Who do actual graduate employees say are the best companies to work for?
The Top Companies For Graduates To Work For in 2012/13 is the graduate employer rankings, based entirely on thousands of reviews written on TheJobCrowd.com by employees in their first 3 years of work at hundreds of UK graduate employers. Click on the viewer below to read the full guide or check out the list of the Top 100 companies below.
“I get to work in the best working environment I have ever experienced. The people here are amazing”. Superlative comments like this are repeated again and again in reviews of Microsoft, clearly showing why their graduates rate them as the very best company for graduates to work for...
Newton Europe scored an astonishing 5/5 in no less than four categories: ‘Career Progression’, ‘Colleagues’, ‘Enjoyment’ and ‘Company Culture’. Whether it’s the “fun, energetic, bright and motivated people” or the “amazing” social events that take place throughout the year, the company’s employees can’t stop raving about their jobs. There is a culture of “openness” where ideas are shared and welcomed on all levels of this “incredibly dynamic and rapidly-growing company.”
The greatest asset to the company is the people who work there” is a view that appears in a number of reviews of National Grid. It is a sentiment which is clearly shared by graduates and management alike. For the grads, a rating of 4.8/5 for ‘Colleagues’ is down to the fact that “everyone is so helpful, approachable and very enthusiastic...
“It is an incredibly friendly and positive place to work” seems to be an accurate overall summary for life at FDM Group. Review after review mentions the sociable company culture and the fact that success is recognised and rewarded accordingly. One reviewer summarises it by saying: “everyone works really hard to achieve the company’s goals, but we also have a laugh together and socialise outside of work...
“A strong reputation for upholding ethical standards” is reflected in numerous reviews for The Co-operative, as well as in the company’s astonishing rating of 4.9/5 for ‘Environmental & Ethical Awareness’. Many graduates talk about having the “feeling that you are contributing to the wider community” by working for the company, which encourages employees to volunteer and take part in fundraising drives...
“The company is brilliant” – Sky graduates all rave about its “fun and vibrant” company culture (scoring 4.7/5). The company perks do not go unnoticed either, including various environmentally focused benefits and, of course, “free sky packages”. Finally, the company’s “hunger for change and innovation” is frequently praised: “We are actively looking to improve in almost all that we do”.
“There are literally no negatives – it is genuinely the best company I have ever worked for”. This glowing review is by no means unique when it comes to Channel 4.
One of the main benefits employees point towards is the incredibly open and fun atmosphere within the company (‘Company Culture’ received an incredible 4.9/5 rating). Channel 4 consists of a “very sociable, friendly group of people to work with”...
Waitrose scored 4.8/5 for its “extensive” and “superb” benefits package, which includes excellent bonuses, discounts on everything from concerts to holidays as well as a 50% learning subsidy for courses. Graduates relish the partnership ownership structure, which also means “high commitment and motivation from the team”. “Great support provided, training offered, job security and opportunity to progress” all contribute further to the company being “brilliant” and “unique”.
“I am amazed at the ease with which I have settled into the company and the many opportunities I am given to expand my knowledge of the business”. All our reviewers are full of similar glowing praise for Barratt Developments’ graduate scheme. “You are constantly given new challenges and projects” and the scheme involves rotations around the whole company....
Time and time again, graduates at Kiln Group wax lyrical about the “very friendly” and “really good people” who contribute to both a “very social office” and the company’s rating of 4.8/5 for ‘Colleagues’. They also mention the benefits of “learning from experts” and the high “quality of the people” in terms of professionalism, experience and support.
British Airways is described as an “exciting and vibrant place to work”, thanks largely to the “extremely friendly culture” which “makes you feel very much at home”. In fact, the company achieved a rating of 4.7/5 for ‘Company Culture’ and 4.8/5 for ‘Enjoyment’. What’s more, there are fantastic staff travel discounts, opportunities to travel the world and excellent facilities for employees.
A common theme in reviews of Mars is the amount of faith put in employees. “You get a lot of freedom and responsibility” and graduates are given space to “shape your own projects”. As a result, Mars is in the top 3 companies for ‘Responsibility’. A 4.7/5 for ‘Career Progression’ is explained by one reviewer as being due to “outstanding development possibilities”. Another simply says: “it is a fantastic place to work”.
Credo received a score of 4.7/5 for ‘Colleagues’ due to the “fun, approachable and engaging” people or, as another graduate puts it, the opportunity to work alongside “bright, motivated and interesting” colleagues. Furthermore, Credo achieved a perfect 5/5 for ‘Company Culture’, as it has “a collegiate atmosphere” and “genuinely cares about work/life balance”. “Industry-leading remuneration” and great perks also ensure a top 5 score for ‘Benefits & Compensation’.
Diageo scored 4.9/5 for ́Colleagues’ – the 2nd highest of any company. The people are variously described as “fantastic” and “inspirational” and it is noted that “they like to have fun”. The work environment is “friendly and exciting” with a “really positive and ‘can do’ atmosphere”. This results in another 4.9/5 rating for ‘Company Culture’ and reviewers say that it is “a company you can be really proud of”.
“There aren’t many bad aspects of the company I can even begin to think of”, reports one CHP graduate. A 4.6/5 rating for ‘Work/Life Balance’ is miles beyond the consulting sector average while “the rewards are very generous” as well. Employees rave about a company culture “that is second to none”, with a “great feeling
of togetherness” that stems from the fact that most managers also started out as graduates.
Aside from the obvious perk of excellent staff rates at hotels around the world, employees at IHG love having the chance to work internationally, with plenty of placement opportunities and exciting projects to get involved in – a key factor behind their top 3 score of 4.9/5 for ‘Career Progression’. The “focus on development, training and support” also contributes to the fact that many employees “truly adore” the company.
Graduates at Nationwide claim that it has the “best culture in the financial services industry”. Stand-out factors are the “very positive, supportive working environment” and the “excellent” training and support which scored a rating of 4.6/5 and includes industry qualifications paid for by the business. Graduates describe the company overall as an “amazing employer” and feel that “the business genuinely cares about its employees and wants them to succeed”.
Nucleargraduates is a company that is “environmentally and socially aware of its impact”, scoring an outstanding 4.8/5 for ‘Environmental & Ethical Awareness’. A key part of this is that 10 per cent of employee time is set aside for corporate social responsibility projects. The “extensive training” (4.5/5) is also some of the best around, with “approachable people” providing a great support network of graduate buddies and experienced mentors.
That the firm scored 4.6/5 for ‘Colleagues’ highlights the “very friendly and supportive atmosphere” where “colleagues are very approachable and ready to help”. Furthermore, graduates work with lawyers who are described as “second to none” and “experts in their field”. “The firm is very good at what it is doing” so graduates work on “high profile transactions” – hence an industry leading 4.8/5 ‘Enjoyment’ rating.
At TUI, “hard work is recognised” and employees are given plenty of room for growth and development. This is reflected by a 4.8/5 for ‘Career Progression’ as well as numerous opportunities to move between the TUI brands, both nationally and around the world. Working for the company is a “truly fantastic experience”, explaining the high ratings for both ‘Enjoyment’ and ‘Work/Life Balance’, while travel discounts are the icing on the cake.
GlaxoSmithKline graduates all unequivocally highlight two things – the “relaxed and fun” culture and their pride at working on the company’s products. They achieve a top 10 score for a ‘Company Culture’ (4.8/5), which they describe as “awesome”, “relaxed” and “very open and transparent”, while employees also report satisfaction with creating products that “benefit society and save and improve people’s lives”.
John Lewis is a partnership, which is a “fantastic model for employee engagement and ethical staff treatment”. Employees are all co-owners which fosters a “positive” and “hard-working” attitude amongst colleagues. There are also “excellent benefits” – the company registered the No.1 score of 4.8/5 for ‘Benefits & Compensation’ – including events subsidies, free trips and days out, discounts at numerous shops as well as an outstanding bonus when the company has performed well.
Softwire’s “excellent company ethos of treating employees well” and the fact that “personal development and welfare are taken very seriously” are some of the reasons why it scored an outstanding 4.8/5 for ‘Company Culture’. A great effort is made to keep morale high with regular social events and a fun and open office environment, where graduates work with “talented, intelligent and pleasant colleagues”.
EDF Energy scored very highly across the board, with reviewers repeatedly noting that it is a company that “really cares about its staff”. In particular, “there are lots of opportunities for training and development” (a 4.5/5 rating was given for ‘Training & Support’) and, when it comes to safety and sustainability, “they not only talk the talk, they walk the walk” – helping them to earn
a very high 4.6/5 score for ‘Environmental & Ethical Awareness’.
GE’s top 3 score of 4.9/5 for its “great training” can be attributed to the number of “experienced individuals to learn from” who are always “willing to help with your development” and the fact that the company will support employees in whichever direction they choose to go. There are also “endless opportunities to grow, move and develop in every aspect” due to the size of the company – helping GE achieve a 4.6/5 ‘Career Progression’ rating.
“It is very satisfying to work for a company that provides an essential service that benefits millions every day” explains one graduate and, clearly, such job satisfaction is just one of the things in a patchwork of positives that marks out Network Rail as a great graduate employer. The excellent training and support for example, is one of the most cited factors in our reviews...
The highest scoring accountancy firm, Grant Thornton, is commended for its “very down-to-earth and friendly” culture with “social events to look forward to all the time” (scoring 4.5/5 for ‘Company Culture’). Its graduates also report “very reasonable” working hours, especially “compared to other professional services firms” whilst the training facilities and support are described as “excellent” and rated an overall average of 4.4/5.
Atos has a “fantastic graduate scheme” which gives employees the chance to gain experience in different areas of the company as well as offering plenty of training days to develop core business skills. Despite the company’s size there is a “welcoming and family feel” where colleagues have a “positive and fun” attitude (Atos scored 4.4/5 for ‘Company Culture’ and 4.6/5 for ‘Colleagues’).
Aside from the obvious benefit of unlimited access to over 80 attractions worldwide “for you AND your family AND your friends!”, Merlin offers almost unrivalled opportunities for quick career progression, scoring an outstanding 4.9/5 for this. Employees are encouraged to “travel and work at other attractions” to gain valuable experience of different operating units around the world. Overall, graduates seem to have “nothing bad to say, well, that is unless you hate theme parks!”.
Graduates describe BP as a “really sociable place to work with a vibrant graduate community”. “The work life balance throughout the company is spot on” and scores 4.2/5 while the “excellent benefits” score an even higher 4.4/5. These range from and an onsite gym to flexible Fridays “(a glorious invention)”. Finally BP graduates widely report “fantastic opportunities” for career progression both within the UK and abroad.
“A lot of time and money is invested in our development” say Wood Group graduates, hence their high scores for ‘Training & Development’ (4.2/5) and, even more so, ‘Career Progression’ (4.6/5). The company has a “friendly atmosphere” with a “good vibe” where employees are “treated as an asset and not just a number” while ‘Colleagues’ (4.6/5) are “knowledgeable, skilled and friendly”.
“The work environment is great and the people are really nice here” are the two most common compliments that PKF’s graduates pay to the company. “The very friendly culture” is singled out time and time again, making it easy to understand why ‘Company Culture’ received a 4.4/5 rating....
BAM is described as a “hugely loyal and supportive company in terms of personal development” with plenty of scope for progression and promotion. Such “good career support with on-going appraisals and training” is why the company scored 4.6/5 for ‘Career Progression’. Graduates also point to the extensive benefits programme which includes company cars, phones and laptops as well as two bonuses a year.
Amey is an “innovative and forward-thinking company” which is “very keen to develop graduates”. For this reason, and the fact that there is “great potential to realise your goals and progress your career”, Amey scored 4.5/5 for ‘Career Progression’. It is made up of “happy and skilled staff who produce high quality work” and who are there to support graduates throughout their training.
EasyJet scored 4.6/5 for a company culture which is described by graduates as “vibrant”, “young” and “exciting”. The company is “dynamic and enthusiastic” and reviewers report that it is a “fast-paced environment that rewards its employees”. Of course, there is the added bonus of the “extremely good benefits package” including “access to an unlimited number of cheap flights for you and 3 named friends/family”.
Graduates talk about the “friendly, supportive culture” of the company and the excellent backing for “professional development at every stage” of your training. Over the 18-month programme, graduates take 14 courses which cover numerous core business and technical skills. Plus, with regular mentoring and training sessions it is easy to understand the rating of 4.8/5 for ‘Training and Support’.
“This is the best start to my career I could have” writes one Teach First reviewer. “I have matured so much in the last 6 months and am so passionate about what I do that I could not envisage myself doing anything else for the time being. It is hard, granted, but the rewards of working with amazing children whose background is often shrouded in deprivation far outweigh the challenges...
The people at MUSI are described as “very welcoming and easy to speak to”, while the “hugely ambitious” and “very friendly work environment” where opinions are always heard explains the rating of 4.5/5 for ‘Company Culture’. There is also a “strong focus on learning and development”, with professional qualifications fully sponsored and supported – hence a 4.5/5 rating for ‘Training & Development’.
Arcadia’s phenomenal rating of 4.9/5 for ‘Colleagues’ is explained by one graduate as “like being part of a large family”. “Everyone is really nice to work with” and social activities are regularly organised, making for a “really friendly and fun atmosphere”. Furthermore, there is a “great team spirit which motivates staff to work harder”. Graduates also “find it exciting to work for such a large, well-known corporation” with “brands that I love”.
“The people who work at Shoosmiths are great” and one graduate praises the “the open attitude and approachability of all the staff”, which explains the company’s average rating of 4.6/5 for ‘Colleagues’. Another review points to the “inclusive and supportive culture where I am always encouraged to progress in my role”. Other graduates highlight a good work/life balance, including a day off on your birthday!
Graduates agree that there is a “fantastic balance between work and social life” and a “great social network”, which, along with the amount of “transparency from the management”, explain BNP Paribas Real Estate’s rating of 4.5/5 for ‘Company Culture’. Other positives include the “friendly people” and the “friendliness of the company as a whole”.
“RM Education has a friendly, dynamic environment with a low staff turnover rate” explains one graduate reviewer, and the fact that staff tend to remain at RM for a long time is clearly testament to an encouraging and nurturing company culture where employees are respected and developed. RM develop, manufacture, install and manage hardware, software, IT networks and a range of resources, all specially designed for schools...
Asda has a “great culture and fast paced environment”, which is why their graduates rated the company in the top 5 employers for ‘Responsibility’ with a hugely impressive 4.2/5 rating. Reviewers say that they “work hard and play hard” with an “excellent social life” outside the workplace. It is also a company that is made up of “great people” who “make it what it is” – Asda achieved a staggering 4.9/5 rating for ‘Colleagues’.
The “very supportive culture” and “positive attitude” towards graduates are regularly mentioned in reviews of Tube Lines. The “inspiring” atmosphere is why the company scored 4.6/5 for ‘Company Culture’. Graduates also mention the excellent training programmes – rated a top 5 score of 4.8/5 – which aim to help graduates develop the skills they need to succeed in the industry.
As one graduate puts it: “IBM has surpassed all my expectations. I love my job and I would encourage anybody with a passion for business or IT to apply”. Their colleagues widely agree: “the culture within the company is absolutely fantastic”, says another. IBM is also commended for being “highly innovative and encouraging creative thinking” with a “vast array of tools, resources and information at your fingertips”.
Almost every review of Penningtons mentions the “very good” work/life balance, for which it scored 4.6/5 – by some way the leading score in their industry. This is mainly “the result of the reasonable hours” and there are regular staff meals or drinks outings, as well as a sports day and charitable football tournament. Others mention the “informal” and “extremely friendly and supportive environment” which makes graduates feel like “valued members of the team”.
“The opportunities offered at Transport for London are unrivalled and the company is willing to accommodate your development and learning needs”. This is a sentiment expressed by one of our reviewers and shared by many graduates. TfL has a “strong commitment to staff development”, whether it be personal, professional or technical and, combined with a “very supportive environment”, including an excellent graduate-scheme network...
Morgan Stanley scores a very high 4.4/5 rating for ‘Company Culture’ with one graduate reporting: “team spirit is beautiful, everybody is willing to listen, teach and help”. Employees are certainly “very well looked after”, with benefits including “private health care, dentistry and office gyms”. Graduates say they enjoy working for a “worldwide firm that encourages mobility opportunities” and rate their employer an impressive 4.4/5 for ‘Environmental & Ethical Awareness’.
As a large international firm, Citigroup offers employees plenty of opportunities globally. The chance to travel on secondments around the world leads one graduate to proclaim that “job mobility is fantastic” and the company scored an excellent 4.6/5 for ‘Career Progression’. Other positives include a “diverse group of colleagues” and a company culture centred around “fun as well as hard work”, which perhaps explains the very high 4.5/5 rating given for ‘Enjoyment’.
At Rolls-Royce, “the sky is your limit”, explains one graduate. Their colleagues agree, with reviewers frequently pointing to the almost endless opportunities to travel and work abroad and to progress through the company, with Rolls-Royce achieving a rating of 4.4/5 for ‘Career Progression’. Great colleagues are also mentioned, with graduates describing their co-workers as “smart, intelligent and motivated” as well as “friendly and hard-working”.
Graduates at BAE Systems Detica give their employer great ratings for ‘Colleagues’ (4.8/5), ‘Company Culture’ (4.6/5) and ‘Enjoyment’ (4.5/5). They rave about the “great atmosphere”, “plenty of social activities” and “intelligent and interesting colleagues”. Additionally, wide ranging perks including “loads of discounts, free snacks at work, private medical and dental insurance” lead reviewers to conclude: “The company looks after you very well”.
The people at Capgemini are “great, fun and likeable” and the “very supportive” colleagues who “see the value in everyone doing well” are rated an impressive 4.7/5. The company also “values people as individuals” and fosters a “nice culture where people are always friendly and genuinely want you to succeed”. Overall, Capgemini is “very good to its people” and graduates report that “although we’re a global company, we feel well connected and appreciated”.
Outstanding scores of 4.6/5 for ‘Enjoyment’ and 4.5/5 for ‘Work/Life Balance’ are reflected in numerous positive comments: “the working conditions couldn’t be better”, “I have a great sense of pride in working here”, “what the organisation does is worth something to the UK and the wider world” etc. Graduates also mention the “positive” and “fantastic” working environment, with flexible hours and a relaxed atmosphere.
Achieving the 11th highest score of any company for ‘Enjoyment’ (4.7/5), PA Consulting graduates praise the “interesting and diverse” projects that they get to work on. “There is such a variety in the companies that you can do work for” explains one reviewer. Graduates also say that “the company is incredibly friendly” and highlight the “great people” who they get to work with.
Leo Burnett’s score of 4.6/5 for ‘Company Culture’ is no surprise when you read some of the reviews: “I have never worked in such a welcoming, sociable and stimulating environment” says one reviewer and there are“loads of entertainment, socialising and events to pull the company together”, adds another. Graduates also highlight “a level of freedom and responsibility that is amazing”.
“The best thing about Simmons & Simmons is the people” is a comment that comes up time and time again in reviews for the leading international law-firm. “Friendly” colleagues are mentioned by almost every reviewer (achieving a 4.0/5 average rating) whilst many also commend the firm’s “real focus on developing trainees” while offering “interesting” work at a “very high standard”.
Numerous reviews mention the “fantastically diverse range of opportunities” at DHL. “Such a breadth of opportunity in many fields globally”, with the chance to travel within the first year of the graduate scheme, is why DHL scored 4.4/5 for ‘Career Progression’. One graduate summarises the job emphatically: “I am very proud to be working for such an impressive organisation and I cannot rate my experience highly enough”.
The great treatment of graduates is one of the most common positives mentioned in reviews for BDO. All staff are described as “really approachable and willing to help” and even the managers “make you feel welcome”. That everyone treats graduates as “valued members of the firm” explains the rating of 4.5/5 for ‘Colleagues’. The company is also “flexible and supportive” when it comes to exams. An impressive 4.5/5 rating is also given for ‘Training & Support’.
“The best thing is the diverse nature of the people”, according to one HSBC graduate employee and many others seem to agree, with another reviewer explaining that “HSBC scores 10/10 in cultural tolerance”.
It is not just this diversity that makes for such a satisfying work environment however. Other graduates mention the fact that every employee is treated with respect and their views and opinions are taken seriously in what is a “values led culture that values people and treats them fairly...
Hardly a single review of the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory fails to mention the “incredibly flexible working hours” which “allow for a good work/ life balance”, so it is no wonder it scored 4.7/5, the 2nd highest score for any company, for ‘Work/Life Balance’. Graduates are also keen to emphasise that it is a “very fulfilling job” where you “make a positive impact”. Another reviewer agrees that it is “interesting, varied and challenging work which has a real impact”.
At Savills “graduates are seen as the future of the company” with “ample opportunities for training
and development” and “early responsibility”. Their employees describe the atmosphere as “friendly with a good mix of work hard and play hard” and an “excellent social and sporting scene where all levels of the hierarchy chain get involved”. Graduates clearly enjoy their work as well, scoring Savills an excellent 4.4/5 rating for ‘Enjoyment’.
“The culture is great – you can go and speak to any senior management, even the CEO, and they won’t ignore you”. Several of our graduate reviewers note similar things in relation to the brilliant company culture and friendly atmosphere that exists at Croda, especially the fact that the opinions of all employees are valued by colleagues and managers....
Civil Service Fast Streamers almost all report a great sense of “pride” from their work and enjoy having a worthy “common goal to enhance the population’s lives”. They rate ‘Enjoyment’ highly (scoring 4.3/5) and believe that they have “massive opportunities to develop professionally”. Additionally, excellent 4.5/5 ratings were given for both ‘Work/Life Balance’ and ‘Colleagues’.
“Marks and Spencer is an incredibly exciting company to work for” is how one reviewer sums up their graduate experience of the UK’s “most trusted retailer”. If you are looking for early responsibility and quick career progression then M&S may be the place for you. It achieves a top 10 score for ‘Responsibility’ at 4.3/5 and graduates report that people stay at the company for a long time – clearly testament to the fantastic opportunities to progress and further your career...
Marsh has a “global spread” and “deals with many of the largest financial institutions in the world” and graduates relish both the company reputation and the global opportunities that the company size provides. Additionally there is an “excellent calibre” of colleagues. They are “smart, interesting, friendly and helpful” and “everyone I have met is very personable”. In fact ‘Colleagues’ were rated a superb 4.5/5 overall.
At AkzoNobel, “there are many different areas that a graduate could get involved in” and the company “encourages changing roles” so that employees can develop a breadth of different skills. With “many opportunities to move around”, it is easy to see why the company scored 4.2/5 for ‘Career Progression’. Another positive is the “very high level of trust placed in employees to manage high level projects”.
The company’s graduate scheme is “really well structured, with plenty of support and guidance” from all of the “approachable” colleagues and managers. Graduates also point towards the excellent social life, with a score of 4.3/5 for ‘Company Culture’, which provides a “very good work/life balance” (rated 4.1/5). This includes a sports day, regular lunches, bowling, quiz nights and a social committee at every office.
With an admirable 4.5/5 score for ‘Company Culture’, Intel is commended by its graduates for its “good graduate atmosphere” which is “relaxed” with a “casual dress code” and “options to work from home”. The benefits do not go unnoticed either, from the performance based reward scheme to three-month sabbaticals, free gym use, retail discounts and lots of parties and social activities.
Aside from the benefit of plenty of freebies (“you will never need to buy toiletries!”), L’Oreal is a “young and vibrant” place to work, which provides a “fun, fast-paced environment”. The company scored an impressive 4.2/5 for ‘Enjoyment’, which can be explained by the fact that the work is “fun and challenging”. What’s more, the “people are fantastic” and there is an “amazing social culture”.
Staff at Clifford Chance rave about the “fantastic overseas opportunities”, with secondments available for periods of 6-12 months, which helps to explain the company’s great rating of 4.4/5 for ‘Career Progression’. There is also “excellent” training as well as “fantastic” onsite facilities, including a gym, subsidised canteen and swimming pool (leading to a high 4.1/5 score for ‘Benefits & Compensation’).
The people at KPMG are described as “approachable, friendly, and bright”, and “helpful and easy to work with”, leading to an outstanding rating of 4.7/5 for ‘Colleagues’. That this is the case is largely down to the fact that the company is “very people oriented” and places a lot of “emphasis on the happiness of staff”. “Opportunities for working in different parts of the company and in new locations” contribute to a 4.3/5 ‘Career Progression’ score
Unipart has a “unique” company culture, which scored a 4.2/5 rating and is admired for its focus on “continuous improvement”. The company “takes pride in its people” and is excellent at “encouraging individuals to develop”. Another positive is the huge “scope of long term opportunities” (‘Career Progression’ is rated an impressive 4.2/5). Even better, a 4.4/5 for ‘Enjoyment’ suggests that graduates really enjoy their work as well.
At Siemens, there is “a lot of scope for progression”, with the company scoring 4.1/5 in this category, and plenty of opportunities to work abroad. Graduates say that “line managers are interested in your development and your career” and that you are “thrown into a real environment where you take control right from the start”. What’s more, Siemens scores an impressive rating of 4.5/5 for ‘Environmental & Ethical Awareness’.
Thanks to its “fantastic charity support”, Sainsbury’s scored a top 10 rating of 4.7/5 for ‘Environmental & Ethical Awareness’, with one graduate commenting: “I take great pride in the company’s leadership and corporate values, and am especially proud that it is the sole sponsor of the Paralympics”. Other reviews point to the “excellent exposure for graduates who the company views as future leaders” – resulting in a 4.2/5 ‘Career Progression’ rating.
Graduates are quick to mention their “supportive” colleagues, who have “a vast amount of experience”. They are “helpful, friendly and willing to spend time teaching” new recruits, with one reviewer claiming “it is a privilege” to work with their co-workers. It is no surprise then that the ‘Colleagues’ category was rated 4.3/5. The same score is given for ‘Enjoyment’, with reviewers relishing the fact that they work “at very quick pace, this can be very exhilarating and challenging”.
Clearly, one of the benefits of Starwood – owner of hotel brands such as Sheraton and W- is the “incomparable” benefits scheme, which includes huge discounts on five- star accommodation worldwide as well as many retail discounts. However, it also scored 4.4/5 for ‘Company Culture’, with one graduate commenting: “Starwood is a great company to work for as it really considers its associates”. That’s not to mention the numerous opportunities for “professional development worldwide”.
The company’s “relaxed office culture” scored 4.4/5, with one graduate claiming: “this is one of the friendliest companies I have known”. A combination of this “welcoming atmosphere” and flexible working hours means that it is easy for staff to “maintain a good work/ life balance”, for “there are never any qualms about working from home”. The fact that there are “offices in many locations” worldwide means that employees also benefit from numerous opportunities to move abroad.
“All my wants and desires in a job are accounted for. I would never work anywhere else”. Graduate endorsements don’t come much better than this and Red Gate Software receives such plaudits time and time again. Of all the positives, it is the fact that Red Gate gives its employees high levels of autonomy that perhaps shines through the strongest. “Red Gate is a very relaxed, non-bureaucratic company that really hits the sweet spot of giving people the right amount of freedom to perform efficiently” explains one reviewer; “a very high level of trust is placed in employees”, says another...
Reviewers say that Cooper Industries is clearly keen to invest in its graduates and is “pushing to improve their skill set all the time through training events and paying for exams”. Add to this the all-expenses paid training trips to Texas and the company’s desire to “develop individuals and provide an upwards career path” and the ratings of 4.4/5 for both ‘Career Progression’ and ‘Training & Support’ are very understandable.
CMS Cameron McKenna’s graduate employees rate the ‘Company Culture’ particularly highly (4.2/5). Its graduates enjoy the “several firm wide events (including a Football World Cup in Madrid between all our offices)”. The firm also offers great ‘Career Progression’ (4.1/5) with opportunities for secondments far and wide including “Prague, Budapest, Vienna, Rio, and possibly in the future- Beijing”.
Costain graduates all agree that their scheme is “fantastic” and has a real commitment to graduate development. It achieved a very high score (4.4/5) for ‘Training & Support’, with one reviewer describing the training as “exceptional”, while ‘Career Progression’ scored 4.2/5, with one reviewer stating: “I really feel they are trying to push me forward and develop me as an employee in every way”.
Mace reviewers note that the company “values and looks after staff and invests heavily to train them and help them progress”. They report that it provides “very good training for young people wanting to build a career in construction” and ultimately give the company a high 4.2/5 score for ‘Career Progression’. Graduates also have the benefit of working on “inspirational” and “iconic” projects such as the Olympic Park and The Shard.
“They are just amazing with staff. They are easy to work for and try to get the best out of their people”. Balfour Beatty receives plenty of great praise and offers numerous great perks “including bonuses, company car/car allowance, opportunities to buy shares and fantastic training courses”. It is the company’s ‘Environmental & Ethical Awareness’ however that its employees rate most highly, scoring 4.5/5.
Graduates at Dickinson Dees scored their colleagues a fantastic rating of 4.5/5, describing them as “approachable and always willing to help”. There is a “friendly, relaxed atmosphere in the office” and
the “decent hours and social life” foster a “very good work/life balance”. Other graduates mention the reputation of the company and the fact that it is extremely forward-thinking.
Graduates feel rewarded for their efforts at Aon, as one review explains: “if you are willing to work hard and show rapid progression the company will let your pay progress at a similar pace”. Many reviewers also mention the flexible working hours and ability to buy extra holiday, which all adds to a healthy work/life balance, for which the company scored 4.1/5.
Many reviews point towards the “friendly and highly skilled individuals” who are all “approachable and like-minded”. That graduates say colleagues are always “happy and willing to help” explains the score of 4.5/5 in this category. The company is very ethically conscious and is praised for being “good at supporting charity activities” and offering staff the opportunity to get involved in charitable schemes.
Centrica’s average rating of 4.1/5 for ‘Career Progression’ is reflected by the fact that the company “encourages personal and professional development” as well as providing “avenues for gaining knowledge”. There is also a “relaxed and calm attitude in the office” and a “positive working environment”, made all the better by the flexible working hours and annual field trips.
“The opportunities within the firm are endless” is how one reviewer chose to describe the graduate prospects at Arriva. It is an opinion that is echoed by many fellow graduates, who note that the company’s ethos and commitment when it comes to developing and training new employees is exemplary. Add to this the fact that “the size of the company and the subsequent scope for development is..
The Bank of England “promotes staff to broaden and develop their knowledge” and is happy to offer a “generous post-graduate study sponsorship programme” to help graduates progress. For this reason it achieved a score of 4.2/5 for ‘Training & Support’. There are also a number of excellent benefits, including the option to buy extra holiday and an onsite doctor, dentist and gym.
The firm’s average rating of 4.2/5 for ‘Company Culture’ is explained by one graduate, who says: “I appreciate the work/life balance and the general atmosphere within the department and the firm”. In fact, ‘Work/
Life Balance’ scored 4.0/5, a particularly impressive rating for the Law sector. Other positives mentioned by employees include the varied nature of the work and the perks ranging from a non-contributory pension scheme to free health insurance.
Kraft is filled with “motivated team players and great managers who are personable” – the reason behind the company’s fantastic rating of 4.7/5 for ‘Colleagues’. It also promotes an “inspiring ethos to share best practice” and provides graduates with “great scope for career progression” (which achieved a 4.1/5 rating). Reviewers are also quick to mention the admirable ethical standards of the company.
Saatchi and Saatchi X employees are “proud” to work for the creative advertising agency, which offers employees “great work” from day one. It is however the “good social aspect to the company” that is most talked about by this year’s intake (scoring an average 4.3/5 for ‘Company Culture’). Reviewers rave about the “amazing office atmosphere” which they largely put down to the “like minded people” in the office who are described as “feeling like extended family”.
“Morrisons is going places”. The company offers “huge opportunities” and seriously “invests in young people” allowing “ambitious individuals to get on” (‘Career Progression’ scored a very high 4.3/5). Its graduates say “the best thing about the company is its continued drive for improvement which empowers people to strive to higher standards”. As one employee puts it simply: “it is an exciting place to be”.
“Great company to work for” is broadly how PwC graduates sum up working there. In particular, the “great quality” training is rated an impressive 4.2/5 while the “really nice people” are an even higher 4.3/5. Also praised are the “great office locations” (and the ability to move widely both within and between different offices worldwide).
“New”, “innovative” and “exciting” are just some of the words used to describe working at Ocado. The relatively young company offers graduates early responsibility (scoring a very high 4.1/5), where graduates are able to “make a difference from the start”, not to mention the added benefit of a “young” office environment where the staff “wear jeans to work everyday and there are lots of lunches and nights out”.
The FSA has been dubbed by its own intake as “the financial graduate scheme with an edge”. Its rotational programme offers an “excellent” opportunity for graduates “to gain a wide perspective of the finance sector”. Moreover, and contrary to expectations in this sector, “the company really does focus on work-life balance” scoring a high 4.0/5 for both ‘Work/Life Balance’ and ‘Company Culture’.
“The people are incredibly friendly” is the type of comment that crops up time and time again in our reviews for Linklaters, with another employee pointing out that the “people around you are all very smart and nice”. In light of this kind of praise, it is hardly surprising that the average rating Linklaters’ reviewers gave their co-workers was 4.0/5.
“It is a great graduate development programme” summarises one of the 130 graduates who Thales take on every year and it is clear from their graduate reviews why so many want to join the world leader in technology. Despite its size, Thales makes supporting its staff an absolute priority. Graduates constantly point towards an employee-focused culture and caring working environment (‘Company Culture’ scored 4.0/5). One reviewer writes that “Thales transforms to meet the needs of its employees” while another praises the “great level of personal development with an impressive level of training”...
Herbert Smith has an “excellent reputation” which appears well earned as its graduate employees repeatedly sing its praises. The “very interesting” work is described as something “to be really proud of” and the exciting opportunity to “be seconded abroad for six months” is hugely appreciated. “A lot of effort” is also put into trainee training which achieves a very high average score of 4.4/5.
“The ability to progress at such a young age is unparalleled”. If you’re looking for a graduate role with “early responsibility” and “good career progression” then Gist may be the place for you, scoring a hugely impressive 4.4/5 for the former (ranking them the 4th best employer for ‘Responsibility’) and 4.3/5 for ‘Career Progression’. Its graduates also regularly mentioned the great “internal rewards program” offering all sorts of discounts.