I worked at Novartis full-time (More than a year)
great benefits, competitive pay, global organization, world class talent
lack of physical colocation, too much dependency on offshore resources, too much outsourcing, not enough internal employees, expected to be on conference calls at all hours of the day (6AM to 7PM or later)
Advice to Management
Focus on the people who are dedicated to improving the community feeling in IT. It is too disjointed and does not feel like a unified team. Too much money and effort is being spent trying to run lean, which is costing great loss of productivity and man hours being wasted doing rework and chasing people down who are not subject matter experts in their positions, especially contractors who are "cheap" but do not actually save you in the long run.
I applied through an employee referral. I interviewed at Novartis (South San Francisco, CA).
The interview consisted of attending meetings with two people in the department at a time over the course of a day. Questions were primarily derived from my presentation but there were a few retro synthetic analysis questions.