J-PAL Reviews | Glassdoor

J-PAL Reviews

Updated November 9, 2017
34 reviews

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3.2
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Rachel Glennerster
6 Ratings

34 Employee Reviews

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  1. "Awesome company with a great mission, expect long hours"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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 part-time

    Pros

    Great, intelligent people. Interesting work and projects. Many different divisions (data analytics, policy, research, etc.) Fulfilling research with a great mission. Top name for development research

    Cons

    Limited mobility (need grad school degree), academic environment is slightly stuffy, long work hours

    Advice to Management

    Greater compensation for long work hours


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Good mission, little room for growth"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at J-PAL full-time

    Pros

    Good overall mission and location in the heart of Kendall square. Junior staff is motivated, committed and fun. Some opportunities to work with staff from around the globe.

    Cons

    Doesn't pay for the expected level of work. Very little work/life balance and room for growth. They'd rather push you out than foster your career. Some groups are better than others, but overall moral is rather low and it's unclear if the current senior management is aware, or if they, care.

    Advice to Management

    Support your staff more through pay and better work life balance.

  3. Helpful (2)

    "Research Associate"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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


  4. "Overall good experience"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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.


  5. "Great place to work!"

    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
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great colleagues, intellectual environment, cutting-edge research

    Cons

    Flat hierarchy, not really a career job


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Admin Associate at Global (based at MIT)"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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.


  7. "Research Associate"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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. "Great flexible company with passionate people"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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


  10. Helpful (2)

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

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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!


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