Graduate programmes - FAQ

Graduate programmes - FAQ

Do you know what a graduate programme is? How to apply? And what the companies are looking for when they are choosing their candidates? Based on our knowledge in Aarhus BSS Career & Alumni, we have created a general overview of frequently asked questions. For further information on a specific graduate programme, visit 'Become graduate at one of our partners'

What is a graduate programme?

A graduate programme is a customised career journey offered to graduates by a company. In a few years, the graduate will, due to job rotations during the programme, gain insight into different departments and business areas of the company. The job rotations can also include a stay in one of the company’s international departments.

This means that a graduate programme will give you a broad range of experiences, an important network, as well as provide you with the possibility to try out your skills on different business areas before choosing your future career path within the company.

However, be aware that to join a graduate programme you must have high drive and ambitious goals, and be prepared for meeting high expectations. It is a great investment for a company to be offering a graduate programme, which means that you are also expected to be independent and adaptable, to show eagerness to learn, and to take initiative in developing your skills from day one. 

The specific contents of a graduate programme varies according to the company and its business areas. Here you can read more about the programmes offered by our partners.

Our partners' graduate positions

Do I have to speak Danish?

The language requirements differ from company to company. Many of our partners are offering graduate programmes in English.

How to apply?

Usually, you apply for a graduate programme through the company’s website or via email by fulfilling a formula and/or attaching your resumé and application. When you apply for a graduate programme, you should always supplement your resumé with your diploma from the university, letters of recommendation, etc.

The subsequent recruitment process varies from company to company, but it is often very comprehensive. Therefore, you have to apply for a graduate position approximately six months before the programme begins.

For further information see 'How does the recruitment process function?' below.

What does the recruitment process involve?

The recruitment process varies according to the specific company. In some cases, you only have to attend one job interview, whereas other companies hold up to three interviews. A job interview can take the form of an online recording, a live video interview, a telephone interview, or a personal meeting.

Often the interviews will be supplemented with various tests, which aim to assess your personal characteristics and your skill-set. Read more about the different types of tests below.

Many large companies also arrange an assessment center or ask you to solve a case-assignment. Read more about what an ‘assessment center’ is below.

Which types of tests can I expect?

Many companies supplement the job interviews with different tests in the recruitment process.
There are several types of tests, but they can generally be divided into three categories:    

  • Intelligence tests: These tests measure your logical, linguistic, and mathematical capacity. The aim is to test your ability to draw rational conlusions and your ability to reach a concrete solution for a problem.
  • Aptitude tests: These tests aim to clarify your skills and how well you master these. E.g. how fast you process new information.
  • Personality tests: These tests aim to clarify your personal skills - e.g. your ability to work independently, your interpersonal skills, preferred working routines, and leadership qualities. This is often a multiple-choice test consisting of 100-300 questions.

What is an assessment center?

An assessment center is used by the company to gain insight into how you accomplish practical assignments. An assessment center typically lasts 1-2 days and takes place at the company. It is normally held after the job interviews, by means of which only chosen candidates are invited.

The agenda covers both individual and team-based assignments and tests. The concrete content varies from company to company, but often it encompasses intelligence tests, group discussions, team work, and oral presentations.

The assessment center aims to provide the company with a basis for evaluating whether there is a match between you and their company culture - and between you and their graduate programme. 

From which criteria do the companies choose their graduates?

Due to the many applicants for graduate programmes, companies are looking for candidates, whose profiles represent a combination of high academic standards, relevant experience, and the necessary personal characteristics. The selection criteria encompass:

  • Academic results: Your academic results will be evaluated as a part of the selection process. To be qualified for a graduate position, your grades have to reflect high academic standards.
  • Relevant experience: The graduate recruiters are also looking for persons with relevant experience e.g. relevant student jobs, exchange stays, voluntary experience, etc. 
  • Personal characteristics: The companies are interested in whether they see a match between your personal profile and their graduate programme. A graduate programme requires you to be adaptable, eager to learn, and able to work independently. 

How does a graduate position differ from an internship or a full-time job?

  • Internship: An internship is usually intended for students, who have not yet finished their studies. As an intern you will have the opportunity to test your theoretical skills in a practical setting and to gain work experience. Often the internship is unpaid and time-limited, as it is part of your university education.
  • Full-time job: After graduating, you can apply for a full-time position. Normally, a full-time job will not be time-limited, and you will not rotate between departments on a regular basis.
  • Graduate position: A customised career journey in which you will have the opportunity to explore different departments and business areas of a company. You are considered as a full-time employee, however you are not hired for one specific position in the organisation. Instead you will be part of an extensive training and development programme, and due to the knowledge and experience you acquire, you are intended to play an important role in the company in the future. As a graduate you will be paid for your work, but you are also expected to take initiative from day one. 

What happens after the graduate programme?

During the graduate programme, you will acquire invaluable knowledge about the organisation and create a large network across the different departments. Therefore, you are intended to play an important role in the company in the future, which means you will often be permanently employed after completing your graduate programme.