At this time of year we often see students who feel like they’ve left it too late to search for a graduate job or that all the ‘best’ opportunities have been taken. This is not the case! You have lots of options available to you as an LSE student and we advertise brilliant opportunities all year round.
It can be easy to focus your attention on the larger graduate schemes (the set 2-3 year training schemes most commonly offered by large commercial organisations) that recruit up to one year in advance. Whilst many of these applications have indeed closed, they represent the minority of the graduate opportunities out there. If it’s the company that interests you first and foremost the graduate scheme won’t be the only route in. Look at all the vacancies they have on offer and see if there are other opportunities that are a good fit. Even if these are on a temporary basis it allows you to build both your experience and your network.
If you review your options and find that what you really want is a particular graduate scheme and the deadline has past – don’t despair! Most employers will accept applications for a couple of years after you have graduated so you can always apply for the next round. The time in between can be spent working, travelling, teaching, or volunteering (including teaching English or volunteering overseas), – your life doesn’t need to be put on hold.
Entry-level positions and internships
Bear in mind that only certain industries offer graduate schemes. If you want to work in media, NGOs and charities, development, social enterprise, research, arts, creative industries (to name a few) then it’s unlikely you’ll find a neatly packaged graduate scheme. What you will find though are lots of interesting entry-level positions suitable for a new graduate that allow you to gain experience, knowledge, and skills that start to shape your career. Most small to medium enterprises will recruit this way and the opportunities will continue to be advertised throughout the year because they’re taking on smaller numbers and so there’s no need to start the process a year in advance.
There are many internships (including alternative ideas) that are open to graduates too. So if you don’t have a lot of experience, or you’re still working out what you want to do, then don’t rule these out as they allow you to build experience and test whether that sector/role is a good fit for you.
We can help
There are so many ways you can start a rewarding, interesting and challenging career and it’s important to know how to balance this around your studies. If you need help with career planning, job searching, finding opportunities that interest you, then remember we’re open all summer for one-to-one appointments!