Global employer branding firm Universum has released its annual poll of the companies students consider to be ideal employers. The survey found that 64 percent of students believed a work-life balance was the most important career goal, while job security, being dedicated to a cause, being intellectually challenged and becoming a leader rounded out the top five attributes. "These savvy undergrads are thinking much more strategically than ever," said Claudia Tattanelli, chief executive of Universum. "They are researching companies, blogging about them, attending job fairs on campus. They ultimately want to work smarter, not harder." And they want to be highly paid, too: Students interested in fashion, retail and apparel expect to bring in $45,850 one year after graduating, and $81,688 after five years.
1. WALT DISNEY
Amount of students interested in fashion, retail and apparel who chose this company as an ideal employer: 22.7 percent
"This is a very established, yet still extremely innovative company," said Tattanelli. And it's not just a few theme parks that make up this multibillion-dollar empire. Disney's media operations include television (Disney Channel, ABC, ESPN), movies (Pixar), magazines (Wonder Time, Family Fun) and consumer products. The Burbank, Calif.-based company also has its Disney College Program, which provides students with semester-long paid internships. Disney also hosts presentations on college campuses across the U.S. One student told Universum, "Disney has international prestige and offers jobs to all people. The corporation is really fantastic; their management, innovation and creativity are unmatched."
Younger consumers have become increasingly aware of the New York-based leather goods company and the products it has to offer, which is why students rate this brand so highly, Tattanelli pointed out. One student noted, "The Coach brand is exclusive, yet approachable. Its variety of styles and colors, clean silhouettes and practicality suits young and old alike. It's a classic brand that creates innovative pieces that have a timeless appeal." Tattanelli also added that for those interested in fashion, Coach is a stylish company whose products are still relatively affordable. "This is the all-American, great luxury brand — and a strong brand image is very important to these students," she stated.