MIT Reviews in Boston, MA | Glassdoor

MIT Boston Reviews

Updated July 18, 2017
654 reviews

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654 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Good work life balance (pick a reasonable supervisor) (in 35 reviews)

  • I can work with smart people in a good facility (in 61 reviews)

Cons
  • Some people struggle with work/life balance (in 41 reviews)

  • Long hours when combined with research and classes (in 31 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Teaching assistant"

    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
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at MIT full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Very nice and patient professor. Smart and hardworking students

    Cons

    Not really and cons. Professors are busy sometimes and do not reply very quickly.


  2. Helpful (3)

    "Could be a better place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Department Administrator in Cambridge, MA
    Former Employee - Department Administrator in Cambridge, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at MIT full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Decent benefits and located on public transportation.

    Cons

    Toxic work culture and unrealistic expectations such as responding to emails at 2 am by faculty.

    Advice to Management

    Hire mental health life coaches for faculty who need it.

  3. "Good Place for your future"

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

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

    Pros

    Great opportunity to co-op with MBA and Sloan fellows.The program has a very strong alumni network and a great image in the industry. The professors are those huge figures in their area. The courses are well-designed.

    Cons

    Career development is not that strong. You need to be very proactive to contact alumni yourself. Be ready to see very low response rate.

    Advice to Management

    Increase the career development officer. Build a stronger alumni network. Connect past students with current, set up dropbox or other on-line platforms to enable alumni reference.


  4. "Review from a research assistant (PhD student)"

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

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

    Pros

    Being able to choose a research topic that you are interested in and you believe would make an impact. The stipend from the research assistantship is enough to cover the tuition, housing, health insurance and daily expenses.

    Cons

    The exact experience is highly dependent on the research advisor and your style of doing work. In some departments, you have to choose an advisor before your program starts.

    Advice to Management

    Overall, MIT is a great place, which gathers lots of giants in all sorts of areas. Providing more opportunities/platforms for the giants to collaborate would be even better.


  5. Helpful (3)

    "Often Overwhelming, Sometimes Positive, Rarely Overwhelmingly Positive"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Graduate Research Assistant in Cambridge, MA
    Current Employee - Graduate Research Assistant in Cambridge, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    MIT attracts some really talented and enthusiastic people as grad students and post docs. The possibilities for fruitful collaboration and interaction are great, but you have to be savvy about it. (See the cons)

    Wonderful technical staff. You should really try to make friends with the technical instructors in the shops, academic teaching labs, and shared facilities. There's a lot these people can teach you.

    Top notch recreational facilities (a couple gyms, a sailing pavilion, all really nice)

    MIT has a lot of money dumped on it from several different sources. This results in unusual opportunities (like blacksmithing or glass blowing, cool 3D printers, etc) and if you know where to look, you can often rescue useful lab equipment from the trash.

    Realizing and coming to grips with the cons I've listed provided me an opportunity to cultivate fortitude and wisdom--so not altogether bad.

    Cons

    Departure from Reality
    Much of the research is massively overhyped for both its technical audience and the public, often consciously. The differences between what's actually done at MIT and what's done elsewhere are smaller than might be imagined, but the profs here excel at salesmanship above all else. When you talk to people involved in student startups, and drill down to the specifics of what they're doing, you often find they're based on fundamentally flawed concepts. These people aren't being willfully dishonest, they've just succumbed to delusion and it can be heartbreaking to see when you consider the resources at their disposal to figure things out.

    More Exploitative than Anticipated
    If you're going to grad school, you basically accept that you're signing yourself into indentured servitude in exchange for apprenticeship. The trouble is that it turns out it's not really apprenticeship at all. Most of the labs here are run like idea farms for the benefit of the career and reputation of your prof, often with little to no meaningful input or guidance from him or her. This can be especially true if your prof has acquired you to do things outside his or her area of expertise. Independence is great, but feeling deeply accountable for the quality of something that someone else is taking credit for can be a tough pill to swallow year after year. Some profs adopt strategies for maximum short term output from their labs that can be pretty brutal on everyone involved (including them).

    Counterproductive Competition (occasionally)
    Most people here are great, but there's a small subset that are pathological narcissists skilled exclusively in using others to accomplish their aims, meanwhile reassuring themselves and others of their inherent superiority. This is an unfortunate byproduct of the prestige of the institution--it attracts these types and they can't be easily recognized from a CV or an interview. All I can say is that if you've developed useful capability, you need to be wary that you aren't being manipulated or sabotaged; these things happen. Don't let it prevent you from interacting, but you have to always keep on guard in the back of your mind. This chess game can take some getting used to if you come from healthy, mutually supportive intellectual environments. These people are rewarded and reinforced their behavior before they're spit out into the world.

    Advice to Management

    It may seem like everything is going great, humming along and garnering attention and praise and whatnot, but the ever-growing divide between the perceived quality of the work that's done here and the actual quality of the work that's done here should concern you. Capabilities can take a generation to erode, but perception can be reversed overnight.

    The incentive structure of academic science and engineering research (publication volume>quality, "impact"> reproducibility) is toxic and self defeating. I realize it's not really your fault, but if you want to earn your claim to leadership as an institution, you need to play a bigger role in fixing it.


  6. "Travel Assistant"

    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
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Love working here. Job security, plenty of opportunity for growth, great benefits, 401k and a pension, 4 weeks vacations, 3 personal holidays, free link pass. Couldn't ask for more.

    Cons

    Sometimes a lack of communication with management.

    Advice to Management

    None


  7. "Stressful but rewarding"

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

    I worked at MIT (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    I could conduct fully funded research as a graduate student, with access to great resources on campus. The job prospects are great afterwards.

    Cons

    High pressure to perform, and long hours. Between that and the long, cold Boston winter, I was happy to move on after graduating.

  8. "Good place to be motivated"

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

    Pros

    Good peer group that helps stay motivated

    Cons

    Can be quite independent - need to manage priorities well.


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Work-life balance, community, politics"

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

    I worked at MIT full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    MIT offers great work-life balance policies and benefits, no doubt. You also feel like part of a great community of thinkers and doers and like you can learn a ton of things, with free seminars, conferences, free online learning, etc. Lots of resources if you can take the time.

    Cons

    As with all top academia, there's always that deep distinction (and frustration) between faculty and staff. There's also a lot of politics and if you're not in the right lab or department it can be tough. Ultimately, professional happiness at MIT depends really where you work and with whom.

    Advice to Management

    More HR mediation


  10. "Research Engineer"

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

    I worked at MIT (More than a year)

    Pros

    Competitive work environment, lot of things to do around, excellent colleagues and collaborative atmosphere, knowledgeable mentors, great city life, excellent commuter package and health benefit!

    Cons

    minimum compensation (considering if you have a family), little work life balance, expensive daycare,


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