“Team players”, “leaders”, “intelligent”, “smart”, “fun”, “exciting”…the list of pay off lines that are used by companies to entice young individuals into graduate recruitment programs (Grad program), are and will always be endless. However what does it mean to enter into a grad program and what should individuals be looking for when applying or choosing a program that best suits them?

Firstly what is a graduate recruitment program?

It is basically the bridging system between university/college and a corporate career. Simple as that, everything you need to know or how to work in a particular company should be done during your time in a grad program…or a corporate preparatory program if you may refer it to it that way.

Who can enter into a grad program?

The entry requirements differ and are really company specific. Global companies have programs that are tailored for each region/division but provide an overall grounding of the company itself.

Attracting good or the best talent:

Companies often do recruitment drives at various university or college campuses. Further you will come across a lot of advertising; companies getting their “employer of choice” brand out there - from print, digital, radio and television. The marketing capacity is big because the talent pool is spread across the country.

Getting head hunted:

Notifying or allowing your university/college to promote you as a top talent provides individuals with the platform to pick and choose companies to work for. At the end of a day companies will still want the best results from individuals, so no matter how talented you are at university/college, it is at the workplace that your talent needs to shine.

Being proactive:

Communicating with companies regarding their graduate programs is important, if you can keep on track on when their relevant application dates are in place along with the relevant information you need to supply, you are on track.

Being counter proactive:

Harassing a company’s HR staff about selection is not a good move and definitely not a way to go. Getting your parents to call the HR staff is also not a positive move.

Applying to a grad recruitment program:

This is actually quite easy, companies that have grad programs have websites geared up towards applications along with information. It’s very simple, get on the internet and apply away! Also remember programs will be country specific so don’t send off your application to country you cannot work in!

How many companies an individual should apply to:

It’s an interesting point, as companies recruit with as big a net as they can so should an individual in terms of applying to companies. The reason is an individual will therefore more opportunities and also get his/her name out in the market.

The selection process:

This is very company-specific: from interviews, tests/examinations, surveys, more interviews and even events (dinners/lunches/selection camps), the process can be strenuous and intensive. But by the end of the process the best of the best is expected to come out tops.

Global ideology:

Most global companies have a uniformed thinking about their country division. They therefore often brand their programs under one banner. Each country however will have different aspects to them that make them unique. Furthermore companies may also offer international programs allowing individuals to work at various international offices/divisions around the world. It’s a great way to gain international experience and also travel.

Questions that individuals should ask before entering into a grad recruitment program:

1. How long is the grad program for?

2. Am I locked into the program and what are the exit clauses, basically the terms of my contract?

3. What is required of me in terms of work?

4. What development should I expect from the program, what areas of the business will I be exposed to and what is the overall objective of the program?

5. What will and should I have accomplished by the end of the program?

Once you are in, the corporate world is at your feet, go out there and make it happen!

Google- its Google so enough said!: http://www.google.com/intl/en/jobs/students/

Pixar-- yes you can create the coolest animated things, that’s just awesome!

Related films to watch:

This was difficult because if you Google movies with the term “graduate” the only movie that really finds it way through the search is the Graduate with Dustin Hoffman, so instead of putting forward the antics of Mrs Robinson, we thought the film In Pursuit of HappYness would be a more fitting example!