If you want to gain an insight into the marketing functions of a business then joining a graduate scheme is a great way to do this

A graduate scheme can provide you with the high-level training and support needed to develop your skills, while encouraging you to take responsibility for your decisions, come up with new and innovative ideas, and learn from your leaders and peers.

Which companies run marketing schemes?

The majority of companies have marketing departments and as a result you'll find graduate schemes in a range of organisations from the media industry and finance to health and energy.

  • BT - three rotations each lasting eight months on this marketing programme
  • Centrica - you'll do four placements on this commercial and marketing scheme
  • Diageo - a marketing leadership development programme offering experience of two different roles
  • NatWest - work towards a formal qualification on this two-year scheme
  • Nestle - a two year scheme working on well-known products such as KitKat and Cheerios
  • Red Bull - specialise in sports, culture, brand and media on this programme
  • Virgin Media - a two year commercial, product and marketing graduate scheme

Search for graduate schemes in marketing, advertising and PR.

What do marketing graduate schemes involve?

You'll experience all aspects of a marketing role including understanding the target audience, analysing market trends and brand performance, and creating communications whether that's for a TV advert or social media campaign.

What are the entry requirements?

Some schemes will specify the need for a particular degree subject such as marketing or a business-related subject while others will accept graduates from any area.

With tough competition for places many graduate schemes will ask for a 2:1 undergraduate degree. If there is a good reason for you not achieving a 2:1 then it can still be worth applying and explaining your circumstances. Increasingly many graduate schemes will accept a 2:2 and so it’s worth doing some thorough research.

You might also need a specific number of UCAS points, evidence of particular skills, a driving license and a willingness to relocate.

If university isn't for you but you'd still like to gain formal marketing training you could consider a marketing apprenticeship.

How do I apply?

You'll need to fill out an online application form and complete any numerical or psychometric tests set by the recruiter. If successful at this stage you may have to take part in an assessment centre before moving on to a face-to-face interview with the employer.

It's important to tailor your CV to the marketing role and organisation that you're applying to as employers can spot poorly thought out generic CVs a mile away. Find out more about applying for jobs.

Some marketing graduate programmes recruit all year round, while others will have set application deadlines so make sure you get your application in early.

How much will I be paid?

These are some examples of the salaries that recruiters have offered to graduates on their schemes but these can change for future schemes and could be dependent upon other factors such as location so double check before applying.

  • BT - £29,100
  • Centrica - £27,000 (plus £3,000 starting bonus)
  • NatWest - £31,850
  • Nestle - £30,000
  • Virgin Media - £30,000 (plus £2,000 welcome bonus)

For further guidance on potential salaries take a look at marketing executive.

Am I guaranteed a job at the end?

While an offer of employment isn't guaranteed many companies use graduate schemes as a way of assessing employees before offering them a permanent job upon successful completion of the scheme. It's important to check with the individual company as to what happens at the end of their particular scheme.

PR graduate schemes

Public relations, public affairs and the corporate communications industry is another popular career destination for graduates. Employers running PR graduate schemes include Edelman and FleishmanHillard UK. To see what roles in this industry involve, take a look at the public relations officer job profile.

Find out more

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