What does it do?

A well-known software name inside the IT industry, Oracle's business is information - how to manage it, use it, share it, and protect it. Since its launch in the USA in 1977, it has provided advice, programming and operational back-up to businesses across the industrial spectrum, including the public sector. Among the names it's worked with are Ford, Mastercard, British Telecom and Ordnance Survey. Its software, and the brains of its employees, are behind many of the largest company websites in the world. The business, still run globally by its original founder, Larry Ellison, is split into two halves: software and services. The British operation began in 1984.

Vital statistics:

Oracle has 56,000 employees in over 145 countries, servicing 275,000 customers. Last year, global revenue was $11.8bn, equivalent to nearly £7bn.

The office:

The global head office is in California, and there are eight offices in the UK, ranging from Belfast to Edinburgh and Birmingham, with the headquarters in Reading.

Is this you?

Oracle is looking for between 25 and 30 graduates this year, to fill technical and commercial roles. You'll need a 2:1, preferably in an IT or business related subject. Oracle promises a "work hard, play hard" culture.

The recruitment process:

This is much shorter than that of many other employers. Applications, at www.oraclegrad.co.uk, are whittled down internally, and candidates chosen for an assessment day, which comprises several interviews and ability tests, a presentation and group exercise. The interviewers are Oracle managers who graduates will potentially be working with. Training depends on the exact job you'll be doing. The sharp end sales and consulting people start with a six to seven week "boot camp", which introduces recruits to products and services, and teaches sales techniques. Those in technical roles receive detailed, presumably without the boots, training on the specifics of the products and technologies they will be supporting. Thereafter they may help a customer with a website application, or work with a larger team implementing an HR application across a company's offices across the UK.

Top dollar?

Graduates receive an undisclosed, but "competitive" salary, and can choose their own mix of benefits, from a list including pension, private healthcare, dentistry and life assurance, or reject all that and plump for more holiday or a bigger salary.

Beam me up, Scotty?

Graduates are urged to stay on and make a career at Oracle. One third of junior managers began as graduate trainees.

Who's the boss?

Ian Smith, wh ha's been in IT for 30 years, runs Oracle's UK operation. He came from BT, where he was managing director of customer services. Among his many roles is one where he acts as Prince Charles's ambassador in South-east England, for the Business in the Community scheme.

Little known fact:

In case you're wondering, there's no connection between this Oracle and the original ITV teletext service of the same name. If you're lost, ask your parents!