Rejected from graduate schemes; now what?

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Poesybro
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So I got rejected from all the graduate schemes I applied to and I’m in my final year at university. How do I go forward from here? I messed up at the video interview stage for all of them as I’m not that great with interviews (which is something I am working on).

I spent a lot of time on each application, researching and preparing, which I could’ve spent on my degree which frustrates me. Has anyone else had this experience? I guess I should just be applying for graduate jobs now but I’m not sure how that works. What are the best job sites for graduate level jobs? When do most apply for them? Do most people apply for graduate jobs as soon as they graduate from university? Or do they take a break?
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sarahmh_
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Hey,

It's honestly fine. I got rejected from graduate schemes two years in a row after applying for loads, I ended up shifting my focus and attention to entry level roles in large companies instead.

Mainly because they pay better, have more responsibility and less competition.

I did a short thread on this if you're interested: https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho...326&p=86548562

It's truly down to you and what you'd like over the next couple of years, it will be a while to the next graduate recruitment cycle but depending on your industry there's still quite a lot still open. Most people apply in the beginning of their final year with the aim of getting accepted by Jan/Feb, graduating in summer and starting in September, but everyone is different.

Just keep trying!
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kkboyk
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(Original post by Poesybro)
So I got rejected from all the graduate schemes I applied to and I’m in my final year at university. How do I go forward from here? I messed up at the video interview stage for all of them as I’m not that great with interviews (which is something I am working on).

I spent a lot of time on each application, researching and preparing, which I could’ve spent on my degree which frustrates me. Has anyone else had this experience? I guess I should just be applying for graduate jobs now but I’m not sure how that works. What are the best job sites for graduate level jobs? When do most apply for them? Do most people apply for graduate jobs as soon as they graduate from university? Or do they take a break?
You keep on applying to graduate jobs and other grad scheme that are about to or are still open. There are also entry level roles that are advertised, so give them a try. Majority of grads end up in a non graduate role, including non professional jobs such as customer services (to which they then move onto something else). It is very competitive and disheartening, but its worth persevering.
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threeportdrift
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(Original post by Poesybro)
.........
You apply for graduate jobs now. Don't wait until after you graduate and don't take a break, it just gets harder. Use your University careers service they have access to job adverts, not just schemes.
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mnot
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(Original post by Poesybro)
So I got rejected from all the graduate schemes I applied to and I’m in my final year at university. How do I go forward from here? I messed up at the video interview stage for all of them as I’m not that great with interviews (which is something I am working on).

I spent a lot of time on each application, researching and preparing, which I could’ve spent on my degree which frustrates me. Has anyone else had this experience? I guess I should just be applying for graduate jobs now but I’m not sure how that works. What are the best job sites for graduate level jobs? When do most apply for them? Do most people apply for graduate jobs as soon as they graduate from university? Or do they take a break?
so diagnose your mistakes, take some action, do some practice, improve & re-apply. Graduates schemes open all the time, even at big firms/companies...
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Zarek
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These schemes are massively over subscribed so it is quite tricky. I got in later through direct entry to a role and working my way up.
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mnot
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(Original post by Zarek)
These schemes are massively over subscribed so it is quite tricky. I got in later through direct entry to a role and working my way up.
excellent point, direct entry jobs are much easier to get into!

OP: these are for a specific role, ie you will apply for a full time job from the start, as opposed to the "schemes" where you rotate for 2 years. The jobs are normally managed by a specific department or manager, who will deal with applicants & interviews etc. whereas the grad schemes normally go through central HR and they wait to do assessment centres etc.
these normally require you to filter on every employers website as opposed to just click the giant graduate button that pops up.
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Mumofson
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Are all the graduate schemes now closed ?
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kkboyk
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(Original post by Mumofson)
Are all the graduate schemes now closed ?
Short answer is no, but most are.
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WarwickMaths281
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Have you done any internships or have any work experience? If not then it will be very hard for you to obtain any kind of graduate role.
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Lkathryn08
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I would keep looking as there are definitely still grad roles and grad schemes out there. If you know you struggle with video interviews then have you considered going to your uni careers team for advice or maybe a mock interview?
I found they can really offer some good advice.

Definitely look into direct entry and general graduate jobs too. There are quite a few job boards out there and there’s places like LinkedIn too.
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starrymoon
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I was in your position a year ago. I remember doing my HMRC video interview just before Christmas. I got rejected from all of the grad schemes I applied to at uni.

In the summer I just did as much work experience as I could, and managed to do two short internships.
The month after uni I focused my attention on applying for entry level jobs and grad schemes in areas I was actually interested in, instead of applying to grad schemes like HMRC just for the nice salary. Because I had gone through a good amount of applications, I had a good idea of what they were looking for.

I applied to a grad scheme in the area I was interested in and got to the final 4 in the assessment centre, but didn’t get the job. I applied to many entry level jobs in my area of interest and either didn’t get a response or was rejected. But I didn’t lose hope and kept applying. I personally think those three to six months after uni are key to trying to find a job and not end up in a dreaded retail job cycle.

I finally applied to one entry level and one grad scheme. By this time I had pretty much perfected the interview process (all those rejections can come in handy) and managed to get both jobs. I took the grad scheme job which is in one of the Big 4 in my area of interest.

Don’t lose hope and whatever you do, don’t just stop applying for jobs. Think about entry level jobs as well as grad schemes, and try to apply for things you actually have some interest in and something you can say uni prepared for you for. Jobs that have an amazing starting salary are usually extremely competitive. Still apply to those, but don’t let that get in the way. You can always start on an entry level job with a lower salary and work your way up or move once you’ve got your foot in the door. Get some work experience over the summer in the area you’re interested in. Apply for internships now. Good luck.
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zombie2233
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Can someone answer, how hard is it to get into an internship during the summer? Is it as hard as graduate jobs? Is it a good idea to get an internship during the summer of first year? When do people usually do internships, and how much is enough?
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starrymoon
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(Original post by zombie2233)
Can someone answer, how hard is it to get into an internship during the summer? Is it as hard as graduate jobs? Is it a good idea to get an internship during the summer of first year? When do people usually do internships, and how much is enough?
It depends on the internship. Some with sought after companies are highly competitive. I remember that my uni were always advertising internships and work experience with smaller, less sought after companies on their career page. They also offered their own summer internships which were much easier to get into. You could also email around smaller companies in your field of interest and see if they would be willing to take you on for work experience for a week or even two.

It is a good idea to do it the summer after first year. Most people do it during or the summer after the second year as a lot of internships are specifically geared towards students in their penultimate year. I think that you should try to get as much work experience as you can get, whichever year you are in. It is a big bonus to get some experience in the area you would be interested in working in- e.g science lab for research, law firm for law ect. or something even remotely to do with your area of interest. This would definitely help you to stand out/ be as competitive as the sea of applicants going for graduate jobs.

You could also consider a part time job. Even retail jobs can help to demonstrate basic skills in an interview and they immediately draw employers’ interest. Of course if you can find one even remotely linked to a field you might be interested in, even better.
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zombie2233
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(Original post by starrymoon)
It depends on the internship. Some with sought after companies are highly competitive. I remember that my uni were always advertising internships and work experience with smaller, less sought after companies on their career page. They also offered their own summer internships which were much easier to get into. You could also email around smaller companies in your field of interest and see if they would be willing to take you on for work experience for a week or even two.

It is a good idea to do it the summer after first year. Most people do it during or the summer after the second year as a lot of internships are specifically geared towards students in their penultimate year. I think that you should try to get as much work experience as you can get, whichever year you are in. It is a big bonus to get some experience in the area you would be interested in working in- e.g science lab for research, law firm for law ect. or something even remotely to do with your area of interest. This would definitely help you to stand out/ be as competitive as the sea of applicants going for graduate jobs.

You could also consider a part time job. Even retail jobs can help to demonstrate basic skills in an interview and they immediately draw employers’ interest. Of course if you can find one even remotely linked to a field you might be interested in, even better.
Thank you so much, I think the summer after first year I will just try to get a retail job or something, then after second year hopefully I will manage to get an internship
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mnot
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(Original post by zombie2233)
Can someone answer, how hard is it to get into an internship during the summer? Is it as hard as graduate jobs? Is it a good idea to get an internship during the summer of first year? When do people usually do internships, and how much is enough?
I found internships seem hard to get but if you just keep going you'll get offers.

I did 2 summer internships & a year in industry. Part of getting them is just not losing motivation, keep applying (and applying as soon as the applications open). I remember when applying for year-in-industry it ended up being months of applications and assessment centres but no offers, then April came around and I ended up with multiple offers at big global corporates... You just have to keep going and applying.
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zombie2233
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(Original post by mnot)
I found internships seem hard to get but if you just keep going you'll get offers.

I did 2 summer internships & a year in industry. Part of getting them is just not losing motivation, keep applying (and applying as soon as the applications open). I remember when applying for year-in-industry it ended up being months of applications and assessment centres but no offers, then April came around and I ended up with multiple offers at big global corporates... You just have to keep going and applying.
Ok thank you. I’m just scared because I’m rubbish at interviews and I get nervous
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mnot
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(Original post by zombie2233)
Ok thank you. I’m just scared because I’m rubbish at interviews and I get nervous
I definitely found the more interviews I did the better I got, you need practice answering unknown questions under pressure. One thing ive found with interviews is dont just blurt out an answer, you can take a second or two to think before giving a response.

Everyone is nervous but the more you do, the more comfortable you get and learn to 'own' the environment, ie once it starts try and have some confidence.
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zombie2233
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(Original post by mnot)
I definitely found the more interviews I did the better I got, you need practice answering unknown questions under pressure. One thing ive found with interviews is dont just blurt out an answer, you can take a second or two to think before giving a response.

Everyone is nervous but the more you do, the more comfortable you get and learn to 'own' the environment, ie once it starts try and have some confidence.
Ok thank you
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