During her senior year at Vassar, Heather Kobayashi attended a campus recruitment event for Epic, a health record software company based near Madison, Wisconsin.
"I just went for the free pizza, but then I heard them saying, 'You don't need experience in health care; we're looking for people who are eager to learn,'" she said.
When Kobayashi started working at Epic the following summer, she joined the company at the same time as hundreds of other first-year graduates. Moving to Madison, she hardly knew anyone, and immediately befriended the people in her class. Three years later, most of her friends are people who started working at Epic when she did.
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"Anyone at Epic can say, 'I'm going to form a board game group or a book club,'" said Kobayashi. "You can stay on campus after office hours and there will always be a lot of Epic people there."
Epic is just one of many companies that essentially give graduates the option to stay in college after graduation. Corporations that aggressively recruit large numbers of recent grads from elite colleges — mostly tech companies and consulting firms — understand how much the employees miss their undergraduate experience. To ease the transition, they offer extracurricular activities, designated mentors, report cards, and, most importantly, a large "class" of 22-year-old co-workers who all undergo the transition together.