7 College-Like Corporate Cultures

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Big tech companies like Google and Facebook have changed corporate culture as our parents knew it. Now that we’re entering the work force, we’re looking to keep the exciting culture that college had to offer us for four years. We may have friends heading back to campus that we’re jealous of, because we’re headed off to official working life.

Instead of being disappointed that college life is over, look for corporate culture that will keep the spirit alive. These 7 things will keep the buddy-bonding, late-night study sessions, and comfy, flexible lifestyle alive:

1. The Optional 8AM

The dreaded class time after a Friday evening lecture, is the ever early 8AM. My major in college only offered the early morning class for most of it’s curriculum, so I was no stranger to the rise time. But the best part about some college classes? Sometimes you could sleep in if necessary and get the notes from your neighbor later.

Now that you’re an adult working 8-5, that time isn’t optional. If you sleep in, they will probably be a little more than irritated with you. However, there are some corporations that are incorporating a flex work schedule. Meaning you can work 7-4, 8-5, 9-6, or something in between. You can also shorten your lunch or stack up your hours and leave earlier on Friday.

Look for this kind of work schedule if you struggle with sticking to the same work schedule.

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2. Casual Every Day

One of every college kids’ favorite things is rolling out of bed 5 minutes before class, throwing on sweats, and going. You may smell like the night before or need to brush your hair, but none of it matters. Only the fact that you show up to class. I was the odd duck who always got ready for the day, but on a rare occasion when I was exhausted, I would find myself cozy in yoga pants.

Sadly, work will require you to have better hygiene. You will need to shower, brush your teeth, and comb your hair before walking out of the house. However, a lot of corporate environments have a more lax dress code. You can wear jeans and a nice shirt with a quarter zip jacket (This may be my boyfriend’s “uniform” at his job) instead of a suit or even dress pants and button-down.

Checking out how people are dressed when you go for an interview is a good way to get a feel for the kind of environment you’ll be working in.

3. Thirsty Thursdays & F.A.W.

College seems like an endless party. There’s always a reason to go out most (if not every) night of the week. With all of the drink specials and Friday After Class, it’s like they encourage it.

But when you get into the real world, you can’t go out as much (Well as hard anyways. You might have a drink nightly, but you aren’t closing down the bar on a Tuesday). Although, being in the real world doesn’t mean that the party stops (My first three years after college are case in point of this). Some work places offer drinks to their employees in the afternoon or even have a Kegerator in the office.

These are more than just Google, or a new software app company. These work environments are even around in smaller cities and towns. You only need to do your research.

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4. Intramural Sign Ups

A fun way to get to meet new people in college is through joining an intramural club, like volleyball. It’s also a nice way to stay in shape or keep the Freshman 15 at bay. And it may be one of the things you miss after graduation.

However, you may be in luck in certain companies. They could already have a volleyball, soccer, or slow-pitch softball team you can join (Or even a golf league). And if your company doesn’t offer this, a lot of them are not opposed to starting one. All you need is a group of interested people and HR’s approval.

5. Company Outings

When I was a Freshman, I joined my major’s learning community to get to know other students in my major. We would go out for socials, get together to study, and hang out in the dorms since we all lived on the same floor. Then my senior year, our major set their own bar crawl for a social night out.

The same thing happens in most workplaces now. They have company golf outings, or days where they go places together, like a baseball game. It’s not often, but it’s every now and then to shake up the work week so it doesn’t get mundane. There are also a lot of companies that will do team outings or department get togethers after work or over lunch.

Look for those type of career opportunities that strive for team bonding.

6. The Rec Center

Exercise is a great way to relieve stress. And what’s more stressful than working on a huge project for work? We all have a lot on our plates and can sometimes feel overwhelmed. One of the nice things about college, was having the rec center to go to after class to destress. Even being able to go for a walk around campus was helpful.

Now that we’re in our adult lives, it can be harder to work out (Maybe we don’t want to spend money on a gym, let alone go to one). But in some workplaces, they have their own gyms for employees or even fun zones, like a rock climbing wall or ping pong table.

This one might not be a requirement, but it is a bonus.

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7. The Dining Hall

Probably the source of the Freshman 15 is the dining hall. They serve every kind of food, so your cravings go into overload. I used to have to train myself to only take one meal and one side (Maybe with some ice cream) rather than sample everything. Otherwise I would live with a plate overflowing.

Now that we’re into adulthood, we have to cook for ourselves and sometimes it’s not as fancy as what we may have been accustomed to. But in some corporate environments, there are cafeteria’s and food courts that rival the dining hall. They also bring treats and lunch into the break room, which beats a bologna sandwich any day.

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