Managers’ work in various work environments ranging from construction to retail and the life of one manager in a particular work setting can be vastly different from another manager in another setting. While there are several duties that will differ, there are also set duties that remain the same, such as attending meetings and dealing with both internal and external clients. It is highly likely that any manager will have to face an element of people management in their job.
1. The Training You Receive as a Manager
Graduate training schemes vary greatly from employer to employer, but all will provide the individual with knowledge, training and skills required for him or her to become a successful manager.
Training will typically consist of ‘on-the-job’ training with more formal training sessions – in fact, some training schemes also offer a mentoring scheme to their trainees. For example, the John Lewis management scheme has, in previous years, teamed graduates with a ‘buddy’. Meanwhile, the McDonald’s management scheme utilises an intension on-store twenty-week training course where the trainees learn more about commercial skills in areas such as human resources, finance and leadership.
2. Acquiring Qualifications as a Trainee Manager
Certain training schemes offer support through a professional qualification, whether it is via an industry authority or an academic postgraduate degree. For example, the NHS graduate programmes have, in previous years, offered their trainees postgraduate certificates in healthcare; as well as offering specialised qualifications based on the specialist area chosen. This can include a professional qualification from the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants for graduate trainees who opted for finance management training scheme.
Some employers will place graduates into a master’s of business administration, also known as an MBA; however, this qualification can also be aimed at professional staff members who have several years of business administration work experience. The MBA can be studied either part-time or full-time and can take between ten months and two years to complete. The qualification can also be obtained using an online or distance learning option.
3. Graduate Managers and Corporate Social Responsibility Projects
Numerous graduate training schemes see recruits working on a corporate social responsibility project, also known as a CSR project, or a form of fundraising. This can be beneficial as a means of forming stronger connections with colleagues and a chance to ‘give back’ to the community. For example, the John Lewis management programme offers a focus on the corporate responsibility project; therefore, graduates will work on different projects with social enterprise organisations.
4. The Positive Aspects of Management
Management often presents with a high degree of responsibility and this is seen early on in the job. Training schemes will typically have their trainees work as assistant or deputy managers with chances of progression. Progression can be experienced quickly, particularly in the retail sector where graduate trainees may be running departments within a few months and running a pound store in two or three years.
The beginning salaries of training managers are often quite generous dependent on the company you opt to work for. Furthermore, trainee managers will gain several perks, such as a company car, bonuses for meeting project targets, incentives for completing targets according to deadlines, and health insurance.
5. The Challenges Faced When Dealing With a Graduate Management Scheme
Despite all the benefits, there are several drawbacks to a graduate management scheme. Firstly, the job can be time-consuming and you will need to work long, unsociable hours – particularly if there is a project due and the deadline needs to be met. However, keeping good organisational skills and time management will help you to achieve a more beneficial work/life balance.
Certain graduate management schemes can require relocation. For example, in previous years Tesco only recruited graduate trainees who were flexible regarding their location.
You will also need to become comfortable with certain concepts you may not have any previous knowledge of, particularly if you did not study business management. For example, you may be working to keep stakeholders content and need to understand how to manage their business portfolios.
6. Once The Scheme Ends
Some programmes will present a guaranteed role at the end of the scheme, but others will expect you to apply for a vacancy with the company once the training scheme has concluded. If this is the case, you will often be assisted and supported when completing the application.