How can a Fresh Graduate be a Manager
The fact remains that most fresh graduates want to move into a management role immediately after graduation. Interestingly, most of them do not mind the career sector they will work in.
All they know is that they want to make the most of their managerial skills and explore their prospects for leadership. However, they also get worried that they will not get hired if they do not have any management experience.
Nevertheless, we will be providing you with how you can get a career in management started. You must note that there are three major entry-level routes into management.
- Begin work as an assistant manager or trainee either by joining a management trainee scheme also known as a management graduate scheme or getting an actual entry-level job.
- Joining a graduate leadership development program wherein graduates may likely not work in managerial positions but they will be given the training and development chances to be leaders.
- Starting in a non-management role in a career area and working your way upwards into management.
What Are The Management Jobs?
It is worthy to note that there are technically three categories of management jobs and people tend to be confused about them. They are:
- People/team management
The people and team managers are sometimes regarded as line managers. Their job role is to make sure that the team under their command performs their roles to a high standard and attain their set business goals and objectives.
These types of managers can take charge of a specific division or department. Or, they can be in charge of one or two people. The majority of the graduates who join a trainee management scheme are usually trained up to be this type of manager.
- Project management
The project managers are mainly responsible for the delivery of a project. These projects have a defined start and end dates and rarely ongoing.
While you can apply for jobs as an assistant project manager, most professionals move into project management after they have gained more experience in some other role.
- Management of a business function
The managers of a specific function are usually responsible for making sure a business process is finished. An example is risk and compliance managers tend to weigh up risks for the business and ensure that the business is compliant with guidelines or legislation.
Note that, the graduates who join a graduate leadership scheme are mostly managers of a specific function.
On a general note, there is a lot of overlap between the three aforementioned categories. The people managers frequently manage projects and business functions as a part of their job roles.
The project managers also find themselves managing the daily works of people in their team. As for the managers of a specific business function, they take on project and people management duties.
Applying For Graduate Management Training Schemes
Some sectors have more trainee management programs and graduate manager jobs than some others.
As a fresh graduate that aims to be a manager, it is advisable to try out graduate leadership development programs. These programs can be found with most huge companies that want to create a pipeline of talent.
However, they are mostly found within pharmaceutical companies, consumer goods companies, and professional services firms.
Since most of the management graduate programs are provided by the largest employers, applying for them as a fresh graduate can involve diverse stages. All of these vary across roles and employers but most application processes involve:
- Online application form
This is a quick form that focuses on your personal and contact details before you are sent onto a suite of online capability tests or game-based recruitment exercises. It may demand you to answer application questions and even upload a CV plus cover letter.
- Online capability tests or games based recruitment exercises
These tests are mostly timed and either assess specific abilities like your inductive or numeracy reasoning. It may also involve how you may likely react to specific workplace scenarios.
- Video or telephone interview
Some of these employers have either a video or telephone interview. These interviews are shorter than one on one interviews and will involve some questions about your skills, experience, and motivations.
The video interviews normally involve you recording and updating your answers while the phone interviews involve speaking to the recruiter.
- Assessment center
Most of the assessment centers will be focused on gauging your management skills. Sometimes, this will even involve job-linked scenarios like role play. Some of these companies may invite you into the workplace just to see how you will function while on the job.
- The final interview
This may likely be incorporated in the assessment center or it may be done on a separate day. It might be in person or via a live video link. It is basically with one or more interviewers who are managers in the business.
What Do You Need To Be A Manager
Most of the graduate management programs tend to accept applications from every degree discipline.
Nevertheless, some will prefer or demand you to have a postgraduate or an undergraduate degree that is related to the sector or be in business management.
For construction employers, they demand a construction-related degree and logistics roles will demand a business management degree or logistics management degree. Some recruiters need a 2.1.
As a fresh graduate, there are skills you will need to be a manager. Some of these skills are:
- Good understanding of the goals and objectives
You will need the ability to see all that needs to be done and create a plan for how to go about it.
- Aptitude for managing ambiguity and decisiveness
You will need to be able to decide on available facts, even if you do not have all the required information.
- Emotional intelligence and interpersonal skills
Since you will need to create a team, you will be needing the ability to influence, motivate and inspire team members.
- Listening and communication skills
With these skills, you will be able to change your communication see to suit diverse audiences.
Some other skills you will need to have are:
- Self-motivation and drive
- Time management and organization
- Creative problem solving, and;
- Commercial awareness. This involves being aware of the commercial invocations of your job role.
In a bid to get the job of a manager, some employers will provide formal internships and some will carry out a clear management focus. Others will provide an overall insight into the sector.
You must know that employers seek graduates who do and supervise. If you are called for an interview, ensure that you talk about those times that you carried out menial or unpleasant works.
As for the salary being offered as a manager, it will differ according to the sector and the location of the company.
Now that you have an idea of how to be a manager even as a fresh graduate, you can skim through some graduate management training schemes and pursue your path to be a manager.
Understand that, the graduates on a management training scheme will receive ongoing and thorough training. This will be a combination of on-the-job learning and formal training sessions.
There are graduate management training schemes that offer trainees a learning mentor.
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