Advice & Hacks
Best Marketing Graduate Schemes UK
Looking for the best marketing graduate schemes in the UK? Here are our top five picks...
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If you’re about to graduate and have your heart set on a career in marketing, you’ve likely started to consider whether there are any marketing graduate schemes you can apply for.
You’ll be pleased to discover that there are a number of fantastic firms offering graduates the opportunity to kickstart their marketing careers, from Virgin Media to Unilever.
Here’s our roundup of some of the best marketing graduate schemes in the UK in 2023…
What is a marketing graduate scheme?
Like any graduate scheme, a marketing graduate scheme is a structured entry-level programme typically offered by large organisations and companies which gives recent graduates invaluable training, mentoring and support in what is usually their first full-time job in the industry.
You’ll receive a salary and will usually get to experience a number of different departments to find your niche.
Graduate schemes usually last anywhere between one to three years and you’ll often find that the company will want to offer you a permanent position once completed.
What does a marketing graduate scheme involve?
With a marketing graduate scheme specifically, you can expect to gain experience in the following (though this does depend on the employer and the type of business):
Planning and executing campaigns, from social media to email
Developing product marketing strategies
Analysing market trends
SEO and PPC
It’s important to remember that the nature of the business will play a role in where your focus will be, such as whether it’s in-house or agency, B2B or B2C, and the service/product the business is selling.
A B2B firm will see you marketing to logical, process-driven clients with larger budgets, while a B2C firm will involve developing marketing strategies for consumers making emotion-driven purchasing decisions.
Similarly, working in the marketing department of a construction firm versus an NGO will be different in a lot of ways, though the core skills you’ll develop will remain the same.
What are the best marketing graduate schemes in the UK?
1. Virgin Media
Virgin Media offers a Commercial, Product and Marketing graduate scheme which is ideal for those who want to begin a career in marketing but would also like to keep their options open and gain knowledge in the sales, planning and operations of a company too.
This graduate scheme consists of four 6-month rotations across a range of departments, enabling graduates to broaden their skills and knowledge in different areas of the business.
The salary is £35,000 plus a £2,000 welcome bonus.
L'Oréal’s marketing scheme for graduates offers up to 30 graduates each year the opportunity to gain experience across four business areas. It’s an 18-month programme made up of three rotations, meaning you’ll again get to experience different departments to expand your skills and knowledge.
If you want a career in consumer goods marketing, this could be the ideal graduate scheme for you.
You’ll get the chance to work across any of L'Oréal’s 36 global brands and will combine both strategic and creative thinking to create a successful launch campaign for your brand.
The salary is £33,000.
P&G offers a graduate scheme for marketers and was actually voted the best company for graduates to work for in FMCG.
Working on one of P&G’s global brands, you’ll develop marketing plans and identify specific marketing tactics to build on consumer, shopper and customer insights.
You’ll be given responsibilities from day one, encouraging you to take ownership of campaigns all while receiving day-to-day mentoring and support from your manager.
The salary for P&G’s marketing graduate scheme is around £35,000.
4. Associated British Foods
Fancy working for a multinational food processing and retailing company? Associated British Foods is another company with one of the best marketing graduate schemes, offering a two-year programme where you’ll gain diverse marketing experience.
You’ll get to project manage the development of new products, execute marketing campaigns and interpret brand performance data to influence your strategies.
The salary for Associated British Foods’ marketing graduate scheme is around £34,000.
Unilever offers a number of fantastic graduate schemes, including one for marketers. The company’s Future Leaders Programme offers a variety of marketing roles across Unilever’s global brands, helping recent graduates to develop a thorough understanding both of marketing as a whole and the company.
This is a three-year scheme and consists of a number of placements across departments. You could be working on everything from launching a new flavour of Ben & Jerry's to helping with a Dove beauty campaign.
The salary is around £30,000.
Do I need to do a marketing graduate scheme to have a career in marketing?
Absolutely not! While grad schemes can be an excellent way to gain hands-on experience and training in an entry level role, they certainly aren’t the only way you can begin your career in marketing.
Here are our best alternatives to graduate schemes - which include applying directly to the company you’d like to work for, freelancing, or starting your own business.
You can also gain vital experience by applying for internships and apprenticeships, with internships giving you the flexibility to earn money in another role whilst you gain experience in marketing.
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