University of Washington

  www.washington.edu
  www.washington.edu
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University of Washington Reviews

Updated September 18, 2014
Updated September 18, 2014
579 Reviews
3.9
579 Reviews
Rating Trends

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University of Washington President Michael K. Young
Michael K. Young
114 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Work/life balance is pretty good; vacation and sick leave good (in 39 reviews)

  • Very structured education system and great benefits for student (in 40 reviews)


Cons
  • low salary, not easy to commute, living cost is expensive, campus is not very safe (in 15 reviews)

  • Pay is competitive with other non-profits; not competitive with the private sector (but that's to be expected) (in 13 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Great for students as a secodn job

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Student Assistant  in  Tacoma, WA
    Current Employee - Student Assistant in Tacoma, WA

    I have been working at University of Washington part-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Easy, can be a student and work

    Cons

    work follows you home, pay and hours are low

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Spend less money on pointless stuff

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Good mission, reasonably good management

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Analyst  in  Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Analyst in Seattle, WA

    I have been working at University of Washington full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Well-run organization, for the most part
    Convenient location
    The mission is excellent, whether you're in medicine or education
    Colleagues are generally very committed and skilled (little dead wood)
    Good benefits, although the cost share for medical benefits is creeping up (~$80/mo, for an OK plan)

    Cons

    Job security is low
    Unless you can take a bus there, transportation and parking are difficult and expensive. Subsidized transit pass helps.
    Skills and job training aren't free (your department has to pay)
    Pay is competitive with other non-profits; not competitive with the private sector (but that's to be expected)

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I'm sure they're aware of anything I could say here.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    it's a good place to work at.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Graduate Research Assistant  in  Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Graduate Research Assistant in Seattle, WA

    I have been working at University of Washington full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    the weather is moderate and the people are nice. The technology scene is vibrating.

    Cons

    Sometimes it can get really gloomy over the winter. The management is not top-tier.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get people from broader scientific background in.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Great place to work

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at University of Washington

    Pros

    Nice people to work with

    Cons

    Far away from one building to the other

  6.  

    Academic atmosphere with great benefits

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Web Developer  in  Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Web Developer in Seattle, WA

    I have been working at University of Washington full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Fair compensation, good insurance benefits, 403(b) investment options & match are nice (though match varies based on age, contributions are also mandatory after 1 year; I've never seen this before), access to WA State 457(b), flexible work environment, great work life balance, good professional development opportunities (conferences, workshops, learning materials, "POD" classes, some tuition reimbursement but it's tough to use), plenty of smart motivated people all around the University, pay increases are merit based and beat inflation, low cost unlimited use transit pass (or free with paid parking on campus), good bike accessibility but could embrace bike-commute culture more (showers in buildings and more indoor bike storage, please?).

    Beautiful campus with a thriving academic culture and serious student involvement. You really get out of this place what you put in to it. If you embrace the culture, and embrace "the U", you can have an amazing work experience here.

    Cons

    The commute can be hard (time consuming) if you live more than a few miles away from campus. Parking on campus is expensive. Housing & rent prices are expensive near campus. Vacation time is so-so, only 3 weeks to start and you don't reach 4 until your 6th year, this maxes out just shy of 5 weeks in your 9th year. Most graduate programs do not participate in tuition reimbursement (don't plan on getting a free graduate degree by working here).

    Departments on campus are very isolated and "do their own thing". Working for central IT would be a very different experience from working in a different unit or for one of the schools/colleges. This is both good and bad. On the good side, schools and colleges can develop their own culture, be extremely focused on their students, faculty, and researchers, meeting needs central IT never could. But on the downside, this leaves little room for advancement, many smaller IT units function more like a start up than a well oiled corporation (maybe this isn't bad?), and teams can be small, short staffed, and you might not have someone with advanced experience to learn from. This does afford a lot of freedom, and grant a lot of responsibility though.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Continue to provide great feedback to your employees so they know where they stand and what is expected of them. Shelter your employees from as much of the higher level bureaucracy as you can (there isn't a lot of it, but your employees shouldn't have to deal with most of it). Encourage professional development, allow and help your staff get involved in the greater campus community (give them time for this).

    Embrace modern management trends in the tech sector and trust your employees.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Work-Study at GU Cancer Research

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Student Assistant  in  Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Student Assistant in Seattle, WA

    I worked at University of Washington part-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Benefits are good & accessible at UW, even for temporary employees. The lab I worked in showed great flexibility in striking a good work-life balance - work didn't interfere with my studies.

    Cons

    Wages are flat & low for research associates at the lab I work in, leading to discontent. Work-study positions afford limited learning opportunities - the only skill sets I acquired were processing blood samples and handling biohazardous waste properly.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Nice place to gain some work experience for your next job

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Acting Instructor  in  Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Acting Instructor in Seattle, WA

    I have been working at University of Washington full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Lots of faculties to interact with

    Cons

    Pay is too low, work stressful at times

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    being a grad student sucks

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Graduate Research Assistant  in  Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Graduate Research Assistant in Seattle, WA

    I have been working at University of Washington full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    It is nice to have funding to attend conferences around the country. You get good public speaking skills.

    Cons

    There is no concept of work life balance. You're supposed to work 60+ hour weeks yet be happy with salary policies that assume 20 hr weeks. There is no time for teaching but that is required too. The health insurance sucks.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    People go to grad school to learn, but they are also at the time usually adults in their mid-late 20s or older with bills to pay and families. Being treated like students despite working full-time robs us of dignity and financial benefits (like decent health insurance).

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    Not a well-oiled machine

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Lecturer  in  Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Senior Lecturer in Seattle, WA

    I worked at University of Washington full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    * Flexible schedule for the most part
    * Amazing architecture in some of the buildings

    Cons

    * Limited opportunities for growth
    * Non-existent avenues for feedback and engagement with administration
    * Lack of vision
    * Lack of interest in educating students and mostly concerned about either money or power

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Remember that universities are meant to educate and conduct research. Over-emphasis on administration, compensation and squeezing money out of everything leads to the complaint most students have - we are caught in a money-grabbing operation with learning taking a back seat.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    So glad to be out

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Graduate Research Assistant  in  Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Graduate Research Assistant in Seattle, WA

    I worked at University of Washington part-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Select professors have amazing amounts of funding, and the graduate health benefits are decent. If you get a committee that doesn't chastise you for taking courses outside your department that help you do your research, you have it made!

    Cons

    These comments apply only to my old department, I hope. Tenured professors weren't held accountable for their actions (e.g. sloppy teaching, poor advising, sexist remarks), but I suppose that's more a problem with tenure than with UW. Horrendous and toxic office culture, and the administration is often completely oblivious to student needs. You were seen as weak if you prioritized your life outside of work.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't solicit money from students BEFORE they graduate. I got several calls starting a year before graduation.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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