University of Waterloo Reviews | Glassdoor

University of Waterloo Reviews

Updated August 24, 2017
18 reviews

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University of Waterloo President Feridun Hamdullahpur
Feridun Hamdullahpur
6 Ratings

18 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Great Environment, Good Work Life Balance, More Co-ops (in 18 reviews)

  • Flexible hours and courses were generally easy to tutor (in 31 reviews)

Cons
  • Salary is not very high but I guess this is the same for all graduate students in all universities :) (in 12 reviews)

  • Not easy to find work life balance (in 6 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "postdoctoral research associate"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at University of Waterloo full-time

    Pros

    good environment, good people to work with

    Cons

    organization is terrible, you can not get anything done and no staff cares about your presence in university.

    Advice to Management

    take people and position more seriously.


  2. "Grad student"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at University of Waterloo (More than a year)

    Pros

    -Lots of talented people
    -Good access to resources
    -Good research reputation
    -Proximity to Toronto
    -Climate (conpared ro rest of Canada)

    Cons

    -Pay is low and tuition fees are high (~$10K/year)
    -Health benefits (specifically vision) are not very good
    -Very ugly campus
    -Too much of an emphasis on turning everything into a product to sell

  3. "PhD Student"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Flexible hours, modern facilities, scholarship and grant opportunities

    Cons

    Demanding, high stress, support from administration and professor lacking, difficulty obtaining critical equipment, poor leadership


  4. "Mixed opinions"

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

    I worked at University of Waterloo full-time

    Pros

    Better pay than most places, benefits and pension for full time.
    Flex time/vacation

    Cons

    Bad politics
    Ineffective leadership in some departments
    Good staff are not appreciated; go to private if you like to bring new ideas.
    Not enough staff in some departments while others have people sitting around twiddling their thumbs.
    Inequitable pay grades across campus
    Inequitable distribution of work across teams in some departments
    Mostly lazy and incompetent people
    Very hard to advance especially if you enter the organization as a program adminisrator. Better to be in marketing and recruitment type role if you want to be successful here.
    Good benefits and pension will trap you into entering the organization/staying way longer than you should

    Advice to Management

    Get rid of the slushy hiring freeze so that departments that need staff are supported.
    Reevaluate pay grades across campus
    Hire better managers who want to develop staff
    reorganize departments so that underutilized staff don't get paid to do nothing while other people do weeks of overtime that they will never be able to take as flex time


  5. "research associate"

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

    Pros

    relaxed work environment and good culture

    Cons

    no future, little pay and garbage work


  6. "UWAFT - Communications Manager"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Events and Communications Associate in Waterloo, ON (Canada)
    Current Employee - Events and Communications Associate in Waterloo, ON (Canada)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Fabulous facilities and state of the art buildings
    Inspiring place to work

    Cons

    Difficult to find parking spots

    Advice to Management

    keep up the good work


  7. "Administration"

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

    Pros

    Students are passionate and enjoy getting involved

    Cons

    Salaries are far below industry average, and management needs to be revisited.

  8. "If you're a software developer, stay away from Enterprise Systems"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Software Developer
    Former Employee - Senior Software Developer
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at University of Waterloo full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    • Competitive mental/dental benefits and pay
    • Diversity of staff, faculty, and students, many different cultures and ideas
    • Best on-boarding experience I’ve ever had, the HR team does a tremendous job of getting new staff members familiar with all of the benefits of working at the University as well as getting staff aligned early with the University’s culture and values
    • University has a prestigious reputation which means they can draw industry leading professionals to speak at the various conferences and presentations that are hosted throughout the year…this is a benefit that is unique to the University.

    Cons

    Enterprise Systems leaders specifically the director and the development manager do not in any way follow the University’s values or culture. They exhibit bullying and vindictive behavior as soon as they feel their authority is questioned, which is anytime a new idea is brought forward. Unfortunately this has created an oppressive atmosphere in Enterprise Systems that promotes a heads down and do what you’re told and don’t rock the boat by speaking up mentality. These same leaders preach often about collaborative culture, with emphasis on not just what is accomplished but how, which is entirely reasonable, except they do not lead by example. I was hired based on specific past experiences and skills I had obtained throughout my career to come in and affect positive changes particularly around the team’s SDLC. And for the first 4-5 months I was doing that and the feedback was extremely positive. Our team was building momentum, our output was improving, our quality was improving, and our clients were never happier. Other teams on the same floor often commented about the “energy” that was always present around our work area. Then it happened. Our team was getting too “high feeling” and we were starting to become empowered. Then the leadership swooped in and re-aligned us. Meetings of “you do as direct by…” followed, and if we were not responding well to those (read compliance - which I wasn’t) then the disciplinary meetings followed where things like “someone overheard you say this in the lunch room last week”, or “someone mentioned you seemed anti-social in the elevator this morning”. Then things got quiet again, the energy was gone, everybody was doing what they were told. And I left.


  9. "Research / teaching assistant"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at University of Waterloo part-time

    Pros

    Flexibility. State of the art equipment and projects.

    Cons

    Not enough money. different situation in different groups.


  10. "OK Place to Work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - AV Technical Coordinator in Waterloo, ON (Canada)
    Current Employee - AV Technical Coordinator in Waterloo, ON (Canada)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Consistent hours
    Opportunities for overtime.
    Interaction with different ages, races, and cultures on a regular basis.
    Work never got in the way of my personal life.
    Great benefits

    Cons

    Lack of direction and goals
    Same work day in and day out with no sign of evolution.
    Politics trumped creativity and accomplishment

    Advice to Management

    Encourage creativity, take responsibility for the good and bad that happens, learn to work together instead of around each other.


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