University of California Berkeley

  www.berkeley.edu
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1 person found this helpful  

Worst Experience of My Life

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Career Opportunities
Former Employee - Administrative Assistant III  in  UC Berkeley, CA
Former Employee - Administrative Assistant III in UC Berkeley, CA

Pros

-Great if you want to squeeze by with doing the bare minimum.
-Great if you want to stay a long time and have a stable income, but do not have ambitions to advance.
-Academic environment, if you like to attend lectures and frequent libraries
-Can be fun if you like to work with students

Cons

-Raises are given out equally, regardless of performance
-Cannot get fired, ever. This can be great if you want to do the bare minimum, but also means the ambitious employees leave for the corporate world. This means you'll be working with a lot of people who have been around for a long time, and are either there because they need something stable but not too challenging, or because they like doing the bare minimum without retribution. It can be very frustrating to get results from colleagues.
-Getting anything innovative done will be slow and blocked at every level. Berkeley is big, bureaucratic, and thinks it's the best university in the world (even if other's don't agree). There's no motivation to change.
-Middle managers and exempt employees get away with almost anything, including sometimes 4 hour workdays or taking vacations even at the busiest of times.
-Union employees can basically do whatever they want past probation because of the well-meaning laws in place to [overly] protect workers.
Upper management, in my experience, is reasoned but detached from the reality of what happens in their units. Most are professors, some of whom have gone straight through the Ph.D. track without ever working an administrative job.
-Very little staff development. No tuition reimbursement or ability to take classes like at other universities.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

-Don't be inept and make decisions on a whim without communication to employees.
-Don't be afraid to speak to employees for poor behavior.
-Do 360 performance reviews, and investigate beyond what middle management touts their department to be

Doesn't Recommend
Disapproves of CEO

Other reviews for University of California Berkeley

  1.  

    truly unique position and experience

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Security Coordinator  in  Berkeley, CA
    Former Employee - Security Coordinator in Berkeley, CA

    Pros

    -unique position and great experience getting to manage a staff of 30 individuals and maintaining dorm security
    -close to campus
    -very flexible schedule
    -not excessively micro-managed
    -f
    -great to have coworkers that are shourly wage rate

    Cons

    -compensation reduced from free accommodations (food/housing = roughly 1200) a month to an hourly wage $14.50/hr
    -some months are busier than others resulting in variable work intensity and salary per month

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    none

    No opinion of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Happy to be here

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Research Assistant  in  Berkeley, CA
    Current Employee - Research Assistant in Berkeley, CA

    Pros

    Note: I'm a grad student in Physical Chemistry.

    Everything depends on your PhD adviser and your project. If one of those goes well, you are set. I have a great adviser who is very well-respected in the field and extremely encouraging and flexible, so I completely set my own schedule, I can pursue side-projects, I can do anything really.

    Cons

    Again, everything depends on your PhD adviser and your project. I have friends who despise their adviser on what appears to be both personal and work-levels. The guy seems real nice to me, but apparently working for him is awful. Some advisers hold meetings friday evenings just to make sure everybody stays late, and I know one guy apparently has saturday meetings on a fairly regular basis. There is absolutely zero consistency whatsoever. Even graduation time-frames and requirements can vary wildly, from 4 years to 7 based in large part on your group, and from 0 first-author papers to 4-6, depending on your group. This inconsistency is probably the worst part.

    Pay here was lower than what everybody else offered me. Cost of living is significantly higher.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Try to set some ground rules at some point. They don't have to be much, but given the effective 6-week window to pick a group, a little more consistency would be nice.

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
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