University of Washington Reviews | Glassdoor

University of Washington Reviews

Updated June 5, 2017
99 reviews

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Pros
  • The University of Washington has an excellent culture and work life balance (in 104 reviews)

  • It was a great work environment, my supervisor was very nice so it was easy for me to ask for help if needed (in 107 reviews)

Cons
  • Depending on your department, work-life balance can be difficult to maintain (in 15 reviews)

  • Pay somewhat below private sector (in 26 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (1)

    "Complete culture change within the last 18 months"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I have been working at University of Washington full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Very diverse and inclusive workplace. Casual atmosphere

    Cons

    Outdated technology. No cross communication between departments

    Advice to Management

    Standardize operations


  2. "UW as for grad students"

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

    I have been working at University of Washington part-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    stable income, good healthcare, nice side benefits such as gym and clubs

    Cons

    not quite enough salary because of inflation of rent cost in Seattle

    Advice to Management

    Increase the salary for grad students

  3. Helpful (1)

    "Professors have no accountability for how they treat their grad students"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Graduate Student, Post Doctoral Fellow in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Graduate Student, Post Doctoral Fellow in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at University of Washington full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    good benefits
    good co workers
    Seattle is a beautiful city

    Cons

    Professors have no accountability for how they treat their grad students
    There is no respect for work/life balance
    I have worked in several departments and have encountered both verbally abusive situations and blatant disregard for my privacy. When speaking with HR/ higher ups I was assured of confidentiality, but had my confidence broken within 15 minutes of leaving the office.
    Coming from industry it blew my mind that workers and students were treated so poorly and their wasn't any recourse. I spoke with my co workers, my advisers, HR, and finally, with the ombudsman. The ombudsman was very helpful, but he was the only one.

    Advice to Management

    Require reviews of advisers from students
    Don't dismiss any complaints


  4. "Good Health Care, Low pay, Poor research environment"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Researcher in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Researcher in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at University of Washington full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Access to quality health care on campus is excellent. Numerous clinics around campus in addition to the University Hospital, all well run (at least from the standpoint of the consumer). The campus is especially scenic during cherry blossom season. Work here if you need easy access to good health care and like the pacific northwest, just don't expect to get too much research done or be well paid.

    Cons

    Bureaucracy is terrible and makes running a lab capable of cutting edge research extremely difficult. Faculty don't collaborate well and are typically very underfunded. Research environment is very poor. Outside of working with the minority of faculty who are good and well funded, don't expect to get very much out of a postdoc at UW.

    Advice to Management

    Hire faculty who will work well together and contribute to a vibrant research environment. Consider hiring more staff scientists and engineers rather than postdocs.


  5. "Not a well-oiled machine"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Lecturer in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Senior Lecturer in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at University of Washington full-time (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 Management

    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.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "So glad to be out"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Graduate Research Assistant in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Graduate Research Assistant in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at University of Washington part-time (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 Management

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


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Not a great experience."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at University of Washington full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    I was extremely excited when I received a job offer from UW. I've heard great things about being a UW employee and after doing some research on this site, I saw all the positive reviews and thought it was going to be a great place to work. I was wrong! After a month, I submitted my resignation. I can't wait to be done working here! To be fair, many of my co-workers have told me to explore opportunities in other departments because things can be very different depending on the area you work in. Maybe I just joined the wrong team and the job wasn't a great fit for me. Either way, my advice would be ask A LOT of questions during the interview process to ensure you don't end up in this situation!

    Cons

    Does not pay well, archaic systems, unnecessary processes, monotonous work, controlling managers (micro-managing!!!), little autonomy, not a lot of flexibility (regarding work schedule or time-off), extremely formal, tense culture. In a nutshell, this place operates a lot like many companies did 10 years ago. They need to step it up and get with the times!

    Advice to Management

    Hire managers that will engage and inspire their employees, invest in new systems and put leaders through change management and LEAN training.

  8. "This organization is the most disorganized and confusing place I have ever worked."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Network Specialist in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Network Specialist in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at University of Washington full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Campus is nice especially in summer. When you tell people you work for the UW they are very impressed.

    Cons

    Total lack of coordination within IT which has resulted in multiple groups/organizations working entirely on their own with free rein to do anything with the systems. No communication between groups and no documentation about anything. Everything relies on workers memorys of how things work or did work.

    Advice to Management

    IT needs to be united into one department for everything involved with the UW. All groups need to communicate and work for the good of the UW. There needs to be documentation and standardization of equipment, programs, vendors etc.


  9. "A good place to hone your skills but very cold staff."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    They offer some pretty good assignments. You learn and grow with each project. The staff seem to like what they do. The office culture reflects the great energy of UW's students.

    Cons

    Where can I start? UW and the Seattle freeze go hand in hand. Many of the staff are passive aggressive (like in Admissions). They like people who are local not from other cities, states or countries. If you have dark skin, chances are you won't go far here. For example, in Family Medicine, there is only 1 black female doctor. That dept. is FULL of political issues. They lack the diplomacy and tact to handle people. They like to mistreat people and they don't care at all.

    Advice to Management

    Take some management skill classes to learn how to handle people. You worked there for so long and loses tough of handling people. You may excel in science, but not in people skills.


  10. "Mathematics Grader"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Grader in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Grader in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at University of Washington part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Work at your own pace. Sometimes if your grading assignment has flexible professor, then you will be fine - able to push back graded homework back a week or so.Take home job

    Cons

    Compensation is almost basic wage. Each grading homework is assigned 4 hours regardless of the amount of extra time put to have the homework completely graded. If you don't like reading someone's unreadable handwritting, then this job isn't for you. Also depends on professor for each assigned class for homework to be graded. If professor is very demanding, then it might affect your quarter.


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