Illumina Reviews

Updated 30 October 2014
Updated 30 October 2014
146 Reviews
3.8
146 Reviews
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Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Illumina CEO Jay Flatley
Jay Flatley
108 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Fast paced, well well-thought our solutions/processes (in 13 reviews)

  • You get to work with a lot of smart people, and the amenities of the new campus are great (in 12 reviews)


Cons
  • No work/life balance, challenging to get ahead with all the great people (in 19 reviews)

  • No work life balance, getting more bureaucratic (in 6 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Intern

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Intern
    Former Employee - Intern

    I worked at Illumina full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Friendly people
    Good company atmosphere
    Great company social events

    Cons

    In the middle of nowhere

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Great company to work for.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Research and Development
    Current Employee - Research and Development

    I have been working at Illumina full-time

    Pros

    It is an extremely successful business with highly skilled and driven employees. Great opportunities to learn from some of the best in the industry. The benefits are top notch but the pay is average which has in part been compensated for by the great stock performance recently.

    Cons

    There is a lack of career paths outside the headquarter but this seems to happen in other companies as well. It is difficult to get promoted from within so try to join at a high level. Sometimes overlapping or competing projects at different sites.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Streamline communication between the different offices, provide clear career paths and guidance for employees.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  3. 3 people found this helpful  

    The experience still haunts me sometimes.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Not Applicable in Cambridge, East of England, England
    Former Employee - Not Applicable in Cambridge, East of England, England

    I worked at Illumina full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    It is a progressive company which issue shares to tie you into your role. So you can see how much effort you put in to how the company grows. In this respect, it gives you a sense of achievement overall. It is also one of those "life time opportunity" to be within a technologically forefront company. When I left university, I aspired to be in such a company. I came into this company mid-way through my career. There was a semi-friendly culture, but it conflicts with one's loyalty as the organisational chart kept changing.

    Cons

    The turnover rate was quite high. As I joined after the merger, and there was a period of respect between all colleagues, until you start to see individuals being taken out of the running. Then some kind of culling occurred for some reason. I was also caught up in the political organisational changes, such that I felt very marginalised, and also disrespected. I also realised that my contribution within those long email chains, often advices or trialed and tested solutions that came from years of experience from my side, was then taken as some kind of new ideas or achievement on the US side. It often were from the sales team who were more aggressive and came across as running the company to be honest ! It really was about US HQ, and no actual understanding of contribution on the Europe side at all. People got more annoyed as their contributions were not acknowledged and skillsets were stripped away. Or rather, "copied" away. It is one thing if you made clear who was in a project and who was not. But when the boundaries are so undefined, then yes, it seems almost like setting up the employee to fail.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I like you to know that, you managed to take away some of the very well respected managers who grew the original small companies before the big merger. That was a very big mistake. You potentially had some of the very wise and solid professionals who stood strong in this industry and ensured the security of the company, and you let this be mismanaged away by some very disrespectful and arrogant, and untrained under mid-30s professionals. Some of approaches used were even unlawful !

    I was surprised to find out that another colleague also took out a loan to supplement actual business trips to sell the products, and we are still in debt due to this. The salary was unjustified. Looking back in hindsight on Glassdoor here allowed me to see how naive some of us were in reality. You did not even look after the basics right. Allowing employees the most basic tools, without impacting their own personal and financial statuses.

    Also, you overworked your operations staff such that, I saw one woman fainting because of meeting your quarterly goals. Please ask yourself whether you are a true ethical company or not. Because if you were, then the ethical aspect starts on the inside, and that also mean following the employment laws ! Working under a set number of hours and no more, and bringing in health and safety laws too without burning out your own employees. Instead of perfecting some of the needed basics to keep employee happy and healthy in a steady way, the emphasis were put on the bottomline.

    I would also check the ethics and the professionalism of some of your senior IT managers. As I understand that a few of them joined and migrated from another bio-tech company. Yet, I saw one male manager who was absolutely unprofessional and harassed a young intern verbally, such to a high extent that, he rechallenged him back with a knife ! This was during a company meal,on an off site support trip. What kind of people are you hiring ? This is not the kind of company that I want to work for. And yes, this same high level Director just saw Jay as a face of the company and no more. Well, at least I believed in science, and I believe in what Jay say ! There is a huge difference between those who are from science backgrounds and believe in the company to those who just want the prestige and the title or the money.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Excellent scientific challenges

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Bioinformatics Scientist
    Former Employee - Bioinformatics Scientist

    I worked at Illumina full-time

    Pros

    cutting-edge research organisation, very nice work culture with decent socialising events for employees. Perks include: free gym membership, healthcare, stock options

    Cons

    limited movement/advancement within organisation. Scientific progress is possible, but organisational improvement is hard. Possibly the side-effect of an organisation grown to global dominance. They have a habit for taking researchers straight from PhD studies and paying them little more than a postdoc salary.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Small company, large aspirations, life changing potential

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Manager in Cambridge, East of England, England
    Current Employee - Senior Manager in Cambridge, East of England, England

    I have been working at Illumina full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Being involved in a revolution of genetic analysis & understanding. An industry on the cusp of a human revolution. A leader in the industry.

    Cons

    Work / Life balance can be challenging at times. Growing pains of a small company becoming an enterprise but well understood and being dealt with.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Recent new hire, enviable onboarding process & great company culture

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Diego, CA (US)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Diego, CA (US)

    I have been working at Illumina full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    From the moment I first made contact with Illumina, I have been greatly impressed with the company's ability to deliver... the hiring process was straightforward and streamlined, the Talent Acquisition team expertly managed and communicated important details from start to finish. This is very much a company of the future, and Illumina seems to doing everything it can to stay in the lead.

    Cons

    Illumina has enjoyed tremendous success in the past few years and is experiencing rapid growth and transformation as it builds its organization and operations to scale for continued expansion. Things are changing quickly and deeply, this is probably not the best place for those seeking permanence. But for the rest of us, thougm this is an exciting place to be at the moment.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  8.  

    iAspire Intern Program - QA Intern

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - QA Intern in San Diego, CA (US)
    Former Employee - QA Intern in San Diego, CA (US)

    I worked at Illumina as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    The culture at Illumina is incredible. Everyone I met during my three months with the company is incredibly driven and intelligent and very willing to lend a hand and teach you about what they do. As an intern, you will have a major project, but otherwise you can enjoy all the perks the full-time employees get, like gym access and fitness classes (highly recommended; nothing beats coming back to work cleansed after a yoga class!). But the intern program provides even more; different workshops, strengths finder, the ability to meet and talk with senior leaders at Illumina, and otherwise quite a bit of exposure. I had the opportunity to present to the VP of my division, as did my friend in marketing. Illumina cares deeply about it's interns, and it really is an incredibly valuable experience. And outside the internship program, the company is very unique. I'm hoping to get hired after I finish gradate school because Illumina is such a open, innovative, and creative company, and I truly believe the next-gen technology is the future of personalized medicine.

    Cons

    As an intern, particularly at the beginning, I was very overwhelmed. Everyone works very hard at Illumina, so prepare to do so as well. The learning curve is pretty steep, particularly if you are not very familiar with next-gen sequencing or the operations of the department you will be working for. I was very new to QA, so the first weeks were very tough, but with some persistence, you get a feeling for it. Another con is that during the summer, a lot of full-timers go on vacations, so a lot of your coworkers may be in and out, which can be frustrating.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    Right choice - will not regret it

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Curation Scientist in Santa Clara, CA (US)
    Current Employee - Curation Scientist in Santa Clara, CA (US)

    I have been working at Illumina full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Very supportive and friendly environment. Monthly company meetings to help the employees better understand their role in Illumina's vision of making personalized medicine a routine in the clinics. The managers trust the employees in doing their jobs instead of micromanaging, this helps the employees to give their best. The team is really nice and everyone is always willing to help each other. My manager is also very nice. The HR team is amazing is arranging the interviews and communicating important decisions. Always willing to help.
    Illumina hires the best candidates. The interview process is very rigorous. I applied on the companies website. Few days later I got a phone interview scheduled directly with the hiring manager. A day later I was scheduled for a phone interview with the HR following which they decided me to call onsite.
    Onsite: it was half a day interview including presentation, a written exercise and one-on-one interview with each member of the team.
    I will definitely recommend Illumina to candidates who are willing to challenge themselves with a fast pace and a very satisfying job.

    Cons

    Can't think of any cons.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    N/A

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  10.  

    Interview Process

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Business Analyst in San Diego, CA (US)
    Current Employee - Senior Business Analyst in San Diego, CA (US)

    I have been working at Illumina full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    I joined Illumina due to the promising work environment here. The HR who interviewed me, Nathalie Becker, was able to help me see the great opportunities to improve my career here. She also showed me how illumina was helping to make this work a better place to live in. The contributions illumina was making to improve the life of people was really overwhelming. I believe it is a great privilege to be a part of an organization like Illumina.

    Cons

    Space constraints, and company is actively working to improve it.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    Great work environment

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Illumina full-time

    Pros

    Team work oriented and really strives for personal career growth.

    Cons

    takes a while to convert temporary employees to full time

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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