Overall Reviews at Novartis
Lab Head and Scientific Technical Leader | Cambridge, MA | Apr 10, 2019
Very good place to work depending on your specific manager, unit, and department
I worked at the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research (NIBR) in Cambridge, MA as a PhD-level scientist for over five years.
I was impressed by the quality of the scientists and the innovative, well-structured, drug discovery process (from early-phase/exploratory to clinical proof-of-concept and safety studies in humans). I was also very impressed with the collaborative work-flow and the ability to start a project from scratch and test molecules in animals for mechanism of action and/or proof-of-concept within a relatively short period of time (like 4-6 months). I was impressed with the cutting-edge technology available, the freedom to operate with purchasing the necessary reagents, tools, and equipment to maximize efficiency, and the quality of many of the external CROs.
The biggest thing I learned was how to navigate research in a large, multi-disciplinary, collaborative environment. Workplace culture was highly variable and pretty much 100% dependent on the department head and departmental management (Directors, Unit Heads, etc). The culture was improving in my department prior to my departure.... There was more emphasis on employee happiness, growth, support, and inclusion.
The thing I disliked the most were, 1) Beginning-of-year objective setting (because priorities and objectives changed weekly and it seemed like a-bit too much misplaced effort), 2) Mid-year and end-year evaluations and promotions (process was non-transparent and confusing, meetings were o...more
Service Consultant | United States | Jul 23, 2018
Great until they decide they are downsizing and then the PIP comes out
Yes, the PIP. What is a PIP, you ask? Well, I had the same question when a bunch of us were given them. Performance Improvement Plan. You get a raise and great score on your performance review then less than 3 months later you get a PIP without any warning from your manager! I bet you don't believe me while you're reading this and I would have thought the same thing but yet it happened.
They put you on the PIP, give you 15 pages of things you need to do that the other employees aren't required to do and then they set you up to be fired in 30-60 days if you don't meet it. Now you really think I'm lying but trust me, I'm not. I know you think they couldn't require you to do anything that other employees don't have to do...but you're wrong. I'll wait while you google it because you can't believe that. I know because I didn't either. I even got legal advice. Turns out they can do whatever they want to because your employment is at-will.
Interestingly enough, if you do some research they are known to use this PIP tactic about 6-12 months before they go through a major downsizing and lay-off and in this case they decided to use contract nurses instead of their own team. The Nurse Educators (Patient Services Liaisons then changed to Patient Services Consultants) were laid off June 2018. PIPs started in April of 2017 and I hear ran until early 2018...I'm just saying, if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck....It is usually a duck!
ProsGreat benefits, competitive salary, time off was good plus additional week off over Christmas/New Year.
ConsBAD MANAGERS who agree to write their employees up for company to save money
Associate Scientist | Morris Plains, NJ | Feb 3, 2020
Only for starters
- Company benefits are great- 401K Matching, Pension plan, Personal holidays, Vacation, Sick days, decent medical insurance, sign-on package, education/healthy life style reimbursements, etc.
- Company emphasizes teamwork, open/ learning mind set, and personal growth
- Company invests so much for the well-being of their employees.
I’m giving three stars only for the company, but not for this QC Bioanalytics department for the following reasons based on my experience:
1. Unhealthy competition is highly encouraged.
2. Soft skill is more important over hard skill.
3. Annual personal performance review exist superficially only, but substandard rating is given to all the employees regardless of what they do, how hard they work, and how much effort they put in.
4. Favoritism determines personal Growth and Promotion since management do not value your educational background, previous work experience, scientific skills and personal performance.
5. Poor work and life balance.
6. Sometimes, interrelation between employees and management lacks professionalism.
7. This department does not have a proper long-term vision as temporary goals are more important than long-term.
8. There is no hierarchical structure.
9. There is no career ladder structure.
10. Unnecessary stress due to improper scheduling and extra workload from other associates and other shifts.
Overall, I would recommend this QC Bioanalytics job for starters only who need GMP/Hands-on...more
Associate Scientist | Morris Plains, NJ | Oct 6, 2019
Avoid unless you really need a job.
At the moment, terrible place to work at. Management is always butting heads with one another, and have no idea what's going on within the lab. When you need help or have a question, most of the time management will ignore , weasel their way out to help, or hide in their office. I was told their will be growth, but that's a honest lie. A lot of the employees here are still stuck in their same position 2+ years or more, unless you're their favorites. As for learning, nonexistent. You will learn at most one assay, and that's only it. There are two shifts : Weds to Sat(10hrs) and Sun to Weds(10hrs), but if you're one of the favorites, you can work mon-friday. The moral in the lab is at an all time low, especially since management installed a nanny cam to watch us, wish I was making this up. The hardest part of the job is time management since managers can't schedule correctly, nor do they care, as long as the work is done. The easiest solution would be cross training employees, but higher up would rather have the lab crash than be proven wrong. The only most enjoyable part of the job is the coworkers. So, unless you like the idea working 10+ due to poor management choices, skipping lunch at times, being asked random drug questions by supervisors, then work at in this lab.
ConsFavortism, poor management
Director of Information Technology | East Hanover, NJ | Mar 21, 2019
IT roles - Unless you live in India or enjoy mediocrity, stay away
Novartis has a lot of potential to be a great place to work. Unfortunately, this is not the case.
IT has been decimated and most work has been offshored. Eventually, all of IT will be in India.
So if you work in India, it could be a good place to work.
Another major problem for IT at Novartis, regardless of the location, is lack of reward for TRUE innovation. Those, the rare few, that actually follow through, execute and deploy an innovative solution despite the company's restrictions on budget allocations for IT development, are rarely rewarded or recognized. The brown nosers are rewarded. Of course, this practice drives true IT talent to leave unless they have issues which force them to remain and become bitter and disillusioned.
It is possible to succeed in IT if your horizons are limited and specialized in a role that will remain local or you live in India. Just be aware this is not true in most cases
Prosgood total compensation package
ConsPromotions are rare, raises are low, no support for true innovation, highly risk averse and unable to learn from failures, stressed workers
Senior Account Executive | Green Bay, WI | Aug 23, 2018
Great training and culture
Similar to other Pharma jobs if you have a great product line and pipeline including good training and management you can do well for your self. This was my first pharma job and coming from a State Probation/Parole agent position I was so exited to learn such interesting information. I was able to meet with MDs and specialists and people who were generally very welcoming and open to engage in a professional two way conversation. The culture as Novartis was the best I had ever experienced from day one. Others who have not worked in a lower paying job with high responsibility were not able to appreciate the benefits that working for a world leader pharmaceutical company.
The training I received initially and during every product launch was the greatest challenge and enjoyment I has while with Novartis.
ProsUnlimited self paced and company sponsored training, Company car and bonus payout for hard working reps was icing on the cake.
ConsFrequent overnight travel (only because my kids were little)
Maintenance Technician | Houston, TX | Jun 8, 2018
Cut throat ,overly political correct place
This pays well however it is cut throat to the max .As soon as you work yourself to get a good position others in management will complain if you don"t suck up .
I had to work 55 to 60+ hours a week because they under staff but still demand everything done on time .No personal life at all even tho they tell up up front your personal life is priority to them .Had to work every holiday even Christmas day .Managers will take all credit for your work no matter how trivial it was .Had to be on call even after hours of a 12+ hour day .first time you don't respond to late night calls they burn you for it .NO pay for after hour calls .I was even on vacation and out of town and had to respond to calls .
Management will promise you the world up front and never deliver .
When I had a death in family(Mother) manager asked if I really needed the 3 days off or could I just take 1 or 2 days because they had issues needing attention .I was at funeral when he called and asked me this .
ConsZERO home life don't even asks for it
Accountant | Prague, OK | Oct 17, 2019
not caring about employees- profit is only thing they care about
with constant outsourcing company is creating third-class citizens within itself and still expecting everybody's loyalty and dedication. They are saying that they want to focus on core business only so all other supportive functions are redundant. Do you relay want to work in a company who is employing only people from poor countries exploiting them with horrible working hours and paying them miserable wages?
They have created caste system inside of the company and if you are one of the lucky ones you will have the time of your life working here and if not forget your private life because you wont have one, and do not kid your self that you will be appreciated or paid fairly for your work. My recommendation is run for your life
Prosif you didn't get outsourced you will get the bonus
Consno work life balance, job insecurity, no recognition for your work, everything you is just not enough for them so you will feel so incompetent
Technician | Cambridge, MA | Feb 8, 2019
This was a start up company which I was part of the implementation process.
A typical day is that I would go to all the labs to make sure that the researchers had what they needed and to see if there were any issues that needed to be addressed. I have learned what it was like to work as part of a contractor team and what it took to get a new site up and running. The workplace culture was that I was able to be very independent and proactive in my daily activities. The hardest part of the job was that it could become very frustrating when trying to find the best resolution to the researchers complaints especially because it was a brand new site. The most enjoyable part of the job was that I was part of the start up team that got this site up and running.
ProsI loved working for the researchers and the daily challenges this job had.
ConsThe new researchers came from California to MA with a lot of frustrations.
Security Manager | East Hanover, NJ | Aug 5, 2018
A disaster in brewing, a.k.a Titanic.
The company had very good culture, but the middle management changes over the last 3 years had put company in a downward spiral. There is no or very limited opportunity for growth in U.S and majority of the developed European countries. The middle management is incompetent and narrowly focused on cost cutting, and pleasing board members and stockholders without realizing its ill effects. Majority of job opportunities are in India or South East Asia. Many talented employees have either left, in the process of leaving company or being let go.
In my opinion this company is going to be in big trouble in near future and will be struggling to survive in its current form within next five years.
ProsLots of growth opportunities in third world/under developed countries
ConsIncompetent middle management, zero value for talent