Annmarie Barry

Graduate Management Trainee, LED Group

Degree subject BA International Business and Languages (2006)

Job title Graduate Management Trainee

Employer LED Group

I chose to begin my career in management by applying for a graduate programme at a medium-sized business. I looked for one that offered a lot of responsibility at the outset, the opportunity to develop my skills and the chance to make a difference early on. I sent a CV and covering letter to my employer and was invited to a one-to-one interview followed by a panel interview.

I was eager to learn how businesses operate as a whole so I chose a programme with a range of different placements. I have been able to try my hand at different disciplines and see how the departments link together to achieve a common goal – exposure that I might not necessarily have got in a larger multinational company. I spent my first month attending intensive training courses, learning about the company and getting to know my colleagues and their responsibilities.

After completing this induction, I was approached by the Managing Director and asked to work with him on the development and implementation of a new corporate strategy. I was involved with this for six months and since then I have had shorter placements in sales and purchasing. The graduate programme has also given me the opportunity to travel and I have spent time in a number of our foreign markets with colleagues. I still have placements to undertake in marketing, exports, accounts and IT, so I have plenty more to learn before deciding on a definite career route within the company.

Job-hunting tips

I would encourage graduates to thoroughly research the company you are applying to as it is hugely important that their corporate culture is a match to you.