Illumina Reviews

140 Reviews
3.9
140 Reviews
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Illumina CEO Jay Flatley
Jay Flatley
104 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

18 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1.  

    Located in the heart of San Diego Biotech center.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Systems Engineer  in  San Diego, CA
    Former Employee - Systems Engineer in San Diego, CA

    I worked at Illumina as a contractor for less than a year

    Pros

    Pay rates are very competitive.
    Near UCSD and many other Biotech companies.
    Currently the leader in gene sequencing.
    Good experience for Biochemists.

    Cons

    Company is growing too fast for management to mature.
    Cheaper technologies threaten dominance in gene sequencing.
    Not a good place to work if you do not have an advanced degree in biochemistry.
    High churn rate. Best employees ping-pong with Life Technologies (competitor).

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    None.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 6 people found this helpful  

    Project Managers beware

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

    I have been working at Illumina full-time

    Pros

    Growing industry, hiring loads of employees, fabulous building and campus with cafeteria and gym, great benefits

    Cons

    Poor office politics with lots of gossip, very cliquish environment among employees who have worked there for years and do not accept new employees or new management processes. The Marketing dept actively rejects project management processes. I keep hearing the phrase "that's not how we do things here." It's a shame such an innovative company is so short-sided to corporate management processes.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't promote emotionally unstable people to management.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    Illumina treated me fairly, and in addition to learning a lot, I had many positive experiences with my colleagues.

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

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

    Pros

    Illumina is the leader in its industry, and is keenly aware of, and responds to, competitive threats.

    Cons

    Unless you are in the San Diego office, you are effectively a "second-class citizen". Communication to other offices is poor.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't pay lip-service to developing the management skills of employees who are managers - actually do it, and take it very, very seriously. It would dramatically reduce turnover. While turnover is not great, it could be much lower.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 4 people found this helpful  

    Fading Into Mediocrity

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Various  in  San Diego, CA
    Former Employee - Various in San Diego, CA

    I worked at Illumina full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Illumina is a fast-paced and exciting place to work with bleeding edge product development. There are a lot of great people still working there which can help make it a fun environment.

    Cons

    Illumina has lost quite a bit of what made it special in their growth from a little start up to a dominant genomics company. They hire very good people, but then management doesn't trust them to make their own decisions. Top level management is still trying to tightly control everything.
    The transition to a diagnostics company, while important, is not really going anywhere. It likely won't until they make a radical move (ie, buying a diagnostics company or getting bought by a diagnostics company).

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Trust the people you've hired. Establish a path for career development and give the middle managers more authority to go along with their responsibility.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 2 people found this helpful  

    Illumina Inc. Review

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Manager, Diagnostics Instrument Manufacturing  in  San Diego, CA
    Former Employee - Senior Manager, Diagnostics Instrument Manufacturing in San Diego, CA

    I worked at Illumina full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Cutting edge technology, motivated and hard working employees, great people on a personal level

    Cons

    Same management team since early in the companys growth. Transitioning from start-up to small company to medium sized company with same management team has been challenging since they started as a Life Sciences company and are currently transitioning to add diagnostics and medical devices which are regulated by the FDA. Management often "doesn't know what they don't know". Without former experience with the FDA, sometimes management has overreacted to minor observations and not reacted enough to the need for more robust quality system needs. They are getting better but it has been more painful than it should have been.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to the people who have former experience with the FDA and other regulatory agencies. It may not seem needed initially, but will pay itself back ten fold if 483 observations are minimized and product recalls are prevented.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    If the company had any respect for my profession, I'd love to work there

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

    I worked at Illumina as a contractor for less than a year

    Pros

    Interesting technology, great business "space" to be in
    Lots of smart people as worker-bees
    Awesome campus
    good place for someone who in the scientific part of the biz

    Cons

    My comments mirror many of the others....this company spends its money on the people who are developing the technology - the chemical, genetic end of the house is difficult to staff, and Illumiina works hard to find and attract talent to that area
    BUT
    the rest of the business suffers as a result. Business process infrastructure and systems are old; documentation is bloated, poorly managed, delivery of information is neither nimble nor scaleable. Current systems - like SalesForce - are so poorly implemented their use is avoided. Software is old and cobbled. There is little project managment (ya know, a schedule, critical path, risks, a goal..?), and I was a little amazed at the arrogance of some people who insist on ignoring best practices..

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    This place needs a PMO office yesterday. Perhaps its acquistion by Roche will help push it into reality. My other advice would be to reconsider the grandfathered position bestowed on staff. The place uses a lot of contract workers. Good contract talent seems to be sacraficed and less productive staff remains. Bad for long-term health of the org. (See: teacher's union; tenure).

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  8.  

    cutting edge technology with a meaningful impact on society

    • 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

    great location in San Diego. Brand new campus with good facilities. Comfortable working hours and good company culture.

    Cons

    Not much vertical movement within the company. Often times people are brought in from the outside instead of promoting people from inside.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    none

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

    I worked at Illumina

    Pros

    Great team to work with.

    Cons

    Closed down great team without good reason.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 4 people found this helpful  

    An intense ride that will keep you on your toes during your tenure,

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Prefer Not to Disclose  in  La Jolla, CA
    Former Employee - Prefer Not to Disclose in La Jolla, CA

    I worked at Illumina

    Pros

    Although the benefits and perks at Illumina are amazing it's the the employees at Illumina that keeps the company strong. The yoga/gym/recreation on site and the monthly happy hours / half yearly sponsored corporate parties allow us to network with so many individuals from various pars of the company. Illumina does know how to care of its own. The salary is pretty competitive with stock options, bonus, raise, etc.

    You learn a lot of valuable skills at Illumina in such a small amount of time. They expect you to hit the ground running. 1 or 2 years at Illumina is the equivalent of 3-5 years at a regular company.

    Cons

    When I came on board with Illumina, I was hired specifically more certain skill sets. I have seen myself and others included have their positions radically evolve into something completely different. Regardless of whether or not you are satisfied with the change. Projects and priorities could shift instantly, leaving things a bit chaotic at the office.

    Illumina's core values don't seem to align with your personal goals and end of year review, which tends to lower your raise/bonus. Whether this is on purpose or not I leave that to the employee.
    There seemed to be a disconnect in communication and goals between upper/middle management and rest of the teams.

    Advancement and movement across the organization was difficult and hard get approval of for some employees. No structure was in place to show you a path to becoming a senior person on the team or move into a manager or assistant director role.

    Although Illumina does hire outstanding employees, there seemed to be a lack of basic MS skill sets or analytics for some of the employe thereby having no understanding of their data the to create presentations critical for senior management on how their business line is doing.

    Turnover is quite high. The burnout and level that you are running at Illumina can be exciting but also stressful.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Structured and concise path for growing and advancing to the next level at our position.
    Find a way to keep top talented employees from turning over after several years. Turnover is quite high.

    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    pleasant -

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

    I have been working at Illumina

    Pros

    promotes work life balance, open communication

    Cons

    HR can be less impartial and listen to what the ground wants - don't just focus on management

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    During performance review of the managers, should also seek comments from the subordinates. Some managers are seriously slack - they are lucky they have good staff to cover their rears!

    No opinion of CEO

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