University of Southern California Employee Reviews

Found 289 reviews matching the search
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Lots of great people; but a few that ruin it all
Research Lab Director (Former Employee) –  Los Angeles, CAMay 8, 2013
USC is a highly prestigious university to be associated with. Many of the people I was around during my time there were pleasant, likeable, and helpful. However, they all were not so delightful.

I moved across the country to take a job with USC in August of 2011. I was asked to commit to 2 years in the department up front. I was promised full time hours. At first, I was promised 40 hours per week, but once I started working, full time turned into 37.5 hours per week. That's a large chunk of change when you think long term.

After working for about 10 months, my supervisor suddenly began to have complaints about my work. It was as though it came out of nowhere. I went from receiving lots of praise and positive reinforcement to receiving only negative feedback. Then, on July 1st, 2012, I was told that I had to start working part time hours (18.75 per week) due to budget issues. This was after I was guaranteed full time hours before moving across the country. My supervisor never filed the proper paperwork with HR to move me to half time because they didn't like to play by the university's rules.

Then, toward the end of 2012, I was told that my job would be posted for advertisement online and that as soon as a replacement was found, I would be let go. My supervisor even had the nerve to say I could stay on and help train my replacement. This was the last straw for me. I took this information and evidence I could gather through emails, etc. to the Human Resources office.

The people in HR acted very concerned about what was going on. They told me they were glad I had approached
  more... them, and what my supervisor was doing was not right. They even went as far as to say that my supervisor seemed to have problems following the rules in other situations. They immediately called and told my supervisor that they had no grounds to get rid of me based on my performance. I was told that they were going to investigate the situation, and that they would look to transfer me to a different position in the university where I would carry over the same salary and hours (which, in the university system was still full time). At this point, I went on medical leave for 3 weeks on the advice of my physician. I had undergone so much undue stress from my supervisor that my blood pressure was in the high range. Doctor even tried to offer me anti-anxiety meds, but I know enough about them to refuse that sort of treatment.

Upon returning, after nothing happened for weeks and I continued to work in an EXTREMELY hostile work environment, I tried to get in touch with people in HR to find out what was happening. The situation continued to get worse with my supervisor to the point where she wouldn't even communicate with me.

Then, out of the blue, my supervisor asks if I could meet one afternoon. I go into the conference room to find my supervisor sitting next to the HR representative that had appeared ready to lay down everything to make things right for me only weeks before. The HR rep proceeded to tell me that I was being laid off, and that my position was being eliminated. I received a month's pay followed by a month of severance (which was better than what I was going to get before), but here we are in May, 3 months after being laid off, and I still don't have a job.

Basically, the HR department here looks out for the supervisors and ignores terrible things that are happening to regular employees. I watched myself get laid off for budget cuts while my supervisor went to conferences every single month and spend thousands on 5-star hotels, flights, meals, etc. out of the same budget my salary came from. Something isn't right there. And I had to process the receipts! On several instances, my supervisor flew across country to "work with a colleage" and spend upwards of $500 per night on hotel rooms and ate dinner at places where the bill was over $300 for no more than 3 people. I still have the electronic versions of the receipts to prove it, actually.

Something is wrong here, and it certainly wasn't my performance.
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Pros
great retirement plan
Cons
corrupt management, hostile workplace, no structure
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The USC Summer Program is an intensive academic, social, cultural, and recreational experience for Los Angeles county youth and parents.
Academic Coordinator (Former Employee) –  Los Angeles, CAOctober 1, 2015
It’s goal is to assist first generations college bound students from economically disadvantaged families to prepare for and succeed in a post-secondary educational program. I learned too be patient, have empathy and leadership skills. Provide assistance with registration and course scheduling, participate in recruitment events on and off campus, provide leadership in organizing, implementing, and evaluating students’ academic progress,student advising; evaluation of transfer credit, review of admissions petitions, issuance of status reports, clearing of seniors for graduation and other student services, coordinate college fairs and organize outreach programs for students and parents, assistance in selecting a major or school of interest, develop programs designed to increase student’s participation in college services, maintains direct contact with students providing academic, personal, and career advising, coordinate off-campus advising services, including developing programs to assist underrepresented students, ensures that all students integrate career and/or life ambitions with knowledge and skills acquired from experiences both in and out of the classroom, responsible for two million dollar departmental budget; researching census data, organized and prepared grant proposal for USC-Upward Bound program.

My co-workers are great we all work together and make sure the our students receive the same opportunities as everyone else. Tutoring, Saturday classes and after school events, we all participated together for the student success.

The hardest part of the job is having
  more... to watch a student choose the wrong road. Seeing their failing grades. No one really cares, but me and the staff. Sometimes there is nothing we can do, but we try with mentoring, social, cultural and recreational experiences.

The most enjoyable part of the job, was watch them over come adversary and finish the university's program. Then they would come to my office and ask for a letter of recommendation, and enroll in a college of their choice. Just watching them succeed and helping the community is a very rewarding experience.
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Pros
The culture events, going to plays and concerts, like the Lion King, The Hollywood Bowl and travaling to visit other colleges.
Cons
Sometimes you have the responabilty of 40 to 50 minor students. Working long hours, making sure a student is very well behaved. If anyting goes wrong, I would be held totally responable.
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Organized and encouraging place the work and study.
Teaching Assistant (Current Employee) –  Los Angeles, CAOctober 31, 2014
I personally scheduled my office hour before the discussion session so that if the students have questions about previously learnt material, we can have the chance to discuss one-to one before jumping into new material. During the discussion session on Tuesday, I would quickly go over the theoretical concepts taught in the lecture by the in structor, following by a sequence of explanation of example problems to demonstrate application and enhance students' understanding of the abstract theory. During the process, I would be checking if the students are following or having problems with any materials from time to time. Thursday discussion sessions is divided into two parts. The first 20 minutes would be devoted to answering questions that the students still have after Tuesday's discussion. During the rest of the class, students would be taking a quiz designed to testify their understanding of the week's material.

what I learned from the teaching experience with undergraduate students is that people with different background requires different techniques while introducing them to new concepts and ideas. Being a teaching assistant requires me to look at the material I am familiar with from the aspect of someone that sees it for the first time and utilize different tools to help students accept and understand the seemingly abstract and difficult concepts and definition of math before having any negative attitude toward it. And this is also the hardest part of the job.

The most enjoyable part of the job is to see the students excel, especially improve in exams following the techniques
  more... and tricks that I presented in class, which shows that they did follow in class and absorbed what I taught.  less
Pros
free afternoon tea.
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Great name and place but sad results
Project assistant/ medicine (Former Employee) –  Los Angeles, CAFebruary 1, 2013
This is a desirable work place to start with and to help to know the business culture in a place that is not far from where we live. The experience will introduce us to the diverse cultural background of our coworkers who we meet everyday and try to interact despite these cultural differences which sometime can be very interesting and exciting to connect and network with. The sad part is that managers and supervisors who continue to work there from many decades and from last century are not open or easy to communicate with. Somebody told me that this place was a jungle before starting of my employment 15 years ago which I could not ascertain until I have actually lived and worked there to find out about the untold rules and policies being run with. One particular aspect that I would like to bring into attention is their abuse of major employment laws and policies of the U.S. government that goes undetected. Do not expect any progress in your carrier no matter how much hard work and sacrifice you commit, especially if you are not part of the "circle".
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Productive and Fun Place to Work
Budget & Business Analyst (Former Employee) –  Los Angeles, CADecember 4, 2012
I am fan of University of Southern California. I spent the best four years of my life at U.S.C. I had the opportunity to be a student and a staff at this amazing university. A typical day at work was that it was different everyday. You never know what a student, staff or faculty may need. You always have something to do and if not, there are professional advancement classes one can take to improve one's skills. Management was well-organized and well-trained, therefore most employees were well trained as well. Co-Workers were awesome, productive and fun to be around. The hardest part of the job was cranky faculty or ill-mannered students towards the staff no matter how nice and informative one was, there was always someone difficult to deal with. A lot of different personalities and multiple cultural backgrounds could be challenging for some but I love the diversity of this university. People from all parts of the world were working together in one place to the betterment of society, that was the most enjoyable part of my job, to see and meet so many people.
Pros
programs for seniors, education, stability
Cons
working on grants to ensure they are submitted on time
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Looking for Internship positions in the areas of Digital VLSI/ Computer Architecture
Research Lab Assistant (Current Employee) –  Los Angeles, CAAugust 28, 2013
Currently working as Research lab assistant at University of Southern California,
For PCB building and testing/debugging for SoliScope project.

TECHNICAL SKILLS
Hardware Description Language: Verilog , VHDL
 Programming Languages: C, C++
 Tools: Virtuoso 6.1-Cadence EDA tools, ModelSim, Matlab, MPLAB IDE v8.30, AUTOCAD2008

Courses taken at USC:
EE457-Computer System (Organization and Architecture)
EE477- MOS VLSI Circuit Design
EE557-Computer Systems Architecture
EE577a-VLSI System Design
EE554-Real Time Computer Systems
EE560-Digital System Design -- Tools and Techniques

PROJECTS
1) Processor based on Tomasulo algorithm (Tools Used:- Modelsim, Xilinx, Digilent Adept)

2) CMT Processor Design

3) Code Coverage, Timing Analysis and Content Addressable Memory (CAM)

4) Implementation of MOESI protocol

5) FIFO Implementation (Tools: Xilinx ISE, Design Compiler, NCSim)

6) Design of a general purpose CPU

7) Design of 5-stage in-order linear instruction pipeline

8) Full custom standard cell micro library characterization (Spectre, 180nm TSMC)

9) Digital neuron and its network (with FANOUT=99)

10) Zigbee Based Monorail Control System
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Typical Workplace Summary
Human Resources Technician, Senior (Current Employee) –  Los Angeles, CAJanuary 7, 2016
A typical day at work involves a high paced environment dispersed across the Southern California corridor. Throughout the day, I conduct processes to identify possible problematic situations, before they occur. While providing situational insight, to alleviate and reconcile those identified issues. Also, manages 3 counterpart Human Resource Technicians, providing guidance and procedural protocol in the implementation and submission of personnel actions.

Co-workers: I work along side 3, 1 Army Officer and 2 Senior Non-Commissioned Officer. With such a diverse make-up, we promote diversity of environment; while maintaining the lowest possible stress level.

Job Difficulties: The most difficult part of my job is the flow of communication from higher command echelons. For the most part, the information flow is very cryptic in nature and typically left up to interpretation.

The enjoyable aspects of my job, would have to be the diversity of the team I work with. Everyone promotes loyalty; while being open enough to speak one's mind, without malice or slight.
Pros
Work hour flexibility
Cons
The level of responsibility far exceeds the pay rate.
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Executive Secretary to the Dean - Higher Education
Executive Secretary to the Dean (Current Employee) –  Los Angeles, CAJanuary 9, 2015
Change is the only constant in my day requiring that I switch gears seamlessly without sacrificing quality. Providing direct administrative assistance to an academic dean/senior administrator requires that I always be at least one step ahead of this busy executive to ensure that he is prepared for each event, meeting or presentation.

The dean's team consists of a small but experienced staff of professional administrative assistants and administrators. Working together cohesively creates a cooperative, effective and efficient work environment. Cross trained in general office procedures and processes, we each specialize in our area of support but can step into one another's roles to some degree when called upon to do so.

The best part of working at USC is the people, the collaborative environment and the benefits including tuition assistance that covers tuition for staff and their children. Worst part is the commute depending on where in Los Angeles you're coming from and the need to pay $99/year for a parking pass.
Pros
benefits including tuition assistance benefit, collaborative work environment
Cons
commute/location near downtown los angeles and cost of parking pass
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Extremely low morale due to mismanagement
Too afraid of reprisal to state (Current Employee) –  UPCJuly 5, 2012
You receive no on the job training. Senior staff draconian in their management. Gossip and rumor mill. If you complain to human resources you tend to find yourself laid off, reorganized out of a job, or fired for fraudulent reasons. Management is ruining the school. Their approach in fundraising is greedy and off putting. Funds are being mismanaged. One Dean has taken artwork from the University and used it to decorate her home, she also accepts gifts on behalf of the school, and spends school funds on personal expenditures including arranging trips under the guise of fundraising to Texas so her boyfriend can visit with his family. Both fly business to first class and stay at 4 - 5 star hotels, all on the University's expense account. Favored employees are allowed to bully, berate, and illegally harrass other employees. Hardest part of the job is going in and most enjoyable is leaving at the end of the day. University does provide great benefits.
Pros
benefits
Cons
management, behavior of "favored"employees
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Evil management in Human Resources- Auxiliary Services
Auxiliary Services, Human Resources Manager (Former Employee) –  Los Angeles, CAJanuary 17, 2013
I worked for Auxiliary Services in USC a few years back. Up to now I still have nightmares of working in that department. I'm sure is not like that in other departments, but this department, in particular upper management, sent me to the hospital - stress related. They are heartless, sneaky, gossipers and double-face. they are all women so there is a lot of drama and competition. And if you go and put a complain to the "Diversity Dept." as they instruct you during new hire orientation, in case you feel discriminated, treated differently or bullied, which was my case, you get set up for firing sooner. They are supposed to help you, but instead they marked you and you are out of there in no time. I had to get a lawyer and ended up settleing, because I did not wanted to see them or know anything about USC, again. Truly a nightmare!
Pros
free education, which i did not had a pleasure to enjoy because of my evil boss that never sign the paper for me.
Cons
long hours, little pay, bias management, bully environment.
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Organized workplace, good office resources, passionate coworkers
Undergraduate Research Assistant (Former Employee) –  Los Angeles, CASeptember 16, 2013
A typical day consists of sitting at the computer performing data entry tasks. Data entry includes entering information obtained in surveys from research participants, as well as double- and triple- checking all previously entered data and performing some calculations to obtain BMI values. Some days also involve going out into the field to administer surveys/questionnaires-the data collection process, as well as conducting research and literature reviews of previously published research papers. I learned a lot about the research process, both the joys and challenges that are faced. I worked under a PhD in public health/preventive medicine, and my co-workers were usually other research assistants, who had similar duties.
The most difficult part of the job was obtaining consent, and having consistent participants who we could track throughout the course of the research project. The most enjoyable part was interacting with research participants, and I also enjoyed entering data-it gave me an inside look into the research process as well as all the different types of people and their experiences.
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REU Summer Chemistry Intern
REU Chemistry Internship (Former Employee) –  Los Angeles, CAMarch 21, 2014
10 week long chemistry internship at USC. I averaged 40 hour weeks and was mentored by a post doc on an antiviral prodrug research project. A typical day involved praticing organic chemistry techniques in the synthesis of the prodrug, analysis of products by phosphorous NMR, mass spec, and UV spectroscopy, running columns for product purification, and journal literature searches. In addition, I worked on my own project which involved testing out different coupling reagents and varying the hydrolysis conditions for the synthesis of the prodrug in order to attempt to improve the overall product yield. My work was supervised by my post-doc mentor, and all experiments were recorded in a lab notebook that remains the property of USC. The end of the internship culminated in a poster presentation of my work to the other interns, the PI's, and graduate students at USC.

In addition, the internship provided weekly seminars at which the chemistry PI's talked about their research, job outlook in industry and academia, current topics of interest, and graduate school at USC.
Pros
research experience, one-on-one mentorship in chemistry
Cons
location of internship
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Working at USC
ENROLLMENT SERVICES (Former Employee) –  Los Angeles, CAJuly 16, 2013
This USC education culture, is unique when compared to the corporate world. It has a quasi-corporate style but prides itself on it high quality student base and alumni. These brought the school to a world class university.
It was a nice environment to work in. My day consisted of early morning reports and any items left over from the day before. My coworkers were the best and management was helpful. My day consisted of generating reports and printing letters of all types. The most challenging aspects of my day were the ad hoc reports. We helped out any department that used our reports to start their day. At times we had to do a report specific to their needs - this was challenging at times. The most enjoyable part of my day was the people I worked with and setting up the new challenging assignments that crossed my table.
Pros
7.5 hour work day and vacation time
Cons
very little downtime and pay
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Summary
Professional Specialist (Former Employee) –  Los Angeles, CAMay 28, 2014
• Schedules, modifies and conducts training exercises, classes or structured activities based on stated learning objectives. Facilitates group discussion of class experience and learning.
• Selects and develops training methods such as individual coaching, group instruction, demonstrations, meetings and workshop.
• Participates in the development of plans, procedures and programs to meet specific training needs and issues.
• Conducts training needs assessment, using formal surveys and input from faculty or staff, to tailor training to instructor objectives or to set future training topics. Researches and identifies new topics to be covered in training sessions. Communicates training needs to management. Recommends, develops and implements modifications as necessary to ensure achievement of training goals and objectives.
• Develops and maintains training manuals, materials and related documentation. Determines design and format. Participates in the development and implementation of internal training procedures.
• Provides individualized assistance and group training to participants as needed.
• Operates or oversees operation of audio-visual, videotaping equipment or other media during training exercise or class.
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Graduate school is very hard but worth it
RESEARCH ASSISTANT (Former Employee) –  Los AngelesOctober 12, 2015
I was a graduate student at USC for many years, and it was a difficult experience. But as a student working towards a PhD in physics, that is to be expected. I was treated well and given every opportunity to succeed. If you go to graduate school at USC, expect to be under stress, but also expect to find the resources you need to achieve your goals as long as you are proactive in seeking them.

There is no typical work day. I have worked 70 hours straight for some experiments, and had weeks where there was very little to do. The pressure is intermittent and intense at times. Graduate students are not paid very well, but that is the norm. The healthcare was really good.
Pros
Access to the worlds leading experts on state of the art research topics
Cons
Broke, stressed, uncertain about future prospects.
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Exciting place to work, great people to work with.
Research Assistant/ Specimen Coordinator (Current Employee) –  Los Angeles, CAJuly 1, 2014
I love working here at USC, everyday there is something new in my role as Research Assistant. Due to the fact the our research department is always bringing in new clinical trials. I love the fact that my job is challenging and although sometimes there is pressure. It just makes me understand my role in what I do. I am valued as a person & employee. I am thankful for the opportunity I have been given and all that I have learned along the way. I have been given the tools and freedom to make my own way and become more confident in knowing I am important. The only reason I am seeking employment elsewhere is because I want to move to Nevada and raise my family. I am leaving a wonderful position, and benefits in hopes of a better brighter future for my family.
Pros
wonderful environment
Cons
there are no cons.
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Cerebrial Environment, Intelligent People, Moves at a Very Slow Pace
Senior Talent Mgmt Consultant / Exec Recruiter (Current Employee) –  Los Angeles, CANovember 26, 2014
My coworkers like to take a long period of time in brainstorming, coming to a consensus, and developing action plans which is great but it is done so in an all hands forum, where a variety of departments attend (4-5 hours per week) wasting many individuals time listening to information not relevant to their job or work to be performed. It is not customer service oriented type of environment across the organization. "By the book"/rules oriented.
Pros
working with very bright people, work life balance, 10% 401k company contribution
Cons
culture: a status quo type of environment, employeess not motived to go and beyond, everything moves at a slow pace, too many weekly, all hands - departmental meetings (4-5 hours weekly)
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tweenty five year of service
Customer Service Representative (Former Employee) –  Los Angeles, CAFebruary 5, 2016
my time at USC was good. had an opportunity to meet a lot of famous people that came to visit the campus. That experience was great.

I meet a lot of different cultures which was also great.

The hardest part of the job, is when their were special events on campus. That when you had to deal with a larger group of customers, were you had to meet, greet, and assist with parking. Which we were very limited. Due to smaller structures

My coworkers were all great, they were like a second family. We was a team working together to provide excellent customer service to the customer.

Under pressure, I was able to learn how to deal with stressful situations. By taking classes, that teaches you how to cope with stress or unruly customers.
Pros
Great 501 plan
Cons
Could have hired better leaders to run transportation
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University of Southern California
Computer Consultant II (Former Employee) –  Los Angeles, CAMarch 10, 2015
Work starts at 8:30am and I would check my queue for any priority tickets, I would address any issues from the previous day if any and would move on to assigned projects or tasks from my supervisors or Manager. I really appreciated the fact that our manager would let us work independently unless there were priority issues or instructions he wanted us to follow. I didn't like that there were no advancement opportunities in the department or that we would find out about some projects last minute from senior staff. My co-workers were great as we often shared knowledge and got along more as family than co-workers. I really enjoyed the people at USC and the opportunity and professional growth I received there, I'll miss it greatly.
Pros
great people to work with and my manager was awesome.
Cons
no advancement opportunities.
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Flexible working schedule
Project Assistant Supervisor (Current Employee) –  Monterey Park ClinicApril 4, 2014
This position allows me to contact potential clients base on a flexible schedule. I master the skills of communicating with total strangers, and explain the purpose and procedures of our research project. Self-confidence is the key to present a professional image to convince the clients to participate the free comprehensive eye exam. The management system is Team work base, which means it requires the whole team of ten co-workers to work together and reach the weekly goals of completed exam numbers. The hardest part of the job is to follow-up the refusual converse because people don't change their minds easily once they refuse to participate the project voluntary. The most enjoyable part of the job is how some clients will call me and express their appreciations of the benefits after completing the free eye exams.
Pros
flexible working hours
Cons
lack of benefits.
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Overall rating

4.2
Based on 303 reviews
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