What does a graduate role in "Management" mean?

Katie Harrison
Campaigns Executive

Wow, that’s a big question.

From profit margin reports to continuing professional development, a management role within any company can entail a wide variety of experiences, responsibilities and team structures. Put simply, a manager is a facilitator of action within a company, taking on responsibility for a team of other employees or even a whole department.

For graduates just entering a business, this may seem daunting, but the sheer breadth of experiences available is often what makes this role such a lucrative choice for your first career step – quite often, companies offering graduate management schemes will put a “rotation” in place, ensuring that you gain insight into multiple core business areas and equip yourself with the knowledge you need to choose where to specialise as your skill set develops.

Unsurprisingly, management skills are in high demand within many sectors, from Finance and Accounting to FMCG & Retail. We’ve outlined a few examples of the different types of management roles available to graduates – take a look below, and never be caught out by a job description again.




Retail Manager

What does it mean?

You will be responsible for the day-to-day running of the business, from team management to maximising profits and customer liaison. Whilst experience in the world of Retail is helpful, larger brands will often ensure their training programme can bring graduates completely up to speed within the first few weeks of their new role.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Motivating your team to be the best they can be – a happy workforce is a productive workforce
  • Managing stock levels and making key decisions about stock control
  • Staying on top of trends in the industry and using analytics to transform this information into data-driven decisions for shaping future strategy
  • Being aware of all areas that contribute to the successful running of the business, from Operations and Administration to Marketing and Logistics, in order to develop your knowledge and experience further over time.

Graduate starting salaries:

Depending on the brand, starting salaries for Retail Managers, Trainee Managers or Graduate Area Managers can start at £22,000 and extend up to £42,000. Often, successful performance will lead to a notable salary advance within your first 1–3 years.





Finance Manager

What does it mean?

Money makes the world go round, and your role as a Finance Manager is to make sure your company stays on the right side of the scales by advising them on sound financial decisions and strategies.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Collecting and interpreting data on current financial information, predicting future trends and outlining how the company's strategy can be adjusted accordingly
  • Organising procedures to be adopted that will minimise financial risks and increase stability for the company
  • Managing the accounting, monitoring and reporting systems of the business on a day-to-day basis.

Graduate starting salaries:

Depending on the industry, average starting salaries are usually in the region of £24,000 to £35,000 (although for a graduate they will tend to be towards the lower end).





Management Consultant

What does it mean?

You will work with a range of different organisations as a representative of your company, identifying any need for change and providing recommendations for implementing improvements to their strategy, structure or operations. Consultancy firms can vary from industry specialists to international giants, each with their own perks and differences.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Identifying issues that a client may be facing in their management structure or strategy through research, data collection, team interviews and focus groups/workshops
  • From these findings, devising solutions that can be implemented with your support by the team
  • Presenting your findings and any recommendations to the client and managing the projects that follow
  • This work will take place on a client’s site, which, depending on the company, could be situated anywhere in the UK or abroad, necessitating a lot of travel in your role.

Graduate starting salaries:

Joining a larger firm as a Junior Consultant can see a graduate earning a starting salary of £25,000 - £30,000. This may be increased by a company allocating commission on a client-by-client basis.