Further education, travel, job – the world is your oyster. Good times...but also majorly confusing times. With too much choice regarding their next move in the game of life, graduates often find it tricky to decide between all the various options. So, why not kill two proverbial birds with one stone and apply for a graduate scheme.
Participating in a graduate scheme will see you studying or training towards a professional qualification, whilst earning money at the same time. The schemes are generally offered by big fish employers and well-known companies and typically last for a year – although some can last up to two years. So, to enrol or not to enrol...that is the question!
If you are accepted onto agraduate scheme, you will be launched into the working environment straight away, meaning that you will quickly get the hang of the way things work in the Real World. You will gain a ton of experience and your skill set will expand so much that you just might have a problem squeezing them all onto your CV.
The schemes are often quite varied and can see you working in a number of different roles within an established and reputable team. If the employer recruits a large number of graduates, you can also expect to meet a range of people your age from all walks of life – giving you the opportunity to enjoy a good social life as well as building up a book of contacts.
Although some schemes are based in the UK, a number will also have their fingers in a few pies overseas – giving those with the travel bug the chance to work at an international level.
Graduate schemes also tend to offer a more attractive starting salary than typical entry-level or graduate jobs, in addition to an accelerated career path into management.
Not too many, to be honest... Although working in a variety of roles and moving departments frequently can make relationship and contact-building quite tough. And, of course, applying for graduate schemes will see you having to face some pretty fierce competition. Get those claws out...
How to find a graduate scheme to suit you
University is a good place to start looking. Get yourself along to graduate recruitment fairs or the careers centre – which you can still use post-graduation – to have a browse through their publications. There are also a number of graduate schemes advertised online – either on the website of the firms themselves or on job sites.