Job applications before graduating (3rd year)

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Keynes_101
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Hello,

I will start my final year this September. I am studying Business Economics. I need some advice on graduate schemes. For example, when to apply. What companies should I target. What are your experiences.

Ideally, I would like to secure a role within my field of study (Business, finance etc). But I am open-minded. Most of all, I just want a career that is rewarding, within a large company, something with prospects. I have work experience (retail, nothing special). I am mature student, soon to be 30.

Any advice would be appreciated, thanks ... Simon.
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Keynes_101
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(Original post by J-SP)
Business and Finance is a pretty broad spectrum. You probably want to spend some time thinking about what kind of work you enjoy, what motivates you and then try to find areas of business that correlate to those factors. Go to some careers events in the Autumn at your university and speak to potential employers and start to work out which type of direction you want to go in.

Graduate programmes for 2018 start dates - some have opened already, some won't open until October/November and some even possibily later. You might want to sign up to your universities job board so you get notification of deadlines and also sign up to some general grad programme jobs boards like Targetjobs, Milkround, Inside Careers.

You can also set up some job alerts on Linkedin.
Sadly, one of the issues I have is not knowing what I want. I'll certainly take on board your suggestions, thanks.

Can you give examples of graduate programmes that are open now for 2018 start date? Thanks.
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jpow
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Your subject is pretty broad. You can pull up a list of the top 100 employers (guardian, ftse100 etc) and every company will have a business dev, finance, sales etc dept. What you really should not do is the spray and pray approach i.e 'i want a job in finance therefore i will send 100 applications for finance roles in any industry sector'. Target an industry you care about and it'll become easier to discuss why you want to do finance for that. I wouldn't bank too hard on grad schemes though; practically all grads at your stage will be doing the same thing. Cast your net wide and go for graduate level jobs on linkedin, glassdoor. Sure, you won't be going in with a class of graduates but the competition won't be as tough and you can always move once you've gained enough experience. You just need to be specific with the keywords you use to search.

It's summer now so to get a head start I would begin prepping now and start pumping in applications from September onwards. Some are on a rolling basis and most end by March. Get practising on psychometric tests, logical tests etc.
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Keynes_101
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(Original post by jpow)
Your subject is pretty broad. You can pull up a list of the top 100 employers (guardian, ftse100 etc) and every company will have a business dev, finance, sales etc dept. What you really should not do is the spray and pray approach i.e 'i want a job in finance therefore i will send 100 applications for finance roles in any industry sector'. Target an industry you care about and it'll become easier to discuss why you want to do finance for that. I wouldn't bank too hard on grad schemes though; practically all grads at your stage will be doing the same thing. Cast your net wide and go for graduate level jobs on linkedin, glassdoor. Sure, you won't be going in with a class of graduates but the competition won't be as tough and you can always move once you've gained enough experience. You just need to be specific with the keywords you use to search.

It's summer now so to get a head start I would begin prepping now and start pumping in applications from September onwards. Some are on a rolling basis and most end by March. Get practising on psychometric tests, logical tests etc.
Thanks, I agree. I need to narrow things down. I hate feeling lost, but I'm not the only one.
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Keynes_101
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(Original post by J-SP)
Then the best advice I can give you is to work out what may or may not be of interest to you.

Also depends on where you want to work too of course.

But just a few 2018 programmes currently open:

EY
TK Maxx
KPMG
BAE Systems

I am sure if you did some research on LinkedIn and graduate job boards you'd easily find a lot more, and many more than will open in the next 4-6 weeks.
Thanks. I think I will apply for KPMG. I'm not too far away from their offices in Canary Wharf. I will target sales, since I have some experience in sales.
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josh_v
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Id probably go for graduate schemes first. Choose an industry to target. You'll find that questions on each application are more likely to be similar within an industry so that will help you progress through each application a bit quicker.

Say for example you choose accounting. Make a list of the accounting firms with graduate schemes you want to apply for. So that would probably be PwC, Deloitte, KPMG, EY, GT, BDO, RSM at the top of the list. Choose a role you want to apply for and do some research around that role. Most of those firms have very similar positions to fill. It makes it easier if you apply for the same/similar roles for each firm because that cuts down on the amount of research you have to do.

Go to the first website. Do the application. When it comes to answering long wordy questions, copy and paste the question in to word. Write your answer there. Paste your answer back in. When you come to the next application and you find similar questions to the others, you already have an answer at least semi prepared that you can adjust for that application. This will save a lot of time. Repeat until you've done all the firms in that industry.

Once you've done an industry, move on to the next. Banking, accounting, energy, insurance, retail all typically have finance grad schemes.
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cheesecakelove
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Start attending careers fairs. It will give you an opportunity to talk those to who have been in your situation (soon-to-be graduate looking to work in business). They can tell you what working for the company is like, working in the field and advice for applications. You will hopefully find some companies that interest you, and from them on, research them and apply for their roles.
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Keynes_101
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(Original post by J-SP)
KPMG won't have a "sales" graduate programme. They are a professional services company.

And just because their office is at Canary Wharf is a pretty poor reason to apply.
KPMG has a two year programme called 'KPMG Business Services - Sales and Marketing.'

That is not my reason. But location is always a positive, something to consider.
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GradWT
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(Original post by josh_v)
Id probably go for graduate schemes first. Choose an industry to target. You'll find that questions on each application are more likely to be similar within an industry so that will help you progress through each application a bit quicker.

Say for example you choose accounting. Make a list of the accounting firms with graduate schemes you want to apply for. So that would probably be PwC, Deloitte, KPMG, EY, GT, BDO, RSM at the top of the list. Choose a role you want to apply for and do some research around that role. Most of those firms have very similar positions to fill. It makes it easier if you apply for the same/similar roles for each firm because that cuts down on the amount of research you have to do.

Go to the first website. Do the application. When it comes to answering long wordy questions, copy and paste the question in to word. Write your answer there. Paste your answer back in. When you come to the next application and you find similar questions to the others, you already have an answer at least semi prepared that you can adjust for that application. This will save a lot of time. Repeat until you've done all the firms in that industry.

Once you've done an industry, move on to the next. Banking, accounting, energy, insurance, retail all typically have finance grad schemes.
Great advice and suggestions. I will definitely be taking the advice on board as well. I am also very lost as I really don't know exactly what I want to do. I'm finishing a MSC in Finance and Investment and I did BSc in Economics. I know I want a job within Finance and Investment and I don't want to do accounting qualification ( but some finance graduate jobs says you will be studying for ACA etc)

Anyway I will target the banking industry first.

Thank you!
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josh_v
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(Original post by GradWT)
Great advice and suggestions. I will definitely be taking the advice on board as well. I am also very lost as I really don't know exactly what I want to do. I'm finishing a MSC in Finance and Investment and I did BSc in Economics. I know I want a job within Finance and Investment and I don't want to do accounting qualification ( but some finance graduate jobs says you will be studying for ACA etc)

Anyway I will target the banking industry first.

Thank you!
Good luck. We have very similar educational background. For some people, it can be a real tough time. Application after application, just to keep getting rejected. For others, they can land a job on their first application. I missed out on the narrowest of margins in my first AC for PwC, and then took another 6 months to get a job.

Regarding accounting qualifications, don't be too put off by them. 3 year audit program at Big 4 sounds like its quite a hard time, with a lot of work as well as studying ACA. Other firms might put you through CIMA or something similar if youre working on a finance grad scheme. Point being, a lot of finance related grad schemes want to put you through some form of additional qualification. In the long run its beneficial and opens up more doors.
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