Vulcan – Why Work For Us?

An idea is just an idea, unless you have people willing to follow it down every pathway, twisting and turning and running after it until it’s finally realized. Vulcan is full of seekers and explorers, those who are eager to ask the tough questions and dig in on the wide range of projects always in the works within our walls. Whether we are solving problems at the local or global level, we embrace hard work and don’t blink in the face of a challenge. We look for professionals who are innovative, agile and able to perform at the highest level.

Vulcan believes that the answers to life’s great mysteries are found through exploration. That’s why we are committed to learning as much as we can, sharing as much as we can and feeling out the edges – so we can sail right on past them. 

We’re a nimble private company based in Seattle, Washington with a portfolio as diverse as the challenges of the world. We invest in brain science and basketball, retail space and outer space, traditional libraries and AI-enhanced textbooks. People often wonder why Vulcan is involved in so many different areas and industries. We often get asked: Is there anything Vulcan doesn’t do?

Vulcan strives to create a new kind of future — a future that maps the intricacies inside our head, sets hidden talent alight and upends conventional thinking. The projects and investments we pursue are inspired by the ideas of our founder Paul G. Allen.  With the goal of igniting the type of progress he envisioned, Paul founded Vulcan in 1986 with his sister and business partner, Jody Allen.

If we can understand this mystifying organ called the brain, we can pave the way towards understanding diseases like Alzheimer’s. If we can successfully launch a rocket mid-air, it changes space travel forever. If we can get the formula right for a new kind of downtown neighborhood, it becomes a guide for how to build the cities of tomorrow.

At Vulcan, we believe that seeking out the demanding and building the difficult is what sets progress in motion.

People usually guess that our company was named after the extraterrestrial humanoid species from Star Trek, renowned for their logic and reason. As flattered as we are to be compared to the fantastical likes of the mind-melding Vulcans, our founders actually had something else in mind when they created Vulcan Inc.

Vulcan was the Roman god of fire. Tossed from the heavens as a child, he grew up as a strong-willed outsider and free thinker, indifferent to the whims of the gods. This independence fueled his approach as a smith and craftsman, helping him forge works that no one else thought were possible. When Paul Allen and Jody Allen first thought of creating a company whose mission was to find smart solutions for some of the world’s biggest challenges, the myth of Vulcan seemed fitting – and in 1986, Vulcan Inc. was formed.

With headquarters in Seattle, Washington, Vulcan today serves as the right hand of the Allen family, overseeing and managing a broad compilation of projects, investments and companies all over the world. We are that big umbrella company under which a host of signature Allen family entities fall under – like Vulcan Real Estate, the Allen Institute for Brain Science, the Flying Heritage Collection and the Seattle Seahawks, just to name a few. We are also constantly innovating in-house, serving as an incubator for fledgling inventions, ambitious global campaigns, and new philanthropic efforts.

It’s a big job, transforming ideas into solutions that will improve our world. But at Vulcan, we believe that seeking out the demanding and building the difficult is what sets progress in motion. 

An idea is just an idea, unless you have people willing to follow it down every pathway, twisting and turning and running after it until it’s finally realized. Vulcan is full of seekers and explorers, those who are eager to ask the tough questions and dig in on the wide range of projects always in the works within our walls. Whether we are solving problems at the local or global level, we embrace hard work and don’t blink in the face of a challenge. We look for professionals who are innovative, agile, and able to perform at the highest level

OUR BACKYARD

Vulcan’s main office is located on the border of two of Seattle’s most vibrant, eclectic neighborhoods: Chinatown-International District and Pioneer Square. Situated on the south end of downtown, Vulcan is within walking distance of CenturyLink Field, Safeco Field, and dozens of restaurants that serve cuisines from around the world. 

Seattle is a hilly town on the Puget Sound, ringed by islands, mountain ranges, forests, and our beautiful slumbering volcano, Mt. Rainier.

Rain? Yes, we do get quite a bit of it, but you may be surprised to find out we don't even rank among the top 10 rainiest cities in the U.S. In fact, Pensacola, Miami, and New Orleans receive more rain than Seattle. Those of us who live here are used to our share of overcast days, but we don’t let a few raindrops spoil a good time.

Blessed by geography, our state is famous for its recreational opportunities: skiing, hiking, rock-climbing, kayaking, sailing and more. For those who prefer more urban pursuits, there's a thriving arts culture here, too, with a renowned independent music scene, the nation's largest film festival, and world-class museums, theatre and dance companies. We're proud to say that Seattle is a city of book lovers, and our wealth of bookstores, libraries, readers and authors attest to that.

Boasting an entrepreneurial business climate and talented labor pool, the Puget Sound region has among the strongest economies in the United States. Anchored by tech giants like Microsoft and Amazon, the city is one of the best places in the country to do business.

Vulcan Photos

Northwestern View from Vulcan Offices

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Vulcan Reviews

2.1
47 Reviews
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Vulcan President & CEO Jody Allen
Jody Allen
28 Ratings
  • 3 people found this helpful

    Vulcan is a great place to work

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

    I have been working at Vulcan full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    I think of Vulcan as a large philanthropic machine. Pretty much everything that we do at Vulcan is with a view towards making the world a better place.

    Mr. Allen puts his money where his heart is, as witnessed by his large donations to causes such fighting the Ebola epidemic, researching the brain, artificial intelligence and the cell. As well as countless other smaller, but similarly important projects.

    Vulcan has gone through changes in recent past which were squarely aimed at improvement. Well done.

    Cons

    Career advancement opportunities are unfortunately limited. I rated it 4 stars because, while it is difficult to move up it is not impossible, and this limitation is mitigated by great compensation and benefits.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

Vulcan Interviews

Updated Oct 22, 2014
Updated Oct 22, 2014

Interview Experience

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    Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 5+ weeksinterviewed at Vulcan.

    Interview Details

    HR staff were professional and the process was timely. I spoke with a wide cross section of individuals who asked thoughtful questions. It spoke to the quality of the people there and the potential they saw in their work.

    Interview Questions
    Negotiation Details
    Negotiations were swift and, for the most part, fair. The relatively low number of vacation days was off-putting but they wouldn't budge.
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

Vulcan Awards & Accolades

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Additional Info

Website www.vulcan.com
Headquarters Seattle, WA
Size 150 to 499 Employees
Founded 1991
Type Company - Private
Industry Finance
Revenue $5 to $10 million (USD) per year

Even with all his Vulcan logic, could Spock invest like "this"? Brainy billionaire Paul Allen organizes his business and charitable ventures under Vulcan Inc. The firm holds the Microsoft co-founder's remaining stake in the industry-defining juggernaut, as well as stakes in dozens of companies involved in technology, telecommunications, multimedia, energy, and real estate. Portfolio holdings include cable company Charter Communications (which reorganized in 2009 under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection) and privately built spacecraft SpaceShipOne. Allen also owns two... More

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