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.”

Making A Difference To Global Poverty

If you’re wondering if your Masters will ever get you the job you want – or frankly any job where you can make a difference – this is just the boost you’ll need.

Eleanor Carey finished her Masters at the University of Manchester last year and is now working at the Co-operative Group. This guest post shows how getting on to a graduate scheme can help you make a difference.

Guest post: Eleanor Carey 

Hi All,
A quick update from someone on the other side of their dissertation (yes, you will finish it one day!) Whether you are scrambling to finish final essays or getting down to the hard graft of research for your dissertation, I’ve been there and I’m here to share a little of what life is like post-postgrad.

My Masters postgraduate degree
In September of last year I graduated with an MSc Poverty and Development from the Institute of Development Policy and Management which sits within the School of Environment and Development.

The experience of doing the masters was invaluable and looking back I am so grateful to have been challenged and stretched as far as I was. It has certainly made a huge difference to my analytical skills and any employer will value someone who can think creatively, thoroughly, and see connections that others cannot.

Simply having a Masters helped me to get my current position so don’t fall into the trap of thinking that higher education and the world of work are completely unconnected. Your grades do matter as employers will see these as indicative of how hard you are willing to work.

Getting on to a graduate scheme
I was fortunate enough to be accepted on to a graduate scheme with The Co-operative Group and so had just 10 days off between handing in my dissertation and starting here at the head offices in Manchester city centre.

If I had one piece of advice for finding a job after your post grad, I would say start looking early, especially if you are looking at graduate schemes as most will have a September start date and close their application process well before that.

I was hired at The Co-op in late May though others had been hired as early as January. Also, try to find an organisation which is a good fit for you. This might sound obvious, but I definitely went through a stage of panic in which I applied for any and every job I could (not a great strategy and very time consuming). So, make a list of criteria that are non-negotiable. For me, I wanted to stay in Manchester, needed a paid job, and something that would develop my skills.

Think about stepping stones to your future
I would say as well, try to think outside your subject of study. Even if your first job out of your masters is not your dream job, if it is something that can help build your skills or allow you to network with people that you may want to work with in the future, then this can be a good stepping stone. So, once you’ve found somewhere you think might be suitable, do as much research on the organisation as you can. Try to understand their ethos and what they are looking for in a candidate, and think of how you can demonstrate that you match their criteria.

The Careers Service at the University of Manchester was excellent during my application process and I would strongly recommend that you utilise any services, such as mock interviews, that they offer.

Keep building your CV
Building your CV can be tough, especially if you have gone directly from undergrad to postgrad. I have no new pearls of wisdom on this topic. The usual suggestions really are the best: volunteering, part-time jobs, extra qualifications. The aim of the game is to show an employer that you’re not afraid of hard work, that you can balance your time well, that you are willing to go the extra mile to do something that isn’t required of you, that you can work as a team and self-motivate. If you’ve got the chance to learn a language, set up a society, or join a sports team then take it.

Working with the Co-operative Group
Since starting on the scheme I have created, launched, and managed to completion a membership campaign on Fairtrade, assisted in organising an event expected to attract over 10,000 people, managed business development with community co-operatives in the UK and have been involved in looking at our trade with European co-operatives.

As the co-operative ethos encourages giving back to the community and as part of our commitment to tackling global poverty, I am a Global Poverty Ambassador representing The Co-operative Group. As part of this activity, there is a presentation called “1.4 billion reasons” that is being shown around the country which is an introduction to issues surrounding poverty and ways to end it.

If anyone is involved with a group/ organisation/ business in the Manchester area that might be interested in seeing the presentation, please do not hesitate to get in touch on

The graduates also run a charity which fund raises for youth groups in Greater Manchester. In addition, I am involved in the Manchester Gold mentoring programme.

All of this demonstrates that it is possible to get the experience you want and to develop the skills you need if you look for and take the opportunities that come your way. This might mean volunteering some of your time outside of work, or taking on extra responsibility within your role. Graduate schemes are perfect for this kind of broad experience.

My top tip is this: don’t panic 🙂 
This is a very stressful time, handing in essays, writing dissertations, looking for a job and maybe working part-time as well isn’t easy. You’ve probably also got all the mixed emotions that I had this time last year, when you just want it to all be over, but at the same time you feel the pangs of the looming end of your time as a student. Try to set yourself a time limit for job-hunting and don’t let it eat into your study time. This should still be your main focus.

I hope some of this was helpful. If you have any specific questions about The Co-op, graduate schemes, or would like to see the Global Poverty presentation please get in touch.

The very best of luck with finishing your studies and whatever you go on to do next.


Graduate (& Postgraduate) Entry To Medicine

If you’re considering going on to study medicine as a next step, whether you’re an undergraduate, graduate or postgraduate, we’ve just released a new online Slidecast (that’s slides with audio podcast) to help you:

  • think through the options
  • understand the funding required and available
  • understand how to apply

Some of the commentary refers to undergraduates and doing medicine as 2nd degree, but the information is also aimed just as much at Masters and PhDs (and even post-docs). There isn’t any difference in terms of your options, funding or application process, other than there is one other possible source of funding for PhDs and post-docs – the Foulkes Foundation. It may seem like a long shot, but I do know of one University of Manchester post-doc who really wanted to progress into clinical research, who gained funding from this source to add a medical degree to her tally of qualifications.

So, over to our medical careers expert, Alex Langhorn, the latest recruit to our growing band of slidecasting careers consultants:

Manchester Collaborates On Enterprise For Postgrads

Enterprise Futures 2012 sees the University of Manchester, the University of Salford and Manchester Metropolitan University collaborating to run an innovative enterprise event, just for our postgraduates (Masters or PhDs).

What is it?
A one day workshop looking at all aspects of enterprise. If you like the idea of one day being in control of your own business, you probably don’t need much justification for attending an enterprise event. However, it’s also for those who:

  • enjoy being enterprising – being innovative, creative, selling ideas to others – in whatever job they do (that’s called “intrapreneurship” – though I just call it “the fun part of my job”)
  • are interested in social enterprises – businesses run to fulfil a social need, who aim to make a profit, but who plough that profit into the sustainable enterprise, which continues to address the social need (think The Big Issue, Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen – have a look at this definition from Social Enterprise UK)

When is it?
Monday 23rd January, 9.30am – 5.45pm

Where is it?
The University of Salford’s Media City campus

Who can go?
Up to 50 postgraduates from each of the collaborating universities (which includes The University of Manchester) – first to register get the places, so get in quick as we’ve got a lot of postgrads.

How do I find out more and register?

Postgrad Study Fair Goes International

Our big Postgraduate Study Fair is running this week, on Wednesday 23rd November, for anyone considering doing (another) postgraduate degree.

This is your chance to talk to representatives from a wide range of institutions about the courses they offer, what it’s like studying at their universities and any funding opportunities. Naturally, they won’t have individual potential supervisors there for all the PhDs they offer, but they can give you a flavour of the support you’ll get if you opt for their institution. There is also a range of exhibitors offering general services for finding postgrad study or funding opportunities, including our sponsors, FindAPhD.com and FindAMasters.com

International Exhibitors
This year, I was really interested to spot that there is an even stronger international presence, so if you fancy studying in, say, Finland, or Switzerland, you only have to go as far as Manchester Central Exhibition Centre to talk to someone about it.

Countries represented this year, either by an individual institution, or an organisation dedicated to promoting study in a particular part of the world are:

  • Finland
  • Scotland
  • Wales
  • Australia
  • England
  • Italy
  • Austria
  • Germany
  • Spain
  • Switzerland
  • Sweden
  • USA

If you want to know any more about studying in the UK or overseas, have a look at who’s coming and come and see us – and give me a wave during my “Should I do a PhD?” talk or when I’m giving careers advice (open to all comers).

Part-Time Jobs For Postgrads

We’re currently advertising some excellent part-time vacancies, ideal for postgrads at this university – part-time telephone fundraisers for our alumni office. The closing date for applications is 12 noon, Thursday 24th November, and the positions are for 8 hours a week, from the end of January until late March 2012 (and yes, they’re paid positions – no slave labour here).

Whilst fundraising is a critical part of this role, just as important is keeping in touch with our alumni, listening to their stories of their time at the University, and talking about what it’s like as a student today.

What is the job really like?
One of our current postgraduate fundraisers is Wuraola Ladejobi, who is studying for an MBus in Global Business Analysis at Manchester Business School, having completed an undergraduate degree in International Business Management and Spanish. She applied for the student caller role because:

“I wanted a part-time job that was flexible, as doing a Masters is like a full-time job on its own.

Another main but important reason I applied for this post was to increase my confidence by enhancing skills such as communication, persuasion, diversity and telemarketing.”

She was advised that it wasn’t a simple job:

“telemarketing/tele-fundraising is one of the hardest jobs and if I could do this, then I could probably do any job”

Luckily, this hasn’t proven to be a problem:

 “This job has helped me with my listening skills and it has increased my confidence. I have always been able to speak to people from anywhere in the world or any background, but this job has made me even more confident and I understand people a lot more than I did.”

However, that’s not all she has got out of the job:

“I love this job because I get to speak to people from all over the world. I have spoken to Spanish people which is good for practicing my Espanol, I have also spoken to people from Nigeria, Jamaica, the U.S, Ukraine, Canada – you name it, I have spoken to them all.

I also love this job because I love hearing about other people’s experiences whilst they were at Manchester, especially if they did a postgraduate course similar to mine. I have had a lot of people who have given me very useful advice. I have had someone who advised me to take my dissertation very seriously and someone else told me to start applying for graduate schemes now. These are things I know but it was useful to hear it from people who have once been in my position.

I would recommend this job to any student looking for a part-time job because I think it is a great job to have on your CV, especially having your employer as Manchester Business School – I find that exciting!”

Why these jobs are important
These roles are critical for engaging with our alumni, and hopefully, encouraging them to consider giving back to the university, to help fund:

  • scholarships for students who otherwise couldn’t consider going to university
  • research into a wide range of areas
  • refurbishment of student facilities
  • supporting student volunteering (the minibus which we use to transport volunteers and equipment for our local community volunteering was donated by the Alumni Fund)

amongst many other projects.

Finding A Job For Postgraduates – New Slidecast

Want to know how to find jobs, including all that stuff about “the hidden job market”? Here’s the slidecast from my recent talks to postgraduates. It includes:

  • How to do your background research
  • How employers recruit – and why just looking for ads means you miss most of the jobs being filled every day
  • How to find sources of ads (some starting points – can’t cover all the hundreds of specialist job sites though)
  • Agencies – how they work and some recent developments
  • Using contacts – some practical hints on how to make the most of your contacts without hassling them
  • Strategies for becoming an “internal candidate”

Good luck with finding jobs!

Job Market For Masters Postgraduates

I’ve now updated my slidecast (that’s an online slideshow plus audio soundtrack) for the talks I did recently on the Job Market for Masters Postgraduates.

I’ve got two more to edit and upload (that’s the equivalent talk for PhDs, and a general update on finding jobs for all postgraduates) but in the meantime, in case you missed it, here’s the Masters version:

You can also view the slidecast on the Postgraduate careers website and the Online talks page on this blog.

Finding A Job For Masters – Repeat Performance!

Some Masters postgrads were disappointed that they had lectures which clashed with the talk on finding jobs and the job market for Masters – so we’ve responded by putting on a repeat performance.

No need to sign up for this, it won’t be on CareersLink – just turn up. Here are the details:

Essential Guide to Getting a Job for Masters Postgraduates

Ever wanted to know:

  • What’s the current state of the UK job market?
  • How do employers view Masters?
  • Which jobs should you aim at?
  • How do you find all those jobs which are never advertised?
  • Could agencies help you?
  • What support is available for Masters students?

Find out how to start your job search and how the Careers Service can help you get the job you want in this 1 hour Masterclass for Masters students.

Date: Thursday 13th October
Time: 12noon – 1.00pm
Venue: Kilburn 1.5

If you’ve still got a clash, I’m afraid you’ll have to wait until I record the audio to go with the slides and upload them both on the blog and the postgrad careers website (probably not available until next week now, but coming soon).

Graduate Fairs – Is There Any Point Attending?

So many postgraduates attend graduate recruitment fairs but come away disappointed, having got nothing out of them – should you bother attending?

I started trying to write my annual “how to get the most out of the fairs” post – and got frustrated. I know when I talk to postgrads, they seem to “get it” but the blog posts on the topic don’t seem to work, so … time for a different approach.

One webcam, a new YouTube account, and some rudimentary editing in my office on a Friday afternoon, and here’s my first self-produced YouTube video on

  • Should postgraduates bother to go to the graduate fairs?
  • If you do go, what should you ask?

Here goes:

Let me know whether it’s worth doing any more “talking head” videos for the blog. I’ll only do it occasionally, but for some topics, I think it might work better than a long written post.

And if you don’t want to watch videos, but do want to know about graduate fairs, have a look at this post I wrote a couple of years ago, which is still relevant (apart from the fair dates have all changed of course!)