Graduate Schemes are particularly popular with very large companies and offer many benefits over a conventional, graduate "job".
1. Structure and Stability
You won’t be the first graduate to join the company, and you are likely to be part of a large group, filling one of any number of highly competitive and coveted positions. To gain a place you often need to demonstrate high academic ability as the entry requirements can be demanding. In return you will usually be offered a competitive salary, a stable working environment and a secure position for your training period. You will be enrolling on a set training programme designed to develop the commercial skills that you will require in order to succeed. There will be a number of other graduates in a similar position for you to work alongside and this is likely to result in a supportive, sociable working environment.
2. Options for training
Graduate scheme training programmes typically last for around 2 years in length and during that time you’re likely to have the opportunity to work in different departments of the business that relate to your chosen field. This is a great opportunity for you to discover what you most enjoy, and what you’re best at, enabling you to choose a more specific career path at the end of your training period. You may also benefit from being paired with an experienced one- to-one mentor who can show you the ropes, a truly invaluable experience. It is also common for employers to support your professional development and many provide funding for you to study towards a professional qualification (such as CIMA or ACCA).
3. Opportunities for Travel
Larger employers with graduate schemes are likely to have offices in multiple locations. This can provide you with the opportunity to gain experience working in different office locations, something which is not usually an option for graduates working at smaller companies. You may even have the option to relocate abroad or to enjoy regular international travel with the company.
4. The Reputation
Often graduates are attracted to a recognisable company and having a familiar name on a CV can help your career in the future. Other employers are likely to assume that you have gained experience in a professional working environment and completed a reputable training programme which can help you when the time is right to move companies.
On a final note I would advice you to conduct your own research into what each different Graduate Schemes can offer you, and how likely you are to gain a place on the scheme based on your academic grades. Big Graduate Schemes aren’t for everyone and for a closer knit and more autonomous role you could consider SME’s (small and medium sized employers).
Written by Sophie Chadwick