The culture of your workplace will have a huge impact on your experience of your first graduate job. Friendly colleagues, a collaborative atmosphere and approachable senior management can all make a big different to your day-to-day working life, as can social events outside working hours.
Do you want to start your career somewhere with a fixed and clear hierarchy or more of an open structure? Would you prefer to work for an organisation that puts on regular events for its employees, or one that takes a more ad hoc approach? We’ve compiled comments from graduates who ranked their employers particularly highly in this area to help you focus your job search and clarify what you are looking for.
Here are the top five employers for workplace culture, as ranked by Inside Buzz surveys available on TARGETjobs in summer 2018.
You can find out more about graduates’ views of their employers from our Inside Buzz surveys.
1. G-Research – 10/10
‘There are after-hours team-building activities and social lunchtimes.’
‘We have a very relaxed culture with no dress code and very balanced office hours. The hierarchy is largely flat with only three levels between myself (an intern) and the CTO. The environment is largely collaborative, and everyone is extremely approachable, both in a work and social context. Employees are encouraged to take time off to enjoy themselves and the company facilitates many events such as company drinks, football clubs, free lunches and an annual company-wide weekend abroad.’
‘My team is very sociable and friendly so collaboration is very easy.’
2. Osborne Clarke – 9.8/10
‘The culture here is great and there is no feeling of hierarchy. If I have a comment on a matter then I feel that my input is valued and encouraged, which is great from a training perspective. There are also great parties.’
‘There is little sense of hierarchy. The international CEO regularly turns up to play cricket with the juniors in the summer.’
‘Everyone in the office is very friendly and approachable, from partners to other trainees. There are lots of social events going on, both within teams and firm-wide, and the sporting opportunities are particularly good.’
3. ThoughtWorks – 9.6/10
‘ThoughtWorks' way of working is intrinsically very social and cooperative. There are plenty of opportunities to continue this after work, too, at a bar or events. While experience is recognised through grades, the company is very flat and there's little in the way of barriers to the more senior staff.’
‘It's the most amazing and unique culture out there. People are very tolerant, open-minded and passionate about what they do while still caring about knowledge-sharing, growing and having a positive social impact.’
‘It's extremely non-hierarchical compared to most large companies. There are roles, but I don't have a line manager or anything like that. The culture is one of self-starters, explorers and resourceful people. Feedback is encouraged for self-improvement.’
4. EY-Parthenon – 9.6/10
‘Excellent. Everyone was friendly and people took the culture very seriously. There were lots of events organised throughout the summer as well as informal meet-ups with the rest of the team.’
‘The culture at Parthenon is brilliant. Summer events are organised most weeks for the interns, which the whole office gets involved in. There is also a weekly "Friday lunch" where the first years order in food for the office and everyone eats together.’
‘The culture at the firm was great, with every representative of the firm being approachable and helpful (in the office) and very fun (after hours).’
5. Bristows – 9.5/10
‘The lack of hierarchy is noticeable and the firm's well-known friendly atmosphere is indeed real. You are encouraged to go home if you do not have any pressing work and trainees will often go for drinks together.’
‘There is a very open-door culture and partners are very accessible. At some firms I have interned at, trainees would relay information to junior associates who would relay to the senior associates who would discuss it with a partner. This is certainly not the case at Bristows.’
‘The firm's culture is extraordinarily open and friendly with partners being generally approachable and easily accessible. It helps that trainees often sit in a two or three-person office with a partner/senior associate and another associate.’