University of Otago
4.2 out of 5 stars.
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University of Otago Culture reviews

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PhD student

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I worked as a teaching assistant and PhD student in Dunedin, Otago. Depending on the department, the culture is different. salaries for PhD and PostDocs are good and fair. However, job security after graduation is an issue. The administration workflow is amazing. Very smooth and quick in responses.
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Great place to work

Extremely easy to get a long with people and company culture.

Pros

Stability

Cons

Small town
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The department had a terrible culture

The department had a terrible culture. The staff organizing the labs were great but any higher up and there was a culture of gossip and belittling as soon as someone turned their back. Not uncommon to see people reduced to tear by supervisors.
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nice workplace for hourly student worker

Tutored/worked as a teaching assistant at the university and it was an overall very enjoyable experience. Competitive pay compared to much more menial jobs.
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Balance of work and fun

Balance of work and fun. The job environment is very professional but friendly. Also, there is a mixture of different international cultures that is awesome.
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A very toxic work environment

DO NOT WORK HERE The ratings/reviews for the University of Otago on this site are quite unbelievable. It's almost as if the University's HR/Marketing teams have populated it with favourable reviews as part of a team bonding exercise. The only thing stopping this was being 100% accurate is that the University doesn't do team building exercises because that would imply they actually cared about their workforce, which they don't. The University of Otago is a very toxic environment where staff moral is at rock bottom. Management straight out lie to staff and they essentially have 3 plans. 1 - oppose all liquor licenses for pubs in the area and once the site is available, buy the lease for the property and turn it into a study space....then wonder why students booze up at home. 2 - Install CCTV camera on campus and on public streets not owned by the University so they can spy on students doing things they would have normally done in pubs, but because they've all closed are now done at flats. 3 - Promote the University of Otago as a destination for Health Science....even to people who aren't interested in these study options, or to people who stand absolutely no chance of getting into their preferred course such as medicine...why do this? Easy, because if they told them what preparation they really needed, the University wouldn't fill up their BSc courses with lots of rejected Health Science Students. I worked at Otago for a decade...10 years of essentially zero professional development, constantly being asked to cut costs yet deliver more, watched as Management across - 

Pros

There are other university's/organisations you can work for so you don't need to work at Otago

Cons

the list is too long, but an absolutely disgraceful HR team is a good place to start
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Located in a very beautiful city

Life here is relaxing and people are nice. Employees are respected and your work is appreciated by your colleagues. Employers are willing to support your continued education.
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dental technician

great place to work and learn new skills. This was my first role in the health industry and taught me so much on safe work practices. Staff were great
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Productive and fun workplace

Nice people, great place to work. Excellent culture of hard work fostered in the students and displayed by the hierarchy. Being a good example to students as important as teaching.
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Good place

Great place to work with great people in a great location. really enjoyable and really easy to get to know people. A high level of research facility with a lot of facilities
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Relaxing workplace

Very relaxing job. Very good pay. Most enjoyable part of job is to help students with computer tasks. Hardest part of job is to meet deadlines when marking students' assignments.
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Typical institution everyone and everything is monitored but made some nice friends and workmates

Typical day at work was to greet your co-workers talk to your immediate colleagues about work related matters. Learnt how to communicate with people and staff at the time and maintain a good repore with those around you, learnt to read what management expected of you and to achieve those goals. Learnt to mix with co-workers and work as a team. Hardest part of the job was to deal with changes in academic management and maintaining the research contracts, to their expectations. Most enjoyable part of the job was making friendships with my colleagues.

Pros

Relaxed atmosphere most days

Cons

sometimes difficult to get leave
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A bit of a Tower of Babel

There tends to be lots of turf wars and intrigues. It's a big ship and takes a lot of time to reach decision and implement changes. In fairness, that's pretty typical of all big government/bureaucratic organisations. So I wouldn't hold it against the University. One unusual thing is that it's a very decentralised institution. Power really reside with each HOD and the core management structure can have difficulty normalising processes and decision making across the University. If you're considering a job at the University of Otago, take the time to research the culture of the department you'll be working in as this can very quite a lot. Some departments are really easy going, while other are very formal and up-tight.

Pros

Good pay, relatively easy going in most departments, Dunedin is a comfortable city to live in

Cons

A bit of bureaucratic mess, not very challenging
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Very fun environment & culturally exciting

It is fun to work with students from all different cultures. I have learned how to be helpful and be responsible, managed time between study, family and work, and receive massive help and support from co-workers if need to. I enjoy the job because I get to help and often support younger students with any issues regarding study. I provide support with good understanding of being a student myself.

Pros

free coffee, food and especially fruits everyday.
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Research, Analysis and Administration

- Administration based tasks, computer, filing, scanning, photocopying, communicating with students and academic staff, management meetings, managing junior staff, research based tasks such as running participants, preparing project materials, analysis of data - Management of staff, preparing for meetings, working as a team, tight deadlines - Great team environment with hard working co-workers - None, enjoyed every aspect of the job - Working with an enthusiastic team and helping students.

Pros

Great team environment doing interesting research

Cons

None
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A fantastic professional work setting that encourages research and teamwork

A typical work day would involve independent research, that may involved a practical lab component or analysing published literature. At this working institution I have learnt a large portion of my technical expertise and expanded my working knowledge of sciences. The management was fantastic with, great staff members in administration and excellent supervisors. Co-workers are professional and sociable, in an environment that encourages forward thinking and teamwork. The hardest component was also the most enjoyable part of the job, working independently on a project that may not be well published or understood, but grasping an understanding to the project through peer mediation and research gives a sense of satisfaction.

Pros

a team work driven environment

Cons

some long hours
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Overall rating

4.2

Based on 63 reviews
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4.1Work/Life Balance
3.8Salary/Benefits
3.4Job Security/Advancement
3.7Management
3.9Culture
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