Presented by Monocle

How to choose the right Graduate Programme to drive long term career success

 ·25 May 2023

Making the move from university to the world of work is one of the most daunting shifts in anyone’s life.

It is a significant transition that requires careful consideration and planning as the first company that you work for will invariably play an important role in shaping your career trajectory.

The decision that you make can either be a major obstacle or a massive kickstart to your career. With so many options available, it can sometimes be overwhelming to figure out where to begin.

When selecting a graduate programme at your first company after university, it is crucial to make an informed decision that aligns with your career goals and personal aspirations.

Consider the following seven points as you navigate this process:

Established company

Seek out a graduate programme that sets you apart from others by emphasising a proven track record of success at an established company. This ensures that you receive quality training and gain valuable experience in a reputable organisation.

Values and purpose

Ensure that the company has well-defined values and a clear purpose that resonates with your own beliefs. A strong alignment in these areas will contribute to a more fulfilling and meaningful career.

Comprehensive training

Request a breakdown of the training involved in the programme to ascertain its effectiveness in preparing you for the professional world. Look for a multifaceted approach, encompassing technical skills, professional development, critical thinking, and social skills.

Additionally, evaluate whether there is executive engagement as part of the programme, providing opportunities for mentorship and guidance.

Cultural fit

Explore the company’s social media channels and website to gain insights into its culture. Assess whether it aligns with your personality and values.

Consider reaching out to current employees to get their perspectives on the company’s culture and its investment in employees beyond the graduate programme.

Passion for the industry

Choose a programme in an industry that genuinely interests and excites you. Passion for the field will fuel your motivation and drive your long-term career success.

Fair compensation and job security

Lastly, find a programme that offers appropriate remuneration for your skills and qualifications. Additionally, ensure that the company provides permanent employment after the programme, offering stability and a solid foundation for your career growth.

By considering these factors, you can make a well-informed decision when selecting a graduate programme that sets you on a path towards professional fulfilment and success. 

Focused Career Development

Research whether the company has clear career development paths for graduates, including mentorship and individually tailored career guidance from senior employees.

This will provide insight into the potential for growth and advancement beyond the graduate programme. This is often found in organisations that are well-established but that are still growing at a healthy rate.

Top Choice: Monocle Solutions Analyst Graduate Programme

Year after year, the Monocle Analyst Graduate Programme has been a top choice for ambitious graduates in finance, accounting, engineering, mathematics, economics, and information science, who want to kickstart their careers in management consulting.

As an international consulting firm based in Johannesburg – with offices in Cape Town, London, and Amsterdam – Monocle has worked with some of the most prestigious financial institutions in the world of banking and insurance for over 20 years, executing critical change projects at the heart of the international financial system.

During the programme, Monocle Analysts are immersed in an unparalleled, growth-orientated environment. They are taught how to navigate the corporate world, with training ranging from hard skills to corporate ethics and professional communication, all while having a high level of exposure to the company’s most senior executives, who actively partake in the programme.

Monocle’s analysts are also exposed to core industry knowledge through the “Fundamentals of Banking” module and gain critical technical skills such as coding in SQL and Python, while mastering the art of business analysis.

Unlike other companies, once individuals are selected for the Monocle Analyst Graduate Programme, they are immediately offered permanent employment and industry competitive salaries.

What really sets Monocle apart, specifically in its approach to hiring, is its holistic view of candidates. Academic performance is considered, but Monocle also takes the applicant’s non-academic achievements, personality, values, and attitude into account.

Once selected, the programme is designed to provide guidance, personal development, and mentorship for every analyst. The constant input from the company’s executives is characteristic of Monocle’s prolonged investment in its employees.

The collaborative environment and the security of permanent employment fosters feelings of camaraderie and goodwill, while allowing analysts to enjoy the healthy competition and social interactions that are central to the company’s culture.

Analysts can join the firm’s many sports and cultural clubs, which include padel, golf, indoor soccer, indoor cricket, running, and arts and culture clubs, while also enjoying numerous social events throughout the year.

Graduates can lookout for Monocle at all major university career fairs, where they will have the opportunity to engage with the Monocle team to find out more about the company.

This is the perfect opportunity for graduates to get a sense of whether Monocle is the right fit for them and to ask any questions they may have about the programme.

If you’re looking to kickstart your career, apply now to join Monocle’s Analyst Graduate Programme.

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