University of British Columbia

  www.ubc.ca
  www.ubc.ca

University of British Columbia Reviews

Updated August 29, 2014
Updated August 29, 2014
186 Reviews
3.8
186 Reviews
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University of British Columbia President Stephen J. Toope
Stephen J. Toope
60 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Excellent co-workers; good benefits; excellent location; beautiful campus; good career opportunities (in 22 reviews)

  • Relatively slower pace than the private sector, so tends to have better work-life balance (depends on department) (in 9 reviews)


Cons
  • Salary is not enough to sustain in an expensive city like Vancouver (in 6 reviews)

  • Too many students can sometimes bog down the work environment (in 5 reviews)

More Highlights

7 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 2 people found this helpful  

    Avoid UBC IT

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Vancouver, BC (Canada)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Vancouver, BC (Canada)

    I worked at University of British Columbia full-time

    Pros

    - Good benefits, tuition waivers, pension plan, vacation days
    - Many excellent co-workers who are knowledgeable and very helpful
    - Good work-life balance
    - Professional and respectful work environment across the campus

    Cons

    - Low employee morale
    - No work satisfaction
    - Employees are not valued
    - No interesting projects anymore
    - No investment in modern technologies anymore
    - High staff turn over in the past year (20% turn over), driving the best employees to other companies
    - Used to be an excellent place to work where everyone worked well together but has turned for the worse in the past 2 years
    - Communication is one-way, from top management downwards, command and control
    - Bad upper management who believes in vendors' PR and overhyped silver bullet solutions rather than own employees
    - Everyone is told what and how to do their job which can be seen by the purchase of an old low-tech third-party system and development environment with a very limited feature set
    - Custom development is frowned upon and is seen as ineffective, inefficient and unmaintainable
    - People are treated as replaceable parts
    - UBC IT makes town hall promises with out-dated third-party technologies without accuracy or validation from technical staff
    - Very political environment
    - Lack of transparency from management
    - Does not value employee personal and professional growth anymore
    - Dysfunctional organization
    - UBC IT is a dinosaur and is not an innovative IT department who value their human infrastructure

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Remove the command and control management style and start listening to your employees.
    Management should embrace its people instead of external experts/consultants and silver bullet solutions.
    Don't treat strong talent, especially BAs, SMEs and IT staff with deep institutional knowledge as commodities - we are not in the industrial age anymore.
    Make sure that staff do meaningful work and embrace creativity.
    Broad executive or upper management commitments made at 30,000-foot views normally bring terrible results which are now starting to show.
    Turning problems over to a vendor does not protect you from failure or customer dissatisfaction.
    Treat knowledge workers as assets and as not expenses and as assets they must be grown.
    COTS does not always give you a competitive advantage. Identify and prioritize your problems first. Don't do big-bang solutions.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 5 people found this helpful  

    It is great everywhere else on campus, except in UBC IT.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at University of British Columbia full-time

    Pros

    - Excellent work-life balance
    - Excellent benefits
    - Professional and respectful work environment across the campus.
    - Competitive salary, within the public sector

    Cons

    - Upper management are delusional, they think front line employees are the problem. As evidenced by the wasteful money on "Effective Communication" workshop, masked as Career Framework training, during organizational transformation.
    - Unless you can be represented by a number, you can work your butt off and no one will notice.
    - Employees are treated like a cog in a giant Lego machine. Everything is NOT awesome.
    - Too much management, especially remote Senior Management with limited exposure to different ways of doing things.
    - Incompetent management lacking any vision. They are all order takers. The more, the quicker they move up.
    - A mountain of internal processes that reduces workflow efficiency to a crawl.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    - Break out of your by the book management style. PMP works great when you are building a house. Not so great with IT systems. Not every system is the same, no matter how many times you have done it. ITIL best practices are great, when you correctly applied what you need. When ITIL processes become operational roadblocks, you have a problem. KPI and metrics are great, but so are liars and numbers manipulators, they are great at telling you what you want to hear.

    - Ditch your command and control management style. Respects are earned, not by job titles or salary grades. Problems can be fixed/solved much faster if they do not have to traverse the endless tree to the top. Your employees are all expertise in their areas, why restrict their ability to make expert decisions? You pay for their experience and expertise, yet you put roadblocks in front of them.

    Doesn't Recommend
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Old Boys Club

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at University of British Columbia full-time

    Pros

    The Name of the company

    Cons

    The old boys club, its not what you know, its who you know

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    open up, you might get some good employees

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    Dismal Experience with UBC-PHCRI

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Clinical Research Coordinator in Vancouver, BC (Canada)
    Current Employee - Clinical Research Coordinator in Vancouver, BC (Canada)

    I have been working at University of British Columbia full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Full time employers having achieved a few years of full time work can qualify for pension plan, UBC offers courses to employees.

    Cons

    Very little and much below average salary to industry norm, no health care benefits, insufficient support from UBC ethical management. Policy favours employers, such as Vancouver Coastal Health and Providence Health Care Research Institute, to abuse contract employees by giving very low salary with no health care coverage and no pension.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    As a graduate of UBC biological science undergrad who struggled to find a job at UBC on graduating from UBC because many jobs have been awarded to foreign and non-UBC grads, I think it would be on UBC's reputation and responsibility to look out for its graduates in obtaining a job. I witnessed that graduates from foreign countries are being given the priority as they get majority of the jobs over UBC graduates. Also, many small hospital contractors at hospitals, like PHCRI, and perhaps other industries under the flag of UBC hire graduated students at often below average salaries for the industry norm. On top of this, PHCRI UBC does not give health care coverage to their contract employees working at dangerous and hazardous conditions at the hospital. They expect that their employees pay for their own health insurance.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6.  

    Just avoid this hell-hole like a plague!!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Masters Student in Vancouver, BC (Canada)
    Former Employee - Masters Student in Vancouver, BC (Canada)

    I worked at University of British Columbia full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    None! It has no redeeming qualities! Nada! Zilch!!

    Cons

    Lots! Starving wages. Slave-like labour. Lots of teaching duties. Outrageously expensive city: with the starving wages they pay you, you'll be dreaming about having two meals a day. The administrative staff are condesending and unfriendly. The profs could not care less for your well-being. And on top of it all, the weather is positively miserable, which is probably why everyone is so difficult to deal with as well. Just go to Toronto or Montreal or even Waterloo would be better.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take fewer students and fund them better: it's really not rocket science.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Very difficult working environment unless you have a skillset that can't easily be replaced. Some ethical concerns.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Advancement Services Employee in Vancouver, BC (Canada)
    Former Employee - Advancement Services Employee in Vancouver, BC (Canada)

    I worked at University of British Columbia full-time

    Pros

    Interesting work.
    Some positions are paid well. Can ask for mid-point salary if you are expected to hit the ground running.
    Some positions receive a lot of recognition.
    Some positions have great work/life balance.
    The annual vacation allotment is generous. Can negotiate for more vacation time when hired.

    Cons

    Low morale.
    Very few career opportunities, if any, though they say there are to keep you motivated.
    Every aspect of your performance is analyzed.
    Bi-annual performance reviews.
    Passive aggressiveness.
    The contents of your email account are not private.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Unethical focus on results over people and privacy.
    Way too much time spent analyzing people under the guise of career coaching.
    No good can come from openly criticizing unions and people.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
  8.  

    a black or white organization; very harsh

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Vancouver, BC (Canada)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Vancouver, BC (Canada)

    I worked at University of British Columbia

    Pros

    the pay was very good

    Cons

    management not looking at the big picture; management not visiting casuals on job site; management contradicting their own policies and procedures; management construing situational stories as they see it; not as it really is; management dismissing casual staff right after a family member dies; management seducing the union

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    visit the Dalia Lama or Thich Naht Hahn and learn about unity, love, kindness, compassion, deep listening, deep understanding

    Doesn't Recommend

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