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A guide to business & management graduate schemes

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Whether you want to be a business development manager, analyst or an operations executive, a business and management graduate scheme might be just the thing to kick start your career. Some of the top employers in the sector include S&P Global and Deutsche Bank who offer highly rewarding graduate schemes that give you the chance to release your full potential in this competitive market. Here’s everything you need to know about business and management graduate schemes, including how to apply, employee benefits and application processes.  

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Why should I work in the business and management industry?

With so many open routes and pathways you can follow, the business and management industry offers lots to graduates. If you’ve studied business studies or management degree, you have the opportunity to specialise in any sector you’re interested in. It can be relatively easy to switch sectors during your career because you will have the transferable skills that apply to other sectors. Saying this, if you’re only interested in an area like operations, the opportunity for continued learning and specialisation is high. Meaning, you will become very knowledgeable and skilled in a particular area, leading to senior roles and higher pay. Lastly, no matter what sector you’re in, having business and management experience or academics allows you to set up your own business. The opportunities are endless! 

Learn what kind of roles there are in business management.

What Business and Management graduate schemes am I eligible for?

Depending on your chosen graduate scheme, employers look for graduates who're working towards a minimum 2.2 undergraduate degree - from business studies, economics, finance to operations management. But, they also look for a level of experience in the field and extracurricular leadership experience, gained through university societies or internships. 

Others may ask for a degree discipline on top of other qualifications including Mathematics and English GCSE (grade 9-4) or equivalent and three A-levels (grade A*-C). Learn about the top skills you need for a career in management.  

What do the top graduate schemes offer me?

Working in business and management can be stressful, but many firms offer extensive benefits for you to enjoy. They can range from standard or extra benefit packages - standard includes a competitive salary, personal pension, life assurance cover and a fixed number of holiday days. The extra benefits include gym discounts, private medical scheme, free food, personal development team and maybe morning yoga sessions! These benefits are important because it shows that companies support the health of your mental wellbeing. Business and management graduate schemes range from 1-3 years long so make sure you know the benefits you could receive.

Learn how to get a graduate job in management

What skills and attributes will I need to apply to business & management graduate schemes?

Key Skills:

  • Analytical skills (especially for numerical data) 
  • Clear verbal and written communication 
  • Decision-making skills 
  • Time management 
  • Problem solving 
  • Leadership ability 
  • Negotiation skills
  • Public speaking skills

Desirable attributes:

  • Highly motivated 
  • Determined 
  • Responsible
  • Professional 
  • Reliable 
  • Commitment to the sector 
  • Confident
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When can I start applying to business and management graduate schemes? Is there a deadline?

Business and management graduate schemes are one of the most competitive. Some graduate schemes are available on a rolling deadline, rather than one fixed deadline. But, we recommend submitting your application as soon as possible to avoid missing out. If you’re in your final year of university study, we recommend you research and look at graduate schemes you’re interested in when you start your first semester in September.

How do I apply for the graduate schemes & what does the application process entail?

The application process will be different for each employer, see our list of the leading graduate employers in Business, Management and Operations. But, it’s important to make sure you’re ready for the following processes:

For the interviews, it’s a good idea to scrub up on your commercial awareness knowledge, as it shows your dedication to the sector or aware of what’s happening in the market. If you’re a Bright Network member, sign up to our free weekly commercial awareness update straight to your email or listen to our podcast, Thinking Commercially with commercial awareness author, Chris Stoakes.

Get started with our business and management graduate jobs

To browse graduate jobs or find out more information about a specific job or company, keep a close eye on the updated list of management and business graduate jobs so you never miss a thing.