Nabbing a spot on a grad scheme comes with a whole list of benefits, which is why it’s not surprising that they're one of the most popular career paths among graduates. It’s a great way to ease young recruits into the working world, equipping them with the necessary skills to succeed.
Graduate programmes offer a structured and tailor-made route into the profession as well as opportunities to build both your commercial knowledge and professional network. Coming in different variations, they can last from three months up to three years.
However, don’t mistake this as a shortcut into your desired career. Competition is fierce and the work programme is challenging. To better understand what you might be getting into and kick-start your career, here an overview of what graduate programmes are really about.
Access to training and support
The attraction to graduate schemes is the quality training you receive, ranging from one-to-one mentoring to gaining professional qualifications. Graduates also work directly with mentors and company leaders.
Wanting to find a good spot, you need to look for roles that clearly the extent of the programme, including regular catch-ups with a dedicated senior mentor. Organisations that are committed to supporting graduate trainees will help them achieve their goals in order to build a long-term career with them.
Continued professional development
Many graduate training programmes provide the opportunity to further your professional qualifications through on-the-job training or sponsorship. This initiative will let you develop skills that are usually not accessible during the completion of your degree. The aim of these programmes is the close the gap between the knowledge that you have acquired during your degree and the needs of your chosen career.
Help to decide your career path
It’s common to be uncertain about what career path to embark on. Most graduate training programmes don’t specify a certain degree, as universities will leave you with a variety of transferable skills.
During graduate training programmes you have the flexibility to work across several departments, helping you to discover where your skills and enthusiasm lie. You may even discover a passion that you didn’t know you previously had.
Spotting a good graduate trainee programme
Take your time when researching potential graduate training programmes. By doing so, you can identify excellent opportunities with international companies. However, don’t underestimate the vacancies offered by SMEs too. Smaller companies tend to attract fewer applications, giving you the chance to stand out from the rest.
Graduate programmes offered by SMEs are just as important and can provide even more development and growth. A smaller-scale working environment may allow you to gain more experience in areas that you normally wouldn’t encounter in multinational companies.