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7 people found this helpful  

Unrealized Potential

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Career Opportunities
Current Employee - Process Development Engineer in Durham, NC
Current Employee - Process Development Engineer in Durham, NC

I have been working at Cree

Pros

1. Cree demands absolute accountability from it's employees, at least in my division. There is an overwhelming amount of talent in the company and it shows. For the most part, management keeps an open-door policy and will try to support you in meeting the goals of the business. The business is exciting and Cree has a world-class product in lighting-class LEDs. The compensation is good, especially for a young Engineer carrying some serious financial responsibility.

2. You are given no leash at all on the tools at Cree in my group. You can learn as many as you want and go as deeply as you want to. Once you learn something, you basically become responsible for it. It's an interesting system. You naturally fall into a tool.

3. I have come to call Cree a "boot camp" for Engineers. It is a very marketable resume builder because it is known for yielding world-class work ethic if you can make it through at least a year.

4. The triangle is a fantastic place to live. I particularly love Chapel Hill and Raleigh. It's swimming with young professionals who have money and like to go out.

Cons

1. Unforunately, the IT systems at Cree are not very good and information is not shared well. I find myself constructing reports that should be completely automated at least 1-2 times per day. That is the biggest downside to Cree. As a result, young Engineers must work extraordinary amounts of hours. The reviews saying you work 60 hours a week are not exaggerating. If you are new, you will live there. You will also be new for a very long time, which is why I see many people that are gone before the 2 year mark. It's basically expected.

2. Generally, 2 days off per week are allowed for salaried Engineers, but sometimes we even work on our weekends. This is the main reason for the title of my review. Cree needs to learn that people work to live, not live to work.

3. You will not get the conventional weekends as a new Engineer. Most entry level people will work Sunday-Thursday or Tuesday-Saturday and work extremely odd hours.

4. Cree does not encourage other pursuits in your life or any professional development besides "on-the-job" learning.

5. Lower-level employees generally get very little credit for sometimes remarkable feats. Then, they are belittled in front of the team when things don't go well.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Learn how to treat people fairly. You are continuing to lose tremendously talented people who love your company and products and would be passionate about your business if they could lead a normal life. Fix the IT system and automate some more processes. This will allow the company to launch products faster.

Recommends
Disapproves of CEO

113 Other Employee Reviews for Cree (View Most Recent)

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  1. 9 people found this helpful  

    Good work ex when you come out of college.. but NOT worth spending your 20s in a company like this!!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Process Development Engineer in Durham, NC
    Current Employee - Process Development Engineer in Durham, NC

    I have been working at Cree

    Pros

    1) Critical management comments make you rise up to the occasion each time... that helps in polishing your skills
    2) hands on experience were they expect engineers to be on the floor
    3) fast management decisions that directly impact company revenue
    4) benefits okay
    5) In rare occasions your idea can get heard and implemented as long as it is really good!! But do NOT expect this to help you in your annual review (disclaimer)

    Cons

    1) ZERO work-life balance
    2) not a company for a person in their 20s where you need to see the world and have fun... work schedules are like 12-14hours (no extra pay)
    3) Pay scales suck.. if you are an engineer or lower you get ripped apart. You are basically a personal assistant to the "scientists". Scientists get paid well and everyone below that are dispensable and dont get paid with market standards.
    4) As an engineer you existence and respect is not taken care of. You get yelled at and insulted in group meetings. Makes you wonder if LEDs important or basic self respect in life!! I am a BIG supporter of LED lights but I cant compromise my life and basic well being by working for such sadists.
    5) 99% of the time engineer is given the work to move batches and wafers and you need to be higher up to get actual process development opportunities.
    6) too much hierarchy in the system ... and you are made to think that if you are an engineer you are above technicians/operators. I am a person who like treating people equally, and I hate to be the bad guy and be mean to techs/operators when things go bad.
    7) more visibility to top management when you make a small mistake and ZERO visibility when you do a good thing
    8) New engineers start career in night shift. this is the worst shift. day shift passes so many things onto you that you end up staying 12-14 hours everyday. Finally your social/family life suffers. Is this really worth it?
    9) The more longer you stay in Cree, the more "powerful" you become. But trust me, you become unmarketable to the outside semiconductor industry if you are an engineer in Cree. Scientists have it different as they own all product development.
    10) final line --> AIN'T WORTH SPENDING YOUR LIFE HERE!!!!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    - Be nice to your engineers at times
    - UNDERSTAND that your employees are your greatest wealth and strength. Treat them well and and you will see results better and so will your share holders be happy.
    - Learn the manners to be nice so that your people will work harder and be more happy to work for you
    - You can pay slightly higher to the hard working engineers and save money by cutting down the CEO's lavish expenditures (esp when we hear a 20-30k $$ spending in ONE trip for flight alone)
    - Allow engineers to have some development opportunity.. for God sake!!! You recruit them as "Process Development Engineer" and you make them move wafers for customer orders... what the HELL!!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 2 people found this helpful  

    Great Learning Experience.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Process Development Engineer II in Durham, NC
    Current Employee - Process Development Engineer II in Durham, NC

    I have been working at Cree

    Pros

    Lots of work, lots to learn.
    Great place to start a career
    Helpful managers, sometimes annoying but mostly cool.
    Good Quality of work / projects

    Cons

    Work Life Balance will go out-of-whack.
    If you are not a Scientist, growth is stagnant.
    Compensation meager at best

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Please tackle the issue of compensation seriously, employees are seriously under pad for the time / effort they put in.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
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