Illumina

www.illumina.com

Illumina Reviews

Updated 2 January 2015
Updated 2 January 2015
158 Reviews
4.0
158 Reviews
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Illumina CEO Jay Flatley
Jay Flatley
116 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.  

    On the rise!

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

    I have been working at Illumina

    Pros

    30% Growth Year over Year

    Cons

    Growing corporate-like culture at Illumina

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Fantastic high growth company

    • 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 a year)

    Pros

    Illumina is experiencing tremendous growth. Coworkers are very supportive and flexible. There is a sincere interest to change the world of medicine. The campus is beautiful and there is a lot of energy around the campus.

    Cons

    No issues or challenges to report. The company is solid overall. They just need watch after their culture and retain talent.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep moving forward and as you grow resist the desire to become a slow large machine. Maintain the great culture and values you have. Remain independent and invest in innovation

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Fast paced, not for the weak

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

    I have been working at Illumina

    Pros

    You are working on cutting edge technology, advancing human knowledge and improving our lives.
    The managers expect a lot from you, because they can afford to. You get to meet interesting people in lots of influential positions.

    Cons

    Super fast paced. Keep up or move on. This company has their pick of employees and can easily replace you.
    We are now moving in the medical field, 24 hour support is coming, so expect to work weekends and long nights on occasion.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You used to keep us fully manned, with plenty of people to support the products. Now you are starting to really pinch pennies and looking very hard at utilization/mean time to repair/ etc. and much less at customer satisfaction.

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

    Good work-life balance but limited upward mobility

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

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

    Pros

    Upper management listen to complaints and act
    Good benefits and employee services
    Almost all employees have 9-5 schedule

    Cons

    More than average internal politics
    Upward mobility limited so no incentive to work harder
    Big and slightly disorganized, particularly due to absorbing recent acquisitions

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great IAspire internship experience

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

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

    Pros

    IAspire internship experience gives me a good opportunity to look inside the company, know illumina's culture and pruducts, work with many smart people. The program have a few activities such as talking with senior leader, strength finder, Mock interview, outreach activity which are all well designed for us. I highly recommend the IAspire internship program.

    Cons

    Not a con, but a hard thing is the pace here is really really fast. Every one is very busy every day, you need to have a good adaptbility skill as well as good communication and team working skill to "survive" at illumina, which is a "beneficial challenge" to students.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

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