Next steps: Post graduation goals

There are many different ways to put your degree to good use after you graduate, getting into a graduate scheme or specialist graduate roles will see you utilise all your learning whilst gaining valuable experience: It’s a win, win.

Graduation is all fun and games until you have to worry about finding and entering your first adult job. But, it is also an exciting time to put all your hard work, dedication and determination into practice.

What is a graduate scheme?

Graduate schemes are an excellent path to learn and train in the career field of your dreams. A graduate scheme allows recent graduates to gain practical experience with specific companies, meaning you have your foot in the door to get into an excellent role within the company or in any future endeavours.

Many leading organisations in a range of industries now provide graduate schemes, and each position will vary in terms of timescale. Usually, a graduate scheme will last between one to three years.

Even though you’re still technically learning, you are an employed member of staff so you will be paid for the duration of your contract – graduate schemes often offer very generous incomes, bonus!

Companies providing graduate schemes include Aldi, Deloitte, Balfour Beatty, Argos and Enterprise Rent-A-Car, to name a few. Each scheme will come with its own application deadline so remember take a look on the company’s website to make sure you don’t miss out.

Going solo

If you’re applying for jobs independently after graduation, there are several aspects to consider to ensure you look professional and the right candidate for the role.

First thing first: Your social media. No matter if you’re a new graduate or a student looking for work experience, it’s important to have a professional presentation to social media.

From starting a public profile detailing all your successes or projects – such as work experience or volunteering roles – and keeping the party pics private (remember to check those privacy settings), it’s a simple yet effective way to keep your personal and professional lives separated.

Next step is to ensure your CV is tailored to each graduate role, or submit your CV to recruitment agencies who will be on hand to assist getting your foot in the door. Plus, some recruitment agencies might even help you prepare for interviews when you do get called in to meet your future employers.

No matter what route you take, there’s no denying graduate jobs are a step in the right direction.

Career goals with Aldi

Caitlin Bailey joined Aldi’s fantastic Graduate Programme as an Area Manager after starting out on the General Management Industrial Placement Programme whilst in her penultimate year of university; and Caitlin has never looked back.

After filling in the initial online form for the Graduate Programme, Caitlin was invited to a Video Interview prior to attending a group assessment.

Reaching the final stages of the interview process and speaking with the Regional Managing Director, the Director’s passion for working with Aldi was evident furthering Caitlin’s drive to join the team. Here’s what she had to say.

Aldi Area Manager Caitlin Bailey.

In what way has the graduate scheme benefited your career and future prospects with Aldi?

At Aldi, there is real opportunity to develop and progress. Our own CEO started as an Area Manager, which I think is very inspiring. You are also offered lots of new responsibilities as an Area Manager. I recently managed a number of new projects myself, which included co-ordinating customer service workshops with our store colleagues and suggesting ways to improve the customer experience.

These new experiences helped broaden my knowledge of the industry, expanded my skillset and gave me access to the wider business.

Day-to-day, what are your key roles and responsibilities?

No two days are the same, which is something I like. I’m constantly on the go, visiting the stores I manage and having meetings with my teams. I am responsible for 140 colleagues across four stores and I take great pride in developing my people management skills in order to support my teams and help them meet store targets.

How have Aldi and your colleagues supported you whilst in your role?

While I am trusted to manage my stores and deliver strong results myself, I feel fully supported by the team around me. All Aldi colleagues have regular reviews and set out a clear career path with their manager in order to plan their progression and tackle any challenges together.

What advice do you have for people considering a graduate scheme?

During the application process demonstrate leadership skills and provide evidence of how you have led a team previously. In Group Assessments, show your ability to quickly understand and take on new tasks. Finally, display key management skills, such as the ability to multitask, confidence in yourself, attention to detail and a friendly and approachable manner. If you can do this, you’ll go far with Aldi.

Finally, why should people consider a career with Aldi?

Aldi offers fantastic benefits, both financially and professionally. From day one you are given real responsibility and have opportunities to make a real difference to the business.

Discover your future career with Aldi by visiting,

Where to apply

Get ready to clock in! You can find the perfect graduate scheme through MilkRoundProspects, and many recruitment sites.

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