Every student that comes to the UK with the desire to gain some work experience has an idea of the type of company they would like to get experience with.
Whether it is the big 4 or an employer listed with The Times top 100 graduate employer, all students will have a vision in their mind.
But how easy is it to gain work experience with one of these companies?
Are many international students gaining sponsorship?
The reality of the situation
If your heart is set on working for one of the big 4 accounting firms then you need to know the reality of the graduate job market in the UK.
The big 4 being PWC, KPMG, Deloitte and EY receive on average 40,000 applications every year and this is from UK graduates and overseas graduates combined.
Another thing to note is that out of these 40,000 applications, the number of positions available from the big 4 is around 5000 - 6000.
From The Times top 100 graduate employers 17, 000 – 20,000 are recruited on average
Now that is A LOT of competition
Now I’m not telling you this to try and scare you or put you off your career goals, but many students begin their post graduate job hunting without seeing the bigger picture.
Right now you may be thinking, so what is the point if it’s so difficult?
Well, as always I have another option for you….
Make the decision to broaden your prospects
When it comes to applying for jobs, it can be somewhat a bit of a numbers game. So in addition to preparing as much as possible, they key is to try and improve your overall chances.
So how do you do that?
The answer lies with SME’s (small to medium sized enterprises). Now wait, before you turn up your nose assuming that these types of business are not prestige enough for your career; take a look at some interesting information
The Federation of Small Business calculated that SME’s provide 59.3% of private sector employment in the UK
SME’s also represent 99.9% of all private sector business
SME’s have smaller recruitment budgets so although the hire less people, this means that their recruitment process is less intense as oppose to larger organisations
Again this all boils down to what you are looking for from your first graduate job after studying. However SME’s tend to be overlooked by international students in general and with the tier 5 visa in particular, there may be opportunities being missed.
I think this is due to either a lack of information about different types of companies in the UK or the preconceived notion that a large corporation is the only way to get some work experience that will benefit their career.
To sum it all up
I highly recommend that if you have considered an SME to get some experience while in the UK then you should.
You need to think outside the box and not do what every other graduate has in mind and targeting different types of employers will provide you with more options.
You shouldn’t ignore them, but you shouldn’t be so fixated on working for a big flashy corporation right now. Remember, most graduates do not stay for many years with their first employer after their studies so think long term.
Working with an SME could be the perfect platform for your next step in your career. The big flashy corporations aren’t going anywhere and working for a smaller organisation within your target industry first, could be the door which leads on to bigger things.
STRUGGLING TO FIND WORK IN THE UK WITH SPONSORSHIP?
CONFUSED ABOUT THE WORKING VISAS AND FINDING THE RIGHT VACANCIES?
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