UCLA

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UCLA Reviews

Updated Jul 22, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.8 510 reviews

75% Approve of the CEO

UCLA Chancellor Gene D. Block

Gene D. Block

(161 ratings)

82% of employees recommend this company to a friend

Review Highlights

Pros
  • work life balance is good with flexible options available(in 17 reviews)

  • Casual work environment with high expectations(in 29 reviews)


Cons
  • Difficult to balance teaching and course load at the same time, especially as a graduate student(in 12 reviews)

  • Budget cuts and draconian restructuring methods on the horizon are only making these problems worse(in 11 reviews)

126 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews
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    Mixed Bag

    Graduate Student Researcher (Current Employee) Los Angeles, CA

    ProsI have worked as a graduate student researcher for a little over 4 years, and there are a lot of things to like about UCLA. The campus is great, there are a lot of smart people to learn from if you look, and the competitive environment of Neuroscience really pushes you to be productive.

    ConsI don't know exactly where the kink is, but I have been double or triple paid several times, which seems nice but then the school sent all the notices to my first year address, even though I had changed my address through the main UCLA student web portal. Turns out the grant people keep their own addresses and don't update; they were attempting to go to collections against me when my adviser found out and obviously I got things settled. It then happened several more times (although obviously contacted them immediately later). On other occasions I have gone without pay for 2-3 months at a time, just to have them pay out all that money at once. Its EXTREMELY annoying as a grad student who doesn't make that much. I have other less direct evidence of the ridiculous inefficiency of UCLA's bureaucracy but its more hearsay. Just be ready for it.

    Advice to Senior ManagementPeople who don't do their jobs should be fired. Its ridiculous how many people are about to just hang around UCLA without actually contributing because once you have been an employee for a while, its basically impossible to be fired.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    not a good place for new faculties

    Assistant Researcher (Current Employee) Los Angeles, CA

    Prosgood academic environment; good library; relative safe area

    Consnot much support from school; not a good place for young faculties

    Advice to Senior Managementmore support for new faces

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Interesting Faculty and students. Unbreakable pay cap

    Student Affairs Officer II (Current Employee) Los Angeles, CA

    ProsThe faculty and students can be grateful for advice and, as an academic counselor, you can feel part of the team effort to educate. The retirement benefits are also good, though, as anywhere, the excellence of the medical benefits depends on what you suffer from. The campus is pretty, and, if you like L.A., the genteel parts of it are near you. i would recommend it for someone who believes in education, can stand to see education be a lower priority than it ought to be at an educational institution, and can afford to make less than the market rate for similar skills. Also, if you are aggressive about doing limited work, it may offer decent work-life balance (I can't tell). Although I saw management discrimination for people with LGBQ orientations, it is overall an LGBTQ-friendly campus.

    ConsThe salary caps are aggressive, regardless of merit (and I'm not just talking about mine or a few of my friends' salaries). I am in the school of Letters & Science. It may be different in, say, the medical school, but is still problematic. People have to leave a position in order to go to a higher salary because there are no raises. Therefore someone is new on the job every one to three years, resulting in lower productivity and higher frustration. Some of the professors have a lot of power over staff but are very immature. The students can be quite spoiled.

    Advice to Senior ManagementTake the time to assess and reward staff excellence with increased salaries. If the mission of the university is education (which, to be fair, it isn't, primarily), then having a slower staff turn-over and less time wasted on people who must learn new jobs would help to support it.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    Staff Research Associate II

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsGreat work environment. Plenty of brilliant people in the department

    ConsLack of growth, expensive living in surrounding areas.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    Nice place to work but salaries are low and workload is high

    Director (Current Employee) Los Angeles, CA

    ProsYou have a lot of flexibility and opportunities to develop new areas. There are plenty of talented people in all fields to collaborate with and endless original topics of interest.

    ConsNot surprisingly, UCLA if very "faculty centric" and if one does not have an academic title it can be difficult (though not impossible) to work within the system. In particular, writing proposals for new research funding and hiring people to do research work is much more difficult.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    This is about my experience in my fourth year as a graduate student research in the EE Dept. at UCLA.

    Graduate Student Researcher (Current Employee) Los Angeles, CA

    ProsThe Professors are very sharp and are on top of what is happening in the field. Also for most graduate students funding is never a serious problem.

    ConsUCLA could do a better job of encouraging graduate students and researchers to socialize. I have often felt that buying lab equipment was prioritized over using funds to send me to conferences, and that professors do not provide much guidance for students to find their careers.

    Advice to Senior ManagementThe department needs to encourage a friendlier work culture. Students are already very friendly towards each other; it is the Professors who create an artificial boundary between them and the students.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    Good place for the youngest postdoc to improve skills.

    Assistant Researcher (Current Employee) Los Angeles, CA

    ProsGood to get more experience as a researcher/postdoc/scientist, but you should look for a better opportunities as soon as possible. Friendly environment. Not good carreer opportunities. It depends on the $ you bring in (Grants).

    ConsVery tight budget. Low salary. Preference for young postdocs because their payment is low. Not good carreer opportunities. It depends on the $ you bring in (Grants). However, many regulations make it difficult to get your own Grant. Everything is about $. If you have Grants to pay your own salary you are "in" even if you are not part of the average. You can work hard with integrity but if no Grant, no Job!

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    1 person found this helpful  

    Stayed much longer than I expected

    Administrative Specialist (Current Employee)

    ProsGreat benefits if you can last long enough to get them. Lovely working environment and campus. Great weather.

    ConsInflexible. Very difficult to move up or around. Apathy of long-term employees. Working here might kill anyone's work ethic as it is a bureaucratic behemoth. Terrible commute times for staff because cost of living in area is unaffordable to anyone other than the super rich. Extreme financial peaks and valleys exacerbated by poor management.

    Advice to Senior ManagementCompletely eliminate every single AVC.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    An okay place to be a life sciences graduate student

    Graduate Student Researcher (Current Employee) Los Angeles, CA

    ProsTop-notch research going on, if you are looking to be a top-notch researcher it's one of the best places in southern california. There is a new push on campus to help STEM graduate students with alternative career choices, but help is fairly thin on career planning front (unless of course you want to be a top-notch researcher).

    ConsGraduate student culture is nonexistent. Performing work for research mentor is more important than personal education.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    Good work life balance

    IT Network Engineer (Current Employee) Los Angeles, CA

    ProsA large and stable employer with great benefits. Very little overtime or work outside of regular business hours. Being part of UC's mission can be more rewarding than typical jobs.

    ConsProbably not the best place for ambitious, type A's. Can be a unique environment, and difficult for some people to adjust to. A lot of things being done a certain for the sole reason that they've always been done that way

    Advice to Senior ManagementTo achieve excellence, UCLA will need to start competing for top talent in staff employment, and will need to pay market rates to do so.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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