Illumina Reviews | Glassdoor

Illumina Reviews

Updated May 24, 2017
399 reviews

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399 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Pretty good flexibility in our work helps with work life balance (in 22 reviews)

  • Innovative and fast paced environment (in 45 reviews)

Cons
  • Work life balance is always a concern (in 50 reviews)

  • Fast paced environment with constant changing of directions on priorities (in 20 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (13)

    "Total compensation is highly variable"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Diego, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Diego, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Illumina full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    The best thing about working at Illumina is the people. I have the opportunity to work with the best engineers, biochemists, assay developers, and software developers. In addition, the technology development continues to be cutting edge and the people are committed to building great products.

    Cons

    The biggest con is that total compensation is highly variable, so be careful of how employment offers appear. Stock compensation is good, but when senior management misses 3 out of the 4 last quarterly revenue forecasts, that stock is not as valuable (the latest announcement led to a 25% decrease in stock price). Also, there is an annual bonus but funding of that is subject to meeting a minimum revenue expectation, which the company will likely miss this year. On the surface, total compensation will look great, but when senior management misses revenue projections, it won't be as compelling relative to other companies.

    Advice to Management

    Senior management should accept that 10% year over year growth is excellent and they should make revenue projections in line with that growth. They should stop trying so hard to define the culture and values and just let that evolve from the people working there and doing the hiring. Finally, they should consider cutting 5-10% of the work force to reduce expenses.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Research Associate I"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Research Associate II in San Diego, CA
    Current Employee - Research Associate II in San Diego, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Access to cutting-edge technology. Everyone is really eager to bring you up to speed on projects and you are given lots of resources and tools for problem solving.

    Cons

    There's a sharp learning curve. The first few weeks are pretty overwhelming. Contract pay is not that great and the benefits barely get you by.

    Advice to Management

    Continue with your open discussion of improvement. Any questions are answered in a timely manner and in depth detail is given.


  3. Helpful (5)

    "Top Heavy, Heavier, Heaviest"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Diego, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Diego, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Illumina full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Like others have said, there's a bunch of brilliant and nice people at Illumina. The nice one's get over run by the sharks, though.
    The company makes a great product and has a strong pipeline in an amazing market space.

    Cons

    Very political. Organization changes several times a year, causing a lot of chaos and lost productivity. Just when things settle down, there's another org change to accommodate the new directors/ vice presidents they keep hiring.

    Advice to Management

    Promote from within and share all those bonuses and stock options with masses instead of all the top heavy management team.


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  5. "Research Associate II"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Research Associate II in San Diego, CA
    Current Employee - Research Associate II in San Diego, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    great company, people are always interested in lending a hand, happy hours are great

    Cons

    extremely competitive workplace, work long hours

    Advice to Management

    recognize your employees for their hard work


  6. "Great Place to Work"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Business Analyst in San Diego, CA
    Former Employee - Business Analyst in San Diego, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Illumina is an exciting, fast-paced, innovative organization to work for. They hire the best of the best so you are always surrounded by intelligent people who want to succeed and make an impact. Compensation is good, and opportunities are plenty.

    Cons

    Can be a bit chaotic at times and if you are not driven you can easily get lost in the giant machine that is Illumina. Often it can feel like you are a small cog with little wiggle room to expose yourself to other areas of the business

    Advice to Management

    Create opportunities for inter-departmental meet & greets amogn lower-level employees


  7. "All-Time Favorite Job"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Diego, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Diego, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Illumina full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    We have the opportunity to change the way that illness and disease are diagnosed and treated. The entire company rallies behind this opportunity, and we stay focused on doing the best we can and moving as quickly as possible toward that goal. That kind of culture attracts experienced, passionate, driven, and brilliant people. It also creates opportunities for us each to have a tremendous impact on the company, and therefore the world.

    Cons

    We do sometimes move so fast that we move on before we've fully finished things. With so many possible uses for the technology, we also sometimes take on too many projects and programs.

    Advice to Management

    Keep us focused and passionate; this is an incredible opportunity, and everyone here wants to take advantage of it and get there together.


  8. "Best Company I've Ever Worked For"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Field Service Engineer in Salt Lake City, UT
    Current Employee - Field Service Engineer in Salt Lake City, UT
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    An honest commitment to providing the best customer service possible. Every company says this but few actually do it. Managers care about employees, work/life balance is more than reasonable (perhaps not in every role). Benefits are excellent. Out of pocket costs for medical are way less than other plans I've been enrolled in. Illumina is the leader in it's industry with no significant competition. It's satisfying working in a field that truly contributes to society and human health versus companies that exist for profit only. Communication from the top happens often and is informative. CEO will answer any question posed to him by employees during company meetings. There is opportunity to advance but you will have to earn it.

    Cons

    Growth has slowed in recent years so advancement may take longer than in the past and opportunities are fewer. Changes happen fast. If you don't put in the extra effort to keep up your job will get harder. Lots of meetings!

    Advice to Management

    Who am I to offer advice to some of the smartest executives in the world? They seem to know what they are doing.


  9. "Great company, but very political!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Diego, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Diego, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Illumina full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    very innovative company, tends to be collaborative. Energetic team of people. It has great products, but more technology focused rather than market focused.

    Cons

    it is highly political, it doesn't matter simply if you are good at what you do but really if you are able to establish political connections and build rapport.

    Advice to Management

    I think management should be more personable, and politics is distracting and can be frustrating for many people.


  10. Helpful (12)

    "Don't work here if you like bonuses"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Production Supervisor in San Diego, CA
    Current Employee - Production Supervisor in San Diego, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Innovative, fast paced, adaptable; management is very transparent; the products are very exciting and the company as a whole has huge potential

    Cons

    They just announced that they are cutting bonuses. I am a new employee that left a great company to be part of something amazing and it has not lived up to the hype.

    Advice to Management

    Do not cut bonuses. This will have a very negative effect on current employees and prospects. This was a horrible move.


  11. "Exciting Company, but few career opportunities for engineers"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Process Engineer II in San Diego, CA
    Current Employee - Process Engineer II in San Diego, CA

    I have been working at Illumina full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Lots of smart people
    Great campus
    Great benefits
    New engineers get lots of experience very quickly

    Cons

    Practically no career management and employee's career goals are ignored
    Upward mobility is not great and people often get stuck doing work that is below their ability


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