J-PAL Reviews | Glassdoor

J-PAL Reviews

Updated April 15, 2017
29 reviews

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Full-time Part-time

3.2
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Rachel Glennerster
3 Ratings

29 Employee Reviews

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  1. "Great place to work!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great colleagues, intellectual environment, cutting-edge research

    Cons

    Flat hierarchy, not really a career job


  2. "Overall good experience"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Research Assistant in Cambridge, MA
    Former Employee - Research Assistant in Cambridge, MA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at J-PAL (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Great team of colleagues and nice working environment

    Cons

    Management didn't always provide the best support.


  3. Helpful (1)

    "Admin Associate at Global (based at MIT)"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Administrative Associate in Cambridge, MA
    Current Employee - Administrative Associate in Cambridge, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at J-PAL full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Organization is supportive of professional development and invests a lot in its employees. Very well run from the top down. Being based at MIT gives a lot of additional benefits.

    Cons

    Coworkers are very hardworking which can be intense at times. Compensation isn't high, but it's good for development work and feeling good about the mission makes up for the salary.


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  5. "Great flexible company with passionate people"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Cambridge, MA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Cambridge, MA

    I worked at J-PAL full-time

    Pros

    J-PAL has a very flexible work environment. Staff are frequently allowed to work from home or can easily slip out for a few hours for a doctors appointment or long lunch. There is also a lot of dedication to professional development, and the staff that you will be working with are all very passionate and wonderful people.

    Cons

    Sometimes the work requires very long hours


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Research Associate"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at J-PAL full-time

    Pros

    -On the ground experience in development field research
    -Great community of RAs worldwide
    -Learn about research methods, design, implementation and analysis
    -A serious challenge with major rewards

    Cons

    -Too little professional and personal support for RAs
    -Heavy work load
    -Underpaid


  7. "Research Associate"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends

    Pros

    Serious Responsibilities, great recommendations, and independent work

    Cons

    Long, uncertain hours and minimum growth


  8. Helpful (2)

    "great mission, but not a great place to work for"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    -a working environment with energetic, mostly young colleagues who really believe in the mission of the organization
    -flexible workplace policies in terms of taking leaves or working from outside the office
    -opportunity to travel

    Cons

    -a lot of repetitive tasks on the job even though the organization likes to hire people with high level of technical skills
    -little room for professional growth
    -complete power imbalance between economists and lower-level employees
    -feeling under-valued and exploited most of the time: the organization culture expects a lot of hours and efforts put into tasks but appreciation is hard to come by and reviews of completed tasks can be overly critical over small details
    -strongly recommend against joining this organization unless you are sure you want to join a econ/policy phD after working there for 1-2 yrs


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Surprisingly entrepreneurial, need to have people/project management skills beforehand"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Research Associate
    Former Employee - Research Associate
    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at J-PAL full-time

    Pros

    - Very interesting work in India. Due to the professors' stature and connections, you can get access to some top policymakers, and the project results have a better chance of being implemented than many other NGOs.
    - Work with top-notch professors, get stellar recommendations if you do well. Almost everyone gets into a top grad school in economics or policy (masters or PhD)
    - Work and lifestyle is fairly entrepreneurial -- you manage your own time, and often a team of staff. Should have some people management skills (and like managing people) to do well in JPAL, even though it attracts aspiring PhDs.

    Cons

    - Support and directions could be weak because professors are far away, but JPAL has beefed up its project management structure in the recent 2 years. Hence, there are now more senior managers than before to oversee the young RAs and help them deal with management problems.
    - Choose professor carefully, not necessarily project -- not all JPAL professors are equal in terms of the strength of recommendation at different schools and how willing they are to write great ones. I would focus on choosing the right professor (and do some groundwork and who's good to work with) instead of the most interesting project area.
    - Non-Indian origin RAs are no longer hired due to change in work visa policies -- very sad!


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Intern"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Development projects and econometrics, grad school opps

    Cons

    Development projects take a long time to finish!


  11. Helpful (1)

    "Pretty good for getting into grad school"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Strong network of professors and great group of RAs

    Cons

    Terrible disorganization, experience depends on PI


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