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a meeting with the managing director with a possibility of working there.

Starting your own business

The alternatives to a graduate scheme

Apply direct

It is worth looking at what other graduate positions that the company offers other than a graduate recruitment scheme. If you apply direct and even send in your CV speculatively it can show that you have the drive and confidence to succeed.

Graduate placements

A placement at a company is a great way to further your career whether you are currently at university or have graduated. Whether it is unpaid or paid a placement will give you great experience in your chosen field. You will gain key training and work alongside key employees within the company itself.

Even if you cannot get a placement in the company you desire then apply for another company in the same field to use it as a stepping stone. If you do a placement then it may be possible to fast track your graduate training scheme application in the future. Or with the experience gained you can apply directly.

A fast track graduate scheme is when a company will get you straight to the interview stage because of earlier placement contracts or because you have been affiliated with them during your degree. For instance, you might be able to land a hotel or tourism job if you were affiliated with them while enrolled in a school of hospitality management. Also if you are a very highly scoring student then the fast track graduate scheme would be open to you.

SME sector

An SME is a small to medium enterprise. They are generally small local companies. Don’t let this put you off as they can sometimes offer better training to graduates than a graduate scheme can. It is likely to be more personal and you will have greater responsibility. Also, working for an SME can give you the experience that you need to further your career.

One thing to keep in mind is that these small companies may not openly advertise graduate roles so it is important to search for them yourself and apply directly. You can also try a phone call to arrange

If you are creative and driven then don’t count out starting your own company. In the current economic climate it has become a viable option for many graduates who have good ideas. Look into the funding that government run business schemes and your university might be able

to offer you. It’s also important to try and speak with someone (eg. a mentor) who will give you an honest opinion on whether it’s worth going with your business idea.

Part time jobs

If you are still struggling to get a job in the field you require then it is a good idea to get a part time job in the mean time. It will obviously benefit you and you don’t know where it could lead. During your time at the part time job you can apply for jobs in your chosen career field or possibly even do further education.

Its not all doom and gloom It is important to remember that although a graduate scheme is a great place to start your career there are so many other options open to university graduates. Good luck in your applications and we hope that you can be successful in whichever path you take.

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