If you have got this far looking around the CSR Graduate website you will have noticed that all the graduate vacancies advertised are based in Cambridge, in one of four office locations. For those of you who went to the University of Cambridge, or have other family or friend ties with the city, you will be familiar with what Cambridge has to offer. However for those of you who do not know the city well, (and I am speaking from personal experience) it can be a brave step to move somewhere entirely new purely in the interests of your early career.
Cambridge has a reputation for being a small but beautiful city, with plenty to do both indoors and out. (See TripAdvisor for things to do: http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Attractions-g186225-Activities-Cambridge_Cambridgeshire_England.html) As part of working at CSR, employees are entitled to complimentary punting vouchers and entry into the University of Cambridge Botanical Gardens, which is a great summer’s day out. Joining the CSR Sports & Social Club also entitles the member to discounts at other popular attractions including the Cambridge Beer Festival, and Folk Festival. Entry into the Fitzwilliam Museum is free and well worth a visit – the museum holds some esteemed paintings by famous artists and also most excitingly an exhibition on mummification in Ancient Egypt (complete with real mummy’s!).
There are a great variety of restaurants (493 to be precise) around the city catering for all tastes and price ranges. These include all the usual national chains (Gourmet Burger Kitchen, Giraffe and Wagamamas etc) but also plenty of independent eateries offering many different types of cuisine including Turkish, Vietnamese and Greek foods. (http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurants-g186225-Cambridge_Cambridgeshire_England.html)
Living in Cambridge is a great way to make the jump between ‘student’ and ‘young professional’ living. Bars in Cambridge are plentiful with many in and around market square the city centre (Baroosh and Tabouche are CSR Graduate socials usual haunts). As the city centre is quite small it is simple to navigate around and an easy stumbling distance to clubs including the always popular Lola Lo’s (a classic option on a Saturday night) and Fez, a Moroccan themed nightclub which often hosts good old Propaganda on a Friday! There are two cinemas in the city: Vue and Cineworld, as well as the Arts Picture House, Corn Exchange and ACD Theatre which attract well-known plays, comedians and musical acts. Picturesque country pubs are also plentiful in the area with favourites including The Plough at Fenn Ditton and the Lion & Lamb at Milton. To cut it short, there is not a lack of things to do around here!
Shopping in Cambridge is more than sufficient, with the Grafton Centre, Grand Arcade and Lions Yard holding most of the usual high street shops including Zara, Next and Hollister. There are all the standard department stores, including a very large John Lewis, and sports shops as well as some independent boutique shops.
For the sporty amongst you, CSR often arrange various sporting events including group football and badminton. There is a small gym on site in Churchill House, and we are also privy to discounted memberships at several gyms around Cambridge (including the Trinity Health Club on the Science Park, with the current fee at £32 a month – http://www.thetrinitycentre.com/health-club ). Cambridge also has many local good sports teams including Cambridge United, Cambridge Rugby Club and Cambridge Cricket Club.
The city in general is easy to get around both by bike and public transport, and taxis unlike in other South East cities are reasonably priced. Biking is one of the most popular modes of transport in Cambridge as the city is mostly flat, there are plenty of bike parking spaces around the city and many companies including CSR offer the Cycle to Work Scheme. (more info here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cycle_to_Work_scheme)
For those looking for accommodation in Cambridge, there are plenty of reasonably priced house shares available for young professionals both in the city centre but also in other housing estates within walking distance of our Cambridge offices – including Kings Hedges and Orchard Park. A room in a house is likely to cost you somewhere between £500-£600 a month – including bills. (If looking for a house share, try www.spareroom.co.uk or www.gumtree.com where you may be able to liaise with a private landlord and avoid agency fees!) There are also plenty of nice villages and towns on the outskirts of Cambridge which have their own high-streets and things to do, where you may like to look for accommodation, including Newmarket and Ely, both within a close commutable distance by car.
On a serious note, Cambridge is a great area to be based in for those seeking careers in the technology industry, with many of the world’s biggest companies including Microsoft, Hewlett Packard, Cambridge Consultants and (obviously) the University of Cambridge based there. It is in a great location near to both the coast, Greater London and the Midlands and is within 30 minutes drive of Stansted Airport. With two new train stations currently being proposed on both the Business and Science Parks, it is also an ideal place to invest in property if you are looking to buy in the near future.