There are two sides to every coin... and every company.
Pros: salary, benefits, perks, shuttles, decent food, ect
Cons: pretty much everything else.
When I first accepted my position with UPMC, I was elated. Being one of the largest employers in Pittsburgh, as well as Southwestern Pennsylvania in general, there were a lot of facets to look forward to. As an entry-level employee, I enjoyed a decent salary, excellent benefits, awesome perks, and paid training.
When you start, you get to go to two introductory meetings "Beginnings" and I can't quite remember what they called the other. The first day, you learn all about UPMC. You're in a large room with every type of new employee, from environmental services to physicians. They play games to help you learn useless knowledge about the company that you will never use again, and you can get some free UPMC merchandise for answering questions correctly. You get to mix and mingle, but chances are, you will never see those people again. You get your fancy-schmancy UPMC photo badge, and you will hate it.. but you're stuck with it. Don't lose it either, you'll have to pay $15 for a replacement.
From those larger meeting days, you'll go to your facility, be it a doctors office or hospital. After a few days of facility specific meetings, you'll be shipped to your brand new department/area! You'll slowly train with people who detest their jobs and you'll only learn half of what you actually need to. I'm not sure about other departments, but I know that my supervisor/manager/higher-up person was pretty much a ghost. You'll need to ask a question or want to clarify something, and you'll get a generalized answer that is as vague as your trainers, if you're lucky enough to get a reply at – more... all. The management is a whole other can of worms, but I'll get to that later.
Within a few weeks, your training will be deemed complete even though you will still have questions daily. That's normal. Your excitement will fade quickly as you fall into a humdrum monotony, a vicious repeating cycle. You'll learn to cut corners to be more efficient, but it'll only make more work for you later.
Gossip is rampant. Do not get involved. Keep to yourself. Do not offer up any information that you wouldn't want your whole department knowing, because if you divulge personal information and it makes for good 'water-cooler talk', it'll quickly make it's rounds, evolving from an innocent statement to a rumor laden expletive. You think you'll be able to trust people, but as my title says... there's two sides to every coin, as well as company and its people.
I quickly mastered my position, and I quickly began to dread going to work. People will attempt to sabotage you just because they don't like the way you do things, or just don't like you in general. You'll try to take your concerns to your supervisor, and they'll brush you off and advise you to work it out with your peer. I did my job and I did it well. I took more responsibilities, hours, and stress. Once your 8, 10, 12 hours are up... you'll be sprinting out of the door.
Management, or lack thereof, was my absolute biggest issue. They would always keep in contact via e-mail, but it was a rarity to see their faces or sit down and address concerns. I was so disappointed in the management. I felt like the didn't care about me and my coworkers. I was another number. I wanted to grow with the company, evolve my skills, and work my way up to a managerial role. Unfortunately, due to mismanagement, I was not able to realize my full potential. Everybody is out for themselves. There is no camaraderie. Somebody will be nice to your face on your way out, and you turn around to get something you forgot --- your name is already in their mouth and usually accompanied by a negative or derogatory comment. I tried to defend at first, but quickly learned that's the way to get a target on your own back. You may have two or three coworkers that you truly get along with, and if you're lucky, you may get a friend out of it.
Turnover rates are extremely high. There's always somebody new and it will always affect your work because you're too busy trying to do your job and assist the new person. Those qualified to train will pass them off to those who are still fairly new themselves so they have less responsibility. When this occurs, it's a domino effect, and the other departments screech to a halt because that well-oiled machine now has a broken screw or nut. But, there's always one or two of those in each department.
UPMC will terminate/eliminate your position without batting an eye. All of your dedication, hard work, and positive work ethic would all be for naught. I watched too many friends lose their jobs because of restructuring or there's just not a need for that position.... and yet, they were short staffed to begin with!! Luckily enough for me, I escaped before they could disrupt my life, but don't expect them to make it easy for you. They'll try to keep your hard-earned PTO, they'll make you pay hundreds of dollars more if you want to keep your insurance, and trying to get a hold of HR is trying to find a needle in a haystack.
I know a few people that have had excellent experiences with UPMC, and it may be the employer for you.. but be warned, you'll be wearing a smile on your face and a metaphorical knife in your hand if you want to get anywhere. To my facility, department, and management - thanks for teaching me that I'm worth so much more than what you paid me. My sanity was not worth the mental angst and anguish I experienced. I wish you all nothing but the best, but part of me hopes that you, too, will experience the pessimistic pain that is constantly being deceived and used.
Best of luck to you, job searcher. I sincerely hope you have a better experience than I had. – less