The class of 2020 had their university experience turned upside down – classes suddenly moved online, traditional farewell events disappeared, and all are graduating online over the coming weeks. Now, many are beginning to start their careers, but some graduates were offered up to €5,000 by firms to defer their place for a year, a move we haven’t seen since the 2008 financial crash.
We spoke to one recent graduate who chose not to defer his position with a Big Four company, arguing that given the current economic climate, he would have been unlikely to find other employment opportunities. He speaks highly of the onboarding experience, everything ran smoothly. His computer was delivered a week in an advance, along with plenty of equipment to make working from home easier. He felt well supported thanks to thorough Zoom calls with HR and was also assigned a buddy he could contact should any issues arise. He has had similar thoughts to many of us about dress code over the past few months: can I get away with just dressing formally from the waist up?
However, he does stress one major issue: getting to know his team. Last year, someone in his position would have been getting lunch with colleagues in the afternoon and likely heading for after-work drinks somewhere on Harcourt Street. This year, they sometimes do after-work drinks on Zoom, but he says it really doesn’t feel the same. There is more pressure, and it is next to impossible to talk to colleagues one-on-one at these events. The impact this might have on future teamwork remains to be seen.
Would you have chosen to defer for €5,000 or would you have taken the job?