UCLA Reviews | Glassdoor

UCLA Reviews

Updated May 16, 2017
518 reviews

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4.0
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UCLA Chancellor Gene D. Block
Gene D. Block
117 Ratings

518 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • Graduate students are overworked as TAs, have minimal parental leave (in 32 reviews)

  • Part time schedule was sporadic (in 22 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "nice place to live"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Research Assistant in Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - Research Assistant in Los Angeles, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at UCLA part-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    nice place to study and nice weather

    Cons

    high living costs and expensive parking


  2. "Not the most exciting work, but generally rewarding and peaceful"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Programmer Analyst in Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - Programmer Analyst in Los Angeles, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at UCLA full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Excellent work life balance. Excellent benefits. Access to UCLA perks, such as campus events and libraries and UCLA discounts. Lots of autonomy if you are in the right role. It's rewarding to contribute to the university. Work deadlines and goals are much less stressful than the private sector.

    Cons

    Bureaucratic! Depending on your department or manager, there's not a lot of ability to make change, or use the best and newest technology. You have to fight to put modern tools and systems in place. Pay is typically below market.


  3. "Library"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Library Assistant in Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - Library Assistant in Los Angeles, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at UCLA (More than a year)

    Pros

    Easy job and got paid decently for not a lot of work

    Cons

    Get blamed for problems that are usually caused by patrons i.e. moving books around


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  5. "Physics dept. grad student"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Graduate Student Researcher in Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - Graduate Student Researcher in Los Angeles, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at UCLA full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    I can really only speak for the physics department (and my subfield specifically), I'm sure the experience differs for other students. UCLA physics seems to be a pretty good place to do graduate study.

    -The professors are top-notch researchers and I've found all the projects I've been involved in to be fairly interesting.

    -The other graduate students are hard-working and very smart.

    -The atmosphere is very academic, but also pretty laid back (I wear shorts and a t-shirt literally every day, and my hair/beard is crazy and no one has ever cared).

    -Lots of opportunities to network with big names in the field; professors are always arranging talks/conferences.

    Cons

    -Average time to PhD for theoretical physics here seems to be about 5-6 years. That's a long time, but it's also pretty average for the field, I'm told.

    -There is definitely a lack of women and POC in the department, but students/faculty are actively working to increase enrollment, and this is a problem in the field as a whole, not just at UCLA.

    -I wish I was paid some more for my TA duties, but I'm not living in poverty, so I guess I can't complain.

    -Be expected to work 40-60 hour weeks if you really want to get your work done (but hey, that's grad school!).


  6. "Great place to work, but beware of bureaucracy"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Contractor - Program Specialist in Los Angeles, CA
    Current Contractor - Program Specialist in Los Angeles, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at UCLA as a contractor (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Great benefits
    Wonderful colleagues
    Decent Salary for Higher Education

    Cons

    bureaucratic environment, like any publicly funded university, change is slow
    Funding cuts to higher education are likely to have an impact on your salary and the opportunity to receive promotions

    Advice to Management

    Continue to hire excellent staff- it truly makes a difference in the experience of your work population.


  7. "Postdoctoral scholar"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Fellow in Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Fellow in Los Angeles, CA
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at UCLA full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Top University and faculty, LA is a great city

    Cons

    This applies only to my mentor/PI, because I did not receive enough guidance and mentorship

    Advice to Management

    Take better care of postdocs in terms of salary and mentorship


  8. "UCLA is wonderful overall but sometimes can feel too big"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Instructor/Lecturer in Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - Instructor/Lecturer in Los Angeles, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at UCLA full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Intelligent students and faculty, awesome facilities. Library is amazing, and the level keeps improving overall! Most faculty have interesting careers outside UCLA

    Cons

    One can easily get lost in the crowd, pay increases are more based on student evaluations and ability to connect with the well chosen higher ups

    Advice to Management

    Make sure each individual's needs are being met


  9. "Programmer/Analyst"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Programmer Analyst II in Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - Programmer Analyst II in Los Angeles, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at UCLA full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Great benefits, great culture and values

    Cons

    Pay below market but stable job


  10. "Teaching Assistant"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Teaching Assistant in Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - Teaching Assistant in Los Angeles, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at UCLA part-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    You get a chance to improve your teaching skills

    Cons

    I can't think of anything


  11. "External Affairs - Advancement Services"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Los Angeles, CA
    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at UCLA full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Good benefits, secure position, some job training. Oftentimes people will stay here 10 or 20+ years, which attests to the atmosphere. Very understanding of work-life balance.

    Cons

    Things move slowly at UCLA, which can be maddening until you get into the rhythm. Individual experiences are based entirely on your department and leadership.

    Advice to Management

    At the top level, leadership has a tendency to present a "I don't care how, get it done" mentality, which ignores intricacies on the ground level. This leaves middle management pressured to make promises that are impossible to fulfill. When this happens, lower-level employees are often placed in front of the firing squad, and the whole process starts again from page one. This cycle can often take years, so it's easy to forget and make the same mistakes over and over.

    Take care of your loyal employees; young blood that sees management act under the understanding that "that person's so close to retirement; we can do anything we want to them because they can't quit" feels they have to get out early for their own well-being.


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