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Business Management Programme

Programme Programme length: 2 years

Did you know we are the world’s largest consumer co-operative? We’re an organisation that’s constantly changing, growing and investing. Which means you’ll be taking on a succession of projects right from the start. What’s more, you’ll be expected to drive them forward. And in true pioneering style, you’ll get to put your own ideas into practice. From major, long-term initiatives to small one-off projects, everything you work on will have a real impact on the business.


You’ll get off to a flying start with a two week long introduction to the business. You’ll meet various people you’ll be working alongside including managers, directors, and of course your buddy. They’ve already been through the programme and will help you along on your journey. As part of your induction you’ll also take on a mini project, helping you get to grips with the other business areas, while giving you the chance to build your network of contacts.

Customer Insight Project

Your first big project will focus on our customers. After all, they’re at the centre of everything we do. We’ll team you up with other graduates and give you a challenging customer issue to investigate. You’ll need to plan your approach as a team, manage your time and get to the heart of the issue. Then comes the hard bit: identifying recommendations and presenting to senior managers. It’s by no means a paper exercise. We really want to see your ideas, so we can use them to improve the business.

Business Projects

Next up is a sequence of real life projects, across a number of different business functions. In each and every one, you’ll be helping to shape our future through high-profile work - change initiatives that span the length and breadth of our business. There are all kinds of areas to get involved in, from marketing and buying, to human resources and strategic planning. Plus, rather than being passed from function to function, you’ll be able to choose the projects that you work on. In other words, you’ll shape your own experience and your own career in the process. Whether you’re launching a new product or helping to integrate an acquired business, you’ll learn how to lead projects, manage people and negotiate successfully. All the things you need to respond effectively to the huge challenges - and potential – of a growing, changing business.

This will mean tough but realistic personal objectives, along with valuable exposure to senior managers through delivering presentations and monthly progress reports. On the left of this page, you’ll find links to some past examples of projects our graduates have worked on. They’ll give you a real feel for the quality of work, and the level of responsibility, challenge and variety on offer. In fact, they’re sure to give you everything you need to become a future leader at The Co-operative Group.

Learning & Development Reviews

Learning is constant. So we make sure we review your performance and progress continually. You’ll have regular formal review meetings with your line manager, during which you’ll be encouraged to reflect on your experiences and performance. This will help you to plan the next steps, meaning you can focus on your future development needs.

Management Development Programmes

Starting with feedback from your assessment centre, your development path will draw together every aspect of your learning. You’ll embark on a structured development programme covering everything from commercial awareness to leadership skills. Put simply, it will give you everything you'll need to take your career – and the business - forward. Better still, you’ll have a wide range of support including a mentor, a personal development budget and all the encouragement you need to drive your career.

6 month Business Role

To help launch your career, you’ll undertake a six-month business role within your chosen area. This will make sure you get the specialist skills needed to take on a management role at the end of the programme.  Previous graduates have become Strategic Planning Analysts, Procurement Managers and Senior Marketing Managers, to name just a few. As you can see, the opportunities are varied and we’ll work with you to give you the right opportunities, whichever direction you’re headed.