Why a graduate scheme was good for me

Gillian, one of our 2015 Customer Operations graduates reflects on a year as a graduate.

After a year as a graduate here at Centrica I wanted to take a step back, reflect and hopefully offer a bit of advice for undergrads about to start their applications for graduate schemes.

When I was on the hunt for a graduate scheme I wanted to find one that not only gave me the chance to specialise in an area like customer operations but also had opportunities to continue my development with training courses and professional accreditations.  The scheme at Centrica offers just that; you can specialise in anything from marketing to engineering and along the way pick up qualifications in a range of things such as project management.

When leaving university it’s often the case to have little to no experience of working life so I found a scheme that offered different placements really appealing. The rotation of roles has given me the opportunity to try out new things and really understand how I want my career to progress. I’ve really enjoyed being pushed out of my comfort zone living in different locations and working closely with senior management, giving me opportunities that entry level roles didn’t seem to offer me.

A part of the graduate scheme that I’ve really enjoyed is the soft skill training. It’s really helped me get comfortable with my preferred working style and has helped me to understand how others differ - a really important skill around the workplace. For example it’s taught me that I like the detail of projects and enjoy analysing projects and situations before making decisions. Others might prefer a more direct and gung-ho approach and it’s important to remember there isn’t one style that works for everyone.

The final point to make is the community feel that a graduate scheme has. At university you’re obviously surrounded by like-minded people and it’s been great to have that continue on a graduate scheme. As a group we get together to have fun, whether that be volunteering through the company’s charity partnerships or simply getting together in the evenings to enjoy ourselves.

You can explore all of the schemes, including our summer placements, that Centrica offer here:  https://www.centrica.com/graduates