Current Students and Staff

// University News

People walking by Hazlerigg fountain

Q&A with Loughborough’s Graduate Management Trainees

James Strong and Tanika Dhiri provide insight into the Graduate Management Trainee scheme and their journey getting here.

What was your background prior to applying?

James: I did a Politics with International Relations BA at the University of York then a MSc Management here at Loughborough. 

Tanika: I studied Sport and Exercise Science here at Loughborough University. I graduated in 2019 and worked as a Shift Leader in customer service prior to applying to the scheme in 2020. 

What have you gained from the scheme?

James: So far I’ve gained exposure to the inner workings of the University and I am now starting to understand how decisions are made and actions are achieved. I’ve also developed stronger skills in relationship management, writing, critical analysis, process reviewing and more besides.

Tanika: It would be difficult to put into words everything I have gained from the scheme as I feel I have learnt so much, both about Higher Education (HE) and myself. I have developed both my personal and professional skills throughout my time on the scheme.  

I have been a member of three different departments, meaning I have worked in a number of teams with a variety of people. This has developed my ability to vary my communication methods depending on the colleagues and stakeholders involved, as all teams and projects are different. 

Another piece of knowledge I have gained from the scheme is that I don’t always have the answer to a question, and that’s okay. I have learnt how to tackle challenges, despite not always knowing the answer straight away. It is essential to be able to work independently but it is also important to know when to ask for some help. As a Graduate Management Trainee, I have had the opportunity to work with colleagues across the University, which has provided me with a strong support network to turn to when I need some additional guidance. 

What would you say to a staff or student member considering whether to apply for the scheme?

James: For students, if you’re thinking about a career in Higher Education but don’t know where exactly you want to work definitely apply. The scheme gives you great exposure to the varied parts of the University and provides loads of great development opportunities to broaden your skill set.

For staff, if you want to break out of the service or department you are in currently, I’d really recommend the scheme for the same reason, the scheme offers great exposure across the institution. Not just to the four placements you are put on but other many other departments and teams as you’ll be working on cross-institutional projects.

Tanika: If you want to know more about how HE works or want to experience working in varying environments in a large organisation, you should apply for the scheme. The scheme is not looking for experts in HE, the scheme is looking for individuals who are interested in HE and are motivated to challenge themselves. Don’t hesitate from applying if you don’t know lots about HE yet, the scheme will definitely have plenty of opportunities for you to learn and develop your knowledge. 

Do you have any top tips during the application process?

James: Be yourself throughout, the process is about seeing if you and the scheme will be a good fit so getting the role on a pretence isn’t going to be good for you or Loughborough in the long term.

Tanika: Here’s a list of my top tips:

  • Read the candidate pack – there is a lot of information regarding the scheme in there 
  • When completing your application, provide examples of how you meet the criteria 
  • Think about what you can bring to Loughborough University and how these strengths will help your professional progression 

The scheme is open to new and recent graduates of the University, as well as existing employees who meet the criteria. The starting salary is £25,627.

Applications are being accepted until Monday 28 February at 12pm. More information about the timeframe for the selection process, as well as a candidate pack and a full breakdown of the job description and person specification, can be viewed here. The start date for the roles will be mid-September 2022.

Some frequently asked questions can also be viewed on the dedicated webpage