Harvard University

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Harvard University Reviews

Updated 5 March 2015
Updated 5 March 2015
576 Reviews
4.1
576 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Harvard University President Drew Gilpin Faust
Drew Gilpin Faust
249 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • For administrative positions, the work/life balance is decent because staff are unionized (in 47 reviews)

  • Lots of freedom, interesting work, great benefits, unbelievable resources (in 51 reviews)


Cons
  • bad work/life balance, low pay, minimal training unless actively sought out (in 18 reviews)

  • low pay, ceiling/plateau for researchers, no clear path for researches in public health, isolating environment (in 15 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Great place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Cambridge, East of England, England
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Cambridge, East of England, England

    I have been working at Harvard University full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Great benefits, strong union and family friendly. Lots of opportunities for different experiences.
    Love the Center for Wellness

    Cons

    Hard to move up in own department because people never leave. Been here several years and have worked my butt off but still not awards even though I have gone above and beyond.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Make sure that everyone gets a chance to get the big awards and not repeat winners.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    professor

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Assistant Professor in London, England
    Former Employee - Assistant Professor in London, England

    I worked at Harvard University full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    it was good experience but it was stressful

    Cons

    it was very stressful. colleagues were not very goodand I hate teaching

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    take care of the employees

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    it was very good and enjoying.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Graduate Student in London, England
    Current Employee - Graduate Student in London, England

    I have been working at Harvard University part-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    it is one of the world"s best universities.

    Cons

    no there are no downsides in my opinion!!!!!!!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    be very sympathetic and kind to all in order to encourage the rest of followers!!!!!!!!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Amazing experience

    Former Employee - Producer in Cambridge, MA (US)
    Former Employee - Producer in Cambridge, MA (US)

    I worked at Harvard University part-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    Student jobs are great, compensation is great, get to work with the management and people much higher up than you right from the beginning

    Cons

    Working while a student is difficult because of time management. Beyond that, I have no complaints and everything is awesome

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Experience will vary based on department and supervisor, but mine exhibited good funding and intellectual autonomy

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

    I have been working at Harvard University

    Pros

    The funding of my department was very generous. Again, there is a lot of variability in funding levels, but, for the most part, on average, Harvard is one of the best-funded institutions out there.

    Status-wise, Harvard is at the top. This, practically speaking, can be useful for one's resume and can open up job opportunities just by the nature of how evaluators use heuristics to make quicker judgments (e.g., "Harvard? Oh, cool. Moved higher up the pile"), for better or worse. For better, I guess, if you're on the benefitting end of the heuristic.

    Intellectual autonomy is also a key positive of working at Harvard. There is little oversight, and there is a lot of freedom to research what one wants to research. And if you are the sort of person who is intellectually curious, you may benefit from this autonomy.

    Cons

    The flip-side of autonomy is that there may not be much guidance. That is, one's supervisor/ adviser can be hard to reach at times or provide somewhat abstract "advice" rather than clear guidance. This can be a con if you are the kind of person who really prefers to be relatively closely instructed, but it is a pro if you are extremely "entrepreneurial", which is the culturally favored word to describe the kind of person who tends to succeed in the context of limited-guidance.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Well, what can I say? Realistically speaking, Drew Faust or other top management can do little to improve the particular con of lack of guidance. Sure, they could exhort that supervisors meet with their direct reports individually to discuss and agree upon the optimal balance of structure and autonomy for a given dyadic relationship, but, frankly, I don't think that's going to do much. I guess it could be worth a try.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    It's a big place and it can be very different depending on where you in it.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer

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

    Pros

    Great benefits, lots of potential for lateral movement.

    Cons

    Not much upward growth potential. I am sure this depends on your job track, but raises are generally capped, and at least for me, there isn't a way to become more senior to improve salary.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    Harvard treats its employees well.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Research Assistant in Boston, MA (US)
    Current Employee - Research Assistant in Boston, MA (US)

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

    Pros

    Opportunity to engage with leaders in their field.

    Cons

    Does not pay particularly well.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  9.  

    Graphic Designer, Multimedia designer

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Graphic Designer, Multimedia Designer in Cambridge, MA (US)
    Former Employee - Graphic Designer, Multimedia Designer in Cambridge, MA (US)

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

    Pros

    The benefits for Harvard employees include medical benefits, tuition assistance, access to academic resources, athletic facilities, generous vacation, and retirement contributions.

    Cons

    The leadership skill can vary from department to department.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  10.  

    Great place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Staff Assistant in Cambridge, MA (US)
    Current Employee - Staff Assistant in Cambridge, MA (US)

    I have been working at Harvard University

    Pros

    The best environment possible. The people are amazing and helpful to work with, they take care of you, teach you and help you grow.

    Cons

    Learning curve can be hard at first.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    Great Institution for research

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Harvard University

    Pros

    Supervisions provide good mentoring and all involved are brilliant. Everyone is so interesting and is doing incredible research. There was a lot of research funding in my department, which made work significantly less worrysome

    Cons

    In bigger labs, there is less direct communication between members

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