

Harvard University Reviews

Updated April 19, 2018
1,375 reviews

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4.2
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Approve of CEO
Harvard University President Drew Gilpin Faust
Drew Gilpin Faust
517 Ratings

1,375 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • work life balance is not very good (in 50 reviews)

  • 28 million in 2017 in Arts & Sciences & therefore NO ONE got even a cost of living raise (in 16 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Great community, but choose your lab carefully"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Graduate Student in Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Graduate Student in Boston, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Incredible administrative and support staff that genuinely want to see you succeed. Brilliant (and friendly!) students and faculty to bounce ideas with on good days, and to commiserate with when experiments don't go well.

    Cons

    (PhD in Biological and Biomedical Sciences perspective): Professors can sometimes be split between industry and academic commitments, leading to spotty mentorship. This varies considerably on a case-by-case basis (and can be an advantage if you know you want to go into industry) so ask around and make sure you know what type of lab you're joining.

    Advice to Management

    In late 2017, when there was the possibility grad students would face an excessively high tax burden, Harvard's leadership spoke up on our behalf and assured us they would take care of our well being if the tax bill came to pass. Please continue with this type of leadership: actions that demonstrate commitment to student success.


  2. "Harvard Visual and Environmental Studies Department Library Monitor"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Cambridge, MA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Cambridge, MA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Harvard University part-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Note: This job is only open to Harvard College students; the pay is relatively low (just above minimum wage), but the job requires very little skill, and allows students to do work while doing the job; employer is very kind, as are department members

    Cons

    None that I can think of at the moment

    Advice to Management

    N/A

  3. Helpful (1)

    "Great place to begin a career"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Program Coordinator in Cambridge, MA
    Former Employee - Program Coordinator in Cambridge, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    I was able to get my master's at the Graduate School of Education nearly free after the tuition discount and support from my professional development in my office. My manager was incredibly supportive and caring and I got to do impactful, meaningful work with undergraduate students.

    Cons

    A lot of times there really is a lack of upward mobility- be it in your office itself or at the Unversity at large. It is difficult to get out of the union and there is little discussion about promotions even if you've been in your position for 3+ years. Management is slow to look into adjusting titles or job descriptions based on obvious changes that occur over time in any job.

    Advice to Management

    Help make more opportunities for people to grow! There are so many opportunities for professional development at the University, but it's hard to stay when there aren't jobs to move up into!


  4. "Easy opportunity to get to know faculty"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Harvard University part-time

    Pros

    Easy way to work with faculty, reasonable work conditions. Learning how the university works from the inside is also fascinating.

    Cons

    Sometimes the work you're asked to do feels meaningless, but that's just part of the job and inherent to the job title.


  5. "Great"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Rowland Fellow
    Current Employee - Rowland Fellow
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Independence for your research and enough funding

    Cons

    Not in main campus need to take transportation but still convenient


  6. "Competitive yet very friendly"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Research Fellow in Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Research Fellow in Boston, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Good environment, people are always helpful

    Cons

    Very competitive, parking is only available for faculties

    Advice to Management

    NA


  7. "New employee"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Cambridge, MA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Cambridge, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Good benefits
    Good pay for industry
    Flexible work arrangements
    403b with defined contributions
    Opportunity to take subsidized courses

    Cons

    Pays well for IT *within higher ed*, but not competitive with industry in general
    COLA don't always happen
    "35/hr weeks" are more like 50/hrs

    Advice to Management

    Get closer to industry rates
    Stop with the Harvard hedge fund and just try to match the market

  8. "overall a great place to be"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Harvard University part-time

    Pros

    overall a great place to be

    Cons

    none that i can think of


  9. "Graduate Student in BBS"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - PhD Graduate Student in Boston, MA
    Current Employee - PhD Graduate Student in Boston, MA

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

    Pros

    Great opportunities to learn about careers outside of academic science

    Cons

    BBS is a large program with many different labs. Talk to the BBS office and make sure you join a good one. Most people that are unhappy about grad school are in a bad lab. Don't put yourself in a bad situation.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Department Administrator"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Administrator in Cambridge, MA
    Former Employee - Administrator in Cambridge, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Harvard University full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Ok pay, can have flexible work schedule, in some places management is non existent so you can do work and not be micro managed. There are in fact lots of chances to learn knew things and gain experience if you are willing to put in the time and effort and volunteer.

    Cons

    Upper management has zero idea how department's are functioning. Pay is lower that it should be for some employees, and some employees simply work more and harder than others. It is a place where, for some, you can hide and not do much work and collect your paycheck. Pay can be low especially for woman. Despite women being in positions of power at the university there is still an attitude of women can be paid less coming from an increasingly corporate style HR department. HR is out of touch with what happens at the university. You can be micro managed to death by HR or your direct supervisor, but conversely Harvard has a hard time providing adequate resources or supervision via upper management. Basically all middle managers are thrown into sink or swim. And the lower staff either have to work hard or hide out.

    Advice to Management

    Stop being sexist. Stop dictating to departments. Listen to departments and your Staff III level employees. Upper management has zero idea how department's are functioning. Management really should constantly be attending to the needs of the departments. The university exists because of and for the students, not so that upper management can have smoothly running budget processes and no HR headaches.


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