Graduates can often be inundated with information about graduate schemes from some of the biggest companies around, but securing a position on one is not the only pathway towards a successful career.

Small and medium sized companies and start-ups can give graduates a great platform to learn and develop whilst gaining invaluable experience in the workplace. From the opportunity for quick career progression to a more creative company culture, there are numerous reasons why size does not necessarily matter when it comes to graduate schemes.

Much greater responsibility

While responsibility can vary on much larger graduate schemes due to the sheer number of employees involved, roles at small businesses are often more complex – you will naturally have to take on a wide range of responsibilities very quickly.

With very few employees, they will not necessarily have the time to continuously oversee your development, meaning you will be accountable for your own progress to a certain degree. The steep learning curve will result in you constantly having to face challenges that will mean you learn and develop essential skills.

Having practical experience under your belt will be hugely advantageous if the opportunity arises for you to move on too. You may not have the same level of external training due to smaller budgets, but on-the-job experience is still highly sought-after by employers.

Showcase your talents

Some of the biggest and most popular employers will take on a large number of graduates on a yearly basis. With such a large number of people to compete with, standing out and showcasing your individual talent can be extremely difficult.

Whereas at a smaller business they are more likely to take on one or two graduates at a time as the business grows, meaning you will have a fantastic opportunity to impress your employers and prove your worth.

Unique company culture

Small companies are well known for having their own innovative company cultures, from quirky office parties to ping-pong tables and office dogs. Transitioning from university into working life can be a challenge, but it can be made considerably easier if you are in tune and enjoy your new office environment.

With the competition for talent so high and with a need to keep hold of talented employees, companies are taking personality incredibly seriously when it comes down to recruitment. If you do manage to secure a position, you can expect to be working with like-minded colleagues.

As a result, you should find yourself joining a much more collaborative and enjoyable office, where you can become an important part of the team and enjoy yourself.

If you are a graduate looking to kick-start your career, have a chat with Discovery Graduates and see how we can help get you started…