University of Otago
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University of Otago Employee Reviews

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4.0
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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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5.0
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Everyday in research is different. The work varies depending on the project and you are learning new skills everyday. Typically you plan an experiment, execute the experiment, analyse the experiment and write a paper on the experiment. You lean to also manage your time, people and resources. The nicest part of the job is the excitement of doing research and science and discovering something new. The hardest part is to have to deal with the failure of an experiment.
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5.0
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I was always kindly greeted by administration staff when I went in to scan and deliver notes. They were very helpful if I had any issues with using the printers.
Pros
Helpful staff
Cons
Low pay for notes delivered
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5.0
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Ph.D. is the hardest and most interesting part of my study at Otago. The lab environment is encouraging and the supervisor is an intellectual and very helpful person. I have learned new techniques and developed a scope towards the field of research I have undertaken.
Pros
good faculty and tea room for relaxation
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5.0
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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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5.0
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Demonstrating is a fantastic way for students to gain experience in teaching and higher education systems. UoOtago and its staff provided an ideal environment for postgraduate students to test their teaching/tutoring skills alongside their peer and superiors.
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5.0
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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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5.0
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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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5.0
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Quite difficult to juggle with your own study if you are also a student.
Good for temporary work experience.

Does not provide full time nor permanent options as need for tutor is dependent on their students needs and requests.


Certainly an enjoyable and rewarding job.


Learnt how to be a role-model for younger students walking the same foot-path and increased my communication skill.
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5.0
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Flexible with my academic workload. Great place to interact between students and lecturers. Able to express ideas and concerns associated with the workload.
Pros
establishing a connection between students and lecturers
Cons
no payment
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3.0
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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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3.0
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There is significant room for improvement - compared to experience in other organisations. I have the feeling that the University, as the biggest employer in town, has not had to expend much effort on improving its operations. A huge review of business processes is under way, this may provide the impetus to step up into the 21st Century.
Pros
Hours are very flexible; in my case: significant freedom on how to approach my tasks
Cons
For many general staff: Flat career structures, low max salaries, 20th century systems with high transactional load, performance systems are less transparent than in other places I have worked
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5.0
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A typical work day would consist of sitting at my desk in my office, working away on eVision as students came into my office and stated their courses and why they wished to change their tutorial stream. I learned how to effectively and efficiently use the University of Otago's eVision and how to relate to students. My co-workers were well mannered and down to earth, I was able to have serious discussions with them about matters concerning their tutorials and the streaming of them. The most enjoyable part of the job was relating to the students as they came into my office.
Pros
My own office, flexibility in hours around other commitments.
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2.0
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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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5.0
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Early start of 7.30am this was to have keys to building available for Trade Staff so they could get an early start on jobs before staff and students arrived for the day. Needed a strong knowledge base on what buildings and what departments are within each building as key are issued by numbers only as a security measure.

Process Requests from Departments for work required on buildings we received up to around 150 per day I needed a strong knowledge base on what trade to send it too, if it was an Urgent requirement. Should the request be sent to facilities manager as the cost maybe over $500.


Management pretty good


Co-workers great team


Dealing with people (staff) when there was someone in their park (it costs a lot of money to have a reserved carpark or someone (students) being towed due to parking in someones park.
Pros
Excellent Salary
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5.0
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Flexible hours, a fun and flexible environment. All while surrounded by like minded people. Students and lecturers alike are aware who I am due to my position.
Pros
Free snacks, being a student representative
Cons
None
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4.0
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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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3.0
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it was fine, I don't understand why I need to review previous workplaces. I enjoyed it, people were nice, was a good place to work
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5.0
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Tutoring was a great job to have while completing my Thesis. in my final masters year.

Took four classes a week, class preparation for what and how i would present the learning material and make it accessible and interesting for students. Classes were an hour long and highly interactive.


Best part was inspiring students and generating debate and discussion in class. Seeing good results in presentations and essays.


Worst part was balancing marking several hundred assignments with writing Thesis and other part time job.


Great leadership from professors I had previously been a student under.
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4.0
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Typical day is setting up the Outlets in the food court for lunch service, count and prepare tills while organising team duties.

Get to interact with many different people and work with a fun crew.


Management is always helpful.


Hardest part of the job is seeing food go to waste.
Pros
Free food if left over
Cons
Not many opportunities for breaks
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5.0
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I specialised in providing exemplary customer service. I learnt how to use 2 very complicated data bases full of confidential library patron information.

The hardest part of the job was that there was always something new to learn, what there was to learn was always changing, and I knew I was on a temporary contract that might not be renewed. It wasn't.


Getting to spend my days at the University of Otago was the best part of this job. Wonderful people, fantastic surroundings, and all the benefits of going to open lectures and spending lunchtimes in the gardens.
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