2013 Graduate Schemes Start To Open

If you’re not quite ready for starting a job yet, for example, if your Masters or PhD won’t finish until later on this year – don’t miss out now. Some of the big graduate employers are already starting to look for 2013 new starters.

Here’s some sound advice from our Information Manager, Holly Seager, from our Graduate Blog:

“While there are lots of graduate jobs being advertised at the moment with immediate start dates, some 2013 graduate schemes are also opening now. These opportunities are open to graduates from previous years as well as the class of 2013. If you are graduating this summer, or have been out for a while and think you might be interested there are many reasons why it is a good idea to get in early…

  1. The opening date of a job is always more important than the closing date. Often organisations will close the opportunity without warning when they get enough quality applications.
  2. Organisations may start interviewing immediately. You might be able to get a firm job offer for 2013 within the next few months leaving you free to go travelling or take some time out.
  3. Some schemes fill up really quickly and if you don’t apply early you won’t get in at all. One example is Teach First, for the last three years they have filled their places for humanities graduates by September! Even if spaces are left on the scheme you are applying for it is always better to be interviewed when they have dozens of jobs to fill than when they only have one or two left. Every year I meet students and graduates who pass the recruitment process but are told that they are not being made a job offer as the last place has just been filled.
  4. Applications take a long time to do properly. You can do a better job if you apply to one or two a week as they open, rather than trying to send 15 all at once later in the year.

Here are a few companies advertising at the moment:

  • AECOM – starting June 2013
  • Tesco procurement graduate programme
  • Factset – this one starts January 2013
  • Teach First – starting summer 2013, or you can apply for a deferred place for 2014.
  • Clarksons (global shipping)
  • Deutsche Bank
  • Accenture – limited opportunities to join from spring 2013 in Consulting

More will be opening applications soon. Ernst and Young for instance have contacted us to say they are opening applications on July 1st. Investment banks in particular tend to open applications in the summer.

If you are interested in a particular company be sure to check their website regularly/follow them on Facebook or Twitter/sign up for email notifications so you don’t miss out. You can start researching them now and deciding which opportunities to apply for so that when applications open you can be one of the first to send a well thought out, polished application.”


13 comments on “2013 Graduate Schemes Start To Open

  1. Hi, I’m joining the MS Management programme in Sept this year. Can I still apply for the 2013 intake jobs? Or do I wait a while, and not be over-enthusiastic 🙂 ?

    • Hi Tommy

      Are you being over-enthusiastic? No, definitely not – you’re doing just what I wish all new Masters postgrads would do!

      It’s a really good idea to apply for jobs as soon as you see them advertised, as many of them stop taking applications well before any stated “closing date”. This is especially relevant for those starting a new Masters. One problem lots of Masters postgrads have is that large “graduate programmes” normally start recruiting in September or early October – as soon as you start your new Masters programme. If you don’t get in straight away, you find that you’ve missed out on a whole year’s recruitment cycle. That’s why I spend the first week or two of the new academic year running between Masters induction talks, trying to get the message out to as many of you as possible.

      Of course, it’s only a small proportion of jobs which recruit in this way, but it is the high profile, very competitive end of the market – generally the “elite” training programmes at the big companies which you’ve all heard of. Most graduates and postgraduates don’t get into these jobs (there are nowhere near enough of them to go round half a million new grads in the UK each year!), and lots of other jobs, highly suitable for Masters postgrads, will advertise at lots of other times of the year. However, if you want to have a go for the big names, you need to get in early.

      Good luck – and see you on your first day in September!

      • I’ve had interviews where the feedback i got was that i wasnt done with my degree yet. I think this contradicts what you said

      • Hi Olu

        That depends on what you were applying for and when they wanted you to start! It’s a bit confusing, but jobs for graduates generally fall into three categories at the moment:

        1. Graduate “schemes” for 2012 ie start in September/October 2012 – some vacancies do still exist, maybe because a company never managed to fill the vacancies it advertised last year, or because they thought they’d recruited someone but they backed out before their starting date (it does sometimes happen). These companies won’t be interested in you unless you are available to start this September.

        2. Graduate “schemes” for 2013 ie start in September/October 2013 (though sometimes from July onwards) – they’re interested in hearing from anyone who will have graduated by then. As of today (August 2012) this generally means those just going into their final year or those who have already graduated and will be doing something else for a year or so.

        3. Immediate vacancies – they want you to start as soon as possible, so anyone who isn’t due to finish their degree and be available in the next 2 or 3 months won’t be considered. This may be what you experienced – though frankly, the recruiters should have sussed out that you hadn’t finished your degree yet before they invited you for interview! (You did tell them, didn’t you? If not, then they would reasonably assume that you would be available to start within no more than 2 or 3 months – otherwise why would you be applying?)

        Most jobs which you see advertised are “immediate vacancies” – and that includes a lot of jobs which are suitable for graduates. It’s only really the big name Graduate “schemes” where they advertise and recruit so far in advance. In reality, graduates go into all sorts of different jobs, and only a minority go into a graduate “scheme”. That’s shown by the fact that the busiest time for vacancies at the Careers Service is May/June, just before a new crop of graduates appears – they’re immediate vacancies suitable for graduates.

        Hope that clarifies the graduate job market. The trick is to try to recognise which type of job it is before applying, and if it’s not clear, contact them to see when they would want the successful candidate to start. If it’s long before you graduate, then you’re probably best focusing on other jobs.


  2. Are there any good Graduate programmes that run with positions in South Wales? Almost everything seems to be based in London!

    • Depends on what sort of jobs you want! If you want some sort of “managed programme” for graduates, you probably need an organisation which is fairly large, with either a headquarters or major office/presence in South Wales, or multiple branches across the country where they place graduates.

      High Fliers research found that for the Times Top 100 companies that they surveyed, 41% expected to have jobs in Wales for 2012 – so it’s definitely not a lost cause. Unfortunately, they didn’t say which 41% had jobs in South Wales, but it doesn’t take much to guess that it would include the major accountancy firms, the BBC and the big retailers on their list for starters.

      If you can get hold of a paper copy of the TARGET jobs GET directory, it has a handy table at the back with the location of the companies who advertise graduate jobs with them (though that list isn’t online).

      If you take the approach that large companies headquartered in South Wales are more likely to have graduate schemes, have a look at all the large organisations in South Wales. Wouldn’t normally recommend Wikipedia (although, let’s be honest – we all use it!) but it does have a page of Companies of Wales by head office location – you could check each one of these out.

      If you still have access to a university library, you could use one of their databases to search for companies in specific locations above a certain size (number of employees or financial measures). The University of Manchester Library has the FAME database (instructions here) which also gets to those multinationals which aren’t headquartered in Wales but have a significant presence there.

      And of course, you have to remember that most graduates don’t go into a “graduate programme” – they go into graduate level work with smaller organisations. This certainly doesn’t have to be second best. Many of the most exciting jobs will be in small fast-moving companies, in the creative sector, in technology, in consulting etc. You do need to be prepared to take responsibility early in these companies, but you avoid just being the latest “new grad” going through the system.

      Good luck (and thanks for prompting this – may turn it into my latest blog post!)

      • Thanks so much for such a detailed answer! A blog post about it would be a great idea I think. I understand that London is where people expect to find the best employment, but sometimes it seems that EVERYTHING is targeted at people who want to move there. Thanks again!

      • No problems – I like answering questions! You might have spotted that it quickly mutated into my next blog post (with a few added comments to make it applicable outside the Mumbles area!).

        Good luck with finding something really fulfilling in a great part of the world.

  3. Hi, I’m about to graduate and want to apply to the big 4 accountancy firms for their autumn 2013 intake. From what I can tell from my research, they all open their vacancies at the beginning of July (next week!). I’m keen to apply straight away but my only concern is that I’m away on holiday for the final 3 weeks of August. I’d hate to apply next week, get through the initial rounds and then be offered an interview whilst I’m away and have to turn it down thus potentially forfeiting the job altogether! I was wondering if you could advise me on whether it would be better to wait and apply at the start of September? Thanks!

    • Hi Laura

      I think a bigger danger is waiting until September when they might have already started offering jobs, and have fewer jobs left for you. Plus, the later you leave it, the more keen final years will have applied, so the competition will have started to build up. Your application will have to stand out in a pile of hundreds of others, rather than maybe dozens.

      If you apply earlier and get the chance of an interview, you at least know they’re interested in you and you probably have the chance to negotiate a suitable date. If it was late in the recruitment year with very few interview slots left, that might be more tricky, but I’d hope that they’d be reasonable early in the recruitment cycle.

      I’ve canvased opinion from a former Big 4 graduate recruiter (we just happen to have one working as a careers consultant 🙂 ) and she says that in her day, which wasn’t that long ago, there would have been no real problem reorganising an interview date for July or August for most jobs. It only gets tricky for very popular jobs where they’re not recruiting many people, or later in the cycle.

      She also pointed out that early interviews tend to be phone interviews anyway, and you may be able to organise this wherever you are in the world. Could get expensive though, so maybe check out using Skype on free hotel/coffee shop wi-fi!

      This also assumes you’ve got good experience already on your CV. If your experience is a bit “thin”, it’s sometimes better to spend some time early in the summer to add some good material to your CV (volunteering is great for this) and apply in a couple of months when you’re able to make better answers to those tricky application and interview questions. If you apply without much to talk about, just to get in early, you may find yourself turned down and unable to apply to them again for another year.

      You also need a good story for why you are applying for autumn 2013 entry when you’ve already graduated. Make sure you’ve got some idea of what you’re planning to do with the year in between, and can show how it will benefit both you and your future employer.

      Good luck – let us know how you get on!

  4. Hi!
    I found this blog all of a sudden and it’s actually one of the best ever visited, effective and always clear answers.

    I live in Manchester and I’m attending a MSc that ends in Sept 2013. I’ve already started applying here and there in major IT companies’ graduate schemes. By the way most of the time goes wasted in the search of them, so I wonder if there is any database/website/portal which would facilitate the search of a full-time job opportunity in 2013.


    • Thanks Nik!

      This blog is no longer being updated, but we have a new blog, combining posts from our postgraduate, graduate, undergraduate, international and media blogs, all in one place – http://manunicareersblog.com – you might want to head over there for more up-to-date posts from our blogging team (including me).

      As for a portal for job hunting in IT, I’d suggest two starting points:

      a) the “IT sector” pages on our Careers Service website (also includes a link to IT in the North West) – this info is open to anyone
      b) CareersLink, but unfortunately, only if you’re a University of Manchester postgrad (login required). As well as jobs being advertised, there’s an organisation directory of employers who’ve asked to be on our database, so they must be keen to target University of Manchester students. There’s a short video of what’s on CareersLink here. Unfortunately, if you’re not one of our students, you can’t access CareersLink, but MMU and Salford will have their own jobs databases – have a look at the Careers Service website for whichever university you’re attending.

      Good luck with your job hunting this year – your careers service (whichever university you’re at) will be happy to help.

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