2 May 2022

We are absolutely delighted to announce the launch of the first UK Business School Graduate Programme, right here at the University of Edinburgh. The unique programme is designed to help graduates develop the skills and experience needed to pursue a professional services or leadership position within the higher education sector.

The new graduate scheme will run as a two-year rotational programme during which graduates will gain hands-on experience working with a variety of different departments across the School. This will provide them with the opportunity to feed into, shape, and lead on practical projects at the Business School and across the wider University.

So where did the idea for the new graduate scheme come from? We asked Will Chicken, Director of Professional Services at the University of Edinburgh Business School, who heads up the team developing the programme. "We have some of the best graduates in the world pass through our doors," said Will. "Our purpose is to equip them with the knowledge and skills to be successful in the world of business. As we do this we engage with some brilliant students and often they work with us on internships or on our Peer Assisted Learning (BizPALs) scheme.

"We felt that it was a shame that we weren’t able to support our students in the early part of their professional careers, and that’s where the idea of the Business School’s Graduate Scheme came in. It also ensures a pipeline of extremely talented staff into the School, College and wider University."

Our Business School ethos centres around a clear sense of community, co-creation, and collaboration. This scheme aims to offer graduates an opportunity to contribute to that community and play a real part in facilitating meaningful change and interdisciplinary strategic collaborations. To ensure a highly curated experience, the time spent working across different departments within the School will reflect the individual development goals and career aspirations of each of the graduates on the scheme.

"Participating graduates will have the opportunity to explore several different functions within the School and will gain a broad understanding of how a School functions", said Will. "This will provide them a good grounding in higher education. It also allows for different departments to gain the value of a graduate in supporting important project activity."

In addition to their placements, graduates will enjoy a structured training programme, as well as additional support in the form of coaching, mentoring, and a buddy system. They will also be involved with events and courses intended to expand their knowledge of the higher education sector.

During the first rotation, one University of Edinburgh Business School graduate will be recruited for the programme. It is hoped that future years will see an increase in the number of graduates admitted to the programme, and that an institutional strategy partnership will be formed to allow for rotations and placements within a different department or School. "We discussed the programme as a concept with a number of senior stakeholders and the level of support and encouragement they have given has been overwhelming," Will told us.

We look forward to welcoming our first graduate to the programme in September 2022.