The top ten employers with commercial graduate schemes and internships

Which are the most popular graduate employers that offer commercial and business opportunities? Our survey says...

Hero image for The top ten employers with commercial graduate schemes and internships

Most vacancies are open to graduates of any degree subject.

As part of the 2021 Cibyl Graduate Survey, 67,688 students and graduates from 158 universities told us their favourite graduate employers. (Cibyl is a research brand owned by the same parent company as targetjobs). The survey is the most comprehensive of its kind in the UK so provides valuable insights.

To help you with your job search, we reveal what business and commercial roles and internships for students and graduates are offered by the ten most popular employers identified in the survey.

Find out more about the survey and its methodology

The top ten graduate employers with commercial graduate programmes and internships

  1. Google advertises graduate-level jobs and summer internships in its business function on an ad hoc basis.
  2. Amazon offers business development and sales internships and a business development graduate programme.
  3. The BBC ’s business graduate scheme is on hold but it still offers business support-focused work experience at several of its studios.
  4. Cancer Research UK offers internships in a range of its departments, including business strategy. (Charities need to be financially sustainable, after all). The organisation’s graduate scheme is on hold for now.
  5. MI6 – Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) employs business support officers to keep it running smoothly. They’re involved in a wide range of work, from facilitating the teams gathering intelligence to joining one of the corporate teams. These roles are open to British citizens educated to GCSE level (or equivalent).
  6. GSK runs its graduate future leaders programmes in various business operations, and sales and marketing functions – from communications and HR to procurement. It also offers industrial placement years in similar areas for students from any degree discipline.
  7. J.P. Morgan runs all of the finance and banking schemes that you’d expect, including corporate analyst development internships and graduate programmes.
  8. Microsoft runs graduate programmes in specialisms including customer success management and project management. It also offers internships in areas such as finance, marketing and sales.
  9. MI5 – The Security Service ’s business enablers entry scheme (BEES) is all about keeping the service running smoothly. Graduates can specialise in areas including project management, HR and information management. The service also runs internships, including a 12-month placement in its procurement team.
  10. Rolls-Royce offers a business and enterprise graduate programme and 12-month internships in this area. Both are based at a number of the company’s UK locations.

Most programmes mentioned above are open to all degree subjects; some, but not all, require a 2.1 minimum. However, the vacancies offered by graduate employers – and the degree subjects they require – can change, so check out the individual company websites for roles you’re interested in.

Search for commercial graduate programmes and business jobs

There are, of course, a huge range of business-focused vacancies outside of these top ten:

How to choose the best graduate employer for you

There are essentially two types of commercial graduate programmes on offer: those schemes that rotate you around different business functions and those that place you in one commercial function (such as marketing). When choosing where to apply, think about whether experiencing a breadth of roles or specialising from the start would best suit your career ambitions.

Look, too, into the employers offering the graduate programmes. The truth is that you won’t have time to apply to a huge numbers of employers – or at least not if you want your applications to be sufficiently high quality to get you interviews. Instead, start with a shortlist of your preferred organisations (say your top three). Once you have applied to them, you can move to the next three on your list and so on. This will give you the space to tailor your applications in the way that the recruiters expect.

But how do you identify your preferred employers? Pinpoint what is most important to you. Is it the type of training that you’d receive? Support for a professional qualification? The potential for rapid promotion? Maintaining a good work/life balance? A high starting salary? The employer’s values or approach to sustainability? Once you have your criteria, see which employers match them. You might find it helpful to keep a scorecard. Doing this will also help you articulate genuine reasons for wanting to work at that company – something that all employers want to see.

Spotlight organisations

Get inspired

Cherry picked for you

Cherry picked for you

and delivered directly to your feed.