Graduate schemes are a fantastic way to enter the industry of your choice. Recent graduate Jaide Hartridge got in touch to let us know what she’s been up to since qualifying last year with a first-class degree in Environmental Sciences.
“I am now on the Health, Safety and Environment Graduate scheme for Transport for London. This entails working in various placements across the company for two years before rolling off into a full-time position. So far, I have been with teams working in upgrading/constructing new underground stations and surface transport (everything other than the underground!).
“During my time studying Environmental Sciences at Brighton, I completed a placement year employed by a company called S2 Partnership but working for the pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson as the Environmental, Health and Safety and Support Coordinator. Being contracted into working for a company such as J&J was fantastic as it gave me experience working for a corporate company. With the support of both S2 and J&J, I had a hugely valuable year, giving me a taste of working life and the opportunity to make some great contacts as well as adding great value to my CV. I also finished the year with job offers from both companies which was a really great position to be in going into my final year!
“Although I thoroughly enjoyed my time with J&J and S2, I really wanted my first graduate job to be on a graduate scheme; something neither company offered (although I would certainly be interested in being employed by either company in the future). Thus, I spent a large portion of the first few months of my final year completing the lengthy graduate scheme application process to a number of companies. Although varying from company to company, the general process is a number of steps involving an online application form, situational judgement test, online numerical and verbal tests, video interview and finally an all-day assessment centre which usually has a group exercise, written exercise, presentation exercise, competency/strength-based interview and psychometric ability test. In order to do well you have to spend a significant amount of time researching the company and tailoring your answers to what each company is looking for, therefore it is very time-consuming!
“I managed to secure a place on the Transport for London Health, Safety and Environment Graduate Scheme. This is a two-year scheme involving a number of placements across the business and you’re guaranteed a full-time position at the end of the scheme. My first placement was six months long with the Capital Programmes Directorate (CPD), which essentially is the upgrade/refurbishment of underground stations (eg current projects such as Victoria station) as well as major projects such as the Northern Line Extension (NLE). This was really interesting as I was able to walk the new NLE underground as well as watch miners mining around the outside of the current Northern line as trains were passing through it.
“Although not part of CPD, I have also had the opportunity to walk around the new Crossrail station at Canary Wharf and look inside the new Elizabeth Line (Crossrail) tunnels. My second placement was three months with Surface Transport, this was more of an office-based placement involving various data analysis of accidents and incidents, highlighting and targeting incident trends as well as having the opportunity to take ownership over a couple of my own projects including building a new intranet site. I am now on a new four-month placement with London Underground Operations which essentially oversees customers and operation staff using the underground.”