Careers

Having successfully filled a number of positions, we are still recruiting for key Oxford-based research and event roles, a BD manager, and an EA; as well as seeking high-calibre graduates for our new 2-year graduate programme in entrepreneurship.

Please scroll down for a full list, details of each role, how to apply and how the recruitment process will work. See also details of Fast Track past staff’s subsequent careers, and on our expansion plans in 2019.

In response to our existing and new (x5) blue-chip sponsors wanting to do more this year, we have embarked on a big recruitment drive. We are looking to hire talented people to help deliver our expanded research and events activities focusing on Britain’s top-performing private companies and entrepreneurs.

We are looking for exceptional candidates with meticulous attention to detail, an eagerness to learn, and an interest in entrepreneurs and the financial performance of private companies. It is equally important that they embrace our culture of continuous improvement, can multi-task, have a strong client service orientation; and are attracted to working for an entrepreneurial company in central Oxford.

For some of the roles, we are happy to consider recent ambitious graduates, provided they have a keen interest and knowledge of business and/or relevant paid work/internship experience, or a degree in relevant subjects such as management, economics or finance (minimum 2.1, preferably from Russell Group or international equivalent).

Current vacancies

We have the following opportunities

EA to founder/CEO - £45k to £55k (+ bonus)

We are looking to recruit an intelligent, pro-active and client-centric EA/business analyst, who will provide crucial support for our exacting founder & CEO.

 

Candidates would ideally be ambitious graduates, preferably with previous senior executive support experience at a fast-growth company; or from a more client-facing role, with a strong service and problem-solving orientation. You will be either a career EA, looking to offer a long-term commitment to an exciting, varied role with more influence on and involvement in the business than a standard EA role; or an ambitious candidate looking to gain 3-5 years’ experience and exposure to all parts of the chief executive’s role, using it as a stepping stone to a senior executive or entrepreneurial career.

 

The role & responsibilities

  • Executive support: support the founder and CEO, acting as his deputy for internal projects and gaining full exposure to all areas of the business; working closely with his current part-time EA, who works remotely, and also provide support to the senior management team
  • Client-services support: prepare for and accompany the CEO to important external meetings and events, helping to follow-up agreed actions and draft/edit important sponsorship proposals and contracts; develop relationships with our key VIPs, to assist the CEO with increasing engagement with both our blue-chip clients/sponsors and entrepreneur alumni
  • People development: take overall responsibility for the office HR, supported by the office manager, helping create a more comprehensive and vibrant approach to all aspects of staff development, including reinforcing a culture of continuous improvement and encouraging take-up of our internal and external training programmes

 

Click here to download a full job spec with more details on the role and how to apply.

BD manager - £35k to £50k (+comm. of c£10-20k by 2nd yr)

Oxford-based Fast Track is looking for a talented, sales-orientated, research-focused person interested in B2B business development. They must have some proven experience of successfully selling high-value products, services or sponsorships to senior clients, gained from a job, university (i.e. summer balls or internship) or fundraising. The role is to research, identify and help secure new corporate sponsors for our programmes providing them direct access to the UK’s top private companies.

Candidates ideally need at least one to two years’ proven experience in consultative B2B (our sponsorship packages range from £65k-£245k+ p.a.); ideally with an interest in, and knowledge of, or the ability to quickly learn about, the UK’s top-performing private companies and the entrepreneurs and senior directors who run and own them.

Commission is payable on a sliding scale of up to 5% of the value of the first contract, with the opportunity to earn up to an additional c£10k-20k in commission most likely by the second year – see full job spec for an illustrative example and more details.

The role & responsibilities

  • Conduct targeted prospecting and smart, detailed research into relevant potential sponsors, to secure meetings for Fast Track’s directors with senior decision-makers; prepare for and participate in these sales meetings, and provide detailed follow-up, creating insight-led tailored proposals
  • Work closely with our research team to help identify companies with strong links to potential sponsors; and work at our networking events, and also attend competitor and industry events, to secure warm leads and expand your knowledge
  • Generate quality leads and ensure good conversion rates through continuously improving our marketing and sales materials, and help develop our website and social media activities as effective sales tools
  • Our sponsors include: Virgin (all 22 yrs); HSBC, Lloyds, PwC, and UBS Wealth Management (15+ yrs); Barclays, BDO, Hiscox, Grant Thornton and Virgin Atlantic (10+ yrs); BGF, BMW and Linklaters (5+ yrs); DHL and N+1 Singer (3 yrs); and Oracle Netsuite and Santander (1 yr)

Click here to download a full job spec with more details on the role and how to apply.

Head of events – awards dinners & client services - £45k to £65k

Oxford-based Fast Track is hiring a key member of our senior management team. They will be responsible for delivering our annual programme of seven annual awards events for the UK’s leading entrepreneurs from the top private companies as featured on our league tables published in The Sunday Times for the past 22 years. They will be expected to help with bespoke projects and also in the strategic development of the business.

The ideal candidate should be a graduate with a minimum of 5 to 10 years’ relevant experience. To thrive in the role you need to have exceptional attention to detail, a willingness to embrace our culture of continuous improvement, a keen interest in private companies, and be confident account handling at a senior level.

This role is new, having split the head of events role in two, with a head of events – alumni dinners & HNW guests.

The role & responsibilities

  • Event management: be responsible for the delivery of our seven annual highly-regarded invitation-only awards events (each attended by 200+ guests)
  • Leadership: co-manage and motivate a six-person events team, getting involved at a detailed operational level with delivery and development of our national awards events
  • Speaker management and looking after VIPs: help manage our keynote speaker invitation process (c18 a year predominantly from our network), and help look after them and VIPs on top table on the night
  • Delivery to sponsors: account handle and service our blue-chip sponsors
  • Curating guest info:produce tailored invitee lists and relevant guest info for different sponsors
  • AV production & supplier management:build on our existing event supplier relationships, particularly our AV and filming contractors
  • Other: help with new business development, marketing and social media

Click here to download a full two-page job spec with more details on the role and how to apply.

Head of events – alumni dinners and HNW guests - £45k to £65k

Oxford-based Fast Track is hiring a key member of our senior management team. They will be responsible for delivering our annual programme of 20+ annual alumni dinners for the UK’s leading entrepreneurs and HNWI from the top private companies as featured on our league tables, published in The Sunday Times for the past 22 years. They will be expected to manage some of the high-profile events themselves, and to also help with the strategic development of the business.

The ideal candidate need not necessarily come from a pure events background, and should be a graduate with a minimum of 5 to 10 years’ relevant experience. To thrive in the role you need to have exceptional attention to detail, a willingness to embrace our culture of continuous improvement, a strong interest in, and ability to communicate with, entrepreneurs and HNWI; as well as being confident account handling at a senior level.

This role is new, having split the head of events in two with, a head of events – awards dinners & client services.

The role & responsibilities

  • Leadership: co-manage and motivate a six-person events team, getting involved at a detailed operational level with delivery and development of our events, and other ad hoc projects
  • Event management: be responsible for the delivery of our 20+ highly-regarded, annual invitation-only alumni dinners, each attended by c20-40 entrepreneurs and HNW guests
  • Speaker management and alumni engagement: help manage the speaker invitation process  (c20 a year predominantly from our network) and look after them and VIP guests on the night
  • Delivery to sponsors: account handle and service our blue-chip sponsors
  • Curating guest info: produce tailored invitee lists and relevant guest info for different sponsors
  • Sourcing high-end venues: being the font of all knowledge when it comes to finding boutique hotels and private dining rooms predominantly in London to host our bespoke events
  • Other: help interview and film entrepreneurs at our bespoke events, and with other marketing and social media activities

Click here to download a full two-page job spec with more details on the role and how to apply.

Senior business events & client services manager - £34k to £40k

Oxford-based Fast Track is looking for two smart, detail-orientated people to join our busy B2B events team which organises invitation-only networking events for the UK’s leading entrepreneurs and private companies featured on our league tables published in association with The Sunday Times. Our 30+ awards events and bespoke alumni dinners are for the UK’s leading entrepreneurs to meet each other, and to meet and do business with our sponsors.

This role would suit a bright graduate, with at least three years’ relevant business events or equivalent experience; and/or project management experience, ideally within the B2B space, financial services, headhunting or dealing with HNW individuals; and with an interest in entrepreneurs and private business.

 

The role & responsibilities

  • Project-manage and ‘own’ a selection of our 30+ networking events per year, including at least two of our six national awards dinners (attended by 200-350 directors and sponsors), as well as a number of high-quality, smaller bespoke alumni dinners (20-40 entrepreneurs). This involves:
  • managing the invite process to secure attendance (free of charge) of busy entrepreneurs
  • preparing detailed information on companies and directors to help our sponsors choose who to invite
  • creating targeted seating plans based on sponsors’ requests, using judgment for last minute changes
  • Help account handle our all-important blue-chip sponsors at an operational and senior level
  • Work as part of a small team, helping others with projects as required and attend the majority of our events, which are mainly held in London, and never on weekends

 

Click here to download a full two-page job spec with more details on the role and how to apply.

Business events & guests manager - £28k to £32k

Oxford-based Fast Track is looking for a smart, detail-oriented person to join our B2B events team, which organises invitation-only national awards events and bespoke alumni dinners for the UK’s top entrepreneurs and private companies, as featured in our annual rankings in The Sunday Times.

This role would suit a bright graduate with one to three years’ relevant events experience or equivalent including at university and/or paid internships; and with project management experience, ideally within the B2B space; and with an interest in entrepreneurs.

 

The role & responsibilities

  • Project manage and ‘own’ a selection of our annual 30+ networking events, including at least one national awards event (attended by 200-350 directors and sponsors), as well as a number of smaller, bespoke alumni dinners (20-40 entrepreneurs)
  • Help account handle our all-important blue-chip sponsors at an operational level
  • Work as part of a small team, helping others with projects as required and attend the majority of our events, which are mainly held in London; and not at weekends

 

Click here to download a full job spec with more details on the role and how to apply.

Head of research – league tables - £45k to £65k

Oxford-based Fast Track is looking for an experienced company analyst and research manager. They will be part of our senior management team and responsible for our seven high-profile annual league tables, ranking the UK’s top-performing privately-owned or VC/PE-backed companies published in the business section of The Sunday Times for the past 22 years. They will be expected to manage at least one league table, and also help with the strategic development of the business.

The ideal candidate should be a bright graduate with at least five years’ relevant company financial research and project management experience, a team leader with excellent writing skills and a strong interest in Britain’s private companies. They could come from a variety of backgrounds, including, but not limited to: accountancy, private equity, corporate finance or business consultancy.

To thrive in the role, the successful candidate will need to embrace our culture of continuous improvement, have exceptional attention to detail, and strong account handling skills at a senior level.

This role is new, having split the director of research role in three, with a head of research – operations and a head of research – ‘Ones to Watch’.

 

The role & responsibilities

  • Leadership: lead and co-manage our 11-strong full-time researchers and eight freelancers
  • Project management: lead and personally manage the research and publication of at least one of our seven annual league tables published in The Sunday Times
  • Research quality improvement: take responsibility for the quality of the research output of our seven league tables, including using financial nous and judgement to resolve difficult research issues
  • Tailored research output: be responsible for providing our sponsors and media partner with tailored briefings on our research and awards judging
  • Account handling: help service our blue-chip sponsors
  • Networking dinners: work with our events team to help secure founders’ and senior directors’ attendance at some of our 30+ annual invitation-only networking dinners; and attend & assist at up to 8 dinners a year

 

Click here to download a full two-page job spec with more details on the role and how to apply.

 

Head of research – 'Ones to Watch' - £45k to £65k

Oxford-based Fast Track is looking for an experienced and talented researcher and project manager. They will be part of our senior management team and be responsible for our high-profile ‘Ones to Watch’ programmes, which identify Britain’s future star private companies featured in the business section of The Sunday Times, as part of our league tables published for the past 22 years. They will be expected to conduct the research for one or two programmes, and contribute to the strategic development of the business.

The ideal candidate should be a bright graduate with at least five years’ relevant company financial research and project management experience, a strong team leader with excellent writing skills and a keen interest in the UK’s private companies. They could come from a variety of backgrounds, including, but not limited to: accountancy, private equity, corporate finance or business consultancy.

To thrive in the role, the successful candidate will need to embrace our culture of continuous improvement, have exceptional attention to detail and strong account handling skills at a senior level.

This role is new, having split the director of research role in three, with a head of research – operations, and a head of research – league tables.

 

The role & responsibilities

  • Leadership: lead and co-manage our 11-strong full-time researchers and eight freelancers
  • Project management: lead and personally manage the research of one or two of our five ‘Ones to Watch’ (OtW) programmes published in The Sunday Times, and help with judging
  • Research & analysis: conduct primary research, identify and visit future star companies, and analyse their accounts
  • Editing & writing: write and/or edit the supporting OtW articles, with by-lines in our supplements in The Sunday Times
  • Account handling: help account manage our blue-chip clients
  • Networking dinners: work with our events team to help to engage ‘OtW’ companies to secure their attendance at some of our 30+ annual invitation-only networking dinners, and attend & assist at up to 8 dinners a year

 

Click here to download a full two-page job spec with more details on the role and how to apply.

2-year graduate programme in entrepreneurship - £28k

Oxford-based Fast Track has launched a two year graduate entrepreneurship programme. We are offering two to four talented and hardworking graduates the opportunity to gain an in-depth insight into Britain’s top entrepreneurs. Graduates will be trained to work in Fast Track’s core business. They will also undertake one or two short placements of their choice with leading start-ups and scale-ups from Fast Track’s extensive alumni entrepreneur network of top-performing UK private and VC/PE-backed companies, ranging from BrewDog to Monzo, or with our blue-chip sponsors ranging from BGF to Virgin.  

Starting on 5 August, graduates will undertake two to three rotations in our core business with the appropriate training, including: researching companies’ financial performance and interviewing entrepreneurs, writing their company profiles for publication in our supplements; or B2B event management; and executive assistant (EA) and business development (BD) executive roles.

In the second year of the scheme, graduates will also be offered one or two secondments over four weeks, which they can select from our alumni network of Britain’s leading private companies and/or our blue-chip sponsors. 

Applicants must have achieved a min 2:1 grade degree and demonstrate a keen interest in, and some knowledge of, UK private companies and entrepreneurs.  Attention to detail is essential. Some knowledge of company accounts would be helpful, gained, for example, through studying subjects such as management or economics or through an internship or job; but is not essential, as training will be provided.

Please click here to download a detailed description of our programme and application process. To apply, please send a one page cover letter and CV to jobs@fasttrack.co.uk ASAP – first interviews from 8 March.

How to apply

Please email jobs@fasttrack.co.uk, in confidence, with your application letter (max. two-page for a senior role & one-page for a junior role); including where you saw the vacancy, your current and expected remuneration, notice period; and a copy of your CV.

 

How the recruitment process will work

  • Online assessment: all applications will be reviewed, and selected candidates will be asked to complete one-hour online exercises.
  • Telephone interviews: after the online exercises have been reviewed, shortlisted candidates will be telephone-interviewed by a member of the team, to assess whether to invite you to one of our second-round interview evenings at Fast Track’s offices in St Clements, Oxford.
  • Interview evening: we will aim to hold multiple dates through to Wednesday 20 March, to accommodate as many candidates as possible. These interview evenings typically last from 5pm to 8pm, and will include candidates from across the roles.
    We will start with a presentation about the company and the different roles, then candidates will have the opportunity to ask questions.
    This will be followed by one short written skills-based exercise (no preparation needed), a short individual interview, and a more informal chat with senior members of our team.  (Note: these are not group interviews or tasks, merely a more efficient way for us to manage the time of our senior management team as we are recruiting for multiple roles).
  • Follow-up final round interviews: all final-stage candidates for the more senior roles, and any other candidates where necessary, will be invited back for a final round of in-depth interviews, including with other members of the team.

Past staff

Track record of past full-time staff & freelancers/interns

Many past Fast Track full-time staff, freelancers and interns have gone on to successful and varied jobs, ranging from VC/PE to academia.

Past full-time staff have gone on to become:

  • CEO of Catapult Ventures (LSE grad; formerly tech research manager at Fast Track)
  • Head of equity research at Charles Stanley (DPhil in Psychology, formerly at Ipsos; research manager)
  • Partner at Apiary Capital (DPhil in Geography; research manager)
  • Senior commercial finance manager at Sophos (Cardiff Uni and formerly at Deloitte; research manager)
  • MD of Monument Group, the private fund placement agent (Economics & Management at Oxford; researcher)
  • Senior director, Tableau Software (University of Edinburgh; research manager)

Some past freelancers and summer interns have had very successful careers, including as: managing partner at Graphite PE, principal at Exponent PE, associate at NorthZone VC, partners at McKinsey and BCG, business broadcaster with the BBC & Bloomberg, and literary editor at the Sydney Morning Herald. A number have also become professors, including at Cambridge’s Judge Business School, MIT Sloan School of Management, Carnegie Mellon, and a fellow at Oxford University.

Background to 2019 recruitment

Expanding on our 22-year track record 

For the past 22 years, Fast Track has been researching and ranking Britain’s top-performing private companies in The Sunday Times from the fastest-growing to the biggest; and organising and hosting invitation-only networking events for their entrepreneurial founders and senior directors (who attend free-of-charge) to meet each other and our blue-chip sponsors. The quality of our research and events are highly regarded by our sponsors, entrepreneurs and The Sunday Times and it is essential this goodwill amongst our important stakeholders is constantly nurtured and developed by our service-oriented team.

We have worked closely with half of our 20 blue-chip sponsors for more than 10 years, ranging from Virgin (22 years), PwC and HSBC (more than 15 years), and more recently Linklaters and BGF (more than five years). Many existing sponsors are asking us to do even more this year, as are our five new sponsors Santander, Oracle Netsuite, Virgin Atlantic and two others (TBA).

Punching above our weight, with an excellent team spirit and the need to recruit

We punch above our weight for a small company of c. 26 people based in Oxford, where the company was founded by our CEO, Hamish Stevenson, who completed his masters and doctorate in management studies at Green Templeton College and was later appointed a research fellow in entrepreneurship. When starting Fast Track, he persuaded Richard Branson and Virgin to become our first sponsor, and secured The Sunday Times as a media partner. These close relationships continue today and need to be handled at a senior level with helpful, relevant team support from across the company.

All of our c. 26 staff are graduates from a cross-section of universities in the UK and abroad, including eight from Oxbridge – as are four of our eight freelance researchers. Our team come from a variety of backgrounds, including: finance; accounting; venture capital; law; journalism; corporate communications; and B2B event management.

There is a good team spirit with everyone working together. For example, the research team help at a number of our large national award events; and staff from across the teams rotate on our newly-formed social media focus group, to provide constructive feedback and see their suggested improvements quickly actioned on our various platforms.

Our sponsors’ recent requests for increased activities require us to recruit several new full-time roles; replacing some staff that have recently left/are leaving, and a number of new roles.

This expansion of the team will require increased management demands, which will be addressed by the recruitment for a new role of EA/business analyst, to support the CEO and our small senior management team.

 

Training & development of our staff

The company places a high priority on internal and external training and development of our staff.

We aim to provide all staff with a minimum of half a day’s internal training each month. In addition, all staff are offered a minimum of three days’ external training a year on a course identified and selected by them; and all heads and director-level staff are offered five days a year external training of their choice.

 

Benefits of working for a small company

Our office is in an attractive Grade II listed converted school and chapel. There is a very informal culture of jeans and t-shirts, unless attending a client meeting or event, but ties are never obligatory. We have badminton club on Thursday lunchtimes; an occasional running club on Tuesdays; and company drinks on the last Friday of each month. The company is also happy to foot the bill for any activity in which five or more staff participate, ranging from a team dinner to the Oxford half-marathon.

We aim for staff to leave the office one-and-a-half hours early most Fridays, provided they are on top of their research publication and awards event deadlines. This is to compensate for late nights at events (which are never held over weekends), early morning starts for sponsor meetings in London, or travel to company research visits around the UK. This early leaving is a form of time-off-in-lieu (TOIL) with additional time off given for hours worked over-and-above this, reconciled on a half-yearly basis. All staff are offered some flexible work arrangements where possible, including flexible office hours from the normal 9am to 6pm i.e. 8am to 5pm.

In addition to 25 days paid holiday, all staff are also given the opportunity to take an extra paid day’s holiday for a “wellbeing day” to participate in a charitable event of their choice, towards which Fast Track contributes £100 for each employee. In addition, Fast Track has raised over £4m from our network of entrepreneurs for Virgin’s Unite and Big Change charities, through various auctions at our flagship Fast Track 100 awards dinner.

Once staff have worked for the company for more than five years, they are eligible for additional benefits, including: an extra paid day’s holiday; the option to take a three-month unpaid sabbatical if they wish; and, post-maternity leave, a return-to-work bonus after three months.

 

The need for additional skills in event-led account handling, event management, VIP liaison and guest handling

We are recruiting for two senior head of event roles to help deliver our expanded events programme of seven national awards dinners (c.250-350 guests), and at least nine additional alumni dinners (c.20-40 guests), bringing the total number of our invitation-only events this year to over 30.

The head of awards events & client services will be responsible for delivering our seven national awards events with the team, and will personally focus on dealing with the venue, AV suppliers, keynote speakers, sponsors and top-table guests.

The head of alumni events & HNW guests will be responsible for delivering our 20+ bespoke dinners for our alumni with the team, and will personally focus on dealing with guest speakers, sponsor hosts, VIP guests, and interviewing and filming key guests for our social media.

We also need to recruit additional junior and senior business events & guests managers, with account handling skills.

Event manager candidates do not necessarily need to come from a pure event background, rather we are looking for talented people who have experience and interest in working with HNW individuals and VIPs, coupled with guest handling and a high-level service orientation.

Our new alumni events include networking dinners for UHNW founders from our alumni companies, and a series of dinners for women entrepreneur alumni, following our success last year of an all-woman line-up of seven top entrepreneurs at our flagship Fast Track 100 awards event. These events will also require the events team to manage extra input from across the company, for example, from our business researchers & writers to identify the right invitees, to research and write guest and speaker bios, and general guest and event management running up to, and on the night of, the event.

 

Research, writing & editorial skills for our Sunday Times supplement and social media

Having recently successfully filled several roles in our research team, we are still looking to recruit for two senior roles.

The head of research – league tables will take overall responsibility for the quality of the research of our seven annual league tables published in The Sunday Times. They will also lead and manage the research and publication of at least one of these tables.

The head of research – ‘Ones to Watch’ will oversee Fast Track’s programmes that look to identify Britain’s star private companies of the future. They will help manage external judging with sponsors and write and/or edit supporting articles with by-lines in The Sunday Times.