Brill Street + Company’s number one “2011 Top 50 Chicago Generation Y Employers” spot goes to none other than Morningstar, Inc. From its generous vacation policy to its Free Bagel Wednesday, it’s easy to see how this financial services firm integrates Gen Y-friendly approaches with their consulting, planning and data services. In return, Morningstar acknowledges the immense impact its Gen Y employees have had on the company.
Morningstar Development Program (MDP) Advisor Slava Petrova says, “Generation Y employees have been a source of ideas, innovation, and creativity not only for the company, but also for the surrounding community. One of the most popular volunteer opportunities at Morningstar in Chicago was inspired and led by a member of this generation. Gen Yers often participate in special projects aside from their current job at Morningstar, where they collaborate with various teams globally to contribute to our development goals and latest initiatives.”
Morningstar’s global headquarters is located right here in Chicago, giving plenty of career opportunities to young professionals vying for work. Generation Y makes up over 20% of Morningstar’s large office. While it is not uncommon for career newbies to get their feet wet at a few different offices before finding a fit, Morningstar newest financial gurus stick around for an average of 3+ years.
What makes these fresh-faced professionals so eager to maintain their career with the leading provider in independent investment research? Apart from its noted accomplishments, Morningstar understands the needs of Gen Y employees and caters their work culture to fulfill those needs. The company provides an enjoyable work environment for its Gen Yers to accomplish their day-to-day tasks.
“The very architecture of our office serves as a daily reminder that each employee is an important and unique part of the whole that is Morningstar,” notes Petrova. “There are no corner offices and no formal dress code. In fact, there are no offices at all. Even our chairman and CEO, Joe Mansueto, sits in an open-plan workstation.”
Morningstar understands that working with over $167 billion in assets under advisement and management can be stressful, so the company rewards its Gen Y workers for their time. In office treats include “Free Bagel Wednesday” and celebrating the holidays with office parties. When employees really need a break, Morningstar offers a generous vacation policy. It looks like the “work hard, play hard” mantra certainly applies here.
Petrova says, “We host regular patio parties during the summer (we have a beautiful patio with a small garden and a fountain on our 7th floor) as well as company and holiday celebrations throughout the year. Our gatherings often have themes, such as Hawaiian luau or college football, and include elements like costume contests, talent shows, and karaoke.”
Morningstar knows how important careers are to Generation Y which is why they have an extensive professional development program in place. In addition to their competitive benefits, employees are allotted an education stipend that they can use towards continuing education and advance degrees. In addition to investing in their employees through educational stipends, Morningstar also offers a sabbatical program for workers looking to pursue development outside of the office. Most intriguing for Gen Yers, however, would have to be its Morningstar Development Program.
“Morningstar also offers the Morningstar Development Program (MDP), which is a rotational program for entry-level college graduates. As part of the program, MDP employees (or MDPs) go through a few rotations that help them become familiar with the company and explore the different sides of our industry,” explains Petrova.
Morningstar is not only Brill Street + Company’s number one “2011 Top 50 Chicago Generation Y Employers,” it also earned a spot on Fortune Magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For.” With incredible benefits, educational stipends and programs, and engaging in-office activities, it doesn’t take much convincing to see why this financial services powerhouse ranks high with Gen Y. Petrova adds that the company is a one-of-a-kind place for young professionals to make an impact.
“Morningstar is a great place to work for young professionals because we believe in giving people the freedom to chart their own courses and, if they prove themselves early on, we trust them with a great deal of responsibility—such as starting a new database, opening a new office, or helping to create a new product,” concludes Petrova.