If you’re like me, you’ve just finished exams and are heading into third year. Innocent me probably doesn’t know what is about to hit: a bombard of applications, grad scheme options, and companies all competing for my attention. Where do I apply? What scheme is right for me? What are the benefits? However, probably the biggest questions of them all: do I actually have to apply for one? What are my options? There are lots of options for everyone post-grad and I am going to explain to you the best way to approach the often daunting period of time at the start of third year and make the best post graduation choice for you.
Make a spreadsheet.
If I have learnt anything at Uni, it is the joy of a good old excel spreadsheet. This would be my go to advice when starting the gruelling process of applying for looking at job and grad scheme options. I would note down the company, the date you have to apply by, what grade they require, when you submitted the application and any other important dates, such as interview dates or any correspondence you had from the company. This should, hopefully, keep your mind in order about all the things you have applied for and help you to not miss any important or essential dates.
Don’t apply to too many.
We all hear stories of people who have applied for 4000 grad schemes and only received 1 job offer. However, the best advice I received from my career’s department was to only apply to three or four schemes. It’s kind of like UCAS applications: have one scheme/job that is an aspiration and have the rest which are more realistically on your wavelength. This means that you will have the time to really learn about the companies you are applying for and learnt the in depth kind of knowledge that you will make you stand out at the interview/assessment centres. If you spend your whole semester applying for endless jobs/schemes you won’t have the time to do adequate interview prep, leaving you at a loss in the long run. You don’t want to be that person, trust me.
Have a look around, consider your options.
Shop around. Don’t limit yourself. Don’t think that grad schemes are your only options. There are benefits and drawbacks to every option post-graduation and grad schemes definitely aren’t for everyone. My best advice would be to have a chat with your personal tutor about options and things to consider. Failing that, perhaps book an appointment with the careers department at university. Hopefully, these discussions should provide you with the types of things to consider doing post-graduation. These include masters, travelling, internships, non grad schemes, or just general training schemes.
Whatever post graduation choice you decide to make, make sure it’s right up your street – good luck!
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