Things to know about graduate schemes

Have you been dreaming about landing one of those lucrative graduate schemes for yourself? For many grad students, that is the ultimate dream and they start preparing for them way in advance. With the competitive job market, you need to be on your toes if you want to be i the running for a good graduate scheme. However, before going in for one of those graduate schemes, there are a few things you should know about the reality of these things.

Graduated students
By Kit under CC BY 2.0

Don’t fall for the 2:1 deal

A lot of people will tell you that you have no chance in making it for a graduate scheme unless you have scored a 2:1. Even when you look at the company websites advertising for graduate schemes, the requirements will clearly state that you need a 2:1. However, you should not get discouraged if you have a 2:2 because very often, these companies are flexible about taking in 2:2 graduates as well. For example, if you have really good previous work experience, then this will give you a good standing with your employers. Many companies take in graduates who might not have the required grades but definitely have the talent and experience to succeed.

Also, there are certain industries as well as companies who’d rather choose candidates based on their track record in work rather than academics. There are certain sectors which value work like hospitality, tourism and so on. So the trick is to go in for the right industries which will place more value on you as a person and not so much on your degree. There’s a myth that top employers don’t hire 2:2 graduates. That is completely wrong. Some of the top financial corporations and other multinational companies routinely hire 2:2 graduates for their graduate schemes.

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Lay stress on your skills

This is a very skills based market and you’d do well to capitalise on your skills as much as possible. The more skills you can add to your profile, the higher your value as a potential employee in any organisation. For example, if you have added skills in software, or you know a foreign language, it always adds to your profile. What is very much in demand now are skills in computers. People with a computing background always have a wide range of options.

In case you have a lower grade, but you feel that a certain skill you possess more than makes up for it, then make sure you mention it at the time of application. Also, if you have a Masters degree then that can considerably hike up your chances for getting into a graduate scheme. However, make sure that the graduate scheme is worth all the extra time and money on a Masters degree.

Start small

On the other hand, if you are not picky about big names and want to develop your career and skills, then try applying to some of the smaller companies. The big names are too big to afford their new employees any individual attention. However, the smaller names will give you more attention and more responsibilities. Smaller companies are more flexible, individual oriented and your learning curve will definitely be steeper. Also, you will get higher positions and more responsibilities early on in your career. This will look good in your CV if you decide to change jobs later on.

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Thus, these are some of the pearls of wisdom that you need to keep in mind before and while applying for graduate schemes. Make sure you do something that brings out the best in you.