Columbia University Reviews in New York City, NY

Updated 20 August 2014
Updated 20 August 2014
521 Reviews

3.8
521 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Columbia University President and Trustee Lee C. Bollinger
Lee C. Bollinger
230 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Dynamic work environment, access to campus libraries, great work-life balance (in 27 reviews)

  • access to the best academic professionals in New York City (in 18 reviews)


Cons
  • salaries are generally really low for New York City standards (in 12 reviews)

  • The salary could be considerably better, especially considering the cost of living in New York City (in 10 reviews)

More Highlights

357 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1.  

    graduate student

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Graduate Student Researcher  in  New York, NY (US)
    Current Employee - Graduate Student Researcher in New York, NY (US)

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

    Pros

    really like my PI, great place to work, fun place to live, student housing is nice and affordable.

    Cons

    work-life balance can be off depending on what group you are in

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Great university to work for

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Lab Tech  in  New York, NY (US)
    Former Employee - Lab Tech in New York, NY (US)

    I worked at Columbia University part-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Very laid back, not too demanding. Always easy to manage one's time because things to do sort of just came as you went. There are always new techs coming in, so I wasn't the only new person there when I first came in.

    Cons

    Not much room for growth. Stagnant job. Decent monetary compensation, but not that many perks or benefits. Columbia-Presbyterian is involved in talks with unions, and future seems uncertain.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    n/a

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    Computer Science Research Intern

    Former Employee - Research Intern  in  New York, NY (US)
    Former Employee - Research Intern in New York, NY (US)

    I worked at Columbia University as an intern for less than a year

    Pros

    got to work on interesting research problems, very flexible, community was welcoming, pay was good

    Cons

    I was working by myself and not in a team

    Recommends
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  5.  

    Great place to work!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Writer  in  New York, NY (US)
    Former Employee - Writer in New York, NY (US)

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

    Pros

    Great environment, opportunities for career growth, excellent colleagues, interesting and meaningful work. Very good work/life balance, and a beautiful campus! I was able to take courses that improved my personal and professional life.

    Cons

    I did not experience any challenges at all while working at Columbia. It was an ideal place filled with interesting and intelligent people. It was an honor and privilege to work for this institution.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Teaching Assistant

    Former Employee - Teaching Assistant  in  New York, NY (US)
    Former Employee - Teaching Assistant in New York, NY (US)

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

    Pros

    I learned a lot teaching introductory and advanced labs at Columbia. It was kinda fun!

    Cons

    They don't pay you to TA. I was on a fellowship, but my department still required a bunch of TA credits.

  7.  

    Great Work Place

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - MAINTENANCE/PORTER  in  New York, NY (US)
    Current Employee - MAINTENANCE/PORTER in New York, NY (US)

    I have been working at Columbia University as a contractor for less than a year

    Pros

    I enjoy how we work as a team to correct problems as they pop up. Plus, discuss new ideas that improve work efficiency and minimized work load or time.

    Cons

    The workers (employee) did communicate with each other to improve efficiency and perform to their highest standard but management never had any time to meet and listen to our ideas and concerns. The lock of communications and the preferential treatment toward one employee is an issue that bothers many of us but we kept listen because we fear management or those special employee with influence or preferential access to management.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take time to schedule and meet with employee in private and ask then their opinion or what else they need to improve work efficiency and shorten time of respond. Stop 100% the preferential treatment toward some employee and give each employee the same support, opportunity and value their efforts too!

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8.  

    Small fish in a big pond

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Graduate Student/Research Assistant  in  New York, NY (US)
    Current Employee - Graduate Student/Research Assistant in New York, NY (US)

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

    Pros

    Columbia obviously has the name going for it, and stipends for the grad students are fairly reasonable. People are surprisingly friendly and seem open to collaboration.

    Cons

    SPAM SPAM SPAM SPAM Columbia always feels the need to send every message about everything to everyone in the community. Additionally, there are so many office and departments, it can be hard to know where to go to resolve an issue. The grad students at the Medical Center are second class citizens compared to the med students. Finally, the "cost-of-living" stipend increase doesn't keep pace with price increases in Columbia's own housing! There's not a lot of transparency in payments & budgeting, leading even the people who manage labs clueless about how much money they really have.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop spamming me about every new dean that's hired or retired. Actually subsidize the dorm housing! Students can't afford to pay market rate rent on these stipends, but we don't qualify for section 8 low income housing. Stop charging so much rent to the labs when Facilities can't even keep pipes from breaking and light bulbs replaced.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    Big Academic Institution

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Associate Research Scientist  in  New York, NY (US)
    Current Employee - Associate Research Scientist in New York, NY (US)

    I have been working at Columbia University full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    Big, with so many PIs and research opportunities. Lots of intelligent people. Perfect for young scientist trying to figure out what to do. There is a lot of freedom to pursue research interests and to be relatively independent. This place is the path to academia professorship if you are smart, ambitious and lucky.

    Cons

    Big. So big, there are so many bureaucracy and waste. Smart people come and leave. Whether you have a good experience is highly dependent on who is your boss. The benefits is OK, but the pay is on the lower side. Not good for long term staying.

  10.  

    Decent job, surprising lack of infrastructure given level of university

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Faculty Desktop Support  in  New York, NY (US)
    Former Employee - Faculty Desktop Support in New York, NY (US)

    I worked at Columbia University part-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Flexible hours, most faculty are friendly and gracious. I spent my time helping professors and administrators with their various computer problems. Most fell under similar categories and were thus easily resolved. I greatly enjoyed the ability to schedule my own hours and come and go as I pleased.

    Cons

    Communication was sometimes difficult. Never got a raise. Sometimes it was frustrating having to wait for departmental approval to proceed with work requests, or to figure out exactly who was responsible for helping a particular client.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    It would be helpful for all involved if on-campus computing were more integrated.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    frustrating.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Staff Associate  in  New York, NY (US)
    Current Employee - Staff Associate in New York, NY (US)

    I have been working at Columbia University as a contractor for more than 3 years

    Pros

    low bar for performance expected.

    Cons

    low bar for performance expected, management not addressing problems of the business actively enough and there is not good communication.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    be more proactive. pay attention to undervalued brand and improve it. get rid of underperformers.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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