Jade Unwin, MA Business Management, shares her experience with applying to and starting the University of Edinburgh Business School (UEBS) Graduate Leader Programme.
Staff photo of Jade Unwin in front of bookshelves

Why I applied

I applied to the University of Edinburgh Business School Graduate Leader Programme as it is a great opportunity to really get to understand the inner workings of Higher Education. As the programme is rotational, I knew that I would have the chance to work in different departments within the business school and wider university. Additionally, the programme has a predominant focus on the individuals personal and developmental growth, whilst offering an abundance of support through coaching, access to a mentor, and a buddy system with a Graduate Leader already on the programme.

The application process

The application process was very simple and easy to do. I created my CV and cover letter and submitted a copy to the Business School HR email address along with a copy of my right to work. The next step was attending an assessment centre. I was initially very nervous as I had never done anything like this before in-person, however I was greeted with such kindness and supported by everyone which made the day a lot easier. The day involved a variety of activities such as group work, group presentations, networking and finally an individual interview. Before I had my individual interview, I was quite anxious, however, as soon as I was in the interview, I realised that it wasn’t anything to be worried about and I just took my time to answer the questions.

Job offer and acceptance

I received a phone call a couple of hours after the assessment centre with a job offer for the Graduate Leader Programme. I was so shocked, especially because I didn’t expect to be told so soon. I excitedly, through the tears (of happiness, shock and relief), accepted the offer. From the moment I accepted the offer to then starting in the role six months later I was supported through check in meetings with my line manager and the opportunity to chat with my buddy. Between accepting the offer and starting the role I felt like I was already part of the team as they had been checking in and cheering me on through the remainder of my degree.

My placements

My first placement is within the Student Experience team and I am currently working on creating a short film to increase staff awareness of their communication with students identified as Widening Participation. Before I started the project, I was extremely nervous that I wouldn’t know what to do or where to start, however, I quickly came to learn that everyone is here to support me and wants me to do my best. This placement has given me the opportunity to push myself outside my comfort zone and has given me the confidence to do things I would have previously turned down.

Being part of this programme has already taught me so many valuable skills, and given me the chance to be involved with different parts of the university. For example, I am able to attend Ethics, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) committee meetings which is something that I am particularly interested in. I also have the opportunity to work on a project within the HR department two days a week, as my interests are mainly within human resources. Working with a team of people that are willing to support my career interests and goals makes the work and projects that I am doing so valuable and interesting, and I look forward to working on the different projects ahead.

Learn more about the Graduate Leader Programme