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Illumina Reviews

Updated 20 February 2019
678 reviews

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4.2
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Illumina President & CEO Francis deSouza
Francis deSouza
281 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • "Great work environment, company culture, work/life balance" (in 44 reviews)

  • "fast paced environment where you can learn a lot" (in 72 reviews)

Cons
  • "So much going on - you need to be very good at setting boundaries or it will be easy to get sucked into poor work-life balance" (in 61 reviews)

  • "Ultra fast paced environment, high stress during critical release dates" (in 45 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Featured Review

    Helpful (26)

    "Move Fast and Embrace Change"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior QA Manager in San Diego, CA (US)
    Current Employee - Senior QA Manager in San Diego, CA (US)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    This is a very fast moving company constantly innovating and changing. I know many companies say this in their values, but here you'll feel it every day. No two years are the same, no two months are the same. Everyone is collaborating towards the same end vision; to unlock the power of the genome, to transform healthcare and beyond. It's dynamic and very meaningful. I find it very motivating to know the work we're doing is improving thousands of lives today, and millions in the future!

    Cons

    The Pros can also be Cons if it's not a good fit culturally. Someone who needs a regular routine or struggles with the undefined would not align well at Illumina. Because the company is pushing the limits of what's possible, and doing things no one in history has done, there is a lot of undefined gray areas. This can be a pro if one likes charting their own course. If an employee is looking for a more defined and routine culture, this is not a good fit.

    Advice to Management

    Continue the improvement on prioritization. There can't be many number 1 priorities. Forced ranking could be a useful tool to hash out relative priorities. Great trend here already, but still more to do.


  2. Helpful (3)

    ""Operate a meritocracy" was once a stated company value"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Marketing Manager in San Diego, CA (US)
    Former Employee - Senior Marketing Manager in San Diego, CA (US)

    I worked at Illumina full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    As far a backstabbing and infighting go, that behavior is probably below that of many orgs

    Cons

    As Illumina has grown, political maneuvering has become more important than execution.

    Advice to Management

    Consider that your reports my be inversely skilled at general management compared to "managing up"

  3. "Poor Ops Culture/Org"

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

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

    Pros

    -Awesome company, technology, and future
    -Great facility and perks

    Cons

    -Little care for roles and responsibilities
    -Tremendous overlap of actual responsibilities and this is empowered
    -Many people out for themselves; teams do not function as teams or support the leadership out in place
    -Little interest in qualifications or experience, mainly education (not ideal for an Ops org)
    -Many people not in the right role for a quality-driven Ops organization

    Advice to Management

    Drive change from the top. Enforce projects, teams, and acceptance of team leadership. Embrace change or things will stay the same. Wish it was different here...


  4. Helpful (1)

    "The best company to work for"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Accounts Payable Specialist in San Diego, CA (US)
    Current Employee - Accounts Payable Specialist in San Diego, CA (US)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    I love working at Illumina! They treat you like family. The buildings have an amazing gym, restaurants and cafes, lounge areas and phone rooms, and an amazing view. The culture of the company is very relaxed but there is still a pressure to get things done. There are shuttle buses always running to take us to and from the mall and the other campus near by. They are always flexible with my schedule if I have a doctors appointment or something to do

    Cons

    The work hours are not flexible. You cannot leave earlier than 4pm but that’s still not bad considering most companies are mandorty 9-5


  5. "Great company culture"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Manufacturing Technician in San Diego, CA (US)
    Current Employee - Manufacturing Technician in San Diego, CA (US)

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

    Pros

    The perks are amazing. The campus feels like a college campus and everyone is very intelligent. On site fitness center, req league sports, happy hours

    Cons

    Mobility is much harder than it is made out to be. If you start as a contractor and then get hired, you cannot change roles for 6-12 months after your conversion date. Regardless of how long your contract was. If you are thinking of taking a less desirable role and plan to move around I would strongly discourage you because you will be stuck in a job you don't like for a year at a minimum, depending on how long it takes to get converted.

    Advice to Management

    Time worked under a contract should count towards your time working in a current role once you get hired. The 12 months in your current role rule before being able to change departments is so arbitrary and deters employees who find themselves in a role where they are highly overqualified, from wanting to advance their career in the company.


  6. "typical large biotech company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends

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

    Pros

    smart and fun collegues, relax atmosphere

    Cons

    no free food or snacks


  7. Helpful (7)

    "Hated the culture"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Management in San Diego, CA (US)
    Former Employee - Management in San Diego, CA (US)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great benefits and individuals are nice

    Cons

    Not as advertised. Organization is disorganized and overly messy

    Advice to Management

    Get the company organized!

  8. "One of the better place to be"

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

    I have been working at Illumina full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great focus on new outcomes and pushing boundaries
    A drive to improve Human Health
    A company focused on giving back to the community

    Cons

    Balance of changing demands/focuses
    High role change over company, due to rapid growth, means constant reinvention of strategy

    Advice to Management

    Don’t lose sight of the core philosophies


  9. "Fast pace, great benefits"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Engineer in Singapore (Singapore)
    Current Employee - Engineer in Singapore (Singapore)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Fun workplace, great facilities and benefits.

    Cons

    Not for someone who do not like frequent changes, inconsistencies, and unstructured practices.

    Advice to Management

    Cross site collaboration is great but each site shall be given the autonomy to develop their own best practices


  10. Helpful (2)

    "Customer Support specialist"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Customer Support Specialist in San Diego, CA (US)
    Current Employee - Customer Support Specialist in San Diego, CA (US)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Amazing people, beautiful campus, fun atmosphere. We work hard but play hard and everyone is so happy to be at work. We're encouraged to network, go for walks and explore the vast campus and meet people no matter the role you have or they have. PhD staff mixing with interns is a common sight and theres a real sense of purpose and that we're all in it together working towards a common goal.

    Cons

    The restaurant in the i3 site isnt very good but they have food trucks that come daily, another restaurant in hq and Starbucks in the cafes.

    Advice to Management

    Keep doing what you're doing. It's clearly working!