Social Aspects of the Graduate Schemes

When I was invited to write this entry, I thought “why me”? I have previously seen myself very business-like at work and I expected to only socialise with my established friendship network. However, most of my friends from university have moved as far as Australia and Canada, making a coffee catch-up a bit more complicated. At least we have technology to keep us connected!

You might vividly remember the fears about making friends when you arrived at university. In some ways, starting the scheme mirrors starting your degree (but from my experience, getting to know people has been even easier). Over the induction period, I have made friends with not just my fellow graduates on the technology scheme, but from the leadership scheme, former graduates and non-graduate colleagues.

Our work environment is very accommodating to taking time to get to network. We are encouraged to attend courses, conferences and special events, with people from inside and outside the Business.

After a busy day working, we have a bar to go and socialise in. Even though I don’t drink much, it has not stopped me from enjoying the evening with a nice cup of tea! The other day we finally discovered the mysterious games room for rounds of foosball, pool and darts. If you want a change of scene, we are able to get discounts from other local bars and restaurants (these are all listed on a special website).

You will find yourself being invited to a variety of activities. The most recent was a Waitrose IT Go Kart race, where our grad team took on the rest of our department (and finished a spectacular last place)! No pressure for next year then.

Grad Go Karting 2016

There are many clubs and societies to get involved with, ranging from Theatre, Wine Tasting, Sailing and Music. Many of these offer UK and international trips at subsidised rates. It is also an excellent opportunity to network with Partners from all areas of the Business.

The Partnership is also there for you during your holiday time. You can book for yourself and your family a stay at one of our several hotels – Brownsea is actually a castle! There are also hundreds of subsidies to take advantage of on events across the country, and you can claim some money back to learn a new skill (it can be almost anything – not even work related)!

I hope this gives you a flavour of how much the John Lewis Partnership is able to offer you. There is so much to discover, and as such I apologise if I’ve missed mentioning something!

Good luck with your applications.


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