We are always interested to hear from talented people to help deliver our research and events activities focusing on Britain’s top-performing private companies and entrepreneurs.
You will be an exceptional candidate with meticulous attention to detail, an eagerness to learn, and an interest in entrepreneurs and the financial performance of private companies. It is equally important you embrace our culture of continuous improvement, can multi-task, have a strong client service orientation; and are attracted to working for an entrepreneurial company in central Oxford.
We punch above our weight for a small company of c. 30 people based in Oxford, where the company was founded in 1997 by our CEO, Hamish Stevenson, who completed his masters and doctorate in management studies at Green Templeton College and was later appointed a research fellow in entrepreneurship. When starting Fast Track, he persuaded Richard Branson and Virgin to become our first sponsor, and secured The Sunday Times as a media partner. These close relationships continue today and need to be handled at a senior level with relevant team support from across the company.
All of our c. 30 staff are graduates from a cross-section of universities in the UK and abroad, including eight from Oxbridge – as are four of our eight freelance researchers. Our team come from a variety of backgrounds, including: finance; accounting; venture capital; law; journalism; corporate communications; and B2B event management.
There is a good team spirit with everyone working together. For example, the research team help at a number of our large national award events; and staff from across the teams rotate on our newly-formed social media focus group, to provide constructive feedback.
The company places a priority on internal and external training and development of our staff.
We aim to provide all staff with half a day’s internal training each month. In addition, all staff are offered a minimum of three days’ external training a year on a course identified and selected by them; and all heads and director-level staff are offered five days a year external training of their choice.
Our office is in an attractive Grade II listed converted school and chapel. There is a very informal culture of jeans and t-shirts, unless attending a client meeting or event, but ties are never obligatory. We have badminton club on Thursday lunchtimes; an occasional running club on Tuesdays; and company drinks on the last Friday of each month. The company is also happy to help foot the bill for any activity in which five or more staff participate, ranging from a team dinner to the Oxford half-marathon.
We aim for staff to leave the office one-and-a-half hours early most Fridays, provided they are on top of their research publication and awards event deadlines. This is to compensate for late nights at events (which are never held over weekends), early morning starts for sponsor meetings in London, or travel to company research visits around the UK. This early leaving is a form of time-off-in-lieu (TOIL) with additional time off given for hours worked over-and-above this, reconciled on a half-yearly basis. Staff are offered some flexible work arrangements where possible, including flexible office hours from the normal 9am to 6pm i.e. 8am to 5pm.
In addition to 25 days paid holiday, all staff are also given the opportunity to take an extra paid day’s holiday for a “wellbeing day” to participate in a charitable event of their choice, towards which Fast Track contributes £100 for each employee. In addition, Fast Track has raised over £4m from our network of entrepreneurs for Virgin’s Unite and Big Change charities, through various auctions at our flagship Fast Track 100 awards dinner.
Staff have a free Perkbox account, which provides access to hundreds of discounts and freebies, including wellness perks and reduced gym membership. Staff can also sign up to our Cyclescheme, have free eye checks and free seasonal flu jabs.
Once staff have worked for the company for more than five years, they are eligible for additional benefits, including: an extra paid day’s holiday; the option to take a three-month unpaid sabbatical if they wish; and, post-maternity leave, a return-to-work bonus after three months.
Many past Fast Track full-time staff, freelancers and interns have gone on to successful and varied jobs, ranging from VC/PE to academia.
Past full-time staff have gone on to become:
Some past freelancers and summer interns have had very successful careers, including as: managing partner at Graphite PE, principal at Exponent PE, associate at Index Ventures, partners at McKinsey and BCG, business broadcaster with the BBC & Bloomberg, and literary editor at the Sydney Morning Herald.
A number have also become professors, including at Cambridge’s Judge Business School, MIT Sloan School of Management, Carnegie Mellon, and a fellow at Oxford University.