For recent graduates missing the application deadlines for programs can be a frequent problem. This is a particular nuisance when you have found a program that is ideal for your objectives and skill set, however has passed the deadline date and is not taking in another intake of graduates for another 6-12 months.
The next step can be a big decision for graduates, to go in a different direction and try another program, or to wait until the next intake of graduates and reapply.
This is an extremely personal decision and will depend on your specific set of circumstances (everyone’s is different so weigh up your options) to take the right course. This article is intended as a short guide to starting whichever course you choose to take.
Find a new program
Graduate programs are run by a plethora of companies and across most major fields. While you may have missed your “ideal” program, you may well find another one that you would be very happy in. Remember also that you may find a better fit in a company that you had not previously anticipated. Try to keep your mind open as you search, for instance working for (say) a recruitment firm, may not mean being a recruiter, or working for an accountancy firm may not require an aptitude for numbers.
Waiting for the next intake
If you decide to wait for the next intake, however long that is, you can use the time as an opportunity to increase your skills and likelihood you will apply successfully. You may be provided with 3/6/12 months before the next intake, so the onus is on you to use that time wisely and ensure your CV and application is as good as it can be.
Internships can be a great way to fill out your CV and gain some new skills or hone some existing ones. Finding an internship in a similar field or a position that will provide useful skills can be a great use of your time.
Many courses are available now that take place over a drastically reduced schedule. Provided the courses fall within your budget they can be a very useful ways to take a crash course in a skill or area your college course might only have glanced over.
Waiting for the next intake can be a gamble, in that you have no guarantee that you will be successful, however if you have the qualifications necessary and spend a few months improving on those, your chances can be greatly improved. The key to using this time is to make a decision early on (try not to rush, but not to dawdle either) and follow through with a plan.
Whatever you choose…
Whether you choose to choose a different program, or wait for the next intake (or quite possibly a combination of the two) the key to your next stage is making the decision.
The most effective use of your time is to make a plan and stick to it. Either find another course of action or educate yourself in preparation for the next round. If you ensure you are constantly doing something positive for your career (even if it’s only a small step) you will be constantly increasing your chances of successful application.