The Pros And Cons Of Working At The Best Employer In America


In the past decade, Celgene Corporation has become a major player in the biopharmaceutical sector.


Aside from developing drugs that help people battle cancer and inflammatory disorders, Celgene is also recognized as a great place to work.

In fact, the company was ranked as the Best Employer of 2013 on Business Insider's list, which was based on exclusive data from PayScale. Employees from the company reported a 91 percent job satisfaction rate and 91 percent work schedule flexibility score.

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To get a better idea of what it's like to work for the best employer in America, we turned to employee reviews on career community website Glassdoor:

A current manager in Phoenix, AZ posted:


Pros: "Good pay, great benefits, great stock options, and great vacation package.
Casual atmosphere (sometimes a select few take casual to a new meaning). Flexible schedules."

Cons: "As with many companies, there are that handful of annoying, a** kissers who will stop at nothing to walk over you (twice), throw you under that familiar bus, and keep you from reaching your goals. There are also many husband/wife, boyfriend/girlfriend, boyfriend/boyfriend, girlfriend/girlfriend relationships that in any other company would be 'banned,' but plant manager allows it so it goes on. Some even report to their spouses which I believe is called nepotism."

"For the record, I am giving a very neutral observation as I am not one of the many disgruntled employees, I am actually one of the 'content' ones. Salaries are super unbalanced and not fair within the Phoenix Organization."

Advice to Senior Management: "Allow the employees to rate your upper management and understand what kind of people are working (term used loosely) as your representatives of the Phoenix facility. I think that there would be a lot of raised eyebrows when the management sees how they are viewed by their reports. This would go as far as a review of plant manager (however, there are too many people who are 'yes men' and only care about their personal growth)."

A current employee in Basking Ridge, NJ posted:


Pros: “I do feel like my commitment to the work matters. Probably the best employer for ensuring that you maintain the work-life balance. Work is constant and aggressive, but also still a learning experience as they aren't regimented in their ways ... yet."

Cons: "Still a learning experience (mentioned above) can be arduous to establish processes and standards."

A former Co-Op in Warren, NJ posted:

Pros: "One of the best reasons to work at Celgene is because of the amicable atmosphere at their Cellular Therapy site. Another good reason would be the stock options as part of its compensation for full-time employees. Biotechnology and stem cells is an advancing and a novel field to work in and Celgene is one of the leading pioneers."

Cons: "There were a few cons however — the company likes to keep a lot of contractors, this creates some trepidation over job security. Sometimes, you are stuck with projects you dislike while others get easier, more fun projects to work on."


Advice to Senior Management: "Don't lose touch with lower level associates, these people are the building blocks of tomorrow!"

A current Clinical Operations in Summit, NJ posted:

Pros: "The stock price is going up."

Cons: "Complete managerial ineptitude. Layers and layers of bureaucracy.
A glut of former 'high powered' managers and directors that brought 'Big Pharma' to an organization that isn't prepared to operate under 'Big Models.' Morale is non existent and as long as the stock price goes up, the issues go by the way side."

Advice to Senior Management: "Do an in-depth assessment of how your front line directors and managers treat their staff. You would be appalled to see how Celgene's name is becoming synonymous with 'worst place to work.' "


A current Senior IT Manager in Summit, NJ posted:

Pros: "Exposure to multiple technologies hence learning is good. Responsibilities are broad. Good medical and dental plan. No major competition yet."

Cons: "No work life balance. Many employees are overworked. Arrogant and ignorant managerial staff."

Advice to Senior Management: "Workers are good, but skills of managerial staff needs to be reviewed."

A current employee in Summit, NJ posted:


Pros: "Flexible work hours, compensation, stock options."

Cons: "Honestly, people at Celgene overall are just not very nice. They are the most unfriendly, hard-driving group of people you would ever want to meet. Going to work there was depressing and most of all intimidating. And truth be told, the management THOUGHT they knew alot more than they truly did. If they ever saw how other larger drug company executives were like, they would be ashamed of themselves. But the old boys network thrives at Celgene."

Advice to Senior Management: "Treat the company as a learning organization, treat others with dignity, the ends do not always justify the means."

A current employee in Summit, NJ posted:

Pros: "Diversity, technologically-advanced, good salary, good benefits."


Cons: "Undergoing growing pains as it transitions from a smaller company to a larger, mid size pharmaceutical company."

A former employee in Summit, NJ posted:

Pros: "Celgene paid really well and the benefits are top notch!"

Cons: "The place is toxic. There are VERY few people that are happy with their jobs."

Advice to Senior Management: "Do skip level meetings. Your employees are unhappy because of the leaders you've put in place. If people weren't afraid to stand up, the company would be a phenomenal place to work."


A current manager in Summit, NJ posted:

Pros: “High growth company with exciting career opportunities. Opportunity work in multiple functions and across geographies."

Cons: "Need for a better human resources function; ability to bypass bureaucracy and be flexible to retain top talent."

Advice to Senior Management: "Simplify decision-making and use of resources judiciously. I have the feeling that we do a lot of wasteful work."

A former employee in Summit, NJ posted:


Pros: "Steady somewhat competitive pay rate as long as you play along, small yearly bonus, reasonable benefits, lots of good folks at the ground level."

Cons: "The culture is very confusing, management constantly preaches about taking initiative, be open, values, be good etc. However, the environment is very corporate.
In reality, opinions and initiative are not tolerated."

Advice to Senior Management: "Remove your non-profit slogan 'Doing well by doing good.' Change it to something more realistic to represent a for profit organization.
maybe something like 'Our medicine helps people.' "

Based on the employees reviews from Glassdoor, we gathered that Celgene is an exciting place to work with great pay and benefits, cutting-edgy technology and a diverse and intelligent staff.

On the other hand, it seems like employees are most upset about the managerial staff. Most of the advice these employees have for their senior management team is to re-evaluate supervisors and allow workers a chance to rate their own managers. The cons could very well be a sign of growing pains as Celgene has rapidly become a leader in its industry in a short amount of time.