The start of your final year is the time to start applying for graduate jobs, expecially Grad Schemes, where the main recruitment drive begins in July and runs through until December, or if you're interested in further study, researching and applying for postgraduate opportunities. It's not too late to explore your options and enhance your skills and the Careers Service is here to help.
It might seem early to start applying for graduate roles at the start of your final year, but many of the bigger graduate schemes start recruiting in early Autumn. If this route is one that interests you start researching early!
Applying early is important as many will fill their places long before their advertised deadlines. Websites such as Target Jobs and Milk Round are a good source of information, not just for finding vacancies but also for CV advice, student reviews, careers blogs and more.
The Careers Services Graduate Jobs page has useful information, including different opportunities available to graduates other than graduate schemes.
The Graduate Recruitment Fair runs over two days in June and is attended by over 160 recruiters from a wide range of sectors looking for graduates to begin work with them in the coming September. For more information on other, more specific, careers fairs run by the University visit the Events and Fairs page.
For example other large fairs across the University include the Business, Finance and Management Fair and The Engineering, Science and Technology Fair, both of which take place in October at Manchester Central and will play host to many employers looking to recruit chemistry graduates. These two fairs in particular will have the larger multinational companies exhibiting, not just the smaller recruiters who may still be looking for graduates in June.
If you're considering going on to further study, the Postgraduate Study Fair in November is your chance to plan your future by meeting representatives from over 90 institutions offering courses and further training. TargetPostGrad, a branch of Target Jobs, also runs regional Postgraduate Study Fairs with representatives from UK and worldwide course providers.
Find a PhD.com is also a fantastic resource to help you find the postgraduate course that is right for you.
You can also visit the Postgraduate Study and Funding page for more information on opportunities both at The University of Manchester and elsewhere.
There is a wide range of graduate opportunities to choose from, and each company will use different terminology to advertise their vacancies and describe the jobs they offer. It's more important to choose a job you are genuinely interested in rather than worrying what category it falls into. Below is a little information about the different types of graduate roles you may come across. Many students believe a 'Graduate Scheme' is more prestigious than other graduate level positions. However, in reality the title of the position relies more on the size of the company and the way they recruit rather than the work you will be doing as an employee.
Graduate Schemes These are structured training programmes, usually running for 2–3 years. They are usually in larger companies and may offer exposure to a great range of clients and projects. Applications open from summer for the following year and although many companies don't advertise a closing date, they will fill the positions as suitable applicants come along, so applying early is a must. The application process is lengthy and assessment centres and interviews usually begin after the New Year. Applying for a graduate scheme is very competitive, with companies often looking to recruit students from particular universities. If successful, you will often be rewarded with a relatively high starting salary.
Graduate Jobs There are many more jobs suitable for graduate level employees which also offer great training opportunities outside of a Graduate Scheme. These are usually with small and medium sized companies and although salaries might start relatively low, you may be given significant responsibility and presented with extensive opportunities to develop a wide understanding of the business within smaller teams. The peak periods of recruitment for these types of jobs generally fall in two periods; May to July and September to November. The recruitment process is usually shorter than that for a Graduate Scheme, consisting of the initial CV and application screening and a series of interviews. Employers look to fill these roles within 6 to 8 weeks of posting the vacancy. These jobs tend to come up regularly throughout the year and around graduation time, rather than just in one main time window.
Graduate Internships These are generally short term positions for 1 year or less and are a good way to get your foot in the door with a company, or streamline your expertise before applying for a long term graduate position. Although internships are usually done during your studies, these can be a good way to learn about working in different sectors and to try out something new before committing to a permanent position. If you enjoy the internship and do well, it may lead on to a place on a Graduate Scheme. Organisations offering internships to graduates include Step, Graduate Advantage, and Graduate Talent Pool.
MGP is managed by The University of Manchester's Careers Service and is exclusively for students graduating from The University of Manchester in 2016.
Positions are available across a wide range of sectors both within the University and at Manchester-based businesses and are open to students from all degree disciplines. Opportunities are available for a minimum of 4 months and a maximum of 12 months in duration, with start dates falling between June 2016 and January 2017.
Careers Bootcamp, is a new two-day programme run by the University exclusively for final year students.
This intensive careers training programme will guide you through every stage of the application process from CV writing to asessment centres.
Places are limited so sign up early.
This programme is open to final year, undergraduate students only. This is a great opportunity for you to access the advice and support of someone who has experience, insights and hindsight. Many of the mentors are University of Manchester alumni who wish to give something back, share the knowledge they have gained of opportunities after graduation and guide current students. Some are also talent spotting for their organisation.
Further details are available here.