QinetiQ graduate scheme

Engineering graduate scheme offered by QinetiQ.

QinetiQ graduates undertake a teamwork task QinetiQ is Europe's largest technology research company, employing over 6,000 scientists, engineers and technologists. Its 18-month graduate programme recruits between 50-100 graduates every year. Recruits undergo a modular-based course culminating in a Postgraduate Certificate in Business Management, and are also encouraged to join the company's IET accredited initial professional development (IPD) scheme.

Graduate scheme requirements

We spoke to Richard Pratt, senior mentor, Learning and Development, QinetiQ to ask what he looks for in graduate scheme applicants. Aside from technical ability, he highlighted that an interest in the company and its work is a definite plus.

"We want applicants to be interested in the company to which they are applying; know our history, where we've come from and where we're going, what do we do and for whom. Be interested in our products and services and generally inquisitive and challenging," he says.

Pratt also notes the main competencies to flag throughout the application process.

"They must demonstrate excellent communication and interpersonal skills and that they can work well in teams. They need to be analytical and innovative with good planning and organisational skills, and lastly, they need to demonstrate that they know how to apply their knowledge to resolve problems and arrive at solutions.

"CVs should bring forward their accomplishments: what they have contributed and learned. They also need to demonstrate that they have learned from mistakes so they don't repeat them," he adds.

Application process

Graduate scheme applications are made online, and are evaluated against competencies designed to meet QinetiQ's requirements. Successful applicants are then invited to a 30-minute telephone interview, again designed to evaluate candidates for the competencies the company seeks.

If they pass this stage then the candidate attends an assessment centre at the Farnborough site and is assessed through group and written exercises, a technical presentation and interview. Successful candidates are then invited to visit a specific business area to meet the team and confirm that the position will be suitable for them. Both parties being happy, a job offer is sent.

What to expect

QinetiQ's graduate development programme is designed to develop commercial awareness and understanding of the business in early career graduates by introducing them to an understanding of key business fundamentals. The programme is comprised of five modules that are studied partly through face-to-face workshops and also via online distance learning.

Assignments throughout the programme require participants to apply their knowledge to real practical problems within their business areas.

The programme enables participants to:

  • develop an understanding of how QinetiQ does business and a wider view of the company as a whole;
  • develop team working skills, both virtual and face-to-face;
  • develop a network of contacts across the business.

Once this programme is complete, professional development continues at QinetiQ, as the company has a fast track to Chartered status through its accredited IPD scheme.

Benefits of the QinetiQ graduate scheme

"For the graduate, the benefits include a consistent, standardised approach to gaining the knowledge needed to be successful in a commercial environment," says Pratt.

"[They also include] the opportunity to establish early networks, which are so important in successful business, and most importantly the opportunity to gain the skillsets needed to operate effectively in teams, both as team members and team leaders alike," he concludes.