University of Chicago Reviews in Chicago, IL

Updated 27 August, 2014
Updated 27 August, 2014
310 Reviews

3.8
310 Reviews
Rating Trends

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Robert J. Zimmer
17 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • The University offers good benefits and a great work atmosphere (in 24 reviews)

  • Good benefits and reasonable work-life balance, if you want it (in 11 reviews)


Cons
  • Senior management is allergic to responsibility, yet repressive of initiative (in 6 reviews)

  • There is little room for career growth and the salary is mediocre (in 5 reviews)

More Highlights

216 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1.  

    Positive experience at the Department of Psychology Laboratory

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Research Assistant  in  Chicago, IL (US)
    Former Employee - Research Assistant in Chicago, IL (US)

    I worked at University of Chicago full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Though the flexibility you are given completely depends on the size of the lab and the personality of the PI, generally I found the environment to be incredibly encouraging of personal development. The professors inspire respect from the research assistants. Everyone is held to a high standard for hard work, intelligence, and academic rigor. The social environment is congenial and family-like. We celebrated everyone's accomplishments, big or small. I was allowed to attend HR workshops to enhance my skills.

    Cons

    The general mood at UChicago is somber and highly scholarly. It is not a place that is encouraging of frivolous, non-academic pursuits. While it is a great place to work for anyone who wants research experience, or an insider view into professorial or doctoral student life, I don't think it would be a very relevant or "useful" place to work for those not interested in entering some serious academically oriented research. The hierarchy within the labs are also quite rigid, as years of experience, and educational level pre-determine your level of position within the laboratory. You would have to be seriously proactive and have great insights in order to be allowed to pursue your own project. The opportunity is open to do so, but you really would have to be quite persistent and be able to navigate funding issues.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    decent grad school experience

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

    I have been working at University of Chicago full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Courses are quite flexible, good academia atmosphere, great mentors available when choosing a lab to work in, decent studying environment (library, study room etc)

    Cons

    The neighborhood is kind of sketchy, and not a whole lot of entertainment.
    But the situation is improving, with the opening of new restaurants, fitness/shopping center, movie theater etc

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    Teaching Assistance-ship

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Teaching Assistant  in  Chicago, IL (US)
    Former Employee - Teaching Assistant in Chicago, IL (US)

    I worked at University of Chicago part-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Working here has been an absolute joy and I could not have been happier with my choice to pursue this undertaking at an institution that prides itself on being a haven for life of the mind.

    Cons

    Despite what some may say, the self deprecating attitudes of the general undergraduate student population is not representative of the true culture that would thrive in this type of community. People are genuine, work hard, and strive to find meaning.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Excellent Employer. Fantastic research university.

    Current Employee - Building Manager  in  Chicago, IL (US)
    Current Employee - Building Manager in Chicago, IL (US)

    I have been working at University of Chicago part-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Scholarly environment, rewarding work and workplace

    Cons

    Student employment kept largely separate from full time staff. While there is interaction there are not as many opportunities for transition as possible

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    Undergraduate research is highly recommended

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Undergraduate Research Assistant  in  Chicago, IL (US)
    Former Employee - Undergraduate Research Assistant in Chicago, IL (US)

    I worked at University of Chicago as an intern for more than 3 years

    Pros

    The best way to apply the material learned in classes and gain out-of-class experience is to participate in cutting-edge research as early as possible. Most faculty have funds allocated for taking on a student or two; a combination of professors, postdocs, and senior students will help you. Research opportunities are not limited to just the physical sciences. I not only learned a great deal, but I am personally satisfied that the body of work I accomplished is meaningful in the context of my field.

    Cons

    Initially finding a faculty adviser can be difficult. I had to rely on some connections I made through graduate students. On the other hand, there is no harm in asking multiple people at regular (but not too frequent) intervals. Everyone is generally nice. Also, as an undergrad, the learning curve is rather steep. Don't expect to switch research groups every 6 months and try many different fields. In 6 months you will just learn the basics of what is being done. Expect to dedicate 1-2 years for each group, at least.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Good acadmic atmosphere, good place to level up your career

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

    I have been working at University of Chicago full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    nice people, good professors.decent pay for postdocs

    Cons

    the living enviorment is terrible. dare I say I have received the emails regarding robbery/crime around the neighbores everyday?

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    no. I don't talk to the management. I only spoken with my advisors mostly.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Monotonous work lacking clear direction

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Undergraduate Research Assistant  in  Chicago, IL (US)
    Former Employee - Undergraduate Research Assistant in Chicago, IL (US)

    I worked at University of Chicago part-time for less than a year

    Pros

    In some small way, contribute to important research. I enjoyed being able to work directly with a professor whose name I have read in popular publications.

    Cons

    Repetitive data entry work without clear deadlines or understanding of project. I did not understand what the greater purpose of my monotonous labor was.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Better communication about purpose of work.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  9.  

    U of C, IT Services - good

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

    I have been working at University of Chicago full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    ability to make a difference and give feedback, flexible work hours, work from home policy, annual reviews and several recognition programs, open positions e-mailed to all staff but the advancement process is competitive, good team atmosphere with people in my group

    Cons

    would like better training plans and clearer advancement paths, work-life balance, long commute from west suburbs, parking, Lab School benefit can be tough to get for middle school kids

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    improve training policies, make sure managers follow up on advancement paths

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    TA for biosci

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Teaching Assistant  in  Chicago, IL (US)
    Former Employee - Teaching Assistant in Chicago, IL (US)

    I worked at University of Chicago as a contractor for more than a year

    Pros

    Good mix of help from professors, and room to TA your section how you want. Students are generally hard working, intelligent, and want to learn. When you run into the rare problem student, the administration is quick to help, without being overbearing or difficult about it. High expectations for professionalism, knowledge, preparation, etc. TA community is also nice. Wish there was a space for TAs in the biosciences building.

    Cons

    Lots of grading. Very few real cons. Wish there was a bit more pay, but it was generally fine.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    Supportive environment for research-oriented undergraduates

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Research Assistant  in  Chicago, IL (US)
    Former Employee - Research Assistant in Chicago, IL (US)

    I worked at University of Chicago part-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    The faculty are very supportive of students who are interested in research. It's easy to approach labs, and most will take on undergrads with minimal experience. Undergrads get to participate in lab meetings and get hands-on research experience. There are often opportunities for summer and post-grad employment. Most labs are open to their undergrad research assistants completing honors work towards a senior project in the lab, often in conjunction with a graduate student.

    Cons

    Some labs expect undergrads to complete a considerable amount of administrative or secretarial work, in addition to research tasks. As an undergraduate, there are few opportunities for advancement.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be explicit in the proportion of time expected for different tasks in job descriptions.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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