University of British Columbia

  www.ubc.ca
  www.ubc.ca

University of British Columbia Reviews

Updated November 23, 2014
Updated November 23, 2014
186 Reviews
3.8
186 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    People were nice, helpful, and enjoyable work place

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

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

    Pros

    Flexible hours, Flexible work load, and nice people.
    it is definitely a place where I would go back if I have chance.

    Cons

    There's no cons at this workplace for sure

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 3 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
  3. 8 people found this helpful  

    UBC IT - Management sees no failures, hears no failures and speaks no failures, but are bound for failure

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

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

    Pros

    - Great salary, benefits, pension and vacation package
    - Those who work on the ground are great to work with. They are willing to help and are knowledgeable
    - Relatively slower pace than the private sector, so tends to have better work-life balance (depends on department)

    Cons

    With the recent focus on 3rd party systems rather than in-house development, things have changed for the worst:
    - Management only sees vendors' marketing spin and ignores their own teams' findings
    - There is no communication between those who do and those who manage. This is because management refuses to listen and removes those who do not conform
    - Unrealistic project timelines that do not take into account estimates of those who do the work. Because of this, quality suffers and people are stressed.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Please remove your new style of command and control management. Listen to those who are on the front lines and see with your own eyes what's happening. If you continue down this path, you will only realize the painful errors you're making several years down the road. That's when you'll realize it's too late to turn back.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5. 6 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
  6.  

    Great university with beautiful campus and comfortable working environment

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

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

    Pros

    office culture is good, time is flexible

    Cons

    Construction is always on site, need proper planning so that it won't affect the students' experience. Also, guest parking plots are limited, cannot find a place even with visitor parking slips.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    A better construction plan is needed. Always treat student's working and studying environment as the first priority.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    World-class research

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

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

    Pros

    It was excellent to work with top-notch scientists under well-funded environment. I worked there also in 2002-2004 and the facility has upgraded significantly since then, and the access to facility has improved a lot.

    Cons

    Not any cons that I can think of at the moment.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The chemical storage in the department of chemistry could be in ventilated cupboards instead on shelves. Chemicals were in separated and ventilated cupboards in 4 other institutions in three different countries I have worked in.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Good place to work, good people to work with

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    Current Employee - Executive Assistant in Vancouver, BC (Canada)
    Current Employee - Executive Assistant in Vancouver, BC (Canada)

    I have been working at University of British Columbia full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    The benefits are fantastic, great pension, extended health and dental, and flexible working hours. Working a 9 day fort night is still an option at this company in this position!

    Cons

    the pay is disappointing, but they attempt to make up for it with their benefits. Still, it is hard to live on their salary.

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    Good Overall

    • 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

    Beautiful Environment, Good work hours and benefits

    Cons

    Work can get really tedious at times

  10. 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
  11.  

    Disappointing work environment - a handful of employees manage to ruin it for all the rest.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Teaching Assistant in Kelowna, BC (Canada)
    Current Employee - Teaching Assistant in Kelowna, BC (Canada)

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

    Pros

    Lots of great interaction with students while teaching, ample opportunity to discuss ideas and new solutions to problem that pop up while teaching.

    Cons

    Lab managers do not empower teaching assistants; too much emphasis put on experience instead of competency, which leads to a needlessly political work environment.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take more of an interest in what's going on in the labs and don't take sides with the people you are friends with in political disputes.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

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