Finding graduate work in your final year

""Roksanna took part in the Career Lab Consultancy Programme last summer

Heading into your final year, you might be feeling pressure to decide on what you’re going to do after you graduate. In this edition, we want to talk to you about a few options you could consider.

Gaining experience in your final year

We have opportunities to help you gain experience and skills throughout the year, including internship opportunities via Career Lab.

Some students who took part in Career Lab programmes last year have even gone on to have their contracts extended with the organisations they worked with!

Roksanna took part in the Career Lab Consultancy Programme last summer and subsequently was offered an internship:

“From the start of the programme, I knew that I would work my best as you never know what opportunity/connections may follow and fortunately, it paid off. My advice to current students would be to always take the opportunities offered to you as you never know where they might lead! Be confident in your ability and push yourself out of your comfort zone. That’s what I did!”

Graduate schemes

Graduate schemes tend to be run by larger organisations, which means they are often heavily advertised. They are available in most job sectors, including finance, engineering, public sector, not-for-profit, technology, and more.

Graduate schemes usually include:

  • structured training (sometimes leading to a qualification)
  • rotation between different parts of the organisation and/or job roles
  • accelerated promotion prospects
  • a permanent role after completion of the scheme.

They usually last two or three years, and applications can be competitive. Applications tend to open in the Autumn term of your third year. You can find many on CareerHub now, closing between now and the end of December.

Sussex graduate Zoe, a former Careers Connector, shared her experience applying for graduate schemes:

“I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do post-graduation, so I started my job search by looking at lists of top 100 UK employers, and then narrowing down the organisations I was interested in. I’d typically look through their site and see if they had interesting graduate roles. Then, I'd fill in a short application form which only takes around 10 minutes and effectively registered my interest for lots of roles without much actual time spent!”

Graduate schemes are not the only option!

Graduate schemes are not the only way to start a great career. Only about 10% of graduates go into one - most start with a graduate job. These are usually entry-level positions and often contain many of the elements that make up a graduate scheme – the chances are you will have good promotion prospects, especially if you are prepared to move jobs to achieve it. We advertise graduate jobs on CareerHub.

What to do next

Do your research, especially into deadlines and how the employers differ from each other, including at the Virtual Careers Fair. Draft your applications carefully, in line with our advice.

Want to know more?

Lots more information, including links to relevant job sites, can be found on the Careers and Entrepreneurship website.

If you are interested in Career Lab programmes, including the Mentor Programme that's closing soon, then visit the Career Lab website.

The Virtual Careers Fair takes place on Wednesday 3 November via the Talentspace website. You can find out more on the Fair homepage.

See more from 18 October 2021