Guess what? The break is over! Well, at least if you’re in your final year and are thinking about applying for formal graduate programs. Oh, and if you’ve got another year of study to go, you’re not off the hook either – some vacation programs are also open!
If you haven’t a clue about grad or vac programs, you could be missing out on some great opportunities. In a nutshell:
- Graduate programs – open for applications from final year students and recent graduates. These programs offer paid graduate positions with training/mentoring. Duration is a generally a minimum of 12 months’ employment, commencing in the January after graduation/completion of studies. Applications for grad programs open early in the year prior to the position commencing.
- Vacation programs – open for applications from students who still have a year of study to complete. These programs offer paid positions, generally 12 weeks of supervised work running from November to February or shorter stints e.g. four weeks between semesters one and two. Applications for vac programs may open at the same time as grad programs with some organisations, like the Big Four for example, but may also be advertised mid-year.
The common denominator with these programs is that it’s the bigger organisations that can afford to offer multiple work opportunities to students and grads.
A few tips
Get in the habit of regular job hunting:
- Seek is still the main go-to in Australia for private sector positions. You can register to save your searches.
- Use ‘graduate program’ or ‘vacation program’ as your search term. Don’t necessarily limit yourself to ‘Perth’ as the location. Using ‘graduate’ as the search term will bring up graduate positions – different from grad programs in that they’re often only one position within smaller organisations.
- Use other sites like GradConnection, for grad and vac programs, and Glassdoor, for jobs and company reviews.
- The State and Federal Governments also offer graduate programs, but not so many vac programs. These programs often open a bit later, around April each year or, with the State Government, it could be July/August.
Better still, know which organisations are looking to employ from your degree or discipline. Who are the big players, who are the little players? Private Sector versus Public Sector jobs? If you haven’t got a clue – try our Get To Know My Industry Challenge module.
Not everyone is going to be interested in applying for grad or vac programs, but it’s still good to be in the know. The sooner you start identifying possible jobs that are out there, all the better!