With so much press about the tough job market for graduates at the moment, you would be forgiven for giving up hopes of finding a job straight after graduation.
However, one high-flying Loughborough University graduate of 2008 has proven that it is possible to be successful when securing a job at Whitbread in the difficult global economic climate.
Lisa Brown graduated from Loughborough in 2008, having studied Accounting and Financial Management. She did a placement year at Janssen Cilag Ltd as part of her degree, which reinforced to her that she wanted to pursue a career in finance.
During her final year she then started looking at Finance graduate schemes and applied for the Whitbread graduate scheme
Whitbread are the UK's largest hotel and restaurant company, with brands including Premier Inn and Costa Coffee.
For the Loughborough graduate what appealed about Whitbread's scheme was that they recruited for potential, meaning that their focus was on the behaviours and leadership that candidates demonstrated in the application process.
Since joining Whitbread in October 2008, Brown has taken on roles across the General Ledger, Financial Planning & Analysis and Investment teams.
At the same time as developing practical technical skills whilst working she was also sponsored and supported to study for her CIMA qualification.
Since completing CIMA, she has been promoted to the role of Investment Manager where she manages a team of two.
Jo Bullen, who heads up the graduate recruitment schemes at Whitbread, said that this is the key to their diverse range of graduates and their high graduate retention rate.
"We look for the future leaders of our business, which means for us it is all about proving your drive and ambition in any activity you've undertaken, whether that is travelling, work placements or participating in sports or drama,
“We want well-rounded people and the fact that we recruit for our Finance Graduate Scheme from all different degree disciplines means that we get a wide range of applicants"
If you are interested in finding out more about the Whitbread Finance Graduate Scheme 2011, you'd better be quick! The closing date for applications for the 2011 scheme is May 8, with a start date of September 13 for the successful graduates. Log on to www.whitbread.co.uk/whitbread/careers.html for more information and to apply.