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2008 Best Places to Launch A Career

76. Grant Thornton


More Info

Company Insight: Private

HQ Address:
175 W. Jackson Blvd.
20th Floor
Chicago, Illinois 60604

Organization's Web site

Careers site

Career Office E-mail

Managing Your Career

Grant Thornton

This is no place for slackers: Entry levels' performance is evaluated on monthly basis.

Getting Started

Undergrad Internships

Internship hiring for 2008 is not complete

Undergrad internships (paid and unpaid)

2008: 167 (to date)

2007: 394

2006: 379

100% of internships are paid, 0% are unpaid.

2007 interns came from the following classes...

0% Freshman

0% Sophomores

15% Juniors

85*% Seniors

...and from the following majors:

100% Business

0% Computer Science

0% Economics

0% Engineering

0% Liberal Arts

0% Math

0% Science

0% Undeclared


There is an official summer internship program*

Average summer program: 9 weeks

Minimum: 8 weeks

Maximum: 10 weeks

Average hourly wage: $22.00

Average total intern compensation: $9,600

87% of eligible 2007 interns received full-time job offers

79% of interns with offers accepted

Notes: Number of seniors includes students in their 4th & 5th years of study.

Through the Footsteps program, students are invited to spend 3 days shadowing an associate, meeting with partners, and getting a sense for the firm. Through the firm's internship program interns work directly with associates through partners on client engagements and are invited to join in the firm?s social & networking activities.

Applicants & New Hires

Recruited on 85 undergrad campuses in 2007-08.
Made job offers on 85 undergrad campuses.

Applicants for entry-level jobs

    2008: 7,532 (to date)

    2007: 30,450

    2006: 34,734

Entry-level hiring

Entry-level hiring is not complete for 2008.

New hires in:

2008: 258 (to date)

2007: 544

2006: 570

Entry-level hires who were undergrad interns

2008: 40% (to date)

2007: 29%

2006: 27%

Most important characteristics for new hires:

1 Leadership Skills

2 Work Experience

3 College GPA

2007 entry-level hires came from the following majors:

100% Business

0% Computer Science

0% Economics

0% Engineering

0% Liberal Arts

0% Math

0% Science

0% Undeclared

% Other

...and are:

6*% African American

5% Hispanic American

18% Asian American

0% Other

29% Total minorities

50% Female

Notes: Grant Thornton sponsors and recruits at the National Association of Black Accountants, the American Latino Professionals in Finance and Accounting, and the National Asian American Society of Accountants.

Salary & Benefits

Salary & Benefits

Entry-level hires since Jan. 1, 2008 (to date)

Average base salary:
$50,000 to $54,999

0% earn less than $35,000

0% earn $35,000 to $39,999

0% earn $40,000 to $44,999

32% earn $45,000 to $49,999

41% earn $50,000 to $54,999

24% earn $55,000 to $59,999

1% earn $60,000 to $64,999

1% earn $65,000 to $69,999

0% earn $70,000 to $74,999

1% earn $75,000 and above

Bonuses, Overtime & Perks

61% received signing bonuses

Average signing bonus: $2,750

71% received performance bonuses in their first year on job

Average performance bonus, 2007: $1,850

0% of 2007 entry-level hires eligible for overtime

100% of 2007 entry-level hires not eligible for overtime

Reimburse employees for education expenses? Yes

Do employees become eligible immediately? Yes

Maximum annual education reimbursement: NA*

Full grad school sponsorship for jr. level employees? No

Partial grad school sponsorship for jr. level employees? Yes

Time Off

The organization has a Paid Time Off (PTO) Bank

Maximum PTO days during first year: 15

Maximum PTO days after one year: NA

Maximum PTO days after three years: NA

Maximum PTO days after five years: NA

Maximum PTO days after 10 years:NA

Flextime is an option for entry-level employees

Health Benefits

Do entry-level hires have access to health plan? Yes

Employees pay part of the cost? Yes

Does health plan provide dental coverage? Yes

Extra charge for dental coverage? Yes

Does health plan provide vision coverage? Yes

Extra charge for vision coverage? Yes

Are same sex partners permitted as dependents? Yes

Pension and Profit-sharing

Do entry-level hires have access to 401(k)? Entry-level hires are given access to a 401(K) savings plan

Max. company match as a percentage of salary: 1.5%

Min. employee set-aside as a percentage of salary to receive max. co. match: 6%

Are entry-level hires eligible for company funded pension? Yes*

Are entry-level hires eligible for profit-sharing program? No

Other Benefits

Does company match employee charitable gifts? Yes

Does company pay relocation expenses? Yes

Max. annual relocation expenses? $3,000

Employee Discounts on the following:

Gym memberships

Cell phone service



Notes: Employees are eligible to have 80% of their tuition expenses paid-without an annual limit-to pursue a graduate degree. In 2007, the firm began paying for the Becker CPA Review Course, a benefit valued at about $2,000 per hire.

Depending upon job level, employees receive up to 27 days of PTO per year (entry level employees generally receive 15 days) and at least 7 paid holidays.

In addition to the 401(k) match, the firm contributes an amount equal to 4% of eligible employees? gross wages to a cash balance defined-benefit pension plan.

Moving On Up

Work Environment

Average entry-level work week: 42 hours

Does average vary by business unit, department? Yes

Entry-level hire work locations...

0% in open work stations

100% in cubicles

0% in shared offices

0% in private offices

0% have no company-supplied work space

Typical dress code

Business Casual

Casual Friday


Organization sponsors employee volunteer opportunities*

Does organization have fitness facilities on site? Some locations

Notes: As part of the firm?s Healthy Lifestyles initiative, Grant Thornton will pay the hotel, travel and entrance fees for more than 230 partners and employees to run the 2008 Rock ?n? Roll Marathon. Additionally, the firm participates in more than 100 charitable activities. For the past four years, Grant Thornton has earned a spot on the Companies That Care Honor Roll for its community involvement.

Training Programs

The organization has a formal orientation program for new hires

Program length: 2 days

Orientation includes the following:

Computer training

Guest speakers

Diversity exercises

Facilities tour

Benefits overview

$5,000 average spent on training, per new hire, in 2007

How do new employees enter the program?

If not hired directly into program, when are most new hires first considered eligible?

After completion of program, what percentage of employees receive a raise?

How much is the typical raise:

There is a formal leadership program for entry-level hires that lasts a year or more.

Program Name: LEADS*

How do new employees enter the program? Automatic

If not hired directly into the program, when are most new hires first considered eligible?


Is program rotational? No

If so, how many locations or business units does the employee spend time at? NA

Minimum rotations: NA

Maximum rotations: NA

Length of program, in weeks: NA*

Minimum: NA weeks

Maximum: NA weeks

After completion, what percentage of employees receive a raise?: NA

How much is the typical raise: NA

Does company have formal mentorship program? Yes

100% of entry-level hires participate

5* days of additional training expected

Notes: A learning & leadership development initiative within GT University, LEADS guides employees from campus to partner through customized & comprehensive training at each phase of their career.

The program length of LEADS varies.

GTU provides online training and development programs for all employees, who are able to access live and archived web casts and Web-based, self-study courses.

Getting Ahead

Three-year retention rate: 46%

Five-year retention rate: 36%

How are raises determined?

Both performance and seniority

When are most entry-level hires eligible for their first raise?

6 months to 1 year

How are promotions determined?

Both performance and seniority*

When are entry-level hires eligible for first promotion?

More than 1 year


Frequency of evaluations


Most important characteristics for entry-level hires:

3 Customer Satisfaction

1 Learning Ability

2 Productivity/Efficiency

Min. tenure in years required for job change: 1

Transfer rules:

Long-Term Prospects

Does position of vice president exist at this organization? No

If not, is there a comparable title? Partner/Principal

No. of employees who hold VP or similar title: 534

No. of employees with VP or similar title with 20 years plus seniority: 113

Age of youngest employee with VP or similar title: 31

Seniority of youngest employee with VP or similar title in years: 6

Notes: Promotions are determined by the firm?s overall performance and individual contributions. In fiscal year 2007, 906 people throughout the firm were promoted, 16% of our total population.

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