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What kind of job?

What kind of job?

What kind of job?

Graduate schemes

If you are in your final year, you have probably already started looking at the graduate recruitment schemes on offer from major employers. High starting salaries and good promotion prospects make the schemes attractive to many students, so expect strong competition.

These schemes typically begin recruitment up to a year in advance; rigorous application processes and multiple interview stages are the norm, so be sure to do plenty of research – with our help – before sending off your application form. Generally, the schemes will give a wide period in which to submit your applications. Be aware, however, that the second round of selection could occur within this period, so early application is always preferable to avoid disappointment.

See our graduate recruitment timeline to get an overview of typical timescales.

Other graduate jobs

As a graduate, your qualifications are greatly sought after by all sorts of companies – not just those running high-profile graduate recruitment schemes. In fact, the majority of graduates ultimately find work outside of these schemes, so keep your search broad. Small and medium sized businesses (those which employ fewer than 250 people) often hire graduates, and more are recruiting as time goes on. The smaller size of these businesses means that your presence is highly valued: without the large hierarchy of a major corporation constricting your position, you could find yourself working alongside more senior staff. 99% of businesses in the UK are small or medium sized, and opportunities in the sector abound for graduates. Such opportunities are likely to be less widely advertised than the large-scale schemes so you will need to think more creatively in your job-search. Check out the how to search for jobs page for some ideas.

Self-employment

Running your own business may sound daunting, but it is an increasingly popular option for graduates, and we can help you each step of the way. ‘Spark’, our business start-up service, is available to all students whilst at Leeds, and for five years after graduation. If you are feeling entrepreneurial, come to us with your business idea and we can offer expert advice, support, and even preliminary funding.

Internships & other work experience

As the first step on the road to employment, undertaking work experience lets you build experience and relationships with employers. Whilst most posts are temporary they can often lead to full time graduate employment. Formal undergraduate internship programmes tend to begin either in September or early summer, with applications opening in the spring or the preceding autumn.  

Graduate internships or placements may begin at any time of the year, and you should consider making speculative approaches to companies you are interested in to find your own work experience placement or internship. For more information, see our page on Speculative Enquiries.

Volunteering

Volunteering is a great way to build skills, experience and industry contacts. Voluntary organisations are always in need of enthusiastic helpers, and require a whole range of jobs from fund-raising to marketing and IT. If you are hoping to pursue a career in the charity sector, then some volunteering experience is often essential. Do not think that it is all give-give-give: volunteering posts at festivals like Leeds and Glastonbury let you enjoy a week of fantastic music in return for a few hours of muddy marshalling.

For opportunities in Leeds, try:

Leeds for Life

Students into Schools

Leeds University Union

If you are more interested in volunteering elsewhere in the UK, try the searchable database of opportunities at do-it.org