University of British Columbia Reviews in Canada | Glassdoor

University of British Columbia Canada Reviews

Updated August 17, 2017
394 reviews

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4.0
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University of British Columbia President and Vice-Chancellor Arvind Gupta
Arvind Gupta
52 Ratings

394 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Work-life balance valued (most departments closed or very quiet over Christmas break and Summer break; flex schedules available for certain positions) (in 34 reviews)

  • laid back, intellectual, beautiful campus (in 65 reviews)

Cons
  • Low salary and lots of paper work to get the work done (in 22 reviews)

  • Quite low pay for some positions (in 13 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "a black or white organization; very harsh"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Vancouver, BC (Canada)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Vancouver, BC (Canada)
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    the pay was very good

    Cons

    management not looking at the big picture; management not visiting casuals on job site; management contradicting their own policies and procedures; management construing situational stories as they see it; not as it really is; management dismissing casual staff right after a family member dies; management seducing the union

    Advice to Management

    visit the Dalia Lama or Thich Naht Hahn and learn about unity, love, kindness, compassion, deep listening, deep understanding


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Very difficult working environment unless you have a skillset that can't easily be replaced. Some ethical concerns."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Advancement Services Employee in Vancouver, BC (Canada)
    Former Employee - Advancement Services Employee in Vancouver, BC (Canada)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at University of British Columbia full-time

    Pros

    Interesting work.
    Some positions are paid well. Can ask for mid-point salary if you are expected to hit the ground running.
    Some positions receive a lot of recognition.
    Some positions have great work/life balance.
    The annual vacation allotment is generous. Can negotiate for more vacation time when hired.

    Cons

    Low morale.
    Very few career opportunities, if any, though they say there are to keep you motivated.
    Every aspect of your performance is analyzed.
    Bi-annual performance reviews.
    Passive aggressiveness.
    The contents of your email account are not private.

    Advice to Management

    Unethical focus on results over people and privacy.
    Way too much time spent analyzing people under the guise of career coaching.
    No good can come from openly criticizing unions and people.

  3. "Just avoid this hell-hole like a plague!!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Masters Student in Vancouver, BC (Canada)
    Former Employee - Masters Student in Vancouver, BC (Canada)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at University of British Columbia full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    None! It has no redeeming qualities! Nada! Zilch!!

    Cons

    Lots! Starving wages. Slave-like labour. Lots of teaching duties. Outrageously expensive city: with the starving wages they pay you, you'll be dreaming about having two meals a day. The administrative staff are condesending and unfriendly. The profs could not care less for your well-being. And on top of it all, the weather is positively miserable, which is probably why everyone is so difficult to deal with as well. Just go to Toronto or Montreal or even Waterloo would be better.

    Advice to Management

    Take fewer students and fund them better: it's really not rocket science.


  4. "Dismal Experience with UBC-PHCRI"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Clinical Research Coordinator in Vancouver, BC (Canada)
    Current Employee - Clinical Research Coordinator in Vancouver, BC (Canada)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Full time employers having achieved a few years of full time work can qualify for pension plan, UBC offers courses to employees.

    Cons

    Very little and much below average salary to industry norm, no health care benefits, insufficient support from UBC ethical management. Policy favours employers, such as Vancouver Coastal Health and Providence Health Care Research Institute, to abuse contract employees by giving very low salary with no health care coverage and no pension.

    Advice to Management

    As a graduate of UBC biological science undergrad who struggled to find a job at UBC on graduating from UBC because many jobs have been awarded to foreign and non-UBC grads, I think it would be on UBC's reputation and responsibility to look out for its graduates in obtaining a job. I witnessed that graduates from foreign countries are being given the priority as they get majority of the jobs over UBC graduates. Also, many small hospital contractors at hospitals, like PHCRI, and perhaps other industries under the flag of UBC hire graduated students at often below average salaries for the industry norm. On top of this, PHCRI UBC does not give health care coverage to their contract employees working at dangerous and hazardous conditions at the hospital. They expect that their employees pay for their own health insurance.


  5. Helpful (4)

    "Avoid UBC IT"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Vancouver, BC (Canada)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Vancouver, BC (Canada)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    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 Management

    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.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Unappreciated & Underpaid for Level of Responsibility"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Lab Technician in Kelowna, BC (Canada)
    Former Employee - Lab Technician in Kelowna, BC (Canada)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at University of British Columbia (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Benefits are OK and access to equipment is good. Things are relatively lax, but sometimes too lax.

    Cons

    Little support from senior admin to resolve conflicts. Work schedules during regular teaching terms are completely unrealistic & when things go wrong the support staff are always the 1st to be blame. The coodinators cram too many students in each lab meaning many students have virtually no practical experience before they graduate. Space is very limited which adds to the problem. Pay is extremely low for the level of responsibility & amount of work involved. There is a high employee turnover in the support staff but it doesn't seem to matter much to the admins.

    Advice to Management

    This is the worst job I ever had. Stop treating employees like just assets. Try to better coordinate teaching labs so that they are more effective for the students & can be better supported by the limited staff. Look at providing fair level of pay for amount of work performed based on level responsibility. Stop blaming support staff when things go wrong. Focus on the important things & stop micro-managing.


  7. "Researcher - post doctoral"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Vancouver, BC (Canada)
    Former Employee - Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Vancouver, BC (Canada)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Huge university, huge collection of books, journals.

    Cons

    Faculty (physics dept) really below the average.

    Advice to Management

    hire better people at phas.ubc less arrogant and better educated.

  8. "Great Place but not for me"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Vancouver, BC (Canada)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Vancouver, BC (Canada)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at University of British Columbia (More than a year)

    Pros

    You can take free courses in anything you want.

    Cons

    There is no flexibility because it is a union run environment. If you don't have a Master's degree your opinion doesn't count. In my area the environment is very hostile and negative. Staff are always complaining about their bosses or their work environment but keep working there just because of the pension plan.

    Advice to Management

    Anyone who is promoted to a Managerial position or is applying for such position should attend the Manager Training offered by UBC. My manager has no idea how to manage people at all.


  9. "A 6 dressed up as a 9"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Administrative Assistant in Vancouver, BC (Canada)
    Former Employee - Administrative Assistant in Vancouver, BC (Canada)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    -extended benefits, pro D funds

    Cons

    -hierarchical, bureaucratic
    -full of power politics and unethical, ruthless management who will find all kinds of loopholes in the complicated HR system to get what they want.
    -lack of transparency and ethics
    -low pay
    -its primary concern is business not education or students

    Advice to Management

    take a good look at yourself before you throw your weight around


  10. "good place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Vancouver, BC (Canada)
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Vancouver, BC (Canada)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at University of British Columbia full-time

    Pros

    I like everything about this employer

    Cons

    there is no cons and pros

    Advice to Management

    keep doing what you doing


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