University students all over are constantly bombarded with information about corporate grad schemes. It’s important to remember that although these schemes can offer you a great start into your career, it is not the only route to career success.
Small start-ups and businesses can offer graduates just as much, if not more great opportunities and career prospects than large corporate companies.
Speaking from personal experience when I interned at a large corporate PR firm I noticed my mentor never really had time to check up on me as he was constantly busy. This happens a lot at larger companies, as they usually have a lot going on at one time which means they don’t get to spend a lot of time with their mentees. At smaller companies you are more likely to get that one on one mentoring that you require.
Smaller companies have that ‘all hands on deck’ culture in the office, which means that you are more likely to be given more responsibility in regards to your job duties. No one wants to be stuck doing the same irrelevant task day in and day out. Sadly this the reality for many graduates who partake in grad schemes at big companies.
Faster career progression
Now although the pay may not be as great in a smaller/start-up company, sometimes you have to think long term. Even though you may not be getting paid as much as you would like, it’s important to remember that it is much easier to progress in a smaller company than it is a large corporate firm. Less people means less competition which ca result in easier and quicker career progression.
Better chance at standing out
Some companies hire up to twenty graduates at a time! You can imagine with such a large number of graduates all eager to secure a permanent position, it feels almost impossible to stand out and set yourself apart from everyone. Now on the other hand, smaller companies usually hire less graduates, which means that you have more of a chance of standing out and hopefully securing yourself a permanent position.
So if you didn’t get that grad scheme that you so desperately wanted, all is not lost. Maybe this is a sign that corporate companies are just not for you, give the smaller companies a try you might find yourself in a better position in the long run.
Words: Lateefah-Jean Baptiste
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