Research Assistant (Current Employee) – Calgary, AB – 16 September 2013
It was my first year final exam, I have four exams and a report to be completed within two weeks, I give myself to develop a strict timetable from 6:00 am to midnight, every day keep energetic, my firstly review the last one exam, and finally review the first exam, in spare time to write report. Contact classmates formed 4 discussion groups, to review the past exams and share experience, eventually four courses I have got a good result. I learned how to do the time management and priority management.
Student Support (Current Employee) – Calgary, AB – 15 February 2018
The University of Calgary advertises great 100% medical benefits and good salaries. However, it's deceptive. Benefits are 100% up to small maximums (i.e. $30 per chiro appointment), so you end up using your entire HSA fairly quickly to cover the difference. The pension is a mandatory contribution of >10% of your gross salary, so say good bye to $400+ per month. Ultimately, my take home salary is equivalent to $10k less anywhere else with minimum benefits to make up for it.
As for work, it's a typical union environment where sub-par employees hang on and you won't get opportunities to build your skills outside of your job description. They do offer the UAdvance program which is a series of good professional development courses. But there are few jobs at the SPAIII level, so expect a bottle neck on advancement early in your career (depending on what level you start at).
Certain offices can be isolated from other staff, so it's difficult to get to know co-workers/network, even with people in your same role but different departments.
Unless you're solely focused on a post-secondary career, I would say look elsewhere for better development, pay and benefits.