Managers work in different environments: what a construction manager does is very different from what a manager at a large supermarket chain does. Of course, managerial duties differ based on the business and industry you work in but generally, you can expect to attend plenty of meeting, both internal and external where you meet customers and clients. Your job is highly likely to involve a lot of people management.
The Training You Get as a Manager
Graduate training schemes vary depending on the employer. However, all training schemes should impart you with the knowledge, skills and training you require to be an exemplary manager, including remote managing.
Training typically involves on-the-job training as well as formal training sessions. Some schemes also include mentorship programs. The John Lewis Partnership management training scheme has enabled graduates to find ‘buddy’ mentors as well as senior mentors. On the same note, McDonald’s has, since time immemorial, used an intensive on-the-job training program that lasts for about 20 weeks. The program trains people on various commercial skills such as HR, finance as well as leadership.
Gaining Qualifications as a Trainee Manager
Some management training schemes will provide you with the support you need to secure formal qualifications such as a postgraduate or any other professional qualification from recognised industry bodies. For instance, NHS management schemes have assisted trainees to secure postgraduate certificates in healthcare leadership as well as other special qualifications based on the field of specialisation such as the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) for finance graduates in the training scheme.
Some employers prefer to enrol graduates into a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) but this is mostly for professionals who have a couple of years of experience on the job. The MBA can be done part or full time. The course takes anywhere between 10 months and 2 years to finish. There are also options for distance and online studying for those who may prefer them.
Graduate Manager and CSR Projects
Some graduate training schemes require that trainees be involved in a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) project or some sort of fundraising initiative; this can be an amazing opportunity to network with colleagues as well as make your contribution to society. The John Lewis Partnership training scheme puts plenty of focus on CSR and therefore has graduates fully involved in a project in conjunction with a social enterprise organisation.
The Pros of Being In-Charge
There is often a significant amount of responsibility in the start. Training schemes often put graduate trainees in assistant or deputy manager positions. You can progress quickly from these positions especially if you are in the retail sector, where graduates can start by heading a department and then proceed to run huge million pound stores in a span of 2 or 3 years.
The initial salaries are also quite good and, depending on your employer, there can be added benefits such as annual bonuses, health insurance, company and many more for being able to meet deadlines and hit sales targets.
Challenges You May Face During Your Management Training Scheme
The job can demand that you spend long hours working – if there is a deadline that needs to be met or a project that is due, it is your responsibility to ensure that the work is done on time. Good organisational skills and ethics can help you to find a perfect balance between your work and personal life.
Some schemes may require you to relocate. For instance, Tesco has in the past preferred graduates who can change location when need be.
You will need to put in a lot of effort and familiarise yourself with concepts that you may know nothing about, particularly if you have not studied management or business in the past. You might, for instance, find yourself struggling to keep company stakeholders satisfied or managing their expectations.
When Your Graduate Scheme Is Done
Some schemes may offer guaranteed positions when the training is complete, while others will require you to apply individually for specific roles in certain companies. If the latter is the case, you will get support during completion of your application.