Starting your final year – what are your options?

There is a lot of talk about graduate schemes and you will see big employers on campus a lot! BUT they are not the only option for graduate employment in fact most graduates do not do a graduate “scheme”.

Whatever you decide to do – start early so that you can identify the time of year when you need to apply.

Blog - skittles lock upSo what are the options and where do you start?

Firstly you need to identify…

  1. What type of skills you have and want to use.
  2. What type of job role, occupation or profession you want to go into
  3. If there is a specific sector that’s important to you? Science, education, not for profit, finance…etc
  4. What type of company you want to work for,  big or small?
  5. Do you have a preferred location?

You may know the answers to some, all or none of these questions.


So what is a graduate scheme anyway?

Large, often multinational companies need a lot of staff.  In different roles and often in different offices, it’s worth their while to do bulk recruitment every year to get the talent they need. Because they could be employing hundreds of staff, the recruitment process can take a long time – hence they tend to start a year in advance, around September. They tend to have multiple rounds and multiple stages to their recruitment often using tests to help identify the right candidates.
See our graduate scheme FAQs

What if a graduate scheme is not for me?

If you want to work in a smaller organisation or in a sector where graduate schemes are not common – don’t worry there are plenty of options and you may have a bit more flexibility about when to apply too.  Smaller companies are often more agile in their recruitment, if you need just 1 or 2 staff it takes a lot less time. Jobs can be advertised at any time of year so keep a look out.  Find out more about where different types of jobs are advertised

I’m not sure i’m ready for a graduate job, I need more experience

Many students feel unconfident and that they don’t have enough experience.  There are some different options here…

Companies have different expectations depending on the skills they need, but many will hire graduates of any discipline and are only looking for good transferable skills and an interest in that sector or role.  It is after all a Graduate TRAINING Scheme, you will be trained.

It’s not too late to get some more experience

  • Demonstrate your commitment by doing your research and talking to employers at events and fairs.
  • Try to attend an insight or visit day if there any at the start of the year.
  • Get a mentor in that field – Applications for Manchester Gold open in September.
  • Use linkedIn and the Manchester Network to make connections.
  • If you are interested in Media or Not for profit jobs join Media club or Third Sector club, you’ll be able to meet with people working in those areas and pick up valuable advice.
  • Volunteer – if it’s confidence, skills or direct experience of a sector or job you are lacking check out the volunteer hub to see if there is something you could get involved in that will help you feel more competitive.
  • Graduate internships at the University of Manchester and some local organisations are advertised via Manchester Graduate Talent . Jobs for 2019 graduates will start to be advertised around spring 2019. It’s a great way to make your way into the job market.

Don’t forget Postgraduate study

If you …

  • Need a higher level of understanding of a subject for a job or just love your subject.
  • Want to convert to a new subject area for a job – eg Law conversion or PGCE
  • Want to do a PhD.

Then postgraduate study could be for you, talk to us about the options.











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