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How To Find The Perfect Grad Scheme

24 July 2018
Besma Whayeb
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As the final exams finish, and graduation day gets closer, now’s the time to find a graduate scheme.

For many new graduates, a graduate scheme is the best way to get a foot in the door of some of the best businesses in the country. There are many schemes to choose from, and in various industries too – but do you know which one will best suit you?

Our guide to graduate schemes will help you navigate your early steps on the career path, and hopefully help you to find a role that puts your passion and knowledge to good use!

Graduate Scheme or Graduate Job?

A graduate scheme is kind of like a graduate training programme. They are specially designed by employers to give you an insight into the running of the business. Graduate schemes include on-the-job training, and will often take place in a few different departments (or even different offices or different countries) so you can find out what suits you best.

Graduate schemes typically last 12 to 18 months, however it is not uncommon for a graduate scheme to last for two or three years. The programme will have been devised internally, so the time-frame and structure will differ depending on the employer.

Graduate schemes are great for many students who are looking for their first role. However, if you’re already set on a specific role, or have experience in the field you want to go into full-time, it might be better to score a graduate job straight off the bat. Have a read of our guide to graduate jobs to discover what’s available!

Should My Degree Match My Graduate Scheme?

No matter what your degree is, many graduate schemes will be open to your application.

A common misconception is that employers only look for graduates who have studied in their specific field – in fact, many employers are looking for graduates from a wide range of disciplines, to benefit from their different skills, knowledge, and ideas.

Companies like Danone or Tesco organise their graduate schemes by department, so understanding the difference between HR, Finance, Marketing, or Sales is important.

Which UK Employers have a Graduate Scheme?

According to the Guardian UK 300, the following businesses are the most popular graduate employers:

How Can I Stand Out from the Crowd?

Finding your perfect graduate scheme is the first step. Next, it’s about making yourself stand out! Here are our top tips:

  1. Create your personal brand and interact with your dream businesses and team members
  2. Write a stand-out application using our top tips
  3. Practice aptitude tests so you know what’s coming – and can excel at them
  4. And finally, keep up to date with new Graduate Scheme opportunities by using our Job Alerts so you’re the first in line!