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Northwestern University Reviews

Updated 23 April 2015
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4.0
519 Reviews
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Northwestern University President Morton Schapiro
Morton Schapiro
193 Ratings

Pros
  • People are friendly, pay is decent and they're generally pretty good about work-life balance (in 26 reviews)

  • Great Benefits- Can get great tuition assistance and healthcare benefits (in 37 reviews)

Cons
  • Ability to have work life balance most likely depends on the department with some departments being very high stress (in 10 reviews)

  • Not enough compensation for graduate students, some students take competition very negatively (in 12 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. Great expectations, mostly fulfilled

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

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

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    -Great resources
    -supportive peers
    -freedom and encouragement to pursue goals

    Cons

    -hierarchical leadership
    -lack of faculty-staff communication
    -poor directional leadership at the school level

    Advice to Management

    Top level and mid level goals do not seem to align creating uncertainty. Academics do not like uncertainty and may even resent it.

  2. Assistant Professor

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Assistant Professor in Evanston, IL (US)
    Current Employee - Assistant Professor in Evanston, IL (US)

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

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Being a professor gives you significant time flexibility. Also, you can work at problems that really interest you. The continuous interaction with students and the teaching help keep you sharp, and you constantly learn new things as your own domain evolves. These things are true about the profession in general, and Northwestern is really good at honoring them. The Dean is great and helps promote the school and its faculty.

    Cons

    The pay is lower than what you can get in industry for the same time involvement and effort. There are politics at every workplace, and Northwestern is not immune to them, but overall they are not affecting most professors much. There is a lack of effort from the administration to realize policies that would greatly help their employees personal and professional life (e.g., most respectable universities have childcare facilities on campus, but Northwestern has repeatedly rejected proposals to establish one, although there is great demand for it). There is a lot of red tape (maybe more than most places) and micromanagement of finances, which unnecessarily complicates things. Some entities do not seem to offer anything to the organization but they consume financial resources, and I wonder why they still exist (e.g., TGS).

    Advice to Management

    Overall you do a good job, but you should listen to your faculty more. They are the lifeline of the university. Small acts that can keep them happy will go a long way in improving productivity and morale.

  3. Phonathon Caller

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

    I worked at Northwestern University part-time

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Excellent training in the basics of donor services and front line fundraising.

    Cons

    If you are disinterested in a career in non-profit development, some of the rigidity of the position can seem difficult.

    Advice to Management

    Thank you for all your support and training.

  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5. Program Director

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Northwestern University full-time

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Challenging, interesting, busy, different every day

    Cons

    Too little staff, too little pay

  6. Program Assistant

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

    I worked at Northwestern University

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great benefits, friendly staff, good learning tools

    Cons

    no flex time, one year min to move up

  7. TA

    Current Intern - Anonymous Intern
    Current Intern - Anonymous Intern

    I have been working at Northwestern University as an intern

    Pros

    have not too much pressure

    Cons

    the payment per hour is low

  8. Handle health of animals. Great schedule, good pay, under appreciated, management lacking

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

    I have been working at Northwestern University full-time

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Schedule consistent and breaks regularly provided. Minimal wear and tear to body, access to further educational development, great health insurance, and 403b. Great vacation and sick time.

    Cons

    Micromanaging ++, employment recognition severely lacking, no summer hours, direct communication lacking, inconsistent expectations, and unnecessary drama due to coddled employees . Not impressed with employer's handling of finances/budget. Inexperienced managers and project leaders negatively affects work environment and attitude.

    Advice to Management

    "When a company raises employee engagement levels consistently across every business unit, everything gets better.

    Companies must demand that every team in their workforce have a great manager. After all, the root of performance variability lies within human nature itself. Teams are composed of individuals with diverging needs related to morale, motivation and clarity -- all of which lead to varying degrees of performance. Nothing less than great managers can maximize them.
    Yes, every manager can learn to engage a team somewhat. But without the raw natural talent to individualize, focus on each person's needs and strengths, boldly review his or her team members, rally people around a cause, and execute efficient processes, the day-to-day experience will burn out both the manager and his or her team. This basic inefficiency in identifying talent costs companies billions of dollars annually.

    Most companies promote workers into managerial positions because of tenure or performance, rather than talent. This practice doesn't work. Experience and skills are important, but people's talents -- the naturally recurring patterns in the ways they think, feel and behave -- predict where they'll perform at their best.

    The good news is that sufficient management talent exists in every company. Leaders should maximize this potential by choosing the right person for the next management role using predictive analytics to guide their identification of talent. Specific tools such as talent audits and talent assessments offer a systematic and scientific method for finding those employees who have the natural talent to be great managers." - Managers Account for 70% of Variance in Employee Engagement by Randall Beck and Jim Harter

  9. Organization in transition

    Current Intern - Anonymous Intern
    Current Intern - Anonymous Intern

    I have been working at Northwestern University as an intern

    Recommends
    Recommends

    Pros

    Wonderful team of energetic and driven people

    Cons

    organization is in transition and short-staffed.

  10. STEM PhD- fulfilling but challenging

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - PhD Student in Chicago, IL (US)
    Current Employee - PhD Student in Chicago, IL (US)

    I have been working at Northwestern University full-time (More than 5 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great faculty in the STEM fields

    Cons

    Disorganized administration can lead to 'jumping through hoops' to being about any changes in class structure, etc.

  11. Depends on the department, the core branches pay you the least as a grader while the EECS department pays a lot.

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

    I have been working at Northwestern University

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Fun, interesting and adventurous work. As a grader you double as a TA sometimes which is good.

    Cons

    You do more work for 1/3rd the salary and twice the number of unaccounted hours.

    Advice to Management

    Please pay your graders equally.

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