The application process

There are three key stages of the application process:

Application Process

Stage 1: Online application 

For the first application stage you will need to complete a brief online form and upload a current CV and cover letter through the University's online jobs portal. In your cover letter you should answer the following questions:

  1. Why are you interested in a career in Higher Education and, in particular, why at the University of Birmingham?
  2. What is your proudest achievement to date?
  3. Can you describe a time when you showed initiative?

Your cover letter should be no more than 700 words.

Stage 2: Assessment centre

The assessment centre involves a variety of activities designed to enable you to show the skills and qualities that we are looking for in our Graduate Trainees. It is also an opportunity for you to meet members of the senior leadership team and previous Trainees, learn more about working at the University and decide whether a career in Higher Education is for you. The assessment centre lasts half a day and activities typically include group assignments, individual interviews and written tasks. It is designed to be both enjoyable and challenging.

Stage 3: Individual interview

After the assessment centre we will invite successful candidates to an individual interview with senior management - the final stage of the recruitment process. The interview will last approximately 45 minutes.

Hints and tips

Successful candidates will be those who show the greatest potential through the recruitment process and who show a motivation to work in Higher Education, and in particular at Birmingham.

We receive a high number of applications for the scheme. To position yourself well before applying, research the sector and the University. Some good places to start are the Strategic Framework and the Our University pages on the main website. Also, take a look at what our previous graduates have to say about the scheme and ensure you meet the application criteria

The online application is your first chance to make a good impression, so take time to tailor it to the role and ensure that your CV is up to date. Demonstrate enthusiasm for Higher Education and be clear on how your own skills and experiences meet our requirements. Where possible, demonstrate your engagement with Higher Education, for example through work as a student ambassador, course representative, volunteer or involvement in societies. Finally, make sure you check your application thoroughly before submitting it!

Before the assessment centre, set some time aside to think about why you want the role and why you would be suited to being a Management Trainee. For the interviews, make sure you answer questions honestly and with clarity and are able to talk about the experiences you have mentioned in your application. With the written and group exercises, follow instructions carefully and make sure you ask questions if there is anything that you are unsure about. Also, ensure you understand the requirements of the task before launching in. In the group discussions we will be looking at how well you can work with others, so make sure you get involved – show both your ability to lead and your ability to listen!

Finally, try to stay calm, focused and positive throughout the day!  

For further help with the recruitment process, the University of Birmingham's Careers Network has advice and information on how to apply for a job .