Illumina Reviews

Updated 25 August 2014
Updated 25 August 2014
232 Reviews

3.9
232 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Illumina CEO Jay Flatley
Jay Flatley
174 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • You get to work with a lot of smart people, and the amenities of the new campus are great (in 11 reviews)

  • cutting-edge research organisation, very nice work culture with decent socialising events for employees (in 10 reviews)


Cons
  • The worst middle management I've ever had in my professional career, the work life balance (in 18 reviews)

  • No work life balance, getting more bureaucratic (in 5 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    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
  2. 1 person 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 for 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
  3.  

    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 for 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
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Growing really fast

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

    I have been working at Illumina as an intern for less than a year

    Pros

    Company is really fast paced, a lot of work if you like to stay busy, and has a relaxing outdoor campus.

    Cons

    Not enough resources, understaffed, lack of tools to expedite work processes, and there aren't a lot of opportunities for employee outings to make new friends.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Practice what you preach.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Amazingly innovative company - great place to be!

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

    I worked at Illumina

    Pros

    Smart people, important products, great campus

    Cons

    No work/life balance, challenging to get ahead with all the great people

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Totally satisfied with my work at Illumina

    • 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 as an intern for less than a year

    Pros

    liked the work, culture, wide range of opportunities

    Cons

    I don't see any cons so far.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Beware!

    • 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 for less than a year

    Pros

    Salary...the pay is definitely in line with top organizations

    Cons

    Lack of employee support, Department Managers appear to be more interested in own personal agenda than working with employees to improve overall performance and team dynamics

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Ensure your Management team is looking out for the good of the Stockholders and not themselves when working top performers in the organization. Keep good employees

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. 6 people found this helpful  

    One of the best companies to work for in San Diego

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

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

    Pros

    Tons of time off. There are two company shut downs annually (summer / winter) where you get at least a week off that doesn't count against the regular paid company holidays or your regularly accrued vacation time.

    The facilities are amazing. The buildings are beautiful with a lot of amenities. The gym is great and has a lot of equipment and is very open. The locker rooms and shower areas are first class. The convenience of the iCafe for fresh meals, salads and everything else you could want. The coffee shops, and the free coffee pods in all the breakrooms keeps you going!

    The pay is very competitive, especially if you are granted stock. Between bonuses, salary, equity, benefits, 401K match, employee stock purchases, the total compensation package is very good.

    It's an innovative company that is exciting to work for. The speakers and seminars are current and interesting and it's exciting to understand what other parts of the business are doing to contribute.

    Cons

    As the company grows, it's becoming more bureaucratic because of the new global business processes and committees you need to get approval from before working on projects. The ability to innovate and move quickly is hampered.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Manage the ERP implementation more carefully. This change alone has the ability to paralyze the company. Don't get rid of best in class applications like SalesForce in an effort to bring everything under one SAP solution. SAP is a kludgy system comprised of acquired systems and isn't a single architecture. It is cumbersome and requires highly paid consultants to make changes and fix breaks. The future is cloud-based, multi-tenant SAAS solutions. It would be great if Illumina had a dedicated CIO.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 2 people found this helpful  

    It doesn't get better than this--- great company, great products, great people!

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

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

    Pros

    Wow- where to begin..... this is an amazing company- filled with dedicated and genuine people. My colleagues are here because we are changing healthcare in our lifetime. Coworkers are earnest, driven and real. Very low ego company.....it's not about the politics, it's about the people whose lives are changed using our technology.

    I've been at Illumina for three years- yes, it has a few growing pains. All companies do. The difference is that management here genuinely cares and tries to remedy pain points.

    How many companies do you know that take time out for a competitive dodgeball tournament, concerts in the amphitheater, the occasional happy hour, and gives employees a paid week off before July 4th (in addition to the paid company shutdown in December).

    Yes we work hard- but we are doing really important work....and I know that the work done will at some point, change the course of a family member's illness or treatment in the future. No complaints from me.

    Cons

    None- beautiful campus, competitive pay and beneftis, challenging but rewarding work.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep it up!

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

    Innovative, Smart, Driven and Passionate. What more could you ask for?

    • 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 for more than 5 years

    Pros

    If you are passionate about what you do, hard working, like to be challenged, and aren't intimidated by working with a bunch of people smarter than you, then you will likely love working at Illumina. The consistent growth at Illumina provides tremendous learning and opportunities for growth. In addition, sr. management really listens to their employee and customer feedback and implements real programs to address concerns.

    Cons

    Illumina is not for everyone. It is predominantly Type A, driven personalities that typically thrive in a start-up, low structure, high-paced environment. The sense of urgency is always high, and so are the demands on high quality work. This permeates the culture so if this doesn't describe your personality, you are probably better elsewhere. Other than match, the other challenge is that Illumina is no longer a start-up, and now must prove it can succeed as a larger organization with more complexity, increased processes, etc. This will not be an easy process, and some may not be up for the challenge.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep up the great work, stay close to the business, and keep listening.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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