University of Otago
4.2 out of 5 stars.
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University of Otago Work–Life Balance reviews

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Great place to work

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

Pros

Stability

Cons

Small town
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Just another job.

Ridiculously stressful with twice the workload I signed up for with no appreciation. The only thing that made it worth it until it lasted was my passion for Science and even that couldn't save it.
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Good for independent workers

If you are a real self-starter and happy to make things work for yourself and your students, this university can be a good fit. There is a lot of freedom to design your job.

Pros

Intellectual freedom

Cons

University beaurocracy and red tape
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Productive

Excellent balance of work life balance i addition to management of research. This work has allowed me to grow and enhance my research skills to develop innovative research thinking.
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A place for international-grade learning

I had an amazing work-life balance, with supervisors and laboratory scientists that aim to teach undergraduates to become a better researcher in almost every way.
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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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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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Fast moving and efficient cooks. slow dishwashers

A typical shift would be come in, get changed in a small changing room, walk through to the kitchen area ad start washing pots and other kitchen equipment for the next 5 or 6 hours.

Pros

Sometimes we could take home uneaten professionally cooked food.

Cons

work tended to be boring and never had a end.
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Fulfilling hard work.

During my final year at University i had the opportunity to produce an album of a local band. Through this experience i learnt about the recording studio environment and how to time manage myself as well as the band and the engineer. Learning the ins and outs of the music industry trade while also gaining hands on experience was a experience i will never forget. Working long hours under time restraints and having to get the best out of all involved was my job as manager and i thrived on the situation. Finishing the album with a happy team was well worth the late nights and stress that came with the opportunity.

Pros

Hands on experience, recording studio understanding
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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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Good vocation but watch out for managers with bruised egos

The area I worked in (ITS) was great for the technical challenges and the good work colleagues. It is constantly evolving. The three downsides are: little chance for advancement as the job structure is such that each position does not naturally lead to another higher position; the training (when provided) in gear only for the company's own requirements with no consideration to your personal industry development; the HR structure is such that they will support a manager over a staff member even where there is evidence to the contrary - they act as judge, jury and executioner with no reffective rghts of appeal (within the system).
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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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