2011 Best Places to Work for Recent Grads

by Salary.com Staff - Original publish date: January 16, 2012

While 2011 college seniors are excited about closing the door on one part of their life, it's common for them to feel pressure as it pertains to next steps. Some graduates may have already landed a job, but others may still not have a clue as to how to start their job search or what type of company they want to work for.

So where are the best places to work for those just graduating? Experience.com has done the research and compiled a list of the top 20 Best Places to Work for Recent Grads. The companies on this list range from a wide variety of industries, and they're hiring! In fact, these companies plan to hire nearly 20,000 recent graduates in the next year alone. This list is designed to showcase companies around the country with great entry-level hiring practices, and to educate recent grads on what to look for in a company.

DICK's Sporting Goods made it to the list because the work environment is fun, entrepreneurial and team-oriented. DICK's seems to possess a unique atmosphere that truly caters to recent grads. Recognized as "Retail's Rising Star", this company gives young employees the tools that they need to be the best in their field with training regiments and exclusive perks that set them apart from the rest.

"We are so excited to make it on the list of the Best Places to Work for Recent Grads! It is very important for DICK'S Sporting Goods to recruit and retain new talent for the company. Gen Y employees in our organization are not afraid to challenge the status quo and push themselves to think outside of the box when problem solving. They are very tech savvy and thrive in our collaborative environment. Our new hires come into the company wanting to make a positive impact on day one!" 
- Freya C. | University Relations Recruiter Recent grads are encouraged to contribute from day at 

Capital One Financial Corporation equips recent grads with valuable knowledge and training programs that will take them far beyond the classroom. Not only that, the company truly gives back to the community, by letting employees take time off to volunteer their time and apply their skills.

"Recent graduates tell us they are most engaged when they are learning and making a difference. They want challenging and motivating work, and they want to leave a lasting mark at our company," said Donna Schaar, Senior Director, Human Resources and Diversity, Capital One Financial Corp. "At Capital One, we want to create an environment where our associates can be great. Through Capital One University, our nationally recognized learning organization, associates can choose from more than 600 instructor-led courses, 100 instructor-led virtual classroom courses and 1,400 eLearning programs, giving young professionals a blend of learning options that fit a variety of needs." 

At Intel, employees are valued most. New hires create serious technology with a global impact, but don't take themselves too seriously. Intel provides a variety of work/life programs, including flexible work options, personal and professional development opportunities, discounts, and wellness programs. Their "Great Place to Work team" plans social events for employees and families. Intel is also serious about giving back to their community. They even encourage employees to volunteer during working hours by offering ten dollars for every hour volunteered.

"At Intel, building a quality and diverse workforce is a top priority, and new graduates play a key role in our ability to develop technologies that will change the world. It is critical we attract and retain the best and brightest from top schools across the country. Achieving awards such as this further builds upon our reputation as being an Employer of Choice among students and hopefully conveys a message to future talent that Intel is a great place to launch your career!"
-Tiffany Peery | Campus Recruiting Manager

Experience's 2011 Best Places to Work for Recent Grads was done in partnership with Salary.com. The survey ran from March to April 2011, and collected responses from 120 companies. From these responses, the team at Experience narrowed the list down to 20, based on their training programs, growth opportunities, organizational culture, and benefits. In early May, Experience corresponded with company representatives to verify the information collected from the survey.

For more information on the employers above, as well as the rest of the impressive employers that wound up on the list this year - check out the full list of the 2011 Best Places to Work for Recent Grads athttp://bestplaces.experience.com/2011