Harvard University Staff Assistant Reviews | Glassdoor

Harvard University Staff Assistant Reviews

Updated Feb 3, 2020

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3.6
59%
Recommend to a Friend
100%
Approve of CEO
Harvard University President Lawrence S. Bacow
Lawrence S. Bacow
2 Ratings
  1. Helpful (2)

    "Great for stability and benefits; not great you are looking to grow professionally"

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

    I have been working at Harvard University full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    - Good benefits - Flexibility and work life balance - Positive co-workers - Low stress

    Cons

    - Growth limited. Ability to take on roles in management determined by degree. - Cost of living raise only. - Management is change-adverse.

    Harvard University2014-03-26
  2. Helpful (2)

    "Work-life balance, but in an atmosphere with tricky social cues . . ."

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

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

    Pros

    Pay, Benefits, Work-Life Balance, Activities, Colleagues

    Cons

    Passive-Aggressiveness, Unclear Communication, Cliquish, Double Standards

    Continue reading
    Harvard University2013-12-06
  3. Helpful (2)

    "Over educated babies with no interpersonal skills - makes working there difficult."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Staff Assistant in Cambridge, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Harvard University full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    Connections. There are so many alums.

    Cons

    Selfish, arrogant people in all staffing levels - who don't know how nor really want to do work.

    Continue reading
    Harvard University2014-01-15
  4. Helpful (2)

    "Politics and bureaucracy aside, Harvard provides"

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

    I worked at Harvard University full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Fantastic benefits and perks, free courses, paid time off on all major US holidays (depending on your job responsibility, excellent training, enormous resources available to all such as the libraries, athletic facilities, museums. The students and staff are amazing. There are so many fulfilling opportunities for anyone regardless of their rank or affiliation. It's all there, whether you're a Dean. a staff assistant, or custodial staff.

    Cons

    Politics. Complaints or about higher level managers tend to fall on dead ears. While it may seem that your voice is heard, very little if anything changes. This is not necessarily always true, of course, but there does seem to be some level of immunity at the exempt level. An institution like Harvard can be set in its ways to the extent that it's more comfortable to let things be rather than rock the boat. Harvard needs to provide its employees with better merit based rewards. The Union increases are ok, but they don't recognize excellence since everyone gets them. Merit based raises and job reclassification do exist, however it seems that most managers are hesitant to initiate the process for all sorts of reasons. Pay could be better, but when you factor in all the PTO, insurance options, and everything else, it's hard to complain.

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    Harvard University2013-06-16
  5. "Staff Assistant Review"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Staff Assistant in Cambridge, MA
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Harvard University

    Pros

    Very supportive environment, great co-workers and work/life balance. Compensation is very competitive.

    Cons

    Very decentralized, makes some projects difficult.

    Continue reading
    Harvard University2010-06-21
  6. Helpful (2)

    "Decent Salary, Great Benefits!"

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

    I have been working at Harvard University

    Pros

    Great benefits package. 15 vacation days + 3 personal days (18 total) to start! After 5 years of service, earn 20 vacation days, plus personal days, per year. Great discounts on Harvard courses - take Harvard Extension School courses for $40 each (currently) - up to two per semester (spring, fall, and summer). I don't know what will happen in this economy, but there have been up until summer 2009 great yearly pay raises (4 to 5 %) - negotiated by the Harvard Clerical and Technical Workers Union. A lot of professional career-development and skills-development trainings and workshops. An environmentally friendly environment.

    Cons

    For some, the salary may not be as high as could be earned elsewhere. Harvard, surprisingly, will not give free tuition to the children of its employees!

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    Harvard University2010-03-31
  7. Helpful (5)

    "Pretty good kinda great and a place to settle..."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Staff Assistant in Cambridge, MA
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Harvard University

    Pros

    1) Working at Harvard feels good because of Harvard's history and standing. 2) Pay is very good for the level of effort required for most positions. 3) Hours for most position are good, 9-5, with flex timer, comp time, or overtime if you work outside those hours. 4) Health benefits are good. 5) Harvard has a lot of things to do on and around campus for employees. Gym access, library access, museum access is all for free or at a reduced price. 6) Harvard square is very nice. The area around the university is well-to-do and has shops and 7) Adjacent to Boston and everything a major city should have. Sports, entertainment, et cetera.

    Cons

    1) It is hard to get a job at Harvard...less than 2% of job applicants are accepted. It is harder to get a job at Harvard than get into the school. This counts for promotions as well. Most moves are lateral promotions or small promotions in different areas. People work for 10 years at the Law School and then get another job at the Education school for slightly more money. There is no direct line of promotion. 2) Cambridge is expensive. Harvard pays a good salary at every job level but it still is not enough to own a house in the area. Cambridge is a great place but most employees have to commute. Renting is easy enough in Cambridge but if you want a bigger place or a to own your own home you will have to commute at least 30 minutes if not closer to an hour. Trains are good though... 3) This barely a con but working at Harvard dominates your life. You will hear the word Harvard a 100 times a day, see crimson Hs all over the place, and might even get Harvard overload. Some people do not like it. But this is not a real problem for most people ...after all...saying you work at Harvard is awesome. 4) Some of the people at Harvard are flaky. The Harvard name attracts all sorts for really cool people to pompous snobs who have nothing to really be pompous or snobby about other than working at Harvard. But the proverbial 9 out of 10 employees (and students) are really nice people. The local Cambridge people are definitely weird crunchy types though...

    Continue reading
    Harvard University2009-10-21
  8. Helpful (3)

    "Good place to start out, but opportunities end quickly"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Staff Assistant in Cambridge, MA
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Harvard University

    Pros

    Excellent benefits and an amazing array of cultural opportunities on-site and with the discount program. The hours are much better than the private sector, with work-life balance really being a top priority. Great name recognition for future opportunities as well. Oh, and the opportunity for staff to take free classes for Harvard credit!

    Cons

    The lower level staff positions are union, so there is almost no chance for natural career growth through promotions based on performance. You just have to wait until someone vacates another job and then apply for it. The compensation is quite a bit below a comparable private sector job, though still not terrible.

    Continue reading
    Harvard University2009-03-17
  9. Helpful (1)

    "Great place to work while figuring out the next step."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Staff Assistant in Cambridge, MA
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Harvard University

    Pros

    Being an academic institution, the opportunities to further your education are almost endless. The growth of one's career is somewhat limited. It is a perfect place for someone just out of college and still doesn't know what s/he wants to do for a career...or is switching careers. I was able to take many classes at Harvard's continuing education for a small amount. After several years of service and with management approval, you can take classes at the university itself.

    Cons

    The name 'Harvard' leads to much pretension. The university is so big that you often don't see your direct impact on the world (if that is what you seek).

    Continue reading
    Harvard University2008-10-28
  10. "A comforting environment"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Staff Assistant 

    I worked at Harvard University

    Pros

    The people are wonderful, and the departments have a strong communal environment.

    Cons

    There are limits to upward movement.

    Harvard University2016-05-17

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