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06/04/2013

When should you apply for Graduate Trainee jobs?

This is that time of the year when the big four top auditing companies; PWC, KPMG, Ernst &Young, and Deloitte are in the interview process for the Graduate Trainee programme. These days, the number of companies that are hiring fresh graduates into graduate trainee jobs has increased to include companies like EABL, NMG and Kenya Airways. So, when should you apply for a Graduate or a management trainee position?

1. If you want to fast track a career into management.
A Graduate trainee programme is like a mini MBA, where you will learn a little bit of everything. At the core however, you will learn management skills that will be critical to whichever industry you will join thereafter. As a matter of fact, employees from companies like PWC, KMPG, Deloitte, and Ernst &Young already have one foot in the door when they apply for jobs in other companies after their graduate trainee program.

2. If you are unsure of your career direction.
Even after doing a course for four, five, or six years, some graduates still have no idea which career line they want to pursue. They still haven’t identified their strengths and weaknesses. In that instance then, a two or
three year graduate trainee program will help one identify their core skills, their strengths and weaknesses, since one will have been exposed to many departments within a company.

3. If you want to expand your network.
Many alumni of the graduate trainee program will hold key decision making roles in companies in a vast array of industries. If they are within your network, this could help you leverage your career journey, and help make the climb to the top much easier. If you want to start a business soon afterwards, you could soon be tapping into that very same network.

Don’t take a Graduate Trainee Job if you want to pursue a highly specialized field.
If for example, you are pursuing a complex and specialized field like engineering or medicine, then it might be advisable to apply directly for jobs within that industry, so that you get more hands on specialist professional knowledge. Since a graduate trainee is trained in many fields, you might get knowledge in many fields, but be shallow, which might make you a great manager, but less of a specialist.

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