A sense of belonging can make a big difference to the Graduate experience when entering the world of work for the first time. In our recently commissioned survey, three quarters of c.1000 School/University students and KPMG trainees* stated that building connections and professional relationships with colleagues was an expectation of entering the world of work after university. After joining, 82% of our KPMG trainees surveyed said that they were able to feel connected with their colleagues, helped by initiatives to support with the transition into the workplace. This is important as it contributes to a sense of belonging, wellbeing and improved productivity.

Charlotte Carter, Head of Student Recruitment at KPMG says, "We recognise that new starters today have very different needs to new starters even ten years ago and because of this we need to ensure we are providing appropriate and innovative ways in which new starters can network as individuals and part of larger groups. Our research found that 75% of respondents particularly enjoyed getting to know their colleagues outside of the work environment."

Charlotte says, "We have found that providing access to new joiner websites from acceptance of their job offer, allocating smart contacts to act as a virtual buddy until an individual's start date, dedicated online groups to allow them to get to know their peers before joining, and the introduction of our innovative approach to graduate assessments, Launch Pad, which allows candidates to network with their entire cohort right from the very start of their journey, has really worked for us and students alike."'The Academy', our initiative delivered to colleagues in the early stage of their career, gives access to communities to support learning and experiences to build skills and knowledge for the future. All new joiners complete a face-to-face induction which our candidates have even described as "a professional freshers' week"!

KPMG also offers a variety of inclusive networks such as our LGBT network, women's network and Be Mindful and Workability networks to provide support and accessibility to those with both mental and physical health issues.

The most important thing to remember is to get involved and be yourself. Be proactive, open minded, and make sure you're clued up on the opportunities available to you. Taking these opportunities to build connections will help you in your new role – and for your future career.

KPMG in the UK, is part of a global network of firms offering Audit, Tax & Pensions, Consulting, Deal Advisory and Technology services. KPMG works with a variety of clients across a range of sectors, to help them solve some of the most complex business challenges and deliver high quality results – all while embracing technologies of the future.We offer a range of graduate programmes, for more information and to apply click here

*1,000 people between the ages of 17 and 26, in either full-time employment (600) or full-time education (400), including both those entering employment directly from school after completing A-levels or similar (200) or following degree level or higher courses (400). Research was carried out in October 2017.