Aside

Things To Consider When Applying To A Graduate Scheme

Did you graduate this year or will be graduating next year?

If so, STEM graduate schemes will start to open from now… and you definitely need to apply NOW before you get too bogged down in your final year of university.

I know you are busy, trust me I was too and it is a long process, but I applied to over 20 graduate schemes in early September/October and by mid-December I had my graduate scheme confirmed at Whitbread, which took a lot of pressure off and I could completely concentrate on my final year and smashing my dissertation!

Before you start applying, it is best to understand where you can see yourself working, especially if you have not worked in the industry you are applying for or do not know what to apply for. There are plenty of aptitude tests you can also do, to figure out where you may fit into an organisation.

The 3 key things to focus on when deciding where you fit into an organisation is: 1) What industries do I care about? 2) What roles do I see myself preferring? 3) What size of business do I want to work for?

You also need to consider whether you want to do set rotations or flexible rotations, larger companies often take a larger intake of graduates with set rotations which you may not have as much of a say of where you’re going and what you’re doing, but this may not be what you want and that’s OK. I knew I didn’t want that, that’s why Whitbread is great for me, I am based in one office, I do rotations which are planned between myself, my line manager and HR and I can move around at different paces to gain more experience. Some of my friends from uni are doing consultancy grad schemes, which is where you get trained by one company and then sent to other companies for a fixed amount of time (3 months, 6 months etc) which is fun and you get to experience many companies, but it may inconvenience your travelling etc.

Another thing to consider with graduate schemes is whether they are offering a permanent role or whether you will be contracted for the duration of your graduate scheme. If this is not advertised then I would definitely ask about this, because if you are contracted you may not have a guaranteed job at the end of the graduate scheme.

Before applying to everything, also think about the salary and how you will get to the job and how that will affect your salary, it isn’t very British to talk about money but it is definitely important when budgeting and thinking about your living and work/life balance.

These are the websites that I used which are what companies use to publicise their graduate programmes:

Graduate-jobs.com

Milkround.com

 

Good luck and if you have any questions – feel free to ask 😊

Chat

Top Tip if you’re in a male dominated team

When working in a male dominated industry (STEM) there can be some awkwardness and people deal with this differently. There is nothing to shy away from, but you must stand up for yourself at the same time, as people may judge a book by its cover… which is to be expected, because I think we all do that, even if we don’t want to or say we don’t.

I am a big believer in not changing yourself to suit your environment, obviously at work you are going to be more professional than at home with your family and friends, but you shouldn’t change your core values and personality. I think sometimes there is a tendency for women to become “laddy” to fit in with a male team, but I think that is a personal choice.

What is key to working well in a male dominated team is to want equalism.

Don’t be surprised if your male colleagues tiptoe around you at first until you’ve fitted into the team and shown that you just want to be treated like any other member of the team, regardless of gender. I personally don’t mind being in a team with all men, because it can be a nicer work environment… less bitchy etc (Women don’t really help themselves there!)

My top tip when trying to fit in with an all-male team is to just chat with them, show that you’re interested in what they’ve got to say, funnily enough try to treat them as you would your female colleagues and as you’d want to be treated.

Creating an equal playing field is down to everybody.

Aside

2 Weeks Into Grad Scheme!

I have been fairly quiet on blogging recently because of starting my graduate scheme, learning a lot every day and trying to cram so much in means that the evenings are more about rejuvenating for the next day!

That being said, I cannot believe that I have already been at Whitbread for 2 weeks. I am very grateful I got the opportunity to be on the solution architecture graduate scheme, and am very pleased I went with this job.

Already I’m getting stuck into projects and am lucky to have a really nice team around me to support me, as well as the other graduates. I didn’t realise there was so many types of architecture and what was involved, but I am looking forward to exploring it further.

For me I knew I didn’t want to be at a company that hire hundreds of grads where you have set rotations, some do and I’m not knocking that, but the fact I’m one of four IT graduates also has its benefits and I feel like I am truly in a role as well as being able to do rotations which I can discuss with my sponsor, line manager and HR to decide where I want to go next.

If anybody is in their final year of university or a year after you’ve graduated, I would definitely take a look at what graduate schemes are out there and apply early, there are plenty of websites such as Milkround that can help, but also research the type of company and role you think you want to go into! I was able to secure my grad job in December which took a lot of pressure out of final year… I wish you all luck!!

Now it’s the weekend and then back for my third week next week 🤓

Image

First Journeyman Dinner

Great evening at the WCIT Journeyman Dinner, it’s great that a charitable and well established livery company and the men and women who make it so great, care so much about mentoring the younger members! Very appreciated and I look forward to giving back how I can too!

If you’re interested in learning more about the WCIT, then feel free to get in contact or check out their website 🤓