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Harvard University Staff Assistant Reviews

Updated Nov 21, 2019

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3.2
47%
Recommend to a Friend
100%
Approve of CEO
Harvard University President Lawrence S. Bacow
Lawrence S. Bacow
1 Rating
  1. "Highly skilled, professional staff in a supportive, active work environment"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Staff Assistant in Cambridge, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Harvard University for less than a year

    Pros

    Community events and activities, well-stocked break rooms, pays well

    Cons

    Ever-fluctuating workflow, impermanent staff, rocky onboarding

    Advice to Management

    More robust support for future employment

    Harvard University2019-11-20
  2. Helpful (1)

    "That's how they get you."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Staff Assistant III in Cambridge, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Harvard University full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Great pay and benefits, if you are able to use them.

    Cons

    Little to no training. Emphasis on decentralization results in complete lack of oversight, community, and compassion. Extremely high expectations of self-driven work, with no motivation besides compensation. Tons of resources are advertised but very few are actually available. Health insurance is deceptive in the same way, with reality being nothing like the options offered. All the worst parts of being an assistant-- constantly solving problems for and fixing mistakes of faculty and staff who couldn't care less about you.

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    Advice to Management

    Hire employee advocates. Have trainings which employees can actually attend. Create better systems.

    Harvard University2019-11-21
  3. "Good benefits, Annual Union-Protected Raises, Increase Living Wage"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Staff Assistant III in Cambridge, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Harvard University full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    Health Coverage, Wellness Classes, Location

    Cons

    Increase Living Wage for Administrative/Staff Assistants

    Advice to Management

    Offer quicker responses for internal hires. Increase diversity hires in management positions.

    Harvard University2019-09-30
  4. "All the prestige you can eat"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Staff Assistant 

    I worked at Harvard University full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Incredibly inspiring and high achieving environment

    Cons

    Inflexible bureaucracy stifles your personal progress

    Harvard University2019-08-12
  5. "Overall Postive"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Staff Assistant 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Harvard University full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Phenomenal benefits, multiple opportunities to move between schools

    Cons

    Hiring process, fluidity of career changes

    Harvard University2019-07-25
  6. "Unprofessional, Non-existent management oversight"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Staff Assistant in Cambridge, MA

    I worked at Harvard University full-time

    Pros

    the Harvard community outside of the Campus Services Housing, Parking Office

    Cons

    Unprofessional work environment and the department is over staffed because the team doesn't work hard. High turnover and associate director doesn't actually directly manage the team so there is no oversight or management. Inappropriate work culture which includes talk of violence, making fun of someone getting struck by lightning and threats to slap someone at work isn't appropriate and shouldn't be censored. Workers surfing the internet all day while some do work. There is no direct manage.

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    Advice to Management

    I think upper management or Human Resources needs an unbiased review

    Harvard University2018-11-19
  7. Helpful (1)

    "Pros/Cons"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Staff Assistant in Boston, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Harvard University full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Lovely people to work with, great resources and benefits

    Cons

    Little room for growth, no change in salary, negative work environment - Chances are you may work with toxic leads (doctors, professors, etc) that could impact the team or your environment potentially.

    Advice to Management

    HR needs to be staffed better especially at HMS

    Harvard University2018-06-26
  8. Helpful (9)

    "Impossible to get hired"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Staff Assistant 
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Harvard University full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Lots of PTO, good benefits, good work/life balance

    Cons

    I’ve been trying to get a job at Harvard for almost three years and every time I think it’s finally going to happen they end up going with someone else. Last year I figured I’d try to get my foot in the door by temping, so I accepted a three month long assignment that paid $14/hr, hoping it would be an investment... After three months, the person I was covering for came back. But I was thrilled when the department called me back a month later, asking me to fill in again. It turned out the original person left for good, so there was now an open position available! I truly thought this was my lucky break, since they requested me back for the same role that was now open. But whenever I asked about the timeframe to actually be hired, they would just say they’re not sure what the new role will look like and that I should basically treat every day like an audition for the job. This went on for three months (so by now I was there for a total of six months and getting more and more stressed). After they maxed out the time they could keep me as a temp, they decided to make me a Term employee for three months, hyping it up to seem like a huge success. But whenever I asked my supervisor for projects that would allow me to leave a foot print and prove myself, she would just tell me she appreciates my proactiveness, but unfortunately “it’s not appropriate because you’re a Term employee”. So, I made sure to keep a spreadsheet of everything I did, and tried to build solid relationships with my co-workers. My supervisor and the Director even told me on numerous occasions that all of the reviews they’d gotten about me were been very positive. However, towards the end of my term end date, one of the managers gave me a very generic interview and barely glanced at the spreadsheet. And when I asked the department director a few days later if there are any updates, he told me I wasn’t even chosen as a finalist for the position. I wish I knew what was going through their minds as they put me through this experience, and why they wanted to keep me around as long as they did if they weren’t intending to hire me permanently.

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    Harvard University2018-05-04
  9. "Staff Assistant"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Staff Assistant in Cambridge, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Harvard University full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Great morale, effective organization, caring managers, many opportunities for PD, extensive benefits, decent pay

    Cons

    Meeting heavy culture, rigid hierarchy

    Advice to Management

    Less but longer meetings

    Harvard University2018-01-24
  10. "Staff Assistant"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Staff Assistant in Cambridge, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Harvard University full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Surrounded by so many intelligent, passionate people Good hours

    Cons

    Not a lot of cross school communication Underpaid

    Harvard University2017-10-24
Found 42 reviews