University of California Berkeley - Being a GSI (Grad Student Instructor) = zero loans! | Glassdoor
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"Being a GSI (Grad Student Instructor) = zero loans!"

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  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
  • Comp & Benefits
  • Senior Management
Former Contractor - Graduate Student Instructor (GSI) in Berkeley, CA
Former Contractor - Graduate Student Instructor (GSI) in Berkeley, CA
Recommends
No opinion of CEO

I worked at University of California Berkeley as a contractor (More than a year)

Pros

1) I like teaching, and this was interesting and challenging work.

2) My financial aid package from UCB included 2 years as a GSI - which reduced my tuition considerably. Together with a $9,000 scholarship, I was able to complete my MA degree without taking out any loans.

Cons

1) Study-work balance is tough, particularly if it's your first time teaching. I often felt like I was putting more work into my teaching than into my grad studies.

2) Outside of the sciences and MBA school, grad students are largely left to themselves to find GSI work. I was given a GSI position my first semester for the Intro class in my department (Latin American Studies), however I needed to find one myself for all the other semesters. And since my department was very small, I ended up as a GSI for other departments. (That wasn't bad, actually; I enjoyed working for the others ... it was just stressful to renew my GSI applications and search for positions at the beginning of every semester.)

3) The fin aid packages are highly individualized, and many are geared towards STEM majors. I was there from 2007 - 2009. Public universities across the country - including the UC system - are increasing tuition, reducing scholarships, and generally making it harder for people to afford higher education. Although I was lucky, most of my grad school cohort (fellow students) were stuck with huge bills.

Advice to Management

Advise grad students with how to manage their teaching load alongside their studies, and assist them with finding GSI-ships.

Most importantly: MAKE TUITION AFFORDABLE. Offer more scholarships and pathways for people to afford higher education.

Other Employee Reviews for University of California Berkeley

  1. "your experience will depend on your PI"

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    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Fellow in Berkeley, CA
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Fellow in Berkeley, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at University of California Berkeley full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    a very open-minded place in a great location

    Cons

    steep hills everywhere
    lack of office and lab space

    Advice to Management

    help postdocs move to industry positions more


  2. "Great Experience"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Project Manager in Berkeley, CA
    Former Employee - Project Manager in Berkeley, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at University of California Berkeley full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    I enjoyed my flexible schedule, good work community and atmosphere, and good benefits. There was also opportunity to learn new skills, and advancement was encouraged when it could be afforded. The campus was also beautiful.

    Cons

    My salary not competitive. There was also not enough funding for projects and personnel. This lead to less opportunities for advancement and management hardships for new resources that were originally grant-funded.

    Advice to Management

    Management needs to give more credit to the people who are performing the jobs they manage. Managers often do not understand the scope of the day-to-day work and have unrealistic expectations.

There are newer employer reviews for University of California Berkeley
There are newer employer reviews for University of California Berkeley

See Most Recent

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