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What Does a Graduate Management Trainee Do?

A Graduate Management Trainee is a role designed to prepare recent graduates for leadership positions. They undergo rigorous training, gaining hands-on experience in various departments, learning about the company's operations, and developing managerial skills. But how does this training process actually work?
K. Kinsella
K. Kinsella

A graduate management trainee is an individual who has successfully completed an undergraduate college degree program and who is receiving on-the-job training while taking part in a management program that may last for weeks, months or even years. Finance firms, manufacturing companies and marketing corporations are among the types of businesses that typically employ management trainees. While many employers require applicants for managerial roles to have both academic credentials and experience, a graduate management trainee can be fast-tracked into a supervisory role regardless of his or her experience level.

In many instances, a graduate management trainee spends some time working alongside company workers who are employed in a variety of different entry-level jobs. Managers are generally required to thoroughly understand the tasks performed by lower level employees; often, trainees learn these details by working with these employees during the training process. Aside from learning about the functions performed by different individuals, the trainee can also gain an understanding of the way that the different job families fit together within the company's internal structure.

Since mangers hire new employees, they must have good interpersonal skills.
Since mangers hire new employees, they must have good interpersonal skills.

Mangers must hire, coach and terminate employees which means that people employed in these roles must have good interpersonal skills. During the training process, a graduate management trainee may work alongside human resources (HR) professionals during which time these individuals are taught about the firm's procedures for handling employee disputes. Additionally, HR representatives provide the new recruits with techniques and strategies for managing people and improving team performance. Some employers have an employee code of conduct that all workers are required to comply with and a graduate management trainee must be familiarized with such rules during the training process.

Aside from managing people, managers must handle staff budgets. Many graduates involved in these programs gain some knowledge of budget control while at college since management trainees are often individuals who studied business administration, marketing or finance while at college. Nevertheless, procedures for budgetary controls vary from employer to employer so people involved in these programs are taught about the company's specific practices and regulations.

Managers often represent the company as a whole during meetings with clients and outside business partners. Those involved in a graduate management trainee program must learn about the company's corporate culture and company values. Many firms require managers to conduct themselves in a certain manner while dealing with clients. Additionally, people employed by different firms have varying degrees of autonomy to make decisions about pricing products, hiring employees or controlling day-to-day operations. Trainees learn about the firm's specific protocols and expectations during these sessions.

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    • Since mangers hire new employees, they must have good interpersonal skills.
      By: BlueSkyImages
      Since mangers hire new employees, they must have good interpersonal skills.