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TheJobCrowd’s Top 50 Companies For Graduates To Work For highlights the employers who provide their graduate employees with the most outstanding opportunities and experience. Unlike other graduate employer rankings, the list is entirely determined by employee experience. Employees at over 300 graduate employers have told TheJobCrowd. com all about their experiences and we are proud to present those companies that are rated the very best to work for by their own graduates in this guide.

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About the Rankings About How The Rankings Work Insights into Graduate Jobs Insider Guide To Landing A Job The Top 50 Rankings The Top Companies


About TheJobCrowd Top 50 Companies For Graduates To Work For The Top 50 Companies For Graduates To Work For is a radical new approach to employer rankings, which list the best companies to work for. Chances are you’ve come across some of these lists before, you may have even used them to help you make job application decisions. If so, did you know that the majority of these rankings are based on student perception of who would be the best employers, rather than on the experience of graduates who actually work at these firms? We were pretty surprised to find this out as it doesn’t make much sense to us. If you are looking at a list of best employers, you probably want to see the companies who are actually great to work for, not who students think might be good to work for. So we decided to start a new way of ranking graduate employers. Rather than asking students: “Who do you think the best graduate employer is?” (which is what other employer rankings do), we have spent the last year asking graduate employees what they actually think of working for their company.

are however a great many firms, with less of a marketing budget or in less popular industries (some of whom you may not even have heard of!), who don’t appear in other guides but who give their graduates a fantastic experience. Many of these companies feature very highly in our rankings.

The result is an employer rankings which is entirely meritocratic. It ignores factors such as how well-known a company is or how much they spend on their recruitment marketing – both of which have a huge effect on other employer rankings. Our rankings look at only one thing: do a company’s graduate employees say they are a good employer?

We believe that our Top 50 provides a much better way to choose an employer who you will actually be really happy working for, so we hope you find it useful in helping you to make your own job application decisions.

Of course, many of the companies that feature in other employer rankings also provide graduate employees with a brilliant experience so a lot of them feature in our Top 50. There


You can find out the full details on how the Top 50 is compiled in ‘How The Rankings Work’ on Page 7. And you can read every single review that we’ve collected, in full, on


“We ‘crowd-source’ careers advice to connect you directly with employees to provide a much more truthful and in-depth insight into graduate careers and companies.”

About TheJobCrowd is the UK’s leading ‘insider’ graduate careers website. The site helps graduates plan and research their careers by connecting them with employees who actually do the job or work for the company in question and who can thus provide expert, insider advice.

On, you will find thousands of job reviews written by employees at hundreds of leading graduate employers. The reviews give you a unique inside look at the companies or careers that you are interested in. If you have further questions, you can get in touch with the review writer or ask a public question to tap into the knowledge-base of our community of graduate employees who will be happy to help you out. We also provide the view from the employer’s perspective and, crucially, we list the jobs available at the company or career that you are interested in and you can click directly through to apply. Every other source of graduate careers information connects graduates only with the employers. TheJobCrowd do this as well but, uniquely, we ‘crowd-source’ careers advice to connect you directly with employees to provide a much more truthful and in-depth insight into graduate careers and companies.













T G NO ED R O . E 1 S





“WITHIN FOUR WEEKS I WAS MANAGING MY OWN BRAND” Timi, Commercial Management Trainee 2010 2:1 International Business with French, Warwick University

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How The Rankings Work “TheJobCrowd’s Top Companies To Work For in 2011 highlights the employers who provide their graduate employees with outstanding opportunities and experience. Unlike other graduate employer rankings, the list is entirely determined by employee experience rather than factors such as size, sector or marketing budget.”

How it works is made up of job reviews written by employees. When an employee submits a job review to the site they are asked a series questions rating their firm, which they mark out of 10. These include:

Career Progression Colleagues Company Culture Compensation and Benefits Enjoyment of Their Role Environmental Awareness Responsibility Training and Support Work/Life Balance

TheJobCrowd Top 50 Companies For Graduates To Work For in 2011 is based entirely on these ratings. We take an average of the marks provided and then average that score across all the reviews submitted for the company between September 2010 and September 2011. It is that final average that determines the company’s position in TheJobCrowd’s employer rankings and generates the Top Companies List. Crucially this approach both ensures that we capture the opinions of a full range of graduates at the firm and it ensures that a company who employs less graduates isn’t at a disadvantage compared to larger firms with more employees. This year we collected thousands of reviews from over 300 top graduate employers and one message is clear: while these may be difficult times for graduates, there are still plenty of fantastic opportunities to be had at brilliant firms. Over the next few pages, we’ll look deeper into which are the best industries to work in, the aspects of their jobs that graduates are happiest with and how to land your perfect job.


The Top Industries To Work In As A Graduate Consumer Goods & FMCG emerges as the industry that comes out top in this year’s results, with no less than 7 Consumer Goods firms (14%) in this year’s list. Led by Mars in 2nd place, quite simply Consumer Goods employers seem to have very happy graduates. “I love coming to work” is how one graduate review writer from Mars put it and it seems to be a common theme with reviewers who work in the sector giving their employers very high marks for ‘Responsibility’ (8.1/10), ‘Enjoyment’ (8.4) and ‘Training’ (8.3). The picture of the sector that our reviewers provide is of an industry that throws you “straight in at the deep end”, gives you “huge variety on a day-to-day basis” and provides “so much great training”. Not bad! Construction & Property comes in next, with 6 firms (12%) in the Top 50. This may


come as more of a surprise as fewer firms in this industry are household names but, with Barratt Developments leading the way in 4th place and numerous other sizeable employers of graduates (including Savills and GVA) also featuring, it is another industry that graduates seem to really enjoy working in. In this sector, famed for its sociable nature, it is perhaps not surprising that ‘Colleagues’ (8.8) and ‘Enjoyment’ (8.4) score particularly highly. It’s a similar story with those who sell the consumer goods (that graduates are so happy producing!) to the end user. Retail firms make up 10% of the Top 50 (5 firms), weighing in strongly in ‘Career Progression’ (8.3), ‘Company Culture’ (8.7) and ‘Ethical & Environmental Awareness’ (8.9), with Asda in particular (10th) providing their graduates with “a great place to work”.

Insights It is no surprise that 5 Accountancy, Banking & Finance firms also feature in the list, with high average scores for ‘Career Progression’ (8.4) and ‘Training’ (8.1) at banks such as Citi (=30th) and HSBC (=34th) and the accountancies Grant Thornton (32nd) and KPMG (50th). The other industries that are especially well represented in the Top 50 are Energy & Environment and IT & Telecoms, both with 4 firms featuring on the list. The positioning of the firms from the latter industry is particularly notable – Microsoft (3rd), Red Gate Software (7th) and FDM Group (9th) all feature in the Top 10. Firms in this industry score extremely highly in everything from ‘Company Culture’ (8.5) and ‘Colleagues’ (8.9) to one of the highest scores for ‘Compensation & Benefits’ (8.1).

The top industries to work in and the number of firms from that industry that feature in the Top 50

7 Consumer Goods & FMCG


To find out more what employees say about these industries and 25 others, as well as to learn how to land a great job in one of them, check out

4 Energy & Environment

Construction & Property

5 Retail


5 Accountancy, Banking & Finance

IT & Telecoms


What Graduates like about their jobs... and what they don’t! Graduates like their colleagues a lot and they are impressed by how ethically and environmentally aware their employers are. They are not so impressed by their salary and benefits though and expected a little more responsibility! Colleagues There has been tons of research published showing that having great colleagues is the most important single factor in workplace satisfaction. It is good news therefore that graduates reserve their highest ratings for the people they work with. Almost every employer in the Top 50 scored an average of over 8.0/10 for how their employees rated their colleagues. Most top employers also did a good job of making sure that their graduate populations had ample opportunities to socialise with each other, be it in the work place, on training schemes or in company organized evening events and away days. That is the message from the thousands of graduate employee-written job reviews that TheJobCrowd collected this year. We asked a series of ratings questions to every reviewer (see ‘How The Rankings Work’ on page 7 for more details) and, as the chart (on the opposite page) shows, it is the areas above that have come out most clearly as the highest and lowest rated aspects of graduates’ jobs respectively. It should be said however that average scores are encouragingly high across the board - the general consensus is that graduate employers are doing a great job!


Ethical & Environmental Awareness It is encouraging to see that so many of the top employers scored so highly in terms of how ‘Ethically and Environmentally Aware’ their graduates found them to be. Sadly there is still a sizeable divergence between those companies who score highly (especially firms in Scientific Services) and those who ‘could do better’. The highest scoring firms in this category were John Lewis, Unilever and IBM – impressively, not one of the reviewers from these firms gave their respective employer a rating of less than 9.0.

Insights Responsibility It has been widely suggested that ‘Generation Y’ enter the workplace with unrealistic expectations of how much responsibility they will have. Recent research demonstrated that over half of graduates expected to be promoted to a management role within three years of starting work. Our reviewers certainly seemed relatively unimpressed overall with the amount of responsibility that they were being given at the start of their working lives. This is something that seemed to vary enormously from industry to industry and firm to firm however. Graduates in Health Care, Education and Law Enforcement all gave very high scores (above 8.0) and those

at Mars scored the firm an incredible average of 9.2 in this area. Pay & Benefits There was also a fair amount of grumbling about the compensation packages that graduates received. With recent research showing that young people expect to earn almost twice as much in their mid-20s as they actually do, perhaps this shouldn’t come as a surprise. It is however clear that there is, at least in some cases, a gap between expectations and the reality of a graduate salary.

Average ratings given by graduate employees across all reviews on TheJobCrowd



Ethical & Environmental Awareness of Company


Company Culture




Training & Support


Career Progression


Work/ Life Balance




Compensation & Benefits



The insider guide to how to land your perfect job Do you find yourself thinking: “It’s all very well knowing

who the best employers are, but how do I actually land a job with them?” If so, you’re not alone!

Recent research from the Association of Graduate Recruiters demonstrated that competition for a job at top employers is tougher than ever, with an average 83 applicants per graduate place. The good news is that we have put together this short guide to help you stand out from the crowd when applying for a job. Every one of our reviewers is asked the question ‘What advice would you give to someone looking to land this job?’ - and remember, these are the people who actually have the experience


of landing the job – so is overflowing with unique advice on everything from how to write the perfect CV to great questions to ask in an interview! We’ve waded through our thousands of reviews to seek out the very best of this advice - both the must-do things that everyone recommends and the one-off gems that individual reviewers mention - and put it together to provide you with a definitive checklist to help you land a job that you’re going to love at one of the very best graduate employers.

Insider Guide BEFORE YOU GET STARTED Before you even make your decision about the career and companies that you are interested in, let alone start firing off applications to every firm on your (long) list, there are some key things you should do: Must Dos:

1. Use Your Careers Service

• “Get as much experience in the profession as possible as this will not only help your chances of gaining a job but also give you the opportunity to get to know the profession better and decide whether or not it is for you”. • “Do as much work experience in the industry as possible, whoever it may be with... It’s all demonstrating a commitment to the sector.”

Careers Services can really help you to research, choose and prepare your applications: • “Careers offices at universities are fantastic in the amount of literature and resources they have to help, it is definitely worth spending some time there or seeing a career’s advisor”.

2. Load yourself up with competencies. There are some core competencies that almost every job will want to see (like organisation, responsibility, teamwork, professionalism, problem solving, commercial awareness etc.) and others which will be specific for your industry or role (like maths skills, a particular language, computer knowhow etc.) so ensuring you have examples of how you have these will be time very well spent: • “Try to get into activities that provide you with competencies like responsibility and that you can relate to working well within a team”.

3. Get Experience - wherever and however possible (this will also help build up those competencies!):

Top Tip: Lead, don’t just participate in extra-curricular activities as it will show a whole bunch of extra, stand-out competencies, like initiative and leadership: “Do as much extra-curricular stuff as you can but don’t just participate. If your university doesn’t have an American Football team and you love the sport, then set one up”.


• “Try to meet people (former graduates for instance) to get some insights”.

Top Tip: Go the extra mile to understand how their business works. Applying to a consumer goods company? “Go into stores

PREPARING TO APPLY “Failing to prepare is preparing to fail!” – the number one thing that our review writers advise is that you do “research, research and more research!” prior to applying. The truth is that applications can take a lot of time and thought if you want to stand out but it’s well worth doing the things at this stage that will give you an edge for the whole application and interview process. Put simply, this means that you should do your research: “on the company, on the role and on the market”.

1. The Company: Must Dos: • “Read the Company website extensively!”. Most firms’ graduate careers websites provide a great insight into “how to prepare, what the firm looks for in its people, and should help you to prepare your CV and for your interview”. • “Know what is going on with them, what types of strategies they have, whether they have been in the news recently. If you show that you’ve done your homework this will substantiate any claim that you make when saying that you are interested in the field”.


and have a look at the different brands - this is a must before any interview!!!”; An online retailer? “Do an online shop yourself”. Even for industries where this may seem more difficult, there may still be things you can do. For example, a Jaguar Land Rover employee suggests: “Take a factory tour prior to applying for a job in a lean manufacturing environment or production line”.

2. The Role: Must Dos: • Try to think about the role that you are applying to analytically and look at the company and their products through the perspective of this role. Ask yourself lots of questions from this perspective. For example, if applying to a marketing role: “Who you think their consumers are? What are their range of products? How are they unique? What messages/claims do they communicate? What does their packaging look like? Where are they sold? Deduce from this what they are trying to say to consumers about their brand”. • “Speak to the HR team, they are usually very helpful and friendly”.

Insider Guide Top Tip: “The best way to

research the role before applying is via an insider view – try to get the perspective from as many people as you can who are actually in the role before you apply”.

3. The Market: Must Dos: • “Gain an understanding of the market that the company operates in through industry magazines, online media etc.” • “Trawling through the company’s website will provide an understanding of their business area. Recent news and developments will help demonstrate your interest/commitment to the sector”. Top Tip: “Do a small amount

of research on the firm’s main rivals. Be prepared to explain why you want a job with this particular firm over their competitors”.

1. Do your CV justice Must Dos: • “Don’t send your CV in with typos and bad grammar (it does happen!) as this will probably end up in the bin”. • “Always get someone to check over your CV - most careers services can really help here”. • “Never let your CV be more than 2 sides”. • “Make sure that your CV provides enough information for your potential employer to understand that you own the skills required for the role you’re applying for”.

Top Tip: Keep your CV short:

“Don’t crowd out your successes with too much information on your CV, try and write it on one page in size 10 font - then make it size 12 and add in little bits where you feel it is needed - this will make you focus on the highlights rather than throwing everything down”.

APPLICATIONS So, you’ve done all your research (well done) and you’re now ready to apply! Not all companies ask for a CV but most do, or have something very similar, as the very first hurdle. This is your chance to convince your prospective employer to invite you to the next stage so avoid any silly mistakes and use our tips to make sure that you really sell yourself:


1.“Prepare!” Must Dos: • “Be sure to find out what you’ll be doing on the day – e.g interviews, assessment centres etc.” • “Ensure you understand the competencies that the company are looking for”. • “Literally write what you will say about your background and experiences before the interview”. Top Tip: “Get straight in your

2. Right CV for the Right Job Having done all that research make sure you put it to good use! Must Do: • “Make sure that your application is not generic - do your research on the company to make your applications specific”. • “Tailor the CV to the specific company, getting at the skills they are looking for don’t copy and paste!”


If you’ve made it through to an interview, your foot is firmly in the door so be sure to follow our tips to make sure that they end up holding that door wide open for you...


mind before applying: a) Why you want to work in this industry, b) Why you want to work for this specific company, and c) Why you want to work in this particular role. You would be surprised how many interview candidates show up with a “I’m bright, got a degree, and I’ll give anything a go” attitude”.

2. Be friendly... and be professional! Must Dos: • “Be early, be smart, don’t swear!” • “Be friendly in the interview - the interviewers aren’t normally HR staff they’ll probably be managers looking to employ you and your personality plays a big part“.

Insider Guide • “Above all people want to know that, as well as being smart and competent, you are friendly & easy to work with. Obvious thing to say, but always play up the positive attitude!”

Top Tip: “There must be a

professionalism about you which will convince the interviewers that you will behave in an appropriate manner towards clients and colleagues”.

3. Back Yourself Up Must Dos: • “It’s crucial that you demonstrate how your previous experience is relevant”.

5. Treat the interview as a conversation Must Dos: • “Build a rapport with the interviewer - treat them like a person and trust they want you to succeed (as they probably do)”. • “Remember to ask questions - an interview should be a two way affair!”

Top Tip: “Ask questions that show

your insight into the company or market. Ask about forthcoming challenges the company is expecting - it will show that you have interest in the job and the industry and it will also give you an idea of what to expect if / when you start”.

• “Come with real life examples of when you did things, not hypothetical answers”. • ”Make sure you have examples to questions such as ‘tell me a time when you did xyz’ as they are assessing some core competencies like leadership, teamwork etc”.

4. Have an opinion Must Dos: • “Demonstrate that you have an opinion in respect to key issues that affect the company (e.g. the state of the global economy, the future of their market, any big recent deals involving them or their competitors)” – this shows that you have a genuine interest in the area and that you have an analytical mind.

6. Sell Yourself and Your Enthusiasm Must Dos: • “Show that you really want the role, and also highlight those points that make you a better candidate than the others”. • “Passion for your area of expertise and passion in the industry will be a major benefit in getting a role” - Show them how much research you’ve done – they are sure to be impressed!


Insider Guide Top Tip: “I don’t know” is

sometimes the right answer. You are not expected to be an expert, just to show interest and a willingness to learn”.


Top Tip: “Remember that at

telephone interviews, the interviewer cannot see your enthusiasm and so you have to convey that in the way you speak”.

Not all jobs will have assessment centres or tests but many do and those that do will vary a lot. There are things that you can do to really help you stand out in both so it’s well worth taking the time to prepare for these too: Must Dos: • “Review your notes or books to refresh your knowledge of accounting/finance or whatever competency it is that they are testing”.

Must Dos:

• “Behavioural interview practice is really useful, so if you can get this, e.g. from your university careers service, I’d recommend it”.

• “Be honest and don’t worry about having the best answer every time”.

• “Read the instructions carefully and do what they ask!”

• “Just be yourself because if you aren’t the right type of person for the company then you won’t enjoy it there!”

• “Eat and drink plenty - all day interviews and assessment centres are tiring and you need the energy!”

7. Be Honest

• “Interviewers have enough experience to see straight through someone who is putting on an act. Therefore, it is better to just be who you are - if you are right for the role then this approach will prove it”.


Top Tip: “Top tip for group

exercises is not to just win the argument, but to be able to bring cohesion, to involve everyone and to reach a conclusion”.

Editorial Pages

The following pages are the full listings of this year’s Top Graduate employers. Read the company summaries to find out what their employees said about them in their reviews. All of the “quotes” in the summaries come directly from graduate employees. Or to find out more about specific companies and read specific reviews visit

01. Network Rail 9.28/10

The following provides full rank positions, average ratings and page numbers for more company information for the Top 50 Companies For Graduates To Work For.

19. Waitrose 8.33/10


=27. Irwin Mitchell

=27. GE





=42. Dstl 7.92/10



36. L’Oreal

=34.HSBC 8.10/10



44. Mace Group p.70




08. British Airways

13. nucleargraduates

=14.Saatchi & SaatchiX









=22.Financial Services Authority 8.26/10


29. The Co-operative Group

=30.Civil Service Fast Stream




37. Steer Davies Gleave p.64


07. Red Gate Software 8.69/10 p.32

=20. BNP Paribas Real Estate

=20. Unilever 8.32/10

02. Mars p.22



38. AkzoNobel 8.06/10


=46. Premier Foods

45. Tesco 7.82/10





The Top 50 Rankings

03. Microsoft 8.91/10


09. FDM Group 8.65/10

04. Barratt Developments

=05. John Lewis




10. Asda p.36



=14. National Grid

16. BAM Construct




=22. Savills 8.26/10

24. Credo p.51

=30. Citi 8.15/10


39. TUI Travel 8.01/10



18. Bain & Company 8.39/10







=34.Simmons & Simmons p.61



=42. CHP Consulting p.69



50. KPMG

49. Amey p.76


26. Sky p.52

41. Leo Burnett p.68






17. Procter & Gamble

33. IBM

48. GVA p.75

12. Admiral Group





32.Grant Thornton p.61


11. Clifford Chance

25. BP p.52

40. Kraft Foods p.66

=46. Centrica 7.81/10


=05. Teach First p.28





01 Avg Rating: 9.28 /10 Careers Available: Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Operations Management, Project Management, Information Management, Property Contracts & Procurement, Strategic Planning, Finance Deadlines: 19th December 2011 Application Details: Apply Online Employees: 34,500 Graduate Vacancies: Approximately 100 Office Locations: UK- wide Contact Details: Email: enquiry@ networkrailgraduates. Telephone: 0845 601 4228


“I have only been working for Network Rail for two months but I have fallen in love with trains and the principles that the company stands on” is how one graduate reviewer explains his experience so far at Network Rail, the company that are ‘responsible for keeping everyone and everything moving’ on Britain’s railways. His enthusiasm is certainly Graduate matched by his fellow reviewers: Programme “I really couldn’t wish for a better job” says another graduate, again 2012 summing up the impressive adoration that all of Network days off for college and great 15:32 Rail’s graduate employees seem graduates-banner-print-41x57-v1.psd 1 28/09/2011 encouragement”. It is a similar have for the firm. story with the “amazing” training (which receives a fantastic Each of the company’s graduate 9.5/10 average rating) and the schemes provides a “variety of great career development support experiences... so that you are that the company provides - “they exposed to the whole industry” invest so much time and money and graduates are given huge into the best tuition”. flexibility and opportunity “to learn from everyone in all departments”. All in all, Network Rail’s graduates Additionally, one graduate explains feel that their employer is behind that: “It’s definitely a company to them the whole way, giving them give you interesting, stimulating everything they need to both and challenging jobs whenever enjoy and excel at their jobs. you want them” so it’s no surprise that the average rating given for As one reviewer emphatically ‘Enjoyment’ is 9.1/10. summarises: “The Company adheres to our needs as grads Of further note is the fantastic and helps us in any way it can. support system offered, which I honestly don’t think there is a leaves new-starters well looked better graduate scheme in the after: “The study support we country”. get is like no other graduate scheme, we get study leave,

MY WORK HELPS US WORK. MIKE BROWN, Engineering “The EDINBURGH TO GLASGOW IMPROVEMENT “ My team lifted an entire bridge PROGRAMME will significantly improve connections, to run electrification through; help us become more carbon efficient and stimulate we had to get it right, it was Scotland’s economy. There’s not a company in such an important part of Britain that’s doing as much as we’re doing; the the overall project.” learning never ends.”


02 Avg Rating: 9.07 /10 Careers Available: General Management Finance Research and Development Engineering Purchasing Deadlines: 12th February 2012 Application Details: On-line application via graduates Employees: Globally – 68,000, UK – 4,000 Graduate Vacancies: 30 Locations: Our office locations are: Slough, Berskhire; Melton Mobray, Leicestershire; Birstall, Yorkshire; Peterborough, Cambridgeshire; Kings Lynn, Norfolk; Nb Our graduate programmes do not run across all of these locations. Contact Details: Facebook: marsgradsuk Twitter: @marsgradsuk


It’s hard to know where to start with the glowing recommendations that all the graduate reviewers shower upon Mars. It really is superlative after superlative, including such choice lines as “the Mars grad schemes are second to none”, “Mars is a fantastic company to work for” and “I love coming to work”. It is the “brilliant, passionate people” at the firm that their graduates rate more highly than anything else (and that’s saying something!) at an awesome 9.5/10 average score. “People are always ready to help” says one graduate, “They are insightful, caring, driven & inspirational” adds another. There is a strong sentiment at Mars that “people are at the heart of this organisation” and, as a result, there is a “real focus” on development, including outstanding ‘Training & Support’ (rated 9.0/10: “There are so many training courses available...”), an “extremely good” ‘Work/ Life Balance’ (rated 8.6/10: “Something that is valued by the company and not many others”), a very supportive culture (9.4/10) and outstanding benefits, including free exercise classes, a great pension and, of course, free chocolate (although watch out for the ‘Mars stone’ that new joiners put on!).

Mars receives the highest score of any company for the “very high” levels of responsibility (9.2/10). It doesn’t matter whether you choose a specialist scheme, such as Finance (“this programme is the best on offer in the country”) or the Management Development Programme (“a fantastic scheme”), all the graduates praise the “awesome scope of perspective from moving around different departments”, meaning that every graduate experience at Mars is “tailor made for each individual”.

We found new ways to pounce on the mouse. We’ll go the extra mile to get results. Turns out that wasn’t far enough for our graduate James. You see, when we planned to take Whiskas marketing into the digital space, we aimed to click in the UK. But as a graduate on our Mars Management Development Programme, James was bolder. He wanted global buzz. And to build a powerhouse brand online. Who were we to argue? Strategy, PR, media planning, developing creative assets. You name it, James got involved in it. Forget the fact that he’d barely been with us for a year. Because along the way his work amassed an army of online fans. From all around the world. And he turned a project valued at £200k into a £2m one. Just goes to show, give people freedom and responsibility and they’ll go further than you ever imagined.



03 Avg Rating: 8.91/10 Careers Available: Sales, Associate Consultants, Technical Account Managers, Field Engineers Deadlines: 30th November 2011 Application Details: Apply online at www. uk/graduates Employees: Apply online at www. graduates Graduate Vacancies: 35-40 Locations: Head Office is in Reading and London Contact Details: Email: studhelp@ Telephone: +44 (0) 207 832 8380

There are some things that you probably expect from working at one of the world’s largest technology companies, like “the best technology, laptop, smart phone and software to do my job” and “lots of organisational benefits for work and personal life” and Microsoft of course provides them. It is also no surprise that the sheer size of the company means there are “endless amounts of opportunities” and “so much focus on career development”. In fact Microsoft comes in 1st place overall for ‘Career Progression’ - receiving a truly outstanding 9.5/10 average rating. What you may be more surprised to hear is the high praise that reviewers shower upon the ‘Company Culture’ (rated 9.5/10: “the working environment is the best there is”) and their ‘Colleagues’ (rated 9.4/10: “the people are extremely friendly and


supportive”), making the firm sound anything but an enormous global entity. Additionally, “Microsoft are really focused on the people”, providing considerable attention to the individual needs of their employees, for example by being “very flexible with working - I can choose my hours and I can even work from home”. Graduates “get to make their own agenda”, both in the work that they do and in their personal and professional development, while getting “the best exposure to high-level business you could ever hope for”. It all ensures that “everyone at Microsoft seems to really enjoy what they are doing” (their 9.2/10 ‘Enjoyment’ score is the 3rd highest overall), to the extent where their graduates are positively evangelical as one reviewer exclaims: “I love this company!”.



EXCITE HEAD TO MICROSOFT We celebrate innovation, every single day. And our relentless creativity inspires audiences right around the world. Now you could be part of it. We’re looking for outstanding performers with the ability to make themselves heard right from day one. People with exceptional vision and drive. If that sounds like you, there’s quite simply no better stage for your skills.

Visit our website to find out more and to apply online.


04 Avg Rating: 8.84/10 Careers Available: TBC Deadlines: TBC


“The pace at which I am learning and the opportunities I am provided with, I am confident are unrivalled”. Barratt Developments is one of the largest property development companies in the UK and quite simply their graduates love working there - awarding their employer the single highest score of any company for ‘Enjoyment’, with an incredible average rating of 9.7/10. Even more impressive though is that the property firm

acquires 1st place overall for the ratings that its graduates give to their colleagues. Review writers unanimously agree that the people are the number one best thing about the company and Barratt are the only company for which every single graduate reviewer gives their colleagues a 10/10 rating! Graduates at Barratt feel “part of a team - the Barratt team in my division as well as part of the nationwide team of Barratt graduates”.


Avg Rating: 8.70 /10 Careers Available: Retail Management Graduate Scheme, Buying Graduate Scheme, Merchandising Graduate Scheme Deadlines: 15th November 2011


“I absolutely love everything about John Lewis”, “I love my job”, “I love the organization...”. The number of John Lewis review writers who mention the word ‘love’ in regard to their job can only mean one thing: it is a truly great place to work. Employees commend the “responsibility”, “variety”, “challenges” and the “impact” that they can have in their job. The fact that the company is a partnership, meaning that employees are “co-owners” is a key positive for reviewers. It translates into an “open and

honest culture”, the “positive attitude of employees” and the annual partner bonus that can “make a huge difference to your salary”. The retailer also offers “huge discounts” in store and many extra “leisure benefits” such as “subsidised event tickets”. It is not surprising then that so many reviewers express how much they “love working for John Lewis” with one even going as far as to say: “I hope that it’s the company I retire from!”.

Employer: John Lewis Career: Retail (Graduate Scheme) Job Title: Graduate Trainee Section Manager Years Experience: Graduate Entry Role. Salary: £25,000 - £27,000 Working hrs: 8am – 7pm

“My job involves being part of a management team running a department in a John Lewis branch.” What do you actually do on a day-to-day basis? “An average day involves communicating to my team what needs to be done that day, trading figures and getting them energised for the day. We often have floor walks as a management team when we will walk the floor and decide what needs to be moved and changed depending on how well it has performed. We then have a figures meeting as a branch management team where we analyse the previous day’s trade. The majority of my day is spent organising the partners in the department and running the floor. I support them with any complex issues or queries and with any customer complaints. I liaise throughout the day with my manager, senior members of the management team, visual merchandisers, stock management and buying office.” What are the best and worst things about your company specifically? “As we are a partnership, everyone has an equal say in what happens with our business and everyone is treated as an individual, so for this reason you get a lot of support when you need it. Every partner also gets a bonus every year, which means we all benefit from the profit that we make, which means there is a lot of passion within the business for the way it’s run, for the principles and for the level of service. There are also lots of leisure benefits with John Lewis, such as subsidised event tickets, half price cinema tickets, money towards gym memberships and much more.” What advice would be helpful to someone applying for this role? “The John Lewis careers website has a wealth of information about all the graduate schemes, from the application process through to what you would be doing on the job. It would probably be helpful also to speak to some managers within a branch to get an idea of what actually happens on a day– to-day basis in their role. It would be worthwhile trying to get a little bit of retail experience too.”

This is just an excerpt, to read the full review visit




Avg Rating: 8.70/10 Careers Available: Two-year Leadership Development Programme – we currently place participants in to 12 national curriculum subjects at secondary level. You can also teach as a Primary school teacher. Deadlines: 16th April 2012some subjects fill very early, therefore we recommend you apply as soon as possible. Application Details: Visit www.teachfirst. Employees: Over 3300 participants have completed the Teach First Leadership Development Programme Graduate Vacancies: 1,000 Locations: Teach First is a national programme covering 7 regions: East Midlands, Kent & Medway, London, North East, North West, West Midlands, Yorkshire & Humber Contact Details: 0121 210 5319


Since its founding in 2002, Teach First has placed over 3,300 teachers in challenging schools. The graduates who make it onto the hugely popular scheme all unequivocally highlight two things - how challenging and how rewarding the roles are. “I was told it was going to be tough, which it was”, sums up one reviewer, “however, it was also a lot more fun and rewarding than I ever thought it was going to be”. Their recruits appreciate “the opportunity to make a difference”, “the feeling that they have helped everyday” and that “they are being proactive in making real social change”. Their graduates “love” the work they do with “other enthusiastic teachers” - they rate their “creative, interesting and talented colleagues” highly (scoring an average rating of 9.0/10). But

it is ‘Career Progression’ for which Teach First gets its highest average ratings (a phenomenal 9.1/10 average). It is clear that whether the goal is to be a long term teacher or a highflying banker, Teach First has great career prospects for its graduates: 50% of the recruits choose to remain in teaching after the two year programme, usually finding that they quickly progress into senior positions, while the others are unsurprisingly snapped up by the top city firms who actively recruit Teach First alumnae. Ultimately, Teach First graduates say that the programme offers them an unbeatable experience, where “there is endless variety” and “life will never be dull”. In fact, one graduate goes as far as to put it like this: “I have the best job in the entire world”.

’t ‘Young people don fail in education: em education fails th and that’s not acceptable’ Kafilat Agboola, taught Science. now Faculty Head of Science

change Their lives and change yours Just 16% of kids eligible for free school meals make it to university, compared to 96% from independent schools.* Take up the challenge, Teach First. Teach First is a registered charity, no:1098294


*Sutton Trust, 2010

07 Avg Rating: 8.69/10 Careers Available: Graduate Software Engineer, Graduate Test Engineer, Graduate User Experience Specialist, Graduate Technical Author, Graduate Product Marketing Specialist, Software Intern Deadlines: We don’t have deadlines – we recruit on a rolling basis until we find the right person for the role. Application Details: Please apply through the website: Employees: 243 Graduate Vacancies: 20 Location: Cambridge Contact Details: Name: Holly Baynes Email: Telephone: 01223 438530 Website:


Graduates at Red Gate Software, the relatively young IT firm, commend the company in all areas. First up, are the “frankly ridiculous perks” ranging from health care, travel allowance, free lunch and breakfasts (plus “a fridge full of juices and smoothies”) to regular champagne celebrations, chocolate treats for Easter and the best perk mentioned on TheJobCrowd yet - a £500 spending spree in John Lewis (“the store had been kept open exclusively for us, it was amazing!”). But it isn’t just the freebies that keep Red Gate employees smiling, they also appreciate the “freedom” and “responsibility” they are given in their work. The recruits report having the opportunity to make their own decisions whilst still feeling very much a valued member of the team - “Decisions aren’t made based solely on rank, but more

based on who’s speaking the most sense”. Most notably, the team spirit at the firm is practically unrivalled scoring the joint highest score out of any employer for ‘Company Culture’ (an average rating of 9.8/10) and the 2nd top score overall for ‘Colleagues’ (also 9.8/10). Red Gate does without the ‘red tape’ and has succeeded in creating a fun, friendly environment where graduates are encouraged to take control of their work and to excel. One reviewer brings these things together nicely, stating that: “The best thing is that the company is much better at letting you do your job than most: the people are great, the teams are small and there are no silly procedures or rules”. Meanwhile, his colleague sums up the tremendously enthusiastic sentiment of all of Red Gate’s graduates: “I would never work anywhere else”.

"I'd already done an internship here so I knew it was a great place to work. I've been able to jump right into running really big projects in a way I never expected. I also like that there's a hammock in the office. It makes me feel like a pirate." Ben Emmett Red Gate Graduate

Join the fun at Red Gate, with graduate jobs for software and test engineers, marketing specialists and many more.


08 Avg Rating: 8.68/10 Careers Available: Careers available: Java Development, .Net Development, Project Analysis, Infrastructure Support, Application Support, Test Analysis. Deadlines: Ongoing intake Employees: 950+ Graduate vacancies: 1000+ Locations: Brighton, London, Manchester, Frankfurt, Luxembourg, Zurich, Hong Kong, New York Contact details: Email: apply@fdmacademy. com Telephone: 0800 612 2086


“People at BA love working there” declares one graduate and he certainly seems to be right. “BA is a great company to work for, especially for people who love to travel” concurs his colleague. There is no doubt that the opportunities for travel, both in your own time and with work, are a big attraction of the firm. The phenomenal staff travel perks are mentioned by pretty much every reviewer – “90% off flights, cheap hotels, car hire etc. makes for a cheap holiday to some great locations” and “the discounted flights will enable you to travel to destinations you never dreamed of going to!” to offer just 2 examples! Most positions also involve some travel as part of the role - even a graduate on the finance scheme reports getting to travel “all over the world”. But there is so much more to the graduate programmes at BA than just travel. “Enjoyment” is a common theme and with an epic average rating of 9.4/10, the company achieves the 2nd highest score out of any company in this area. This is no doubt helped by the “unrivalled variety in role and department” (“no two days are ever the same”) and the consistent reports of “responsibility straight away” with “unbelievable” exposure to toplevel managers.

The business also has a great, “nurturing” culture (8.3/10) “which makes you feel very much at home” – due in no small part to the “great bunch of colleagues” (9.3/10). All of which means that whatever part of the world they are off to, BA employees “get up in the morning and enjoy going to work”.

Employer: British Airways Career: Aeronautical Engineer Job Title: Engineering Graduate Years Experience: Graduate Entry Role. Salary: £25,000 - £27,000 Working hrs: Flexible.

“My job involves rotating around different departments within BA Engineering to develop an understanding and appreciation of functions.” What do you actually do on a day-to-day basis? “As an engineering graduate, the placements are 3-4 months in length and I get to work with fantastic professionals who have many decades of experience! I get involved in many exciting aspects of the business ranging from compiling a business case for a modification on BA’s B747400 fleet to writing a manual change for an avionics test on a B777-200 etc. You will also get exposure to the corporate side of the business (e.g. understand how flight planning works, synergies with Iberia etc.)” What are the main positives and negatives of your job? “Advantages: Exciting variety of work, excellent developmental opportunities and no shortage of expertise! Disadvantages: You really have to be self-driven to take up some of the fantastic opportunities out there and not expect to be spoon-fed!” What are the best and worst things about your company specifically? “Best things: The culture around the business makes you feel very much at home. You will get a lot of pride and satisfaction from working here. Above all, the discounted flights will enable you to travel to destinations you never dreamed of going to! Worst things: It is very difficult to name any!” What advice would be helpful to someone applying for this role? “When you first submit an application, you will have to tackle a multiple choice questionnaire and answer a couple of short essay-style questions, one will be similar to a cover letter, and the other will look at your ability to do a bit of research around the subject. If you’re successful, you will get an invite to the assessment centre to undergo a team working assessment (working as a group to solve a problem) and there will also be some standard verbal reasoning/mechanical aptitude tests. If you get past the first round, you will be invited to an interview which will be the only round of interviews you will undergo. As with typical interviews, it is important to remember to back up your answers with examples!” This is just an excerpt, to read the full review visit


09 Avg Rating: 8.65/10 Careers Available: Java Development, .Net Development, Project Analysis, Infrastructure Support, Application Support, Test Analysis. Deadlines: Ongoing intake Employees: 950+ Graduate vacancies: 1000+ Locations: Brighton, London, Manchester, Frankfurt, Luxembourg, Zurich, Hong Kong, New York Contact details: Email: apply@fdmacademy. com Telephone: 0800 612 2086


FDM Group provide IT services, consultancy and solutions to hundreds of top clients and are the UK’s largest IT graduate employer. It would be fair to say that their graduates like working there so much they are almost surprised at how much they enjoy their jobs – “It has exceeded my expectations” is a phrase frequently used by our reviewers and the firm scores a very high average ‘Enjoyment’ rating of 9.1/10. As with many of our top companies to work for, being “thrown into the deep end” and given an “astounding” level of responsibility from the very beginning is a key reason for this. At FDM this includes “interacting with very senior members” on “international... multimillion pound projects” for the company’s blue

chip clients (including HSBC, UBS and Barclays). These projects are regularly described as “rewarding” thanks to the perfect combination of “varied and challenging work” and of the recruits being “appreciated for the hard efforts” that they put in. There is lots of mention of the company’s growth and “rapid” expansion, which helps to create “an incredibly friendly and positive place to work”. In fact the company scores the joint highest average rating out of any firm for ‘Company Culture’ (an amazing 9.8/10). Overall, FDM Group offers a unique opportunity for graduates to build first class IT careers in a company that “Iooks after its staff - which makes such a difference to satisfaction and enjoyment”.

My time at FDM has not only given me the opportunity to set up roots in London, but also jet over to New York for a few months and work on the largest trade floor in the world! Fdm consultant, uk




new York




hong kong

FDM can open doors that would otherwise be closed. Fdm consultant, usa

I know that without FDM I would not be where I am today. Fdm consultant, switzerland

FDM is a great experience and a very good opportunity after graduating from university. Fdm consultant, germany

I would highly recommend FDM to anyone who would like to pursue a challenging career. Fdm consultant, hong kong

The UK’s Leading IT Graduate Employer Europe’s 500 - 11th Fastest Growing Company in Europe 2010 NGRA - Best Technical Graduate Recruiter 2010 NGRA - Best Graduate Training Programme 2010 (Highly Commended) IITT - Training Department of the Year 2010 (Silver) BAHBA - Best Place to Work 2009


10 Avg Rating: 8.62/10 Careers Available: Graduate schemes in Retail Management, Distribution, Trading, Finance, HR, Marketing, IT Solutions and E-commerce. We also offer 12 month Industrial Placements in Finance, Trading, Trading Law, Supply Chain and Food Technology Deadlines: 1st February 2012 Application Details: Online application at graduates Employees: Over 170,000 UK wide – over 2 million worldwide as part of the Wal-Mart family Locations: Our Home Office is based in the vibrant city of Leeds where all our schemes are based, excepting Retail Management and Distribution which are UK wide Contact Details: 01132 435435


Asda claim that their graduates “go further, higher, faster... taking on responsibility from day one to become future leaders” and the firm is as good as its word. Graduates report being “thrown in at the deep end from the start” with real responsibility from day one onwards. This includes “exposure to very influential individuals and situations that are at company level” and “total accountability” for your area of control. The average ‘Responsibility’ rating of 9.0/10 is the 2nd highest of any company. As promised, things happen at speed: “Retail is FAST moving - things change all the time you’ve got to think fast and be innovative”. This means that Asda graduates are always busy

(in a good way) so “the ability to plate spin is a must!”. It also means “great variety” where “no two days are ever the same”. At the same time Asda makes sure its employees are happy, giving them “flexible working hours”, “support” and “great people to work with”. ‘Colleagues’ receive a 9.3/10 average and the graduates make the most of it with a “work hard, play hard culture” and a “great social life outside” – “we really have fun”. In short, “Asda is a great place to work” where “the opportunities to really progress and forge a career are massive” and ultimately, where their graduates claim: “There is no better place to understand retail and get a strong commercial understanding”.

11 Avg Rating: 8.58/10

It isn’t a surprise that graduates at Clifford Chance, the city law firm (who are “generally rated as the best at what we do”), work hard but the company certainly compensates and rewards its employees well for their hard work. Firstly there is the excellent pay (£3941k graduate starting salary) and the fantastic opportunities, including “great international and client secondment opportunities”. Then there are the “excellent modern, bright and spacious offices” with “the most sought-

after facilities of all commercial law firms, including a swimming pool, gym and shops” as well as an “excellent” canteen. Most importantly though, there is the work itself, variously described as “interesting”, “challenging” and “high profile” (“it is always cool to see a deal you have worked on hit the news”). And finally, there is the training and supervision, which, with an average score of 9.6/10, is the number 1 rating for ‘Training & Support’ - “it will develop you into a force to be reckoned with”.

Areas of Practice: Banking & Finance Capital Markets Corporate/M&A Litigation & Dispute Resolution Real Estate Tax, Pensions and Employment Deadlines: Training Contract (non-law): Applications: 1st Jan 2012 - 31st Jan 2012 Training Contract (law): Applications: 29th June 2012 31 July 2012

12 /

The work philosophy of Admiral Group, the car insurance giant, says it all: ‘People who like what they do, do it better’, Admiral ensures their staff enjoy what they do! Our review writers score them an average 9.0/10 for ‘Enjoyment’, crediting the management for creating a “fun”, “relaxed” and “innovative” environment where “the focus is on enjoying working for the company”. This ranges from open plan desks (“for everyone

except the chief exec!”) to the organisation of “regular team events and evenings out”. Even more praise however is reserved for their ”awesome” co-workers (at 9.6/10 ‘Colleagues’ gets a top 5 rating) - “it’s a young team... and we all get on really well”. All in all, Admiral’s graduates agree that “it is a great place to work”, with one reviewer going even further: “Every day, I love my job”.

Avg Rating: 8.50/10 Careers Available: General/Insurance Deadlines: TBA


13 Avg Rating: 8.47/10 Careers Available: 2 year work placements in Engineering (Electrical, Mechanical, Chemical and Civil), Science (Physics, Chemistry), Maths, Commercial Deadlines: 11th November 2011 Application Details: The process consists of 4 stages: online application form, online testing, telephone interviews and assessment centres. This grueling two day experience involves role playing, interviews and presentations. You will also be subject to security checks following success at the assessment centres. Employees: 65 Graduate Vacancies: c30 Locations: UK Wide Contact Details: Carl Dawson, questions@


nucleargraduates is a twoyear scheme backed by over twenty different organisations who work within the nuclear industry, designed to bring a ‘much needed influx of graduates into the nuclear industry’. It is no surprise therefore that the graduates praise the “diversity of experience” that they get through wide exposure to the sector, which “gives a great understanding of the industry.” The sheer scope of stakeholders provides tremendous “opportunities to visit, and work for, a wide variety of different nuclear sites” and a “freedom to decide your own path” with “constant opportunities to review and shape your career”. On top of that comes “extensive training” (with a high average rating of 8.8/10) including “7 weeks set aside between secondments for training”, alongside a sizeable budget, managed by the graduates themselves – all adding to the sense of freedom and choice that graduates on the scheme feel they have to choose their own path and development. Unsurprisingly therefore, ‘Career Progression’ receives an 8.7/10 rating, with the reviewers reporting that the scheme has a great “reputation within the industry which leads to excellent

employability post-scheme”. And the best part is that the structure of the programme effectively lets grads “try before you buy” various sectors of the industry so they can “make informed choices about jobs at the end of the programme”. Finally, there is a great network on nucleargraduates and many reviewers report “making good friends” through the scheme. Indeed the 9.6/10 average score given to ‘Colleagues’ places them in the top 5 companies.

Turn a new page by visiting ours We’re a two year graduate scheme with a difference Sponsored by Rolls Royce PLC, Sellafield, Magnox and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, we offer opportunities in science, engineering and business across the UK and worldwide Hear our story at: and



= Avg Rating: 8.43 / 10 Careers Available: Client Services, Planning, Design Copywriting, Art Direction, Production and Studio. Deadlines: Details of our 2012 Graduate Programme are yet to be released, so keep an eye on our website www. or xliftpitch for updates. Application Details: In 2011, Saatchi & Saatchi X London launched their first graduate scheme with a one of a kind interview process. Go to http://www. xliftpitch for a run down of the program and to meet our successful graduates, Amy Wordsworth and Laura Vandenbergh. Employees: 350 WW Graduate Vacancies: TBA Locations: UK, USA, Germany, Italy, Dubai, Mumbai, Moscow, China, Mexico, Argentina. Contact Details: caroline.wheeler@ 0203 036 9760


Saatchi & Saatchi X, the creative advertising agency which is a global leader in shopper marketing, only launched their graduate scheme in 2011 and yet they ranked 4th highest out of any company for ‘Enjoyment’ (with an average rating of 9.2/10) and the 6th highest for ‘Company Culture’ (with an average rating of 9.2/10). It would certainly seem from this that it is a graduate employer worth paying attention to. Employees simply love the “incredibly positive and creative atmosphere” in the office while the “nothing is impossible ethos that runs through the life blood of the company” and “the drive to be the best” are universally acclaimed as great things about the agency. Their customers are top-notch, including Diageo, Pepsico and Procter & Gamble and the agency’s work covers

everything from marketing leadership to package design and in-store media. It is work that their graduates love, particularly in terms of how “varied” it is. Comments such as “I love the variety that my role holds”, “no two days are the same” and “Everyday throws up it’s own challenges” are common in reviews and, largely because of this variety, graduates are pleased to find they are “always learning”. Saatchi & Saatchi X staff also say that the firm has a “great team spirit” and they praise their colleagues as “enthusiastic and talented individuals who show a passion for their work each day” (‘Colleagues’ receives a very high average score of 9.4/10). Quite simply, the agency is hard to fault, with a good salary and graduates who enjoy what they do.





= Avg Rating: 8.43/10 Careers Available: Technical Based in one of our engineering teams, you’ll undertake three placements, each designed to develop your skills and give you a broad insight into our work. Commercial As well as ‘trading’ energy and providing our services to industry partners, we also manage huge 3rd party contracts and a large portfolio of property and business acquisitions. All of which means there are plenty of careers open to you. Deadlines: 31st January 2012 Application Details: Apply online at www. nationalgridcareers. com Employees: 28,000 Graduate Vacancies: 120 Locations: Warwickshire, Berkshire, Leicestershire, Leeds, Isle of Grain (Kent), Manchester


It is an exciting time to be at National Grid, ‘a time of great change and opportunity’, with the firm investing £16bn through to 2015 to ‘deliver major projects and secure the energy supply for future generations’. The great news is that a big part of delivering the company’s plans “is a real focus on ‘new talent’, bringing graduates in and supporting our development” and, being such a large company, they have ample resources to devote to that development. There is “lots of (“excellent”) technical and personal development training” and graduates do three 6 month placements in different teams, meaning that there is huge variety of both experience and career options. “It’s vast so you can move into a wide variety of roles and have a varied career path” and “you are given great

opportunities to progress within the company” - something which is confirmed by the 9.0/10 average rating given for ‘Career Progression’. “The salary and the bonuses are all brilliant”, with tons of opportunities to take advantage of extra package benefits (“private medical insurance, cheaper bicycles” etc.), while the firm’s position as a utility means “a safe, secure environment” (i.e. job security!) - and all of this in addition to a “Good work life balance” (rated 8.3/10). What’s more, the people are great too (which is handy, as being on rotation, you meet a lot of them!) – they are variously described as “interesting and intelligent” and “very approachable and more than happy to help”. Reviewers are pretty clear that, all in all, “National Grid is a great place to be”.

16 Avg Rating: 8.42/10

BAM Construct invests over a million pounds every year in the development of its employees and sure enough, their graduates notice it - as one reviewer summarises: “the best thing about BAM is that they are a hugely loyal and supportive company in terms of personal development and training” - ‘Training and Support’ scores a very high average of 9.2/10 (a top 3 score). As with most graduates in the property industry, BAM employees also speak of the huge satisfaction they get from the role itself, with

reviewers highlighting that the “challenging nature of day-today life within the industry is stimulating & rewarding” and “the unique opportunity to influence major construction projects leaves a great sense of achievement at the end of the day”. BAM Construct offers their graduates an industry leading package great roles, fantastic perks and above all else brilliant training. As one of their graduates puts it: “I do not know of any other construction company that supports their staff in the same way that BAM do!”.

Careers Available: Construction Management, Quantity Surveying, Civil Engineering, Building Services Engineering, Environmental Management, Estimating, Project Planning, (All the above disciplines at graduate, undergraduate and school leaver level) Deadlines: Ongoing

17 ‘A new challenge everyday’ is Procter & Gamble’s employee motto and it certainly seems to apply to the their graduates. Reviewers speak of the challenging but enjoyable nature of their roles (‘Enjoyment’ scores an average rating of 8.3/10): “I love what I do, I find it challenging, interesting and good fun, stressful at times, certainly, but I’d be so bored if I was in a job that didn’t stretch me!”. Much of this comes from the “great responsibility from day one”

(‘Responsibility’ scores 8.3/10) - “there is no hand holding” and “you feel like your own boss”, while there is also a lot of praise for the “fantastic opportunities” for career progression (8.8/10). P&G graduates also feel that the firm “really cares for you as an individual” by investing in their development, offering flexible working hours and through a long list of perks including, of course, “a discount company shop”.

Avg Rating: 8.40/10 Careers Available: Various (please see website) Deadlines: Commercial Career Academy: 17th Nov 2011 European Financial Leadership Seminar: 12th Feb 2012 Internships: 31st Mar 2012 Manufacturing Career Academy 2011: 17th November 2011


18 Avg Rating: 8.39/10 Careers Available: Associate Consultant and Senior Associate Consultant Deadlines: 4th November 2011 Application Details: Please submit your CV and covering letter via our website www. Employees: 5000 worldwide Graduate Vacancies: 30+ Locations: 48 offices in 31 countries worldwide Contact Details: Name: Tanith Archibald Email: GraduateRecruiting. Telephone: 0207 969 6463


Bain prides itself on being a great place to work, having won many past awards – particularly within the consultancy industry - and it’s clear from our reviewers that the firm’s approach is still working. “Fantastic people!!!” top the list for the best thing about the company (‘Colleagues’ score an amazing 9.6/10 average rating). Reviewers almost seem to be trying to outcompete each other in the language that they use to describe their “amazing” and “superb” colleagues.

and volleyball).

There is a “genuine team spirit - ‘a Bainie never lets another Bainie down’” which makes the office an “incredibly welcoming and happy place to work”. This spirit is encouraged by a range of company-organised social occasions such as “dinners, events, a summer and winter office party and, once a year, the ‘Bain World Cup’” (where global offices meet to play football

Add to all of this the “quality and frequent” training (8.5/10) and the “superb reputation” that the company enjoys and it is very clear why its graduate employees say that “Bain is a fantastic place to work and a great place to start your career... whether you’re planning to be a consultant for life or wish to use consulting as a spring-board to something else”.

‘Bainies’ work hard but enjoy the fact that they are “challenged every day with interesting work that has value to our clients”. The company also supports them if they fancy working somewhere else, be it abroad or even for a different company for a year (an ‘externship’) - employees have gone off to work for organisations such as Innocent Drinks and The Clinton Foundation before coming back to Bain.

19 Avg Rating: 8.33 /10 Careers Available: Waitrose Retail Management Graduate Scheme Deadlines: 15th November 2011 Application Details: Please visit www. for further details on the graduate schemes available and how to apply. Employees: 47,000

It has to be a good sign when an employer’s staff appear unable to voice a bad word about their company. “Honestly, I couldn’t say a bad thing against the Partnership” (Waitrose is part of the John Lewis Partnership, where the business is owned by its employees) and “Can’t think of one - it’s a great company to work for” are common types of answer to the “What are the worst things about your company?” question that we ask reviewers. As with its sister retailer the main reason is clear – “Co-ownership is the single biggest selling point”. This manifests itself in all sorts of ways, from the softer - “it is fantastic to work for an employer who cares about YOU” to a litany of more tangible things - great learning & development (‘Training & Support’ scores an average

rating of 8.4/10), varied career opportunities (8.9/10) and most mentioned of all – the “plethora of benefits”, including discounts at a huge variety of shops and restaurants, subsidies for all manner of things (from business dress to holiday centres!), support in tough times (be it emotional or financial), the annual partnership bonus... the list goes on! It’s hard to disagree with the one reviewer who confidently states: “The JL Partnership is the premier employer in the retail sector when it comes to benefits”. All in all, it’s quite striking to note the impact that being a co-owner has on the firm’s graduates, and once you throw in the usual great stuff that reviewers say about a career in retail (“never boring”, “variety of roles”, “fast-paced” etc.), you simply get “a great company to work for”.

Graduate Vacancies: 30 Locations: Nationwide opportunities Contact Details: Email: recruitment_ waitrose@waitrose.




Avg Rating: 8.32/10     Careers Available: Engineering, FinanceAccounting & related, HR, Management, Marketing, Retail & Sales, Science, Research & Technology, Transport, Logistics, Supply Deadlines: Please see website Application Details: graduates Employees: 167,000 Graduate Vacancies: 60-70 Locations: Across UK & Ireland Contact Details: See website


“The best thing about Unilever is the culture” declares one graduate employee, and he is by no means alone. “Amazing people” and “great camaraderie between the graduates” (with “lots of chatting while we work”) combine with an “excellent flexible working policy” and “a super modern office” (albeit “in the middle of the countryside” – Leatherhead) to “really make Unilever stand out from other companies”. The perks that you get at that office are singled out for near universal praise as well – On-site gym? Check. Free Ice Cream? Check. “Unilever products at a massive discount”? Check! But perhaps even more impressive is the sheer variety that different reviewers highlight as making the firm so great for them personally to work for. For some people it’s the “huge time and effort that goes into

my development” (‘Training & Support’ gets an 8.8/10 average rating), for others it’s the ability “to try out different areas, both in terms of the location and roles within the company”, while still other graduates point to the “extreme focus on reducing environmental impact” and the fact that the firm is “very charitable” - Unilever receives a whopping 9.7/10 for ‘Ethics and Environmental Awareness’ (the 2nd highest score of any firm). All in all, it’s pretty much impossible to highlight just one or two reasons that the maker of Persil, Hellmann’s and Lynx has such happy grads, as they have great ratings across the board. If you like the idea of “seeing your work in the cupboards of 99% of UK households” (and don’t mind a bit of a commute!), Unilever might just be your dream employer.

Employer: Unilever Career: Supply Chain Job Title: Household Cleaning Planner Years Experience: 1-2 years. Salary: £35,000-£37,000 Working hrs: Generally flexible. Roughly 9am to 6pm.

“I am responsible for stock availability and inventory levels of our household cleaning business in the UK and Ireland. I have a team of 3 working for me, and between us we make sure that stock is available for sale in a very volatile market.” What do you actually do on a day-to-day basis? “I spend 60% of my time in meetings, discussing tactical and strategic plans (how we are going to launch a new product, market share reviews and market trends, how we are best going to run out factories and getting prepared for whatever the following 2 years will bring). The remainder of my time is spent answering / sending emails and making phone calls, and running / analysing SAP reports. Most of my work in this role is based in my office, but previous roles have been very mobile.” What are the best and worst things about your company specifically? “Best - Seeing your work in the cupboards of 99% of UK households.” What qualifications and skills are needed to be great at this job? “For my role specifically: Qualifications: An engineering, mathematical or logistics based degree is exceptionally useful and valued. Skills: Great influencing and communication skills. People management skills. These are the basis of everything I do. In my view, a firm grasp of mathematics, and logical reasoning is a job fundamental as well.” What advice would be helpful to someone applying for this role? “As preparation, read the Company website...extensively! Google the company name, and read everything that has appeared in the press in the last 2 years. Ask the recruitment agency / company rep what kind of interview it is (competency based, experience based, personality, and tests). Have a surface level understanding of what our competitors, customers and markets are doing. Be early, be smart, don’t swear, take your time, and remember to ask questions - an interview should be a two way affair! Secondly - don’t waste your time or the interviewers - invest your time wisely in preparing for and going to the interviews you REALLY want (quality not quantity!)”

This is just an excerpt, to read the full review visit




Avg Rating: 8.32 /10 Careers Available: Surveying (commercial property; planning and development; building surveying); Planning (RTPI) Deadlines: 22nd December 2011



Avg Rating: 8.26/10 Careers Available: General Finance, Management Accountancy, IT, Economics programme, Risk Management programme and summer internships Deadlines: October 2011 – December 2011


BNP Paribas Real Estate, the specialist property division of the financial services group BNP Paribas, is consistently rated extremely highly by its graduates for general ‘Enjoyment’ (scoring a high 8.6/10 average rating). The graduate surveyors love the fact that their roles are “very sociable”, “really interesting” and “that you are not tied to your desk”. The opportunity to be out and about “meeting many different people” is also seen as “a key benefit in terms of career progression” (8.4/10).

Additionally, the graduates praise the firm for the variety and broad overview of the industry that the role offers, giving the recruits “responsibility from a very early stage” which, they recognize, is “the best way to learn”. Finally, the fact that “the people are all great” (9.4/10 - a top 10 score) and “the work life balance is excellent“ (9.0/10 – another top 10 score) - including “monthly fun days” - make it easy to see why the firm is rated as such a good employer.

Looking for a career in financial services but don’t fancy some of the draw-backs of investment banking? Well look no further! The FSA bill their graduate schemes as ‘an ideal starting point for a career in financial services’, and their graduates agree. The schemes allow graduates to rotate through positions in order “to try many new roles and opportunities internally as well as externally, on secondment”. Where you work is up to you (after the 1st rotation) “so there is a lot of scope to

find work you are interested in”. Overall “there is a drive to allow people to perform to their abilities, not strictly limiting people to experience and position”. There is also special mention for the “great working culture” (8.1/10 average rating) where “people are always happy to help” and the company is described as “very collegial” (something that you don’t often hear in this industry). What’s more, with 8.9/10, the FSA’s ‘Work/Life Balance’ score is the single highest in the whole financial services industry!


22 Avg Rating: 8.26 /10     Careers Available: RICS APC in Building Surveying, Commercial, Residential, Rural, Planning and Development, Quantity Surveying and RTPI APC in Planning. Deadlines: 25th November 2011 for the Graduate programme with positions starting throughout 2012

40% of the main board of Savills, the leading global real estate services provider, joined as graduate trainees so the firm take their graduates very seriously: “The company and all those within are supportive of the graduate role and focused on helping with progression”. They are offered the best training available with opportunities to attend conferences, courses, lectures, networking events and mock assessments. It is no surprise then that ‘Training and Support’ receives an average score of 9.0/10 (a top 5 score across all companies). The firm also ranks highly for its “amazing culture” (scoring 9.0/10) - their graduates describe the office as always having “a positive and encouraging attitude, which is infectious” and

they insist it is “much better than other comparable large corporate companies” as “despite its size, it has managed to keep a very social, close-knit feeling atmosphere”. Like many property firms, Savills’ graduates also enjoy the property social scene - “You are constantly out of the office meeting agents, clients and having lunches and drinks”. This is a big part of why the graduates really enjoy the work itself (8.7/10). They report that “it is busy and varied” and “very diverse work so always exciting”, with most roles being a good mix of time spent in the office and out and about on meetings and site visits. Overall, graduates at Savills are hugely satisfied with their jobs and every one of our reviewers say that they would definitely take the job again in retrospect.

Application Details: Please apply online via the website – we do not accept applications by post or email. Employees: 2,000 (in the UK) 17,000 globally Graduate Vacancies: 80 Locations: Regions across the UK, all major cities Contact Details: Name: Abby King Email: gradrecruitment@ Telephone: 02078774567


24 Avg Rating: 8.25/10 Careers Available: Strategy Consulting Deadlines: 14th November 2011

Credo, a relatively small management consultancy, succeeds in standing head and shoulders above most of its competitors by offering its graduates a “top of the market remuneration package”, a “decent work life balance (for the sector)” and a lot more besides. “Credo pays a higher graduate salary (including bonus) than any other management consultancy” but it is actually the “rapid career progression” which gains the highest average rating - at 9.2/10 (a top 5 score). Colleagues are

rated very highly as well (9.0/10), with the people being described as both “very bright, motivated, driven” and “a lot of fun outside of work” - and this applies “from the partners down to the junior levels. Finally, add in some extra perks like client dinners and annual weekends away (in the last few years they’ve been to Lisbon, Budapest, Nice and Madrid) and you get the ideal result - an employer whose graduates find that “it’s difficult to think of any bad things to say”.

25 Avg Rating: 8.23/10 Careers Available: A wide range of roles are available across: Engineering, Science, Business Deadlines: Trading Intern & Graduate applications: 19th November 2011 All other Graduate applications: 30th December 2011 All other Intern applications: 31st January 2012


Whether you want to be a future business leader or a world-class geoscientist, BP’s structured graduate schemes train graduates for fantastic future careers. In an industry that is constantly changing, BP place a huge amount of importance on training their graduates to ensure they are always “at the cutting edge”. Their recruits “are given plenty of opportunity to do career-enhancing training” and this training is described as “fantastic”. Impressively, BP rank 4th overall for ‘Training &

Support’ (with an average rating of 9.1/10). BP’s graduate community report feeling “looked after and cared for” and it is notable that the firm also score extremely well for ‘Work/Life Balance’ - coming in with the 3rd top score overall (scoring 9.2/10). In particular, the reviewers love their “Brilliant Flexible Fridays - getting every other Friday off!”. Additionally, graduates rave about the “relaxed working environment” and they describe BP as a “really sociable place to work”.

Employer: BP Career: Chemistry Job Title: Graduate Chemist Years Experience: Graduate Entry Role Salary: £33,000- £35,000 Working hrs: 9am – 6pm

“I am involved in developing and testing engine lubricants and fuels for all markets around the world, from heavy duty commercial vehicle engines right down to motorcycle engines” What do you actually do on a day-to-day basis? “I have a great deal of interaction with both our suppliers, of whom we buy our raw materials and some finished products, but also marketing for whom we are developing our products.” What are your real working hours? “9am to 6pm. Working hours are pretty flexible. Core office hours are 10am - 3pm. If you need to leave early to go visit a friend, then that is not a problem and people do not check up on the hours you work.” What are the best and worst things about your company specifically? “The company sponsors many events, so you can nearly always apply for free tickets to an event. The company is also flexible with office time, and they have many offices around the world, so the opportunity for foreign travel and also placements abroad is high. There is a wide range of jobs available internally, so the possibility of changing your career path is very high. The company also has a gym onsite and will sponsor activities.” What qualifications and skills are needed to be great at this job? “You need to be either an engineer or a chemist, although other areas of the company employ people with many other skills.” What advice would be helpful to someone applying for this role? “Regarding application there is an extensive online application form, then a phone interview based on life experiences and ‘competencies.’ Then a technical interview and then an assessment centre. For the phone interview, it is necessary to have examples of when you have used your technical skill etc. or when you have led something etc. This is a difficult interview and applicants should think carefully and prepare before they have this interview.”

This is just an excerpt, to read the full review visit


26 Avg Rating: 8.21/10 Careers Available: Betting & Gaming Marketing, Betting & Gaming Sports Trader, Corporate Affairs & PR, Customer Operations, Finance, Human Resources, Marketing, Procurement, Sky IQ Business, Sky IQ Technical, Software Engineering Academy, Strategy Group, Supply Chain, Technology Deadlines: Vary by programme – it’s 30 October 2011 for Marketing, Betting & Gaming Marketing, Finance (February intake) and Corporate Affairs. It’s 30 November 2011 for everything else. Graduate programmes commence in 2012. Application Details: Via Employees: 16,000 Graduate Vacancies: 100 Locations: UK wide Contact Details: graduate. recruitment@bskyb. com


Sky works hard to ensure that their graduates are happy and their approach seems to pay great dividends, with their reviewers describing them as “a great company to work for” that “looks after their employees well”. Their graduates are offered good training and support and they are given high levels of “real responsibility” from an early stage - something that as one reviewer points out “many companies offer, but Sky really gives it. I have been here for one year and have already managed a team of 14 people and project managed a piece of work from start to finish”. The company also goes out of its way to create a “great atmosphere” (‘Company Culture’ scores an 8.7/10 average rating) with a “good social life” and “big grad community”, while reviewers also praise the “young, bright and enthusiastic people” who they work with (‘Colleagues’ are rated 8.7/10). As befits a company that prides itself for providing ‘outstanding entertainment’, Sky organises fun events for its staff including regular “Friday treats” which can include anything from table tennis and BBQs to surf simulators and bungee runs. There is also their annual Music Festival, featuring

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top acts including Tinie Tempah and Calvin Harris. You may be more surprised to learn however that it is the company’s ‘Ethical and Environmental Awareness’ that their employees rate most highly, scoring 9.0/10 - one of the highest scores in this category for any employer. Sky run a number of projects including Sky Rainforest Rescue (helping protect the Amazon rainforest) and The Bigger Picture Project (making a positive contribution to Sky’s local communities and society). Finally, add to this the “great benefits (good pension scheme, free Sky+HD and broadband)” and it is easy to see why Sky’s graduates are so happy. As one of them simply summarises: “The company is brilliant”.

Fantasticout Development. Opportunity. Reach and Endless touch the future

Models: Stacey and Anikh - current Sky graduates

Fantastic Development. Endless Opportunity. Real Responsibility. At Sky we’re always exploring new possibilities – looking for ways to take entertainment to new dimensions for our 10 million plus customers. You can join us in one of our UK based graduate programme areas: Customer Operations Finance & Strategy HR Marketing & Media

Sky Betting & Gaming Sky IQ Supply Chain & Procurement Technology

We’ll give you the training, exposure and inspiration to become one of our next generation of business leaders. To find out more about these fantastic opportunities, go to

Sky delivers some of the most diverse content and services on the planet, and we value the same diversity within our business. We provide a culture of entrepreneurialism for one and all.

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Avg Rating: 8.19/10 Careers Available: Trainee Solicitors Deadlines: 13th July 2012


Irwin Mitchell, the largest personal injury practice in the UK, offer a rare mix of both “excellent quality work” and a genuinely good work/ life balance, so if you’re looking for a great career in law but don’t want to give up your entire social life, this may be the place for you. The practice is described by its trainees as “a great place to work” with “excellent staff treatment”.They rate their fellow colleagues extremely well (‘Colleagues’ scores a 9.1/10 average rating) and commend the“relaxed”,“welcoming”and

“warm” atmosphere, with many agreeing that “the best thing about Irwin Mitchell is the friendliness”. Where Irwin Mitchell really outshines its competitors though is in the Work/Life Balance category (gaining the highest score in the Law industry at 8.1/10). Trainees have genuinely good working hours (reviewers insist that they finish no later than 6pm on average) and if ever “any extra hours are required then they are encouraged to be the exception rather than the rule”.


Avg Rating: 8.19 /10     Careers Available: FMP – Financial Management Program; EEDP – Edison Engineering Development Program; OMLP – Operations Management Leadership Program; IMLP – Information Management Leadership Program; Deadlines: Various


GE, the multinational conglomerate, believe ‘that life at GE leaves you a better person than when you first walked through our doors’ and, if you’re looking for a company with great training, career prospects and a good network, then GE could be the place for you. The company scores an average rating of 9.0/10 for ‘Training & Support’ (a top 10 score). New recruits say their career prospects are “second-to-none” (scoring 8.9/10) with “opportunities to travel and

work abroad all across Europe and beyond” and boundless possibilities for career changes within the different areas of the GE group. Finally, GE graduates admire the fact that “no matter if your colleague is a senior manager or at the same level as you they will still take the time to teach and help you” (‘Colleagues’ scores a high 8.4/10). It seems that GE’s claim is accurate and as one reviewer observes, “the best thing about GE is their commitment to engaging employees”.

Entry-level Leadership Programmes: > Edison Engineering Development Programme (EEDP) > Finance Management Programme (FMP) > Information Management Leadership Programme (IMLP)

Masters and MBA Leadership Programmes: > Experienced Commercial Leadership Programme (ECLP) > Human Resources Leadership Programme (HRLP)

> Operations Management Leadership Programme (OMLP) > Risk Management Programme (RMP)

Grow With Us And we’ll grow with you. With a career at GE, you’ll see your potential thrive in our learning-oriented, developmental culture. Have the pride of knowing that the work you do will have a real impact on the future. Whether your interests lie in engineering, finance, manufacturing, marketing and sales, human resources or information technology, we have an opportunity for you to join GE in creating a better world for generations to come. >


29 Avg Rating: 8.17 / 10     Careers Available: General Management programme CIMA accredited Finance programme HR programme Retail Operations programme Deadlines: 31st December 2011 Application Details: To apply please go to jobs/graduates Employees: 110,000 Graduate Vacancies: 27 Locations: Manchester although we have regional offices in Rochdale and Bristol Contact Details: Name: Shona Mckenzie Email: shona.mckenzie@ Telephone: 0161 827 5962


The Co-operative Group is the largest consumer co-operative in the world, with over 6 million members. “At the very heart of our business is our ethical foundation.” This ethical brand strongly appeals to their graduates: “You can work for a big business without feeling like you’ve sold your soul to a massive corporate entity that only care about profits for shareholders”, says one. Unsurprisingly the firm scores a very high average ‘Ethical Awareness’ rating of 9.0/10. The Co-operative’s obligation to its community is certainly applied to its staff as well: “The best thing about the firm is the way it treats its employees and its ethical stance”. Employees are given fantastic ‘Training and Support’ (scoring an average rating of 8.5/10) - “you are given so much access to training” and “personal development is fantastic”. The graduates are even given their own “personal development budget”. Unlike many other companies, The Co-operative Group also has “the unique” selling point of being able to offer its graduates very diverse experiences. “Because it contains a wide range of businesses, you have the benefit of being able to work in a range of industries”,

says one reviewer, “There aren’t many businesses which can offer you the breadth of experience that they do (over 14 different businesses)”, adds another. The food retail business is the largest division of the Group, however “you can find yourself working in such diverse areas as Funeralcare, Pharmacy, Procurement and Operational Risk”. Luck is on the side of all new recruits too because as of Autumn 2012 the Manchester based head office will be relocating to a brand new, bespoke 15 storey building, which is set to become one of the UK’s most sustainable buildings”.


As a Graduate at The Co-operative, you’ll be part of a culture that combines sharp commercial thinking with an ethical conscience. So you won’t just be working in a business that pioneered Fairtrade products in the UK. You’ll be based in the heart of Manchester, the centre of a huge regeneration project that’s set to boost the UK economy and transform the local landscape of the city. Good news for your future. And the future of everyone around you.

BECOME A PIONEER: CO-OPERATIVE.JOBS/GRADUATES Finance | Business Management | HR | Retail Operations




Avg Rating: 8.15 / 10     Careers Available: Central government – operational, policy and corporate roles across the full range of the government’s responsibilities Deadlines: Analytical Fast Stream closes 17 October, all other schemes 30 November.



Avg Rating: 8.15 /10 Careers Available: Various - please see website. Deadlines: Full time Analyst Programmes: 4th November 2011, Summer Analyst Programmes: 6th January 2012, Insight Programmes: 3rd February 2012.


The Civil Service Fast Stream aims to give graduates ‘a wide range of experience’, through a series of placements in numerous departments. While each graduate therefore has considerably different experiences each day, there are many things that are true of the experience of all Fast Streamers. Firstly they almost all report huge levels of job satisfaction. This is because graduates “know that what you do is helping to improve people’s quality of life all over the country”, because they are “working

closely with senior and interesting people” and because they are given “lots of responsibility”. There is also a fantastic support structure in place to enable them to “get on with doing an excellent job” – from “great training” (which receives a 8.4/10 average rating - “I really appreciate the time and focus on developing my career”) to the “good number of graduates in a similar position who are supportive and open to helping problem solve”. The graduates rate their colleagues highly with a strong 8.6/10.

The financial services corporation, Citi, achieves all round high scores from its graduates. They have a top 10 score for ‘Career Progression’ (scoring an average rating of 9.0/10) and reviewers consistently mention how well the graduate roles at the firm set you up for your career. The firm “invests a lot in training at all levels” and provides “juniors” with exposure to both “international opportunities” and “CEOs and directors of companies”. “The job teaches you how to behave in an international business

setting” and, common with other huge global organisations, “the job mobility is fantastic”. There is also “a fantastic graduate rotation system” which gives new starters insight into different departments and teams. Citi graduates also praise the excellent ‘Company Culture’ (8.9/ 10) and their “extremely bright and pleasant” ‘Colleagues’ (also 8.9/10), which mean that “the atmosphere is great” (“we work but we also have fun“) especially, reviewers note, “as compared to other American banks”.


Is it possible to work for an accountancy firm and still love your job? ‘Yes!’ is the resounding answer from Grant Thornton employees. They speak of their work as “interesting” and “varied” (an apparent benefit of being a “mid-tier” firm), acknowledge their colleagues as “great”, “talented” and “friendly” (giving ‘Colleagues’ an 8.6/10 average rating) and praise their firm for providing great training and support (8.5/10) - “has to be one of the best things - it really is excellent”. Yes, “there are times of

the year when it gets verybusy” but GT employees repeatedly favourably compare their firm to the Big 4 Accountancies for Work/Life Balance (“very reasonable compared to other professional services firms”), early responsibility (“you are encouraged to really take ownership of the work you do” and the company being “genuinely interested in your welfare”. All in all, if accountancy appeals to you, Grant Thornton are a great choice.

Deadlines: 31st January 2012. Interns and placements deadline is 29th February 2012


In 1943, IBM’s chairman famously declared ‘I think there is a world market for maybe five computers’. Thankfully for the 250+ graduates that the firm takes on each year, he was a little wide of the mark and today IBM has moved well beyond making PCs to become the world’s largest consulting services company, providing IT Services and consultancy in over 170 countries. The work that graduates do at the firm is reviewed as being “intellectually stimulating” and cutting edge and their graduates relish “getting to

Avg Rating: 8.14 /10     Careers Available: Audit, Tax and Advisory

work with the latest tools and techniques”. It is also a constant challenge (in a good way!) with a “steep learning curve - every new project you are almost starting a new job”, ensuring that graduates feel that they are learning a huge amount. While the “great community of grads” and “a lot of flexibility in what I get involved in, where I work from and what hours I work” ensure that both ‘Colleagues’ and ‘Work /Life Balance’ receive impressive average ratings of 8.8/10.

Avg Rating: 8.11/10     Careers Available: Business, Consultancy, Technology Deadlines: Year-round recruitment




Avg Rating: 8.10/10 Careers Available: Trainee Solicitor Deadlines: Penultimate year Law undergraduates: 01 June - 31 July All finalists and all graduates: 01 Nov - 31 March Application Details: For more information and to apply please visit graduates Employees: Approx 1500 Graduate Vacancies: Approx 40 Training Contracts Office Locations: Abu Dhabi, Amsterdam, Brussels, Doha, Dubai, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Funchal*, Hong Kong, London, Lisbon*, Madrid, Milan, Paris, Rome, Saudi Arabia*, Shanghai, Tokyo. *Associated office Contact Details: Anna King, Graduate Recruitment & Development Manager, recruitment@ simmons-simmons. com 0207 628 2020


Simmons & Simmons is a ‘silver circle’ city law firm (a genuine competitor to the top five UK solicitors’ in terms of revenues). The firm seems to have two key selling points - great work and happy employees. Their trainees first and foremost praise the company for its “quality“ and “interesting work” and the “opportunity to work with the best” - as one reviewer states: “working with big name clients on important cases or deals is exhilarating”. The trainees also feel genuinely “valued” and “appreciated” members of a team with real responsibility. One trainee, for example, describes his experience of “having a disclosure meeting with directors of a company by himself”. The graduates describe the firm as ensuring they “bring the best out of you” and they rate the ‘Training and Support’ available a high 8.6/10. There is “a real focus on developing trainees, both in their legal and commercial skills”. The current graduates agree that what they “enjoy most about my job is the fact that it is always interesting and challenging” but they also do not fail to mention their “fantastic colleagues” and great culture (‘Colleagues’ scores a very high average rating of 8.5/10 and ‘Company Culture’ only very slightly lower at 8.2/10). There certainly seems

to be a good trainee community - plenty of reviewers describe their fellow trainees as “good friends” while one points out: “It’s true – people smile at S&S”. With fantastic people, great work opportunities and a good working atmosphere, one graduate reviewer seems to sum up the attraction of working at Simmons & Simmons perfectly: “The firm is big enough to get excellent work from top clients, but still retains a collegial feel”.


34 Avg Rating: 8.10/10

You almost certainly know that HSBC have one of the largest global footprints of any graduate employer, meaning that they can provide their graduates with “excellent scope to work abroad and in different areas”. Even those reviewers who stay put relish “the huge range of diversity and job flexibility” that are offered by “the scope of work roles and business areas”. You may not know however that the firm has “a moral ethos second to none”, with “great values & principles”, both in the way that it treats its employees and the wider community. Graduates are given the opportunity to be involved in “lots of extra charitable activities”, including charity events and community days. Indeed HSBC reviewers save their highest scores for the firm’s ‘Ethical & Environmental Awareness’

(giving it a well-deserved 9.0/10 average rating), yet it is probably the least known of the bank’s many selling points. In terms of treating their employees well, reviewers claim that “you get a much better work-life balance” working at HSBC than you do at other banks and they even describe the working environment as “very chilled out” (definitely not something you will read about many other banks!). There is a “huge focus on personal development”, with the bank “recognising talent and those who are hardworking and investing in them heavily”. Add to this “a competitive salary & bonus and a great benefits scheme” and it is not hard to see why its graduates describe HSBC as “a great place to work”.

Careers Available: Executive Management Trainee Programme, Retail management Trainee Programme, Commercial and Corporate Management Trainee Programme, Customer Propositions Programme, HSBC Technology & Services Management Trainee Programme, First & Penultimate Year Internship Programmes Deadlines: 31st January 2012 Application Details: All applications should be submitted on our website – www. hsbcgraduatecareers. com Employees: 295,000 globally Graduate Vacancies: 180 Locations: Nationwide Contact Details: graduatecareers@ (not for applications)


36 Avg Rating: 8.08/10 Careers Available: Supply Chain, Commercial/Sales, Marketing, Finance Deadlines: Ongoing Application Details: Apply online via www. lorealbusinessclass. Employees: 64,600 worldwide Graduate Vacancies: 33 Locations: London & global Contact Details: Katie Smith graduates@uk.loreal. com

L’Oreal employees are “proud” to work for “such a respected company” and on such “super brands”. It is no surprise that they enjoy the “good perks”, from “a good restaurant in the office serving up really varied and healthy stuff” to the staff freebies and discounts that reviewers mention without fail – “L’Oreal is at the cutting edge of cosmetics and bring out some cool products. You get staff discount and trials of new releases!”. The good news is that they rate their roles highly too, both on ‘Career Progression’ (which receives an average rating of 8.6/10) and ‘Responsibility’ (8.1/10) as well. “There is a lot of potential to progress quickly” and graduates are given the “chance to stretch and learn and develop every day” with a “huge amount of responsibility and ownership of brands at a young age”. Additionally, “every day is VERY different” and it is the type of environment where the company responds to your development so “show responsibility and you will be given responsibility”. ‘Colleagues’ too get a great - indeed a top 10 - rating of 9.4/10. They are described as “young, fun, intelligent people” and the company as a whole is one with a “brilliant social scene”, “where everyone is up


for fun” and “fantastic banter”. Many reviewers mention “having a lot of friends at work” and they frequently praise the firm itself for creating such a “great company culture” (rated 8.5/10), something which “football tours to Sweden” and “conferences in Marbella” – both of which have recently been arranged – can surely only help!

37 Avg Rating: 8.07/10

Steer Davies Gleave, the independent transport sector consultancy, is unquestionably a great place to work, with a very high average rating for ‘Enjoyment’ (8.5/10) and employees saying such things as “Steer Davies Gleave is one of the friendliest companies I have known”. Their graduates are impressed by their colleagues (who receives an average rating of 8.8/10) and their office culture - “a really nice working atmosphere” (‘Company

Culture’ scores 8.3/10) and they commend the relaxed structuring of the business: “The CEO sits amongst the staff and we all have the opportunity to talk to each other”. Finally, their graduates also report high levels of job satisfaction, appreciating their “varied work”, “exposure to different projects and different clients all over the world” and the great ‘Career Prospects’ (which scores higher than any other aspect at 9.0/10).

Careers Available: We employ graduates from a wide variety of disciplines. If you are not sure if we would be interested in your degree please contact us. Deadlines: The Graduate recruitment process will open midOctober. Information on closing date will be updated shortly on our website.

38 AkzoNobel is one of the world’s leading industrial companies. The multinational firm is the world leader in decorative paints and home to some of the best-known brands in the business such as Dulux. Their graduates report that they are “a great company to work for and supportive of employees with the typical benefits you’d expect from a large employer”. The company has great benefits for its 55,000 staff from “flexible working hours”, “good company pension” and “a good holiday allowance” to “discount paints”! What seems

to really get their graduates going though is the office culture (which receives an average rating of 8.3/10). Graduates describe it as a very “friendly and laid back” atmosphere with “very approachable management” and “good people” (‘Colleagues’ scores a very high 9.2/10 average). While the firm is described by its staff as “investors in people and their development” they also do their part in looking after the planet, gaining the 3rd highest score of any company for ‘Environmental and Ethical Awareness’ (9.6/10).

Avg Ratzing: 8.06/10 Careers Available: Customer Business Development/Sales, Engineering for Manufacturing, Finance, HR, IT, Marketing, Purchasing, R&D, Supply Chain Deadlines: TBC


39 Avg Rating:8.01/10 Careers Available: TUI Travel Specialist & Activity - Graduate Development Programme; TUI Travel International Management Trainee Programme; TUI UK & Ireland - UK Graduate Leadership Programme. Deadlines: Specialist & Activity / UK & Ireland Programme deadline = February 2012; International Programme deadline = October 2011 & May 2012 Application Details: Please apply directly online at: www. Please search for the graduate programme that you wish to apply for in the “Search Vacancies” box Employees: 49,000 Graduate Vacancies: 24 approx. Locations: Worldwide (please see our website for more details) Contact Details: Email: graduate.


“The best thing about the company is that it has the most exciting range of products and services that you will find anywhere - who else offers Polar cruising, round-the-world private jet tours, trips to the World Cup, student ski holidays, hiking the Inca trail and much, much more?!” asks one graduate reviewer. The best part is that that’s just a fraction of what makes TUI such a great graduate employer. The only word of warning is that it is potentially not for everyone: “A passion for travel is essential“ and you’ll need to “love taking on a new challenge every 3 months” but, if you read that and you’re still interested then TUI’s programme delivers in spades. The “massive variety” that the scheme offers is almost unrivalled: graduates get “vast opportunities to gain experience working in different cultures, companies, departments

and teams”, all the while “learning about the key success/failure factors in each business”. Crucially this allows graduates “to discover the job you would like to work in for the coming years” and the opportunities after the graduate program are “excellent” (‘Career Progression’ receives an 8.5/10 average rating). The graduates have a great presence in the company and are given “extremely high exposure to high-level management”. On top of that is “excellent and extensive learning & development” but also an “entrepreneurial spirit” and “freedom” to put what they learn into practice – “this is a comprehensive development program designed to create leaders and not functional workers”. Oh, and you’ve go to check out their Graduate Leadership Programme website – easily the coolest we’ve seen.

Why should you join TUI Travel?

We have the most diverse and unique collection of travel businesses in the world, with over 200 brands from the USA and Canada, across Europe and out to Australia and New Zealand. We’re passionate about being the best and pride ourselves on the unique and diverse range of holidays we offer our customers from trekking in the Himalayas, skiing the Alps, watching the World Cup to sailing in the Caribbean! All of TUI Travel’s Graduate Programmes seek talented and passionate individuals with an active interest in travel and the confidence to develop into a future leadership position within the company. For more information on Graduate opportunities at TUI Travel please visit our website: careers/graduateprogrammes.


40 Avg rating: 7.95/10 Careers Available: Finance, Sales & Marketing, R&D, Supply Chain, Engineering & Manufacturing, We are also recruiting for Industrial Placement in R&D and Engineering for around 30 places. Deadlines: 11th November 2011 Application Details: We have an online application form which you will need to complete to move through the process, via www. kraftfoodsgraduates. Employees: Over 6000 employees in Kraft Foods Europe alone Graduate Vacancies: 15 – 20 Graduate Vacancies for 2012 Locations: We are recruiting across the UK and Ireland and have over 14 possible site locations where graduates could be placed, more information of this is on the website www. kraftfoodsgraduates.


Having recently joined forces with Cadbury, Kraft are fast becoming every bit the more delicious to work for! The size of the firm brings many benefits while the additional Cadbury brands can only be seen as a real positive for staff - graduates rejoice: “I get to work on chocolate everyday!”. Without doubt the “exciting products” that the firm produce are a huge positive for graduates. “I get to work on a range of products that are widely loved by the public, and get the satisfaction of seeing something I have developed out in the shops”. They also don’t fail to mention the products they get to take home with them - both through “freebies” and from the “great staff shop”. Working for the world’s second largest food company (that operates in over 170 countries) also means Kraft’s recruits quite literally have a world

of opportunity in front them: “The company is so, so, large! This brings a lot of possibility to everything you do” mentions one reviewer, “It gives you scale and power in the market to do some great things” adds another. While some large firms may leave the ‘small fish’ with little responsibility, trainees at Kraft score the 8th best score of any company for ‘Responsibility’ with an average rating of 8.2/10 and they praise “the level of autonomy, interaction and the direct influence they have over the direction of the business”. Graduates feel that “each role is a real job where you have responsibility and you are expected to deliver results”. Finally, unlike many companies of their size, Kraft has a “great atmosphere”, “inspiring ethos” and, most importantly, “nice people and a supportive culture”.

41 Avg Rating: 7.93 /10

It is no surprise Leo Burnett are one of the highest ranked advertising agencies - with 96 offices worldwide, the firm knows how to look after its staff. Leo Burnett achieves all-round good scores from their graduates for everything from their “energetic”, “intelligent” and “talented” colleagues (scoring an average rating of 8.7/10) - “the people of ad-land are much nicer than you’d think!” - to the “immensely enjoyable” roles with “great client

contact” (including working with the likes of McDonalds and Kellogg’s). The graduates describe the “wonderful working environment” as a “workplace that is a pleasure to be a part of” and also praise the “very meritocratic and rewarding” nature of the company. It seems an ad agency that is hard to fault (apart from the occasional late nights!), with one graduate reviewer going as far as to say “I love it”.

Careers Available: Account Managers, Account Planners and Creatives Deadlines: Grad scheme 2012 applications will be open via our Facebook page (Leo Burnett Graduate Foundation Programme) from 3rd - 28th October.


42 CHP Consulting, who provide finance software and consultancy, boast that their employees say that ‘they have never worked with such a good bunch of people’ and, judging by our CHP reviews, it is an accurate claim. The 9.3/10 average rating that graduates give to their ‘Colleagues’ is a top 10 score and many a reviewer highlights that the number one thing about the firm “is definitely the people that I work with”. “Everyone who works at CHP is lovely to work with and I see a fair number of people outside of work too”. The firm themselves go to great lengths to support

the “good sense of community spirit” through “a relaxed working environment where people will often share a story or a joke”, by laying on “company drinks & events” and, most notably, through “project jollies abroad” to celebrate major milestones or projects. Recent destinations have included Miami, Reykjavik and an “all-expenses paid, 5 star, 4 day trip with 50 other employees to Cyprus - great fun!”.

Avg Rating: 7.92/10 Careers Available: IT Consultancy Deadlines: 31st December 2011 for Autumn 2012 intakes / Ongoing recruitment for additional intakes throughout 2012




Avg rating: 7.92/10 Careers Available: Dstl 2 Year Graduate Development Programme Deadlines: Various Application Details: Graduate vacancies can be found at www. Employees: Approx 3,500 Graduate Vacancies: Approx 60-70 per year Locations: Porton Down, near Salisbury Portsdown West, near Portsmouth Fort Halstead, near Sevenoaks Contact Details: Contact Name: Paula Thick Contact Email: uk Telephone: 01980 613755


Dstl’s role “is to supply sensitive and specialist science and technology services for the MOD and wider government, saving lives in the UK, overseas and on the frontline” and while their various graduate schemes (including research, physical sciences and engineering) receive a lot of praise from reviewers, it is the great pride in contributing to this overall objective which their graduates highlight the most. Reviewers on its two-year programme love the fact that “what I do makes a real impact” particularly on the “safety of British troops” and to “the defence of the UK” - “it is a very fulfilling job”. It is also “incredibly interesting”: graduates get to work with “cutting edge technologies... on the leading edge of science”, to a level that is hard for outsiders to imagine. As one graduate puts it: “I could never have imagined doing what I do now when I graduated”. It is no surprise then that the new recruits rate their overall job ‘Enjoyment’ very highly (scoring it an average rating of 8.5/10). Dstl recruits also praise “the staggering breadth of work available”, and the freedom that they are given - both in how they do their work and, even more so, in the “wonderful” flexi-time working hours policy which “offers unparalleled work-life balance which no private company

competes with”. Graduates are able to choose their working hours, and many say that they work an extra hour each day so that they can then take a day off every two weeks. Unsurprisingly ‘Work/Life Balance’ gets a top 10 average rating of 8.8/10.

The most unshakeable, innovative, powerful secrets often have a degree in science.

Graduate opportunities 2011/12 It’s fair to say that most graduates want to make a difference. But imagine having the opportunity to influence the Armed Forces and Government on a national scale. Developing your skills, gaining experience, making full use of your degree in unique, specialist areas – and then trying something different the very next year. When we say we’ll make the most of your abilities we really mean it. And with a wide range of jobs to choose from, the possibilities are endless. Find out more at Every kind of thinking matters. Dstl is part of the Ministry of Defence


44 Avg Rating: 7.90/10 Careers Available: Opportunities are available in core construction-related disciplines such as Construction Management, Project Management for Construction/ Consultancy, Quantity Surveying and Building Services. Deadlines: End of February 2012 Application Details: Recruitment ends February 2012 To find out more visit the website or send applications to the email addresses below. Employees: 3,266 Graduate Vacancies: 30 Locations: All over UK and worldwide. Head Office is Camden Town, London. Contact Details: Emails: Graduates@, Placements@ 020 7068 6140


Mace Group, the construction firm, are rated very highly by their graduates, primarily because they offer the opportunity to work on “some of the most high profile projects in the UK” and because the firm “value and look after their staff and invest heavily in them to train them and progress them through the ranks”. The company are a top player in the property industry and their new recruits love “working for a leading company on iconic builds”. They all agree that one of the biggest positives of working for the firm is that they feel genuinely “proud to work on a project with Mace’s name on it” including “inspirational developments such as the Olympic Park, Shard (tallest building in Western Europe) and the London Eye”. Of course, with high achievements comes high expectations and Mace set out to ensure their new recruits are given the best opportunity to perform by offering them “excellent training” that “is renowned within the industry” (‘Training & Support’ scores an average rating of 8.2/10). The firm are happy to fork out extra money to help develop their graduate talent, including sponsorship of educational courses - as illustrated by one reviewer for whom “the company

sponsored and paid for me to study towards a Masters part time, which is expensive and shows their commitment to my development”. Mace also offer up first rate benefits including a good pension, health insurance, dental plan, reimbursement of professional subscriptions and, for sports fans, there are plenty of clubs to get involved with, including netball, cricket, softball, football, cycling and running.

Employer: Mace Group Career: Property Commercial Management Job Title: Assistant Commercial Manager Working hrs: 8am – 5pm Years Experience: Graduate Entry Role Team/Area: Quantity Surveying Salary: £27,000 - £29,000

“I am responsible for the legal and financial aspects of various building contractors throughout the construction process.” What do you actually do on a day-to-day basis? “I manage the implications of any changes by the designers and ensure that the client is aware of the costs. I put together the contractual documents for companies working on the project. I check drawings for changes in what they are required to build. I assess the progress of companies working on site on a monthly basis and process payment for the work done. I speak with architects and structural engineers about the design and other cost consultants on the financial aspects of the project. I am in dialogue with the client regularly regarding the forecast costs for the project.” What are the main positives and negatives of your job? “Good team atmosphere. I like the diverse roles and responsibilities. I like interacting with the broad variety of people. If you are based on site, as I am, your place of work can change regularly, I like the variety and fresh starts that this brings. A drawback is that the job is reliant on there being a construction project, when the economy is in recession construction projects are often put on hold.” What qualifications and skills are needed to be great at this job? “Many companies do like to have a construction related qualification but it is not essential, I did not have construction qualifications before starting. Good communication skills and willingness to learn as there are many aspects to this job.” What are the best and worst things about your company specifically? “Mace are a high profile professional company and it certainly feels like it as an employee. I feel valued and am proud to work on a project with Mace’s name on it. The company provides health insurance with an annual full body health check. Remuneration includes perks such as car allowances and a good pension contribution from the company. Best of all for me is that the company sponsored and paid for me to study towards a Masters part time, which is expensive and shows their commitment to developing younger employees at the start of their careers.” This is just an excerpt, to read the full review visit


45 Avg Rating: 7.82/10 Careers Available: We currently offer 19 different Graduate Leadership Programmes across the UK, including: Buying, Corporate Affairs, Corporate Marketing, Customer Analysis, Distribution Management, Finance, Human Resources, Merchandising,   Optometry, Pharmacy, Product Technology, Property, Property, Store Management, Supply Chain, Support Office, Technology Leadership, Telecoms, Tesco. com, Trading Law & Technical Deadlines: 31st December 2011 Employees: 492,714 Graduate Vacancies: 350 Locations: Hertfordshire, however applicants to our Stores and Distribution Management programme need to be fully mobile at the start of the programme.


What’s it like to work for one of the largest retailers in the world? Well, the truth is, it’s pretty great. Contrary to popular belief, “Tesco doesn’t only create store managers. There’s a whole load to learn in the back office!”. In fact, Tesco offers 19 different graduate schemes, including the well-known store management programme but also many other opportunities including Finance, Property, Buying, Merchandising, Distribution, Marketing... - you name it and they probably have it! Irrelevant of the department, their graduates seem to unanimously agree that “Tesco is great”. It is the “can do” culture that graduates particularly like, while they also rate their colleagues well (scoring an 8.5/10 average rating), describing them as “good friends” and, in one instance, “almost like a family”. Tesco is “a huge employer with loads of avenues to explore” so it is no surprise that the “opportunities

for career progression are huge” (scoring an 8.3/10 average) and the graduates benefit from plenty of “cross function networking opportunities”. At the same time, they feel “very supported and helped” by their senior colleagues who are “interested in getting the job done but also in investing time in their development”. Support and training are high on the new recruits’ lists of the positives. They say they are given “lots of relevant training”, are given the opportunity to “make real decisions” and are “encouraged to become leaders” - something which is facilitated by “exposure to very senior stakeholders right up to the board of directors and CEO”. Plus there are some pretty great benefits, like an award-winning pension scheme, sabbatical allowances and, of course, “a good discount” and “a number of staff-only offers across the whole business”.


46 Avg Rating: 7.81/10

Impressively 2011 was Premier Foods’ first graduate intake and it seems the food producers got it right first time! The manufacturers of many well known brands, including Mr Kipling, Hovis and Oxo, have made sure their grads are doing exactly what they each want to do. “We don’t have a ‘onesize-fits-all’ graduate package” explains one reviewer, “there is a large degree of flexibility within Premier Foods regarding where you want to work and in

what sort of role”. The recruits are well looked after too. They are offered “lots of opportunities for career progression” (‘Career Progression’ receives an 8.6/10 average rating) and feel supported in their roles with plenty of “training opportunities available” (‘Training & Support’ scores an 8.3/10 average) - one graduate goes as far as to say “I am rarely actually in the office five days a week, as the scheme has so many great training courses to attend!”.

Careers Available: TBC Deadlines: TBC


Centrica, the FTSE 100 energy company, is noted for giving its graduates a lot of responsibility and a fantastic environment to work in. New starters relish the “exposure to major business decisions” and the “great opportunity for creative input and management/responsibility of high- profile projects”. You are “left to do things your way a lot of the time” and this means that graduates really feel that they are doing “crucial work... without which, the business couldn’t progress”. Graduates agree that

the firm has a “very friendly and open” culture (‘Company Culture’ scores a high average of 8.0/10) and ‘Colleagues’ score very well as well (8.8/10) - as one graduate puts it: “The best thing about Centrica is the other graduates”. Finally, Centrica provides fantastic benefits, ranging from a good pension and share scheme to discounts (“10% off almost everything!”) and a dedicated concierge service that can “arrange anything from a doctors appointment to sourcing vintage taxi engines!”.


Avg Rating:7.81/10 Careers Available: Analyst, HR, Customer Operations, Marketing, Finance, IS, Engineering, HS&E, Subsurface Deadlines: 31st January 2012


48 Avg Rating: 7.56/10 Careers Available: Building Surveyors, Commercial Surveyors and Planners Deadlines: 13th November 2011 Application Details: Apply online at Employees: 1,500 Graduate Vacancies: Around 20 Locations: London (City and West End), Bristol, Leeds, Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Belfast, Cardiff and Newcastle Contact Name: Helen Worrall Contact Email: Telephone: 0121 609 8300

GVA, “the largest independent property consultancy in the UK”, offers its graduates a great deal of variety in their work, including “very different challenges that constantly further my own knowledge/expertise”, “a good combination of site and office based work” and the opportunity “to work with different teams of people”. It also provides “significant levels of responsibility from the outset” and its graduates really appreciate “the strong level of trust and belief” that lies behind this responsibility. There is a “very good inhouse and external training” programme - described as ”one of the best in the property industry” (and given a 7.6/10 average rating) - to support the new recruits, as well as “good support towards the APC”. “The main benefit of working for GVA” however “is the friendly and highly skilled individuals I


get to work with” - the average rating given to ‘Colleagues’ is an impressive 8.7/10. The office is described as “friendly”, “approachable” with a “very pleasurable working environment”, while GVA certainly live up to the property industry’s social reputation. The firm insists that ‘it’s not all about work, work, work: there is always time for sporting and social events’ and they are true to their word, with “frequent social events funded by the office” such as “drinks for the whole office every other week”. Finally, as an extra selling point, GVA are ”good at supporting charity activities” and score very well for ‘Ethical Awareness’ (8.4/10). The firm have an award-winning national charity campaign and this year the company donates 10p to WhizzKidz for every mile a member of staff walks, runs or cycles to and from work.

Employer: GVA Career: Surveyor Job Title: Graduate Surveyor Years Experience: Graduate Entry Role Working Hrs: 9am – 6pm

“My job is to survey existing buildings for the purpose of assisting acquisitions, agreeing dilapidations claims, providing maintenance costs or surveying the condition of buildings. Some of these surveys require that plans are drawn up for the property, which we produce on CAD. I also project manage for refurbishment projects on existing built up sites/buildings.” What do you actually do on a day-to-day basis? “As there are many different survey types and job roles, this is difficult to answer. I spend approximately 3/4 of the time in the office writing up surveys or managing a project. When in the office I speak on the phone to relevant members of a design team for a job or the client for further instruction. The remaining time I am on site either at a site meeting or carrying out a survey. A few days a month are used for training, which may be in house seminars, external courses or private learning in preparation for my APC.” What are the best and worst things about your company specifically? “The main benefits of working for GVA are the friendly and highly skilled individuals I get to work with, and the projects I can be involved in. In addition, there is a strong level of trust and belief among my team which translates into getting responsibility and respect if you work hard.” What qualifications and skills are needed to be great at this job? “Basic maths skills are very useful, and a degree in Building Surveying is essential. It is helpful to be comfortable with meeting new people, be able to be motivated whilst working individually and be receptive to a team environment.” What advice would be helpful to someone applying for this role? “There are lots of websites that can be found with a Google search to help with the formatting of a CV and basic do’s and don’ts. I found the best resource was the company to be applied for’s website. I looked at what they were looking for and then described my experience and abilities that fit with those requirements.”

This is just an excerpt, to read the full review visit


49 Avg Rating: 7.54 /10 Careers Available: Leadership Graduate Programme Graduate Pathways Programme Deadlines: Leadership Graduate Programme: 31st December 2011 Graduate Pathways Programme: Applications accepted all year round.     

“Amey looks after their graduates and contribute a lot towards our development”. A very respectable 8.2/10 average rating for the “lots and lots of training available” is supported by reviewer praise for the fact that the firm “ensure that their employees have exactly what they need” - including paying for them to complete external training courses and “attend many helpful and rewarding workshops, which help me to develop into a well-rounded professional”. “The central graduate training scheme works hard on my behalf” and “top management take a keen

interest in us” – all adding to the sense that Amey take the development of their “excellent graduate community” very seriously. The work that graduates are given is praised as well – frequently described as “challenging”, “interesting” and “varied”. This last point in particular is often singled out – “the massive scope” of what the company does (everything from maintaining railways to prisoner transport) means that there is “great flexibility in your career progression”).

50 Avg Rating: 7.53 /10 Careers Available: Audit: Audit, Public Sector. Tax & Pensions: Tax, Investment Advisory, Japan Practice in Tax, Pensions. Advisory: Management Consulting,  Transactions & Restructuring, Risk Consulting Deadlines: Rolling recruitment


KPMG is the largest fullyintegrated accountancy firm in Europe. Their graduates enjoy the fact that their job “is different every day - not just a 9-5 in front of a desk doing the same thing day in day out” while, at the same time, being a “good way to learn a great deal about a variety of businesses”. Given the firm’s size, it is no surprise that there are “great networks and resources available to help improve your skills” and a good salary and

benefits package, including international secondments, sabbaticals on request and the ‘Flextra’ system, which allows employees to buy extra holiday so that they can end up with up to 35 days off per year. It is the people however who are “by far the best aspect of the company”, (scoring a high average rating of 8.5/10) “they are really good they’re knowledgable, but they offer more than that - they’re all good fun to work with”.

Rail Infrastructure

Highways Infrastructure

Environmental Services Structures Management Property & Facilities Management


Waste Management

Connect to your future Amey Graduate Programmes

The work that Amey does is all around you. Whether you are travelling on the motorway or railway, through an airport or in a public building, it is likely that you will be using an Amey service. Our engineers manage and design the nation’s roads, railways, waste facilities, bridges, tunnels and public buildings. We are now looking to recruit the engineers and leaders of tomorrow. By joining one of our two graduate programmes you will help to make a difference to the communities you live in, acquire in-demand skills and gain a variety of experiences across different infrastructure services to grow your career. Connect to your future now by visiting Amey at


The Top 50 Companies For Graduates To Work For in 2011  
The Top 50 Companies For Graduates To Work For in 2011