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Graduate schemes

Large companies within the creative industries will often run graduate schemes. Usually they'll invite a few graduates to join their agency for about a year. There is almost always a job opening at the end but not always enough for everyone on the graduate scheme so you need to work hard and impress people while you're there. Some graduate schemes are role specific and some allow you to rotate around departments. The following should help you decide if they are right for you and how you can stand out when applying.

Are graduate schemes for you?

The big hint in the title is that these schemes are for students who have graduated from university. (As with everything in the creative industries, nothing is set in stone but if you want to join a graduate scheme and you didn't go to university, you better have a damn impressive application.)

Your degree could be in any area. Graduate schemes are particularly useful and often targeted at those who haven’t studied a creative course. They'll help you understand how the industry works and what the various roles are in a large agency.

If that sounds like a good fit for you, then a graduate scheme could be the perfect option. If you already have a firm grasp on what you want to do, you may want to look at [internships] or graduate jobs instead. There's also a huge variety of smaller companies to work for who don't have a scheme in place.


There is usually an insane amount of competition for graduate schemes – a well known agency only has to send an inviting tweet to get hundreds of applications. Before you download the application form, make sure it's going to be worth your while too.

It's only worth applying if you want to work for the company, not because it's another application you might get something from, they'll smell a lack of commitment a mile off.