UCLA Reviews

Updated August 23, 2015
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UCLA Chancellor Gene D. Block
Gene D. Block
70 Ratings

Pros
  • Great compensation and work-life balance (in 23 reviews)

  • Casual work environment with high expectations (in 33 reviews)

Cons
  • Graduate student culture is nonexistent (in 20 reviews)

  • low salary with high cost in LA (in 9 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

313 Employee Reviews

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  1. Resident Assistant

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Resident Assistant in Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - Resident Assistant in Los Angeles, CA
    Recommends

    I have been working at UCLA part-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Residential Life at UCLA is a very inclusive community that fosters safe and welcoming environments both for residents and the professional staff that works there. From Day 1 of being in ResLife I have had the opportunity to grow and develop into a well-rounded leader and socially conscious individual. This has been essential to my experience as both a student and employee at this university. Residential Life works to develop individuals that are aware and stand up to injustice, if they feel comfortable doing so. In Residential Life you get to find your family-away from home and work closely with incredible students who have their own passions and it's definitely rewarding to be able to help build relationships and foster a great living and learning environment.

    Cons

    Although being a Resident Assistant at UCLA is a very exciting and rewarding experience, at times it feels like you plateau in regards to your growth and development as an individual, which is what ResLife preaches as one of it's Core missions. You see a lot of RAs that are involved and immersed in the position and really put in hard work, but others that are performing sub-par and get away with it. The politics of rehiring and staff selection are extremely draining, and although it all depends on who your Resident Director is and which staff you are currently on, working becomes a "wanting to get rehired" process rather than "do your job and be your best!" Research and Surveys are important, we get it, but when you have to spend two quarters constantly bugging the students asking them to fill out long surveys and make everything a competition between buildings and floors, then it takes away from what Resident Assistants could do for their students because they have this survey completion requirement that they must focus on. The RA position is a part-time commitment but in reality you will be asked to dedicate way more than that, all depending on who your supervisor might be. So while you may have many tasks to complete apart from your duty, other RAs on different staffs may have fewer responsibilities. Equality across the board is necessary.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to the students and listen to the student-staff. Professional Staff often gets caught up in fulfilling their required responsibilities without really taking into consideration student input, which could be beneficial since we are the ones directly affected by the decisions they make. Get motivated. If you are not excited doing what you do, then how will your staff members find the motivation needed to get through the year. Practice what you preach and develop equal expectations for all RAs across all different staffs on the Hill.


  2. Great Environment for research

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Various laboratories collaborating each other to better research

    Cons

    Most core facilities are in housed and well equipt


  3. Teaching Assistant - Life Sciences Department

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Comp & Benefits
    Former Employee - Teaching Assistant in Redondo Beach, CA
    Former Employee - Teaching Assistant in Redondo Beach, CA
    Recommends

    I worked at UCLA part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    UCLA has excellent benefits, especially if you a working graduate student like I was. Not only do you have full health insurance but for terms you are teaching your tuition is waved. This means it is totally possible to live off of a part time 20 hours a week job teaching undergraduate classes.

    Cons

    Some departments have many more teaching opportunities than others, and your relationship with individual professors will determine your ability to land teaching positions each quarter. There is no promise of employment, especially if you are in a smaller department that doesn't teach as many classes.

    Advice to Management

    A more transparent method for applying for and assigning teaching positions would take a lot of stress off the graduate students. Also working with professors to determine the amount of grading required would be a big help, since some classes require many more hours a week but all teaching appointments pay the same.


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  5. Mixed review

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Los Angeles, CA
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Good medical associations, and strengths associated with being part of the UC system (healthcare benefits, inter-campus opportunities).

    Cons

    Some logistical issues are annoying (but probably are dept. specific). For instance, it's hard to schedule a classroom to hold office hours or a review session, and the amount of time in class has no correlation to the payment for a quarter. Also, I saw a lot of silo-ing and lack of cross-disciplinary interest/support. For living in LA salary is a big challenge.


  6. Postdoc in UCLA

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Good Salary and research place

    Cons

    Los angeles is too dry


  7. UCLA Postdoctoral Fellow

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Contractor - Postdoctoral Fellow in Los Angeles, CA
    Current Contractor - Postdoctoral Fellow in Los Angeles, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at UCLA as a contractor (More than a year)

    Pros

    There is no shortage of cutting edge and translational research conducted here, especially with the school's hospital (Ronald Reagan hospital) being in such close proximity to the research labs.

    Cons

    For an academic institution this old and big, UCLA is very disorganized at the administrative level. It's not uncommon for postdocs to not get paid on times, sometimes even a month or so late. Academic departments often appear fragmented, and you could for a year without meeting a lot scientists from your own department. This appears to be down to the way the campus has been built.

    Advice to Management

    Invest money in re-structuring and re-training staff in the financial and administrative arms of each department. Staff in these departments don't appear to be held to the same standards that scientists are held to.


  8. Work Allows Balance in Life

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Administrative Analyst
    Current Employee - Administrative Analyst
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at UCLA full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Work hours are stable. Plenty of campus holidays throughout the year. Beautiful campus. Lots of amenities to look into during lunch breaks. Co-workers are friendly and are not evil backstabbers. Lots of free t-shirts from staff exercise events.

    Cons

    Pay is decent, but it's known to be tough to get a raise unless you switch jobs between departments. Plenty of red tape on campus, sometimes the left and right wings don't communicate well and you're thrown into a wild goose chase trying to get things completed. Traffic is notoriously horrible... I live 20 miles away and it takes me about 1 hr and 15 mins (on average) to get home.


  9. research associate

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at UCLA full-time

    Pros

    flexible hours is a great plus at schools

    Cons

    low income, growth is quite slow

    Advice to Management

    timely time sheet approval


  10. Network Administrator

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at UCLA part-time

    Pros

    Good work environment, low stress environment

    Cons

    A bit redundant and could be more challenging

    Advice to Management

    Keep the relaxed work environment. Could possibly benefit from including some team building exercises.


  11. Postdoctoral Researcher

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at UCLA full-time

    Pros

    Great research culture with lots of opportunities for collaborative projects. Lab environment depends a lot on the PI that runs the lab, but most at UCLA seem reasonable and likable.

    Cons

    Horrible traffic, compounded by the constant construction near campus. High rent and low wages lead to difficult financial situations.



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