University of Southern California
4.0 of 5 519 reviews
www.usc.edu Los Angeles, CA 5000+ Employees

University of Southern California Reviews

Updated May 20, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

4.0 519 reviews

                             

91% Approve of the CEO

University of Southern California President C. L. Max Nikias

C. L. Max Nikias

(202 ratings)

88% of employees recommend this company to a friend
30 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews
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    Horrid

    Graduate Student (Current Employee)
    Los Angeles, CA

    ProsAccess to decent technology and resources.

    ConsBad compensation or encouragement for your work.

    Advice to Senior ManagementDont treat grad research students like cattle.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    1 person found this helpful  

    Not so great and not awful! It's just not bad.

    Postdoctoral Research Associate (Former Employee)
    Los Angeles, CA

    ProsYou can find smart people in the campus to work with. If anyone likes to live in a warm climate by all menas, USC is a good place.

    ConsThe bureaucracy at USC is just horrible. I used to work in east-coast then I moved to USC to do my post-doc. The difference was day and night. It looked like working in eastern Europe or Cuba. For instance, it required a lot of time and paperwork to order one piece of equipment for my lab. Then I realized that it is better that I drive myself, get the equipment and get reimbursed. The system was inefficient with an extreme profit based mentality. In summary, USC is not a great place.
    And also, the location of campus is awful It did not look like a university, there was not ANY bookstore around campus!!! there was not any cozy coffee shop around campus. Just shopping malls, food courts etc. I did not have a pleasant experience and happy I am out of there.

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

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    Good for sports and sometimes science

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsWest Adams is a neighborhood of beautiful architecture. The university's health plan is good.

    ConsThe university appears not to value the humanities. It has taken steps to dismantle programs that engage the intellectual community in greater Los Angeles. Different schools within the university--cinema, communication--may have different policies.

    Advice to Senior ManagementConsult faculty instead of making unilateral decisions.

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

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    2 people found this helpful  

    Hard work and little appreciation

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsYou aren't fired if you screw up. Discount is given but it doesn't apply to anything really worth buying.

    ConsNo resources or organization for teaching you how to do your job. The bosses can be cruel and see ridicule and "tough love" as the only way to teach and motivate student workers

    Advice to Senior ManagementCreate documents that clearly and sequentially teach each major job requirement (working the cash register, working with complex programs, inventory procedures, etc). Be kind and welcome questions. Otherwise students will be too fearful to ask them and will create a viscous cycle of incompetence.

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    Not the ideal place for young workers

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsExcellent benefits including retirement and education benefits

    ConsPoor leadership, limited career growth

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    USC

    Director - IT (Current Employee)
    Los Angeles, CA

    ProsGreat Benefits
    Located in Southern California

    ConsThose who can DO, Those who can't TEACH.
    Terrible political environment between Faculty and Staff.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    Very brief, unpleasant

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsUniversity benefits (i.e. access to discounts, credit union), academic setting, prestige of working at a major university

    Conslow pay rate in comparison to similar jobs at other universities/research facilities (I was working in research). Apparently working ANY amount of overtime was a big no-no, even though we only worked 7.5-hour days.

    Advice to Senior ManagementImprove and expand the DAR, allow the staff to work a full 8 hours.

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    Decent, but not someplace you want to get stuck.

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
    Los Angeles, CA

    ProsReasonable hours (majority of offices closing at 5pm sharp), good benefits, wonderful university holiday schedule (PTO), enough free cash flow to maintain up-to-date technology/equipment and renovated offices

    ConsAll faculty and staff pay for parking (terribly expensive parking), work is usually boring/uninteresting, little to nonexistent "company culture", little to no growth... Though varying by department and position, the knowledge and experience you gain is usually not applicable to "bigger and better" companies and positions you may hope to move on to later

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    in the end, USC is still a business

    Project Manager (Former Employee)
    Los Angeles, CA

    Pros-If you have college-aged children, they get free tuition if they are admitted.
    -great school spirit
    -beautiful campus
    -the student interaction
    -decent hours

    Cons-generally, staff employees are terribly underpaid, despite the USC's much-publicized (and lucrative) fundraising efforts.
    -annual raises are meager. over time, you will see a larger income gap between yourself and those with similar qualifications who are working in better paying industries (most industries pay better).
    -they tout their employee benefits, but the benefits are not nearly as comprehensive as the public sector. employees have to pay for their own parking as well.
    -rank and file positions are being eliminated (they were already down to the bone) while senior administration is only getting bigger. low pay non-profit work does not equate to job security here.
    -professional development is nonexistent. if you have a college degree and are looking to advance your career, stay away.
    -located in a sketchy part of Los Angeles that requires you to endure the most congested freeways. Expect at least a 30-45 min one way commute if you want to live in a decent neighborhood.
    -USC embarked on online degree programs. whatever brand prestige that was gained under President Sample will be inflated away by Max Nikias.

    Advice to Senior Managementnone

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

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    Mixed experience

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
    Los Angeles, CA

    ProsGood brand, campus is lovely. Great energy on the campus itself. Wonderful student center with good restaurants.

    ConsMany of us on the administrative side are now located away from the campus on the other side of the 101. We work in what was a warehouse converted into cubicles. The environment is sterile. No natural light. You have no sense of working on a campus. People on the administrative side are viewed as second class citizens and not seen as foundational to the mission of the University. Staff are also underpaid and overworked. There is a lot of burn out. What is important to leadership is faculty and staff. It can be a downer.

    Advice to Senior ManagementSpeak more often and more genuinely about the importance of staff. It is great that President Nikias is now doing an annual State of the Campus address to the staff, but staff are mentioned in about one or two sentences. The accomplishments mentioned are all about faculty and students. Many leave that event feeling cynical. There is occasional lip service, but many staff unrecognized.

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Glassdoor is your free inside look at University of Southern California reviews and ratings — including employee satisfaction and approval rating for University of Southern California CEO C. L. Max Nikias. All 30 reviews posted anonymously by University of Southern California employees.