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// Graduate Programmes for International Students

Are you a final year student graduating in July? Have you ever wondered what you want to do after graduation? There is strong competition in the current job market and a degree is no longer sufficient enough to land you a job. Today’s job market tends to place emphasis on relevant work experience and industry knowledge. What if you have no relevant knowledge or experience to go into your desired profession? If this the case, a graduate role might be suitable for you. To understand what is involved, please read on.

What is a graduate scheme?

This type of scheme is a structured programme targeted at recent graduates. It is normally a mixture of training and work, which allows graduates to develop new skills and enhance their current ones. Graduate schemes generally last from 12 to 36 months and they will involve a number of rotations in different divisions. 

Some companies aim to give graduates an insight into different functions within the company, but others may just focus on specific divisions and their training will be tailored to that section. Acceptance to a graduate scheme does not necessarily translate into a long term career. However, companies do generally employ people who performed well during the programme.

Who offers graduate schemes?

Generally, large companies such from professional services, banks and engineering tend to offer graduate schemes. Graduate schemes can vary according to different industries and firms. For instance, Professional services companies offer routes into audit, tax, advisory and consulting while Investment banks provide graduate schemes for HR, Corporate Finance and Trading. It is important to be aware that not all banks might accept HR graduate schemes, so it is crucial to conduct thorough research before you apply for any roles.

Some of the companies that offer graduate schemes are:

1. PwC Graduate Schemes

2. Bank of America Graduate Schemes

3. Ernst and Young (EY) Graduate Schemes

How to get onto a graduate scheme?

Most applications start from July and ends at November. Normally,  you  would need to apply one year in advance. If a recent graduate is planning to start his/her employment in September 2016, he/she needs to start applying in September 2015. Most companies process applications on a rolling basis and graduates who apply early will have a higher chance of getting into programme.

The Application process for graduate schemes can be divided into 4 different stages:

1. Application Form- This involves motivational questions about the company and the role. Occasionally, they might ask an applicant to provide a cover letter and CV.

2. Psychometric Test- This depends on the role and the company. The most common tests are numerical, verbal and logical reasoning test. Some companies might also ask graduates to complete a personality test.

3. Interview- Interviews can take place in different forms such as phone interviews, video interviews and face-to-face. They aim to assess your motivation and competencies for the role.

4. Assessment Centre- This is the final stage of the application process. It normally involves group exercises, interviews and presentations.

Have you read our article on how to be a good team leader?

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