Understanding the Culture at Harvard
To an outsider, Harvard’s storied campus, with its centuries-old trees and ivy clad
walls, might seem quiet, perhaps even sleepy. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact,
it’s a crucible of intellectual activity, research, knowledge creation, learning, and
teaching. Harvard’s historic campus in Cambridge, with its Georgian and classical
architecture as well as campuses in the Allston section of Boston and the Longwood Medical Area
are always buzzing and vibrant – even after hours. In this environment, results matter and
creativity flourishes within groups, teams, and departments.
For many people the most compelling aspect of work at Harvard is the sense of mission that
permeates every organization on campus. Whether unraveling the history of life on earth, seeking an understanding of organizational dynamics or economics, pursuing breakthroughs in
biomedical science that could lead to a cure for AIDS, or simply helping to give students the best possible preparation for their lives and careers, people at Harvard enjoy the feeling of going to work every day knowing what they do is truly important and worthwhile.
It’s a feeling that motivates and inspires
them and often makes them want to spend their whole career at Harvard!
Discover community at Harvard
Harvard is a place of contrasts. The very old and the very new exist comfortably side by side. Ancient texts and artifacts on
display in a university museum or library share the campus with powerful computers, the esoteric apparatus of physics research and
experiments extending the boundary of biomedical science.
The people you encounter are equally diverse. Of course, there are some individuals who fit the stereotype of an
American Ivy League institution but the majority of the students, faculty and staff are more diverse in age, race, ethnicity, nationality,
experience and outlook than you would be likely to find almost anywhere else.
Despite this diversity of experience and outlook, Harvard’s people are united by a culture that strives for excellence while at the same time supporting the needs of the individual and his or her family. They also share institutional values that both attract and nurture talent.
A career at Harvard can be linear — with promotions following a traditional sequence — or less traditional. For example, it is not uncommon
for individuals who have taken an entry-level position to progress to a job in mid-level management – or even follow their talents into
an entirely different field.
Professional development is helped by generous tuition reimbursement, numerous opportunities for on-campus learning, and professional development and leadership training programs produced by our Center for Training and Development.
Your future at Harvard
Harvard’s ability to attract people for the whole of their careers is a source of strength. As Harvard President Drew Gilpin Faust has noted, "If Harvard is first of all defined not by buildings or endowments or traditions but by people, we have an overriding interest in attracting to our community the most talented people we can find – as students, as faculty, as staff."
Harvard today is focused on helping its employees become “future-ready” – technically
literate, open to a global perspective, and ready to support and advance the University’s evolving mission.