Applying for graduate schemes + full time job Watch

mathsguy123
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Hi everybody, I am in a bit of a situation right now. I'm currently working a full-time job with a somewhat long commute (2.5 hours a day both sides). I want to get on a graduate scheme for 2020 and they open in the upcoming September however, the application process for them is quite long so I'm not sure if there will be enough time for me after work in the evenings + weekends to apply myself fully to graduate scheme applications. Should I consider leaving my FT job, get a part time job (if I can get one) and look for graduate schemes full time and treat it as a full time job?
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CityofMud
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What sector is the graduate scheme in? Do you have any previous application experience? Once you’ve done a few and if you’ve structured your material correctly video interviews etc. becomes quite routine and shouldn’t take too much prep. It should also be quick if you’ve done all your research on the company before , so you have everything ready to go when applications open. PM if you want to discuss further- I’m on a grad scheme due to start in 2019 and have done quite a bit of these things while attending uni and holding a few part time jobs
(Original post by mathsguy123)
Hi everybody, I am in a bit of a situation right now. I'm currently working a full-time job with a somewhat long commute (2.5 hours a day both sides). I want to get on a graduate scheme for 2020 and they open in the upcoming September however, the application process for them is quite long so I'm not sure if there will be enough time for me after work in the evenings + weekends to apply myself fully to graduate scheme applications. Should I consider leaving my FT job, get a part time job (if I can get one) and look for graduate schemes full time and treat it as a full time job?
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mathsguy123
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Hi CityofMud, thanks for getting back to me. I am not too fussed about the graduate scheme as long as it's in technology/analytics. I don't have that much experience in applying for graduate schemes with lengthy application processes however, I have done a placement year and currently working in a normal job so have had some experience in applying for job roles. Will PM you
(Original post by CityofMud)
What sector is the graduate scheme in? Do you have any previous application experience? Once you’ve done a few and if you’ve structured your material correctly video interviews etc. becomes quite routine and shouldn’t take too much prep. It should also be quick if you’ve done all your research on the company before , so you have everything ready to go when applications open. PM if you want to discuss further- I’m on a grad scheme due to start in 2019 and have done quite a bit of these things while attending uni and holding a few part time jobs
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ajj2000
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Are you really spending 5 hours a day commuting? Couldn’t you rent a room near work to free up that much time for applications?
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mathsguy123
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That's 2 to 2.5 hours both sides, includes going there and coming back.
(Original post by ajj2000)
Are you really spending 5 hours a day commuting? Couldn’t you rent a room near work to free up that much time for applications?
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ajj2000
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(Original post by mathsguy123)
That's 2 to 2.5 hours both sides, includes going there and coming back.
That’s amazing. Can’t you move close to work? If not are you able to work part time nearer to home? I think you’d have a tough time going through recruitment processes with your current arrangements.
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mathsguy123
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I could do but.. currently living at home so it does benefit me to live at home. Also, yes I could potentially work part time that was my original question. So you believe it is better to go part time to have a realistic chance of being successful in the recruitment process?
(Original post by ajj2000)
That’s amazing. Can’t you move close to work? If not are you able to work part time nearer to home? I think you’d have a tough time going through recruitment processes with your current arrangements.
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ajj2000
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(Original post by mathsguy123)
I could do but.. currently living at home so it does benefit me to live at home. Also, yes I could potentially work part time that was my original question. So you believe it is better to go part time to have a realistic chance of being successful in the recruitment process?
I’m not sure I’m up to date enough with the fields you are applying for. What is your current job and what is the notice period? We’re you not to be successful with graduate applications is it something you would want to pursue?

My guess is that between Sept and feb you send a load of applications. Maybe 50-100? You then have a load of online tests and phone/ video interviews. Then assessment centres. I doubt you can fit all of this in with your current job - at least not if you have any kind of hit rate.


If you current job is pretty decent and has chances for progression it’s a tough one. Otherwise I’d work out the right date to leave and do part time (ideally weekend) work elsewhere. Give yourself the best chance of professional work.

Have you applied for grad jobs previously? How did you get on?
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threeportdrift
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(Original post by mathsguy123)
.................
24 hours in a day. You work 8, you travel 5, you sleep 8. You've still got 3 hours per day. That's plenty to do 3 applications per week and still have the weekend off.

I've never heard anything as ridiculous - even on TSR. Htf do you think other people manage to get a new job when they not only work, but have to run their own homes, do their shopping, fill the car with fuel, cook meals, look after partners and children, ferry the kids places and otherwise adult? You need to learn to cope and manage your time better. Giving up a full time job just to do job applications is beyond ridiculous.
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mathsguy123
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Thanks for your reply but... I suppose those people already have a decent amount of experience so don't have to go through such rigorous screening process. The other thing is that it's not as simple as just do 3 hours of work, if you come back from a whole day's work then it is not easy to do a 3 hour intense session of job applications. But, you do make a good point, with the addition of my annual leave it could be not so impossible. Maybe I could switch my sleeping so that I do the 3 hours from say 4AM to 7AM. This way I'll be mentally fresh to apply for jobs as opposed to work which doesn't require me to be at my 100%. And this is why I asked the question. The best way for me to come to a decision would be to hear about people's experiences as I haven't seen data for my particular situation.

If you have experience of being in this particular situation please do share.
(Original post by threeportdrift)
24 hours in a day. You work 8, you travel 5, you sleep 8. You've still got 3 hours per day. That's plenty to do 3 applications per week and still have the weekend off.

I've never heard anything as ridiculous - even on TSR. Htf do you think other people manage to get a new job when they not only work, but have to run their own homes, do their shopping, fill the car with fuel, cook meals, look after partners and children, ferry the kids places and otherwise adult? You need to learn to cope and manage your time better. Giving up a full time job just to do job applications is beyond ridiculous.
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mathsguy123
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I am currently a business intelligence analyst and the notice period is 4 weeks so I need to decide by the end of this month. The current job I am working at I would certainly not carry on otherwise but it does pay ok which means I can save £10k in the year I would work (from September 2019 till next year). Yeah if I did apply for 50 to 100 then yes, but would I need to apply to so many? And let's say I had 30 days of annual leave?
(Original post by ajj2000)
I’m not sure I’m up to date enough with the fields you are applying for. What is your current job and what is the notice period? We’re you not to be successful with graduate applications is it something you would want to pursue?

My guess is that between Sept and feb you send a load of applications. Maybe 50-100? You then have a load of online tests and phone/ video interviews. Then assessment centres. I doubt you can fit all of this in with your current job - at least not if you have any kind of hit rate.


If you current job is pretty decent and has chances for progression it’s a tough one. Otherwise I’d work out the right date to leave and do part time (ideally weekend) work elsewhere. Give yourself the best chance of professional work.

Have you applied for grad jobs previously? How did you get on?
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threeportdrift
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(Original post by mathsguy123)
I am currently a business intelligence analyst and the notice period is 4 weeks so I need to decide by the end of this month. The current job I am working at I would certainly not carry on otherwise but it does pay ok which means I can save £10k in the year I would work (from September 2019 till next year). Yeah if I did apply for 50 to 100 then yes, but would I need to apply to so many? And let's say I had 30 days of annual leave?
Seriously, you are completely out of touch. You've got a job, you shouldn't be looking for grad schemes anyway. You should just be looking for your next job which should be a progression of your current job - slightly more responsibility or slightly different focus, or part of a planned step into something different ie a slightly different spin on what you are doing now, in a different context.

A graduate scheme is nothing more than a method of bulk entry of graduates to large companies so they can batch train them up and fit them into the departments of the companies choice. it's not a protected term, it means nothing and it's nothing special. If you've already got a job, then a grad scheme is a backwards step unless it's something really elite like strategy consulting.

There's no way it should require taking annual leave or quitting a job to do some job applications. You've got the scale of the task all wrong. Three hours should be plenty in most cases.

You need to find the job advert - you should have spent several hours exploring and bookmarking relevant company websites in advance and have a list of 20 or so places you regularly check. This gives you, once bookmarked, an easy 20 minute task every evening of checking what's new.

When you read an advert that looks worth applying for, you should re-read all the small details and extract all the key verbs the employer uses. 15 minutes.

You should know how to write a CV such that a first draft can be done in about 20 minutes, it will often be a re-tailoring of a recent version that has been successful.

That's an hour. Then leave it 24 hours, come back to it and finesse the CV having re-read the job advert. 20 minutes if you are doing it over a snack/meal/coffee.

Then draft the covering letter, they can be a pain, 40 minutes tops though. So that's 2 hours so far, in separate sessions.

Read through the company website throughly and see if there's anything more you can find out about them, 30 minutes. Re-check your CV and covering letter and tweak final changes in the tailoring and send. Another 30 minutes.

3 hours per application is easy. And job applications benefit from quality over quantity. You shouldn't be setting yourself a target of 50-100, you should be hoping to find 2-3 good fit roles per week.
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mathsguy123
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I agree with a lot of what you've stated below and especially quality > quantity. But... the part where you talked about CV and cover letter, that's not the only thing you have to fill out in an application. You may have a few competency questions (quite common) - these may take a few hours, and then some online tests (for larger companies these can take more than an hour).

Additionally, with regards to your question about graduate schemes aren't special. My current job hasn't taught me much at all and I should have not accepted it in all honesty. Their technology is far behind and they have a lack of money and the right people to take them forward.

The benefit of a graduate scheme is that you get a feel for different roles, formal training (possibly qualifications too), good chance of getting onto the permanent roles as they have invested so much in you. The pay is higher as well. Often for decent roles (not graduate schemes) you need a solid couple years of experience.
(Original post by threeportdrift)
Seriously, you are completely out of touch. You've got a job, you shouldn't be looking for grad schemes anyway. You should just be looking for your next job which should be a progression of your current job - slightly more responsibility or slightly different focus, or part of a planned step into something different ie a slightly different spin on what you are doing now, in a different context.

A graduate scheme is nothing more than a method of bulk entry of graduates to large companies so they can batch train them up and fit them into the departments of the companies choice. it's not a protected term, it means nothing and it's nothing special. If you've already got a job, then a grad scheme is a backwards step unless it's something really elite like strategy consulting.

There's no way it should require taking annual leave or quitting a job to do some job applications. You've got the scale of the task all wrong. Three hours should be plenty in most cases.

You need to find the job advert - you should have spent several hours exploring and bookmarking relevant company websites in advance and have a list of 20 or so places you regularly check. This gives you, once bookmarked, an easy 20 minute task every evening of checking what's new.

When you read an advert that looks worth applying for, you should re-read all the small details and extract all the key verbs the employer uses. 15 minutes.

You should know how to write a CV such that a first draft can be done in about 20 minutes, it will often be a re-tailoring of a recent version that has been successful.

That's an hour. Then leave it 24 hours, come back to it and finesse the CV having re-read the job advert. 20 minutes if you are doing it over a snack/meal/coffee.

Then draft the covering letter, they can be a pain, 40 minutes tops though. So that's 2 hours so far, in separate sessions.

Read through the company website throughly and see if there's anything more you can find out about them, 30 minutes. Re-check your CV and covering letter and tweak final changes in the tailoring and send. Another 30 minutes.

3 hours per application is easy. And job applications benefit from quality over quantity. You shouldn't be setting yourself a target of 50-100, you should be hoping to find 2-3 good fit roles per week.
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threeportdrift
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(Original post by mathsguy123)
I agree with a lot of what you've stated below and especially quality > quantity. But... the part where you talked about CV and cover letter, that's not the only thing you have to fill out in an application. You may have a few competency questions (quite common) - these may take a few hours, and then some online tests (for larger companies these can take more than an hour).

Additionally, with regards to your question about graduate schemes aren't special. My current job hasn't taught me much at all and I should have not accepted it in all honesty. Their technology is far behind and they have a lack of money and the right people to take them forward.

The benefit of a graduate scheme is that you get a feel for different roles, formal training (possibly qualifications too), good chance of getting onto the permanent roles as they have invested so much in you. The pay is higher as well. Often for decent roles (not graduate schemes) you need a solid couple years of experience.
You've got a solid couple of years experience. it's irrelevant that you don't think it coddled you in the way you wanted to be coddled and were through school and uni - welcome to the real world of employment. Nearly all companies lack money and the right people to take them forward (though it's amazing how entry level employees always have such strategic insight!) - unless you are working in F1 or Google (and even they have their internal issues)

But you are searching for a nirvana that doesn't exist and moving backwards in doing that. Just apply for jobs at other companies and with what you've learnt, scrutinise them better. You also have an over-optimistic view of graduate schemes.
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lastlullabyy
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(Original post by threeportdrift)
24 hours in a day. You work 8, you travel 5, you sleep 8. You've still got 3 hours per day. That's plenty to do 3 applications per week and still have the weekend off.

I've never heard anything as ridiculous - even on TSR. Htf do you think other people manage to get a new job when they not only work, but have to run their own homes, do their shopping, fill the car with fuel, cook meals, look after partners and children, ferry the kids places and otherwise adult? You need to learn to cope and manage your time better. Giving up a full time job just to do job applications is beyond ridiculous.
I have to agree with this. I’m 25 and finished my MSc two years ago. Started full-time job on a Monday after my last uni placement finished on a Friday...
Managed to study full-time and work 25-30 hours per week all BSc and MSc. During working, studying and LIVING, I applied for likeI don’t know, 113 jobs? That was during my MSc exams as well. These jobs included plenty of graduate schemes for some of which I got quite far in there recruitment process.

You know why I stood out at the interview for my current job? My excellent time management. They were genuinely in awe of it. So I landed a job that most people who get in have PhDs and/or post-doc/career experience.

What will you say if they ask at the interview about why did you go part-time? Will you lie or will you say to apply for jobs? Trust me, if you admit it, they won’t be impressed. Would you be, though?

2-2.5 h commute per day is very manageable and a lot of people do it (e.g. in London). You still have weekends. I live just like 5 miles from my work and probably takes me an hour in traffic commute... Work 9 till 5:30 OFFICIALLY - unofficially I finish very often at 7. And I do volunteering, take my dogs to training classes... And still have time to cook, plan upcoming wedding and prep for an exam. Oh and a gym 3-4 times a week. Magic

And guess what I’m doing next Saturday... Taking UCAT so I can hopefully apply to medical school. All whilst working full-time 👍🏻👌🏻

Just to add as well, from my own experience, graduate schemes are not all there is out there. My job is of graduate calibre and eg pays much better than any of the grad schemes I’ve applied for. Most of my friends who got in graduate schemes and are finishing then atm or have already finisher are not that impressed either.
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lastlullabyy
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(Original post by threeportdrift)
You've got a solid couple of years experience. it's irrelevant that you don't think it coddled you in the way you wanted to be coddled and were through school and uni - welcome to the real world of employment. Nearly all companies lack money and the right people to take them forward (though it's amazing how entry level employees always have such strategic insight!) - unless you are working in F1 or Google (and even they have their internal issues)

But you are searching for a nirvana that doesn't exist and moving backwards in doing that. Just apply for jobs at other companies and with what you've learnt, scrutinise them better. You also have an over-optimistic view of graduate schemes.
I agree, graduate schemes are so often over-rated! One of my friends got into government sector one, highly “prestigious” - 2 years on, she’s been mostly doing copy and paste in Excel! And received NO formal training.

Btw OP, you should know that there are TONS of applications for each graduate scheme. Are you really that confident to quit your job? Very possible you won’t get in... And then what? Going part-time for a sake of applying for jobs will look ridiculous on your CV...
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ajj2000
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(Original post by mathsguy123)
I am currently a business intelligence analyst and the notice period is 4 weeks so I need to decide by the end of this month. The current job I am working at I would certainly not carry on otherwise but it does pay ok which means I can save £10k in the year I would work (from September 2019 till next year). Yeah if I did apply for 50 to 100 then yes, but would I need to apply to so many? And let's say I had 30 days of annual leave?
That changes things a lot. You are working in the field, earning decent money. I’d be pretty hesitant about quitting to work a toll job. Look for a mon - fri lodging which will free up a lot of time for applications.
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mathsguy123
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Interesting insight, thanks for your feedback. It really helps.
(Original post by ajj2000)
That changes things a lot. You are working in the field, earning decent money. I’d be pretty hesitant about quitting to work a toll job. Look for a mon - fri lodging which will free up a lot of time for applications.
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mathsguy123
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The CV gap is something I've thought about and didn't really have an answer for it. And I commend you on your exceptional time management if you can do it I can to
(Original post by lastlullabyy)
I have to agree with this. I’m 25 and finished my MSc two years ago. Started full-time job on a Monday after my last uni placement finished on a Friday...
Managed to study full-time and work 25-30 hours per week all BSc and MSc. During working, studying and LIVING, I applied for likeI don’t know, 113 jobs? That was during my MSc exams as well. These jobs included plenty of graduate schemes for some of which I got quite far in there recruitment process.

You know why I stood out at the interview for my current job? My excellent time management. They were genuinely in awe of it. So I landed a job that most people who get in have PhDs and/or post-doc/career experience.

What will you say if they ask at the interview about why did you go part-time? Will you lie or will you say to apply for jobs? Trust me, if you admit it, they won’t be impressed. Would you be, though?

2-2.5 h commute per day is very manageable and a lot of people do it (e.g. in London). You still have weekends. I live just like 5 miles from my work and probably takes me an hour in traffic commute... Work 9 till 5:30 OFFICIALLY - unofficially I finish very often at 7. And I do volunteering, take my dogs to training classes... And still have time to cook, plan upcoming wedding and prep for an exam. Oh and a gym 3-4 times a week. Magic

And guess what I’m doing next Saturday... Taking UCAT so I can hopefully apply to medical school. All whilst working full-time 👍🏻👌🏻

Just to add as well, from my own experience, graduate schemes are not all there is out there. My job is of graduate calibre and eg pays much better than any of the grad schemes I’ve applied for. Most of my friends who got in graduate schemes and are finishing then atm or have already finisher are not that impressed either.
If I don't get a graduate scheme then I've made a booboo, in this case I would then just get the best possible non-graduate scheme job available for me.
(Original post by lastlullabyy)
I agree, graduate schemes are so often over-rated! One of my friends got into government sector one, highly “prestigious” - 2 years on, she’s been mostly doing copy and paste in Excel! And received NO formal training.

Btw OP, you should know that there are TONS of applications for each graduate scheme. Are you really that confident to quit your job? Very possible you won’t get in... And then what? Going part-time for a sake of applying for jobs will look ridiculous on your CV...
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SarcAndSpark
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I really think your plan is likely to backfire- clearly your current situation isn't ideal, but I don't think quitting your job and working part time to go for grad schemes- especially when it sounds like you have decent entry level job already. I agree with threeportdrift that looking for a grad scheme is going to be a step backwards for you. And employers/recruiters will think this too, so this may harm your chances in getting a job.

It's also worth pointing out that grad schemes are usually temporary employment- leaving a permanent job for a temporary one would also look weird on your CV and could backfire. Would you also be taking a salary cut? Again, this could look weird to recruiters.


I'd suggest two things:

1) sort out your commute, it does sound a bit mental. I agree that Monday-Friday lodging could be a good solution. You can often find this quite cheaply, even in an expensive city, plus you'll be saving loads of money, which will help. Try looking on sites like spare-room and gumtree to see what you can find.

2) start looking for other jobs- don't limit yourself to grad schemes. Instead think about what you want to do long term. What would you be looking to do after your grad scheme? Why not try applying for those roles now? Or if you don't like your current company, then consider a lateral move to one you think might be better. What would be the next step up in your career? Have you tried applying for any of those roles?

Alternatively, if you think there's some specific CPD you'd benefit from, why not raise this with your current line manager?
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