Illumina

www.illumina.com
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Illumina Reviews

Updated 5 March 2015
Updated 5 March 2015
164 Reviews
4.0
164 Reviews
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Illumina CEO Jay Flatley
Jay Flatley
122 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Fast paced, well well-thought our solutions/processes (in 15 reviews)

  • You get to work with a lot of smart people, and the amenities of the new campus are great (in 14 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 a 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. 2 people found this helpful  

    Great company producing great products

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

    I have been working at Illumina

    Pros

    Very smart and driven employees. Great senior leadership

    Cons

    Long hours and poor work life balance

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Great mission and people

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

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

    Pros

    Amazing colleagues around the world... some of the most talented and smartest people I've ever worked with, but also humble at the same time. Everyone is just driven by doing the right thing and our mission. It's inspiring to see.

    Cons

    Really high (almost too high sometimes) expectations of how much a single person can do. It's the norm to have teams of people working till midnight or beyond for extended periods of time or just on the regular. It's a highway to burnout.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Really try to understand what's going on further down into the organization. What their view is may not be consistent with what employees experience. Spend more time with employees to understand their pain points.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    An invigorating, fast-paced and challenging place to work. Things change quickly here so you have to embrace that!

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

    I have been working at Illumina full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Very bright and motivational people to work with. There's always new opportunities to gain new experiences.

    Cons

    Things change quickly and this can be frustrating when you're in an area that is under-resourced or unorganized. You have to keep focused on the higher level mission that causes lower level discomfort.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep up with investing in the Operations. Marketing/Sales may be driving faster than we can keep up with.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    good company to work for

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

    I worked at Illumina full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    great co-workers, exciting technologies, great culture

    Cons

    controlling management, few decision-making opportunities at middle management level, decision making limited to top 10-15 people in the company.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Advice to CEO: you are great and people admire you, but your senior leadership team are just looking out for themselves

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 2 people found this helpful  

    Fix it before its too late

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

    I have been working at Illumina

    Pros

    Cutting edge, great products, niche market

    Cons

    too much politics, seems everyone is conspiring or watching out to get the bite of the big meat...the office culture is degrading...managers are looking out for themselves and not their teams..finger pointing, scheming.....

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Please fix the culture before its too late. Senior Management...Director and above to need to get 360 degree review of the managers from the subordinates....good workers are leaving or feel oppressed....

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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