Northwestern University Reviews | Glassdoor

Northwestern University Reviews

Updated June 16, 2017
70 reviews

Filter

Filter


2.0
Star Star Star Star Star
Rating Trends Rating Trends
Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Northwestern University President Morton Schapiro
Morton Schapiro
16 Ratings

70 Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date

Pros
Cons
  • Work/life balance is not that great (in 27 reviews)

  • Low Salary respect people with same degree in industry (in 17 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Not a stepping stone"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Research Study Assistant in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Research Study Assistant in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Northwestern offers great benefits, including a tuition stipend

    Cons

    Little opportunity for advancement or growth. No overtime available so you always have to flex hours, which means your work life takes over your personal life


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Administrative Assistant IV"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Administrative Assistant IV in Evanston, IL
    Former Employee - Administrative Assistant IV in Evanston, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Northwestern University full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Benefits, educational assistance and time off

    Cons

    Don't get me started. Two things: misery and management. No way of moving up, at all, unless you are a great butt kisser. Program and Administrative Assistants are stuck in their positions for many years to come. You can be the employee of the year, it won't matter, trust me. Another thing of the past, performance reviews. They tend to demoralize and demotivate employees. High turnover in some positions lead to incompetent managers, trying to load you up with more tasks and work, all this while micromanaging. In all those years I have worked, I cannot say I really liked the place much. Get your degree and if you cannot get a promotion move to another school. Place that will actually appreciate you. Office politics are awful, lots of butt kissing. And holier- than- thou clueless managers.

    Advice to Management

    Stop favoritism - it only turns employees against themselves. Learn how to lead and not only manage. Do not micromanage, and get a good training in what it really means to manage properly.


  3. "It looks okay, until...."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Fellow in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Fellow in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Science environment is very good.

    Cons

    You can't get a raise because your PI decides to. You get to be stuck with your 2% northwestern annual raise, no matter what. Good thing though, it makes you want to go out from your post-doc. And now with the new overtime rules. You have 2-3-4-5 year post-docs earning as much as a new 0year post-doc

    Advice to Management

    Treat your employees better, if you boast on your website about your billion dollar budget, instead of spending it on shiny lamps, spend it on the people.


  4. "Postdocs beware"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Northwestern University (Less than a year)

    Pros

    The benefits are pretty good offering health, dental and transit. Hiring process is smooth when HR staff is involved.

    Cons

    Pay is on the low for an area with such a high cost of living.
    Post-doctoral position is dependent on the primary investigator and there are some with zero ability to manage people.
    Lack of cooperation between different labs.

    Advice to Management

    Force primary investigators to take some classes in how to successfully manage and motivate people.


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Terrible Senior Leadership, No Advancement Opportunities"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    The benefits and pay are good for the amount of work expected--which is not a lot during slower times in the year. Most staff is collaborative and interested in improving the student experience. Depending on your supervisor and department, it can be a great place to just bide your time and gain skills.

    Cons

    No real room for promotions or movement within departments--it's impossible to get new jobs created/approved, which is especially unfortunate for those who have put in a few years and are looking to expand their responsibilities and pay. Some students are great but administrators coddle many students and create unreasonable expectations about the level of support that will be provided. Many members of senior leadership have very difficult personalities. I was extremely unlucky to have the supervisor I had. It colored my entire experience and made it impossible to stay in the position. Other support staff have different experiences and it really depends on the directors/senior leadership that you're working with. The responsibilities and expectations are not unreasonable but navigating the politics and personalities is tiring and emotionally draining.

    Advice to Management

    Treat support staff better and provide more opportunities for growth. Great talent leaves because there's no room for advancement.


  6. "IT Support"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Evanston, IL
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Evanston, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Northwestern University full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Most of the faculty and staff are some of the best people I have ever met and are experts in their fields. I would work with these people again and again.

    Cons

    Salary is typically 10-20K less than the same position at other companies and positions within Northwestern University as all the money goes towards Apple products and some over priced faculty. Also, leadership does not listen to IT in the least, no matter the direction (square peg, round hole) leadership will be so narrow minded and soft focused on the bigger picture they could not see a hazard if it popped up in front of them and said boo. Management of the technology staff is about as spineless and gutless as a jelly fish. Stating they back up the team.. but when push comes to shove they hide with their tails under the table protecting their own 110+ K pr yr salary (I saw an excel file couple of years ago)

    Advice to Management

    Grow a pair.... and listen to IT.. you do not know as much as IT does.. get glasses and sharpen your focus.. Mac's will not bring in students.. make your product better to get better students


  7. Helpful (4)

    "Has changed for the worse! Ratings are skewed by research staff :("

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Program Assistant III in Evanston, IL
    Former Employee - Program Assistant III in Evanston, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Northwestern University (Less than a year)

    Pros

    The only good thing are the benefits. Affordable insurance, tuition assistance, and the retirement plan can't be beat.

    Cons

    Northwestern has grown worse for the wear in the time I was there. Aggressive, bloated and top heavy management insists on micromanaging to unreasonable levels. Speaking out against it will do you no good as you receive ZERO support from HR even in cases where a manager has blatantly harassed an employee. Furthermore, expect to be blackballed off the record, so that it makes it impossible for you to go anywhere else but out the door.

    Also, raises are non-existent and it doesn't matter how hard you try. Favoritism is quite apparent. Additionally, many positions have been downgraded and most program assistant job openings are temporary so they can avoid paying out benefits for as long as possible. If you're permanent and want to promote up to the next program level, but it's a temp position? Yeah, you guessed it. You have to quit and become a temp. So much for maintaining your service to the organization.

    Advice to Management

    None. Until someone more powerful comes along to knock you out of your ivory tower, you'll just continue with the torture. so why bother?

    Oh and in following another reviewer who wrote about NU? Yes, you can go "eat a cactus".


  8. "Good people, mismanagement"

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

    I worked at Northwestern University (More than a year)

    Pros

    Good benefits, peers will probably be knowledgeable individuals that have been in their positions for a long time. Competitive pay for higher ed.

    Cons

    Part time hires are kept part time and treated pretty disposably. No real path to advancement. Very easy to upset the wrong person and end up in hot water.


  9. "Assistant Director"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Assistant Director University Housing in Evanston, IL
    Former Employee - Assistant Director University Housing in Evanston, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Northwestern University full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great benefits and learning opportunities.
    Fantastic for tuition discount while taking classes at Northwestern

    Cons

    Slow moving pace, conservative decision making. Slow paced work environment. Employees not encouraged to take risks or implement new ideas.

    Advice to Management

    Encourage employees to harness the intelligence and energy of students and implement new ideas and programs with students in mind.


  10. Helpful (2)

    "Graduate Researcher - Chemistry"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Graduate Researcher in Evanston, IL
    Current Employee - Graduate Researcher in Evanston, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Northwestern University has great job recruiting and professional development options, as well as world-class instrumentation and facilities. It also offers a competitive graduate stipend.

    Cons

    The culture among many of the faculty and research staff is highly adversarial and politically charged. Researchers here move to the head of the pack more often as a result of conniving and manipulation than creativity, hard work, and talent.

    Advice to Management

    Seriously consider implementing disciplinary actions targeting faculty (tenured or otherwise) with a history of abusive work practices.


Showing 70 of 1,105 reviews
Reset Filters