Working at Vulcan | Glassdoor

Vulcan Overview

Seattle, WA
501 to 1000 employees
1986
Company - Private
Information Technology
$5 to $10 million (USD) per year
Vulcan is the engine behind philanthropist and Microsoft cofounder Paul G. Allen's network of organizations and initiatives.
We share a commitment to improving our planet through catalytic philanthropy, inspirational experiences, and scientific and ... Read more

Mission: Empowered by our founder Paul Allen's vision, our mission is to be catalysts for change and make a positive difference in our world."

Company Updates

  • It's the largest plane ever built and its engines -- 6 of them -- started for the first time last week. These are the kinds of projects that our founder and chairman, Paul G. Allen, is willing to take on.

    Stratolaunch Aircraft Hits Another Milestone

    By Jean Floyd The Stratolaunch team is proud to announce that our aircraft is one step closer to providing convenient, reliable, and routine access to low Earth orbit. We hit another important milestone this week by completing the first phase of engine testing. For the first time we started the aircraft's six Pratt & Whitney turbofan engines.

  • If you are interested in solving tough problems with one of the 100 greatest living business minds, check out our open roles. http://glassdoor.com/slink.htm?key=vQy4Y

    Paul Allen | Health Care

    Lessons from the 100 Greatest Business Minds #forbesat100

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Vulcan Video

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Vulcan – Why Work For Us?


We're a nimble private company based in Seattle, Washington with a portfolio as diverse as the challenges of the universe. Driven by the interests, ideas and intuitions of founder Paul Allen, Vulcan invests in brain science and basketball, retail space and outer space, traditional libraries and AI-enhanced textbooks. At Vulcan, we strive to answer big questions asked by our founder, and by the world. If we can discover the mysteries of the brain, we can pave the way towards understanding diseases like Alzheimer’s. If we can change the economics of space launches, we can enhance space travel. If we can get the formula right for a new kind of downtown neighborhood, it becomes a guide for the innovation centers of tomorrow.

Despite the diversity of Vulcan’s initiatives and investments, our efforts are tethered to a simple principle; if it has the potential to do good, then we should do it. With a local focus and global reach, the Vulcan umbrella covers our work in philanthropic and capital investment, real estate and community development, sustainability and conservation, arts and music, space, technology, science research, and education, and uses unique delivery mediums including documentaries, social campaigns, open-source databases, legislative action and partnerships. As a company, Vulcan’s mission is to discover and develop smart solutions for some of the world’s toughest challenges.



People usually guess that our company was named after the extraterrestrial humanoid species from Star Trek, renowned for their logic and reason. However, 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 oversees and managers a broad compilation of the Allen family’s projects, investments and companies all over the world. We are that big umbrella company under which a host of signature entities fall under including Vulcan Real Estate, the Allen Institute for Brain Science, the Flying Heritage Collection and the Seattle Seahawks. These are just a few of the projects, initiatives and investments in the Vulcan universe. We are also constantly innovating in-house, serving as an incubator for fledgling inventions, ambitious global campaigns, and new philanthropic efforts. After all, it’s a big universe.

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 Reviews

3.4
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Approve of CEO
Vulcan CEO Bill Hilf
Bill Hilf
13 Ratings
  • "Amazing experiences faced paced"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Technology
    Former Employee - Technology
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Vulcan full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    The people are amazing. You'll find yourself sitting next to a rocket scientist or a movie producer and realize that you work at the same company. There's always an interesting project to work on.

    Cons

    You sometimes don't have enough time or people to get things done. I feel like management underestimates how much time it takes to finish a project. I only left because of personal reasons not because of the job.

    Advice to Management

    Some of the new exec team members seem to be really interested in making Vulcan better. Don't lose site of that.

See All 86 Reviews

Vulcan Photos

Vulcan photo of: Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin joins Vulcan CEO Bill Hilf on stage at a recent company meeting
Vulcan photo of: At Vulcan we take the dog days of summer literally and invite employees to bring their dogs to work for a fun-filled day. This year we had more than 75 dogs in the office.
Vulcan photo of: Two of the stars of "Step" teach Vulcan employees some moves.
Vulcan photo of: Vulcan employees enjoy a unique opportunity to tour the Seahawks locker room at CenturyLink Field
Vulcan photo of: Keith Rosema and Selvam Velmurugan speak at the Geekwire Summit
Vulcan photo of: Vulcan Office
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Vulcan Interviews

Experience

Experience
44%
20%
36%

Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview
66%
16%
8%
4
4

Difficulty

2.7
Average

Difficulty

Hard
Average
Easy
  1.  

    Machine Learning Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Seattle, WA
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. I interviewed at Vulcan (Seattle, WA) in July 2017.

    Interview

    Short HR interview followed by an interview with the hiring manager. I was told that they would get back to me with the next steps after they interviewed a few more people, but the never did. I learned that I didn't get the job by checking the status on jobvite a few weeks later. I would have appreciated more communication on their part.

    Interview Questions

    • Mostly behavioral questions and questions about my level of experience.   Answer Question
See All 26 Interviews

Vulcan Awards & Accolades

  • Washington's Best Workplaces, Puget Sound Business Journal, 2016

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