Illumina
3.0 of 5 116 reviews
www.illumina.com San Diego, CA 1000 to 5000 Employees

Illumina Reviews

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3.0 116 reviews

                             

65% Approve of the CEO

Illumina CEO Jay Flatley

Jay Flatley

(84 ratings)

53% of employees recommend this company to a friend
20 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews
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4 people found this helpful  

Dysfunctional and Proud of It!!

Senior Research Associate (Current Employee)
San Diego, CA (US)

I have been working at Illumina full-time for more than 5 years

ProsNice campus, iCafe, company parties are fun, stock is going up, some nice people

ConsIf you love working then this is the place for you because you'll be here morning, noon, and night. La Jolla in the dark will become a very familiar sight. It's not just the aggressive schedules that will keep you at work. A good part of the work will be created by the overall lack of planning of the projects that you'll work on. This is kind of amazing since Illumina is filled to rafters with middle managers. I guess they spend so much time falling over each other that they don't have time to manage anything.

The cherry on top of all of this is that your hard work is unlikely to be rewarded. Illumina makes no bones about the fact that it will not give internal candidates preference in hiring for open positions. It's quite frustrating to see external job postings for positions that you (and likely many of your colleagues) are qualified for. The best strategy for advancement at Illumina is to do good work, leave for a few years, and then come back at a higher level.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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2 people found this helpful  

Not great

Technical Applications Scientist (Current Employee)
San Diego, CA (US)

I have been working at Illumina full-time for more than 5 years

ProsCafeteria, RSU (stock), company is doing very well

ConsSchedules are unrealistic, work/life balance suffers greatly, bloated middle management that slows everything down, lots of silos, and a growing number of people who don't seem to have a clear function in the organization

Advice to Senior ManagementIllumina should be one of the best places in San Diego to work. It's not.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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3 people found this helpful  

A Veterans perspective.

Manufacturing Engineer (Former Employee)
San Diego, CA (US)

I worked at Illumina full-time for more than 3 years

ProsNice facility.
Some good perks all around.
Fair PTO system.
Good benefits package.

ConsAfter serving over 12 years in the US Military I landed a position with Illumina at first all seemed good the facility is very large and the benefits were great for a family person like me. I was glad to be a part of such a large organization because typically that’s good for career growth from within.
Later as a prior service member who was in a leadership position I noticed that at almost every level they have no leadership per say, they rule by committee & political alliances. If you find yourself inside certain circles you will be fine; but if you’re out of the circles you may as well start looking for a new job.
I felt certain mid-level managers saw me as a threat to their positions due in part to my experience in leadership and my technical ability and went after me. They kept it legal and the HR was of no help at all this stopping this harassment so I gave my notice, in my exit interview HR did not want to hear me and just kept repeating “prerogative” like a parrot.
I cannot and will not recommend anyone working at this place especially mid-level career people because they will suffer the most while a person fresh out of college may be able to stand it.
*This Company if not illegal certainly is an unethical company.

Advice to Senior ManagementNone- but one day this behavior will bite you in the end.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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1 person found this helpful  

10 Years going to Illumina to work.

Manufacturing Technician III (Former Employee)
San Diego, CA (US)

I worked at Illumina full-time for more than 8 years

ProsStock given to me.
PTO is good system.
good benefits.
steady job for ten years with increases first ~8 years.
Good I cafe.

Cons24/7 work non stop manufacturing.
Very stress filled & mad people on your back.
very political environment after 8 years as Illumina grew.
no system of promotion to next level, all political or friendship based.
HR provides no balance for employee grievances.

Advice to Senior Managementwaste of time as long as the stock is great they could care less.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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5 people found this helpful  

Experience that is comparable to that of a nightmare

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

I worked at Illumina full-time for more than 3 years

ProsTop performer financially in the industry. Genomics is a great field to get into as the technology develops and there will be an ever increasing demand worldwide.

ConsTrying my best not to sound like another “disgruntled” employee, there are very serious and legitimate work issues and experiences I had with this company. As far as a workplace goes, a one star review is appropriate for Illumina. My time at there can be best described as torture and unbearable, with treatment being terrible and outright unfair and unethical. As a place to work, it is the absolute worst I have seen, and I am no stranger to tough, high expectation environments. Little reward with unreasonable expectations where your ability to make political alliances matters 100%, and work and quality are not even considered. 72 hours a week or so and no work life balance is requested of you as standard operating procedure. Be prepared to be abused for the privilege of working 72 hours a week, as working that much (or more) for this company gains you nothing unless you are a part of the popularity management clique. Most of the mid level managers do not know the industry and are encouraged to push their employees to the breaking limit, rather than foster and reinforce teamwork and quality work. Executive staff at this company are amongst some of the most despicable human beings I have ever met (meaning zero ethics, no consideration of their employees, only concerned with making numbers, no care for quality of work, end products, customer satisfaction, or employee treatment).

As a side note at the mid level, be prepared to deal with no one ever willing to take responsibility for their own work, or no one ever willing to make a decision and stand by it for fear of repercussions from above.

Don’t be fooled by the recent influx of five star reviews. Illumina HR is coming in here and posting fake positive reviews. They are using buzzwords from the Illumina Core Values and other Illumina HR documentation. One review before this one says to pass this place up…and I couldn’t agree more.

Advice to Senior ManagementYou should have let Roche acquire you if not for the sake of creating some operational stability and foresight. Greed of management is really the only thing that is clearly showing through, and as a result company is not doing as good as it has before.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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3 people found this helpful  

Dreadful experience due to management.

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at Illumina

ProsCompensation is good, don't know about benefits

ConsHeavy Micro Management. To many levels of supervisors, managers, directors. Terrible employee onboarding.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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5 people found this helpful  

Worst working experience of my life

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

I worked at Illumina full-time

Prosexcellent facilities, great location, extensive infrastructure, great Information Technology support, great diversity. the administration and human resources and almost anyone NOT working in scientific or technical areas are phenomenal

Consabsolutely no career potential. no attention to detail or quality. pathetic research and deveopment. completely ignorant of industry standards. no clear direction, vision or competencies within the management structure. very short sighted.

Advice to Senior Managementget rid of all the middle managers that have no idea what they are doing. recognize quality, honesty, hard work, experience, dedication and character. place company culture and employee happiness at the forefront.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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5 people found this helpful  

Terrible experience I will never let happen in my career again

Anonymous Ops (Former Employee)
San Diego, CA (US)

I worked at Illumina full-time for more than a year

Pros- nice facilities
- many capable colleagues throughout the years

Cons- Career advancement is non-existent unless you play ridiculous games and are a political backstabber. Actual work performance and quality get you nowhere at this company
- Chaotic and disorganized as a company, and they are proud of it
- Over-rewarded executive and sales teams to the point of lewd extravagance, while all other departments struggle and are treated harshly
- Very arrogant attitude and overall corporate culture. They act as if you are lucky to be with them, hence they get to treat you like a thing
- World renowned terrible middle management. By terrible I mean how they treat people, their competence levels, political acuity, and overall professionalism. To say they are a joke is an understatement
- Terrible upper management that perpetuates a horrible environment to suite their (mostly financial) needs, and not the needs of the company or employees as a whole. Working for them is a career stopper

Advice to Senior ManagementYour work force resents you and the terrible decisions you have made. The gross misallocation of incentives and advancement is apparent. You need to seriously mind your employees who have worked their tails off to give you a seven figure salary and reach the $1billion+ mark. You have not done this, and as a result, you have lost the vast majority of your top talent in 2011. Suites you right.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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2 people found this helpful  

Unlike any company I've ever worked for

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
San Diego, CA (US)

I worked at Illumina full-time for more than 3 years

ProsThe technology is awesome but even that is being tarnished by the poor quality in recent years. Initially you will be very excited and impressed with the "energy" of the company, but slowly you will realize that the energy is really chaos. You will question how you are able to work in such a crazy, disfunctional environment. It's not just a challenge to work at Illumina, it's a work triathalon that will end up breaking you down mentally and physically. This in turn will more than prepare you for any future job challenges.

ConsI will never forget my time at Illumina because I have never worked for such a horrible company in my life. It was all about the bottom line and anything else such as quality, process improvements, treating folks with respect and encouraging a healthy work life balance took a back seat. I noticed that during this recession the mid and upper management that were a part of the "good ole boys and gals club" often received promotions, and executives paychecks seemed to grow an a very inflated rate while the common workers barely got a cost of living increase and saw their restricted stock plummet in value. I am only mentioning this because if the company bottom line is not doing well (there was a layoff recently), why are the executives getting a fatter paycheck and why are you building newer facilities?

Advice to Senior ManagementThe technology needs to be taken to the next level and you need mid-managers that know what they are doing and will treat your everyday worker with respect. Probably best that you merge with another company that can help you get the technology into the healthcare setting because you certainly won't be able to do it with your current management.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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1 person found this helpful  

Long journey

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at Illumina full-time

ProsYoung culture, can be fun, lots of potential, on site gym, cafeteria, nice amenities

ConsNo work life balance, getting more bureaucratic

Advice to Senior ManagementMost management are nice and have good intentions. Planning dept needs to get their act together

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