Our lab allowed for an amazing growth opportunity, with a supervisor who ensured that we gained skills that would server us outside academia. Working as a teaching assistant provided a chance to improve public speaking abilities as well as the critical thinking needed to convey material to students.
Typical day was ok. I learned about genetic sequence analysis, scripting, cluster computing. Management was ok, could be improved. The workplace culture was different as is a university rather than a conventional environment .
Kick-started my career as a research assistant there. Learned a lot about employment systems in Canada and in the Academic field.
There are lots of options and opportunities, one needs to know what they want and go for it.
SFU is a place of anxiety and pain. Do yourself a favour and get out instead of getting involved.
Management is oppressive, oversight of how your immediate superiors treat you is anything from lax to nonexistent and the system seems to rely on whoever the present lowest employee level is working extra hours unpaid. If you care about the overall health of the school then you'll be crying trying to alter things, but if you only care about your own butt then you might enjoy life under some one of SFU's many rocks of nonsense.
There are some cool people here
Miasma of fear and oppression, devious management, wage calculated to make life so hard you go into debt
If you never become involved with HR labour relations side of this institution it seems like it is run pretty well except.
Like most public institutions there are too many mangers and too much bureaucracy but that is par for the course.
Generally a good cooperative atmosphere
commuter campus with minimal and expensive parking
My position often varied from week to week due to the diverse amount of projects and the different requests from different departments. This really helped me get exposed to a lot of different jobs and skills.I did not like dealing with waiting for different people to e-mail me back through the processes of the projects. I was always quite busy and it slowed me down a lot when clients would take longer than a week to respond about projects they asked me to do. However, my coworkers made up for any annoyances I had. I worked with a lot of SFU students so we got along quite well. Since they were senior students, I learned a lot from them as well.
If you love reading academic texts and writing up long, advanced arguments about the state of your field of study then academia is for you. Your success is exactly what you put in and is definitely not for the lazy or faint of heart.
Fairly flexible and free working hours
Stress, writer's block, arguments and disagreements with peers common
Simon Fraser University allows its student to keep working and learning about their careers as they study through a work-study program. I have been working through this program since I started university at SFU.