Working at Vulcan | Glassdoor

Vulcan Overview

Seattle, WA
501 to 1000 employees
1986
Company - Private
Computer Hardware & Software
$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

  • In order to promote and grow Paul Allen’s passion for preserving and sharing history, from May to July we will be sharing articles on this website and on Vulcan’s social channels that celebrate veterans. We’ll be sharing the stories of our past and the contributions of our veterans, encouraging you to seek out spaces where you and your family can engage with the past in the present.

    Summer of Honor: celebrating history beyond Memorial Day | Paul Allen

    By The Editors In the United States, Memorial Day is on the horizon. It is an important opportunity for Americans to pause and honor those who served. This summer is particularly special for remembering history, as June 6 marks the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion on the beaches of Normandy, where the allied forces began the liberation of Nazi occupied Europe and changed the course of World War II.

  • Today we took time to observe International Women's Day. And tell the stories of women doing inspiring work.

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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

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Vulcan CEO Bill Hilf
Bill Hilf
21 Ratings
  • "Fun and Inventive Workspace"

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    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Contract Specialist
    Current Employee - Contract Specialist
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Vulcan full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Great people, the work is different every day, the management team is supportive, the benefits are good, the work schedule is good, communication is great, easy to commute, lots of great perks, fun events, they take good care of their employees and really care about work/life balance

    Cons

    I'm happy with everything so far!

See All 101 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: Russell Wilson and Ciara stopped by recently to meet with Vulcan CEO Bill Hilf, Mary Cadera and Art Min to discuss philanthropic endeavors
Vulcan photo of: Sporting our custom cycling jerseys
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
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Vulcan Interviews

Experience

Experience
62%
18%
20%

Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview
61%
18%
10%
8
3

Difficulty

2.9
Average

Difficulty

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Average
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  1.  

    Contract Specialist Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. I interviewed at Vulcan (Seattle, WA) in April 2019.

    Interview

    I applied online and was contacted for an initial phone screen. The recruiter was very accommodating with my schedule and was able to work out a time that worked for both of us. The initial phone screen gave me a very good idea of the company and about the role. After the phone screen I was invited to an in person interview. Again, they were very accommodating and helpful when I arrived on site. The interview process involved about 30 minute interviews with 1-2 people in each group from the team that I would be supporting. Again, this was a great way to learn more about the company and the people that I would be working with on the team. I feel as though I got a great representation of the company and the type of work that I would be doing. After the in person interview, the follow up was very quick and there was lots of communication throughout the process. I accepted the job and had to complete a background check. The communication while waiting for the results was also excellent. Overall, I had a great experience during the application process and feel as though I was well informed throughout the entire experience.

    Interview Questions

    • Behavioral based questions such as, "Tell me about a time when..", "What is your experience with.."   Answer Question
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Vulcan Awards & Accolades

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

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