A graduate program is a recruitment program that usually lasts for 1 – 2 years that are offered by firms and government organisations to a variety of graduates of different disciplines. These graduate recruitment programs may start recruiting at different times of the year depending on the organisation. As a general guide for application dates, law firms usually recruit first, followed by consulting, accounting, engineering firms, and private companies.
Graduate recruitment programs are often targeted to penultimate year students and some firms and organisations will recruit students a year in advance from the starting date. If you are a student that is nearing graduation or have recently graduated, this is the time to start exploring and looking into graduate programs.
These graduates programs are another way to kick start your career and introduce you to the workplace. Graduate programs have the benefit of not only launching the start of your career, but also be able to have the benefit of working on a valuable program that is tailored just for you by the companies. You are also able to find that the graduate positions that are offered provides opportunities that may not always be found in jobs that are open to any applicants. These opportunities may include the benefits of extensive induction and training, formal mentoring, career development planning, additional training, as well as1,2:
- Structured rotations Graduate programs give candidates the opportunity to go around and experience the various departments of the company. These rotations allow candidates to find where their true interest lies within the different areas if they are still undecided when entering the program.
- Support During graduate programs, candidates will find that it offers plenty of support to help you adjust to the workplace and transition into the working life. Many workplaces would assign you to a buddy or mentor who could offer you more support and career guidance that would also help you work out your day-to-day responsibilities.
- Education enhancement You may find differences from what you have learnt and what you learn during your graduate program. This is where you have the opportunity to discover and explore theories that you may have had and enhance your education and knowledge.
There is a wide range of graduate programs available for students and graduates to apply to. The good thing about graduate programs is that they are not only for a certain discipline as they are offered for graduates of all areas and a wide range of different organisations offer these graduate programs.
Career fairs are held by universities during graduate recruitment season for students, and this becomes a great time for you to get the chance to meet representatives from various companies and industries to talk about graduate positions and applications and find which one suits you the most.
Things You Should Know and How to Apply3,4
Graduate recruitment programs are known to be highly competitive, with only a few spots to take up. Before you start applying from graduate programs, there are a few things that you should know and need to do during your application process.
- Research Research the different graduate programs that are available and interest you. Find out how the graduate program may help you with your career and how you may be able to contribute as well. This also includes gathering the information needed to see if you are qualified, what requirements are needed, contacts and deadlines to keep track.
- Meet the requirements After doing your research, this is where you take the time to make sure you have met all the requirements needed for the program you have chosen.
- Ask professors Early in the application process, you could ask the professors you have worked closely with during your undergrad studies to write a letter of recommendation. It’s always good to have someone to back you up for your achievements during your time of study.
- Prepare your resume Most graduate programs would require you to submit a resume. Make sure you have updated your resume and include references and any academic awards that you’ve achieved.
- Prepare for an interview Graduate programs may get competitive and there are chances that you will be called in for an interview after applying. You can take the opportunity to prepare answers and questions for an interview just in case.
Most graduate programs would require applicants to submit a written or online application which would include a cover letter, a resume, and a response to the key criteria. However, before submitting your application, make sure to have read the instructions carefully and include any requested documentations. After submission, some employers would require candidates to go through interviews, assessment centres or written tasks to assist in working out whether you’re the right person for the job.
Entering a graduate program allows candidates to develop and also effectively contribute to the company in addition to being able to experience the different areas or services. At the end of the program and being able to experience the various areas that make up the organisation, an offer would usually be given to the candidates in which they have the opportunity to decide which area they would like to continue in.
1 University of Queensland, What is a graduate program?, http://careers-fair.event.uq.edu.au/what-graduate-program
2 Good Universities Guide, The advantages of graduate programs, http://www.gooduniversitiesguide.com.au/Latest-news/Beyond-university/The-advantages-of-graduate-programs
3 Youth Central, Graduate Recruitment Programs, http://www.youthcentral.vic.gov.au/jobs-careers/work-options/graduate-recruitment-programs
4 Raver, R. 2013, 10 Things You Should Know When Applying to Graduate School, http://thegradstudentway.com/blog/?p=1477