Every year we enjoy welcoming a new intake for our Nissan Sunderland Graduate Programme. Regardless of degree discipline or department, everyone who joins us gets the chance for real responsibility and experience in a challenging and diverse environment.
Our 30-month graduate programmes are a popular route to management positions and we see them as a partnership between you and us. We want you to enjoy your time as a Nissan Sunderland graduate and we ensure you have the right training, support and exposure in order to build the tools and techniques to have a great career with us.
At the same time, we expect hard work, a great attitude and a drive to succeed. We view our graduates as the talent of the future and create an environment where you can thrive. The rest is down to you.
Meet some of our previous graduates to see just how far you can go with Nissan Sunderland.
Current Role: Production Manager, NMUK
I studied Mechanical Engineering with European Studies at Salford University and always wanted to work for a multi-national company where I could make a difference. I graduated in 1997 and, straight away, I joined the NMUK Graduate Programme as it offered structured training and a hands-on job from day one.
The training provided throughout the programme was superb. The team-building exercises in the Lake District gave me a great opportunity to get to know fellow graduates and build up a network of contacts across departments. The training I loved most however was the on-the-job instruction. From the start I felt as if what I was doing was meaningful and important to the business, and it gave me an invaluable opportunity to quickly learn the key aspects of my role and department.
After almost 19 years at Nissan I am still learning! Every day is different, with a new challenge to overcome and an opportunity to make a difference. Even after the Graduate Programme there are endless opportunities for personal development. I have worked on many new model development projects, where I have had the chance to go to Japan and experience an 18-month secondment to our design centre in Cranfield.
If you want a challenging but rewarding job that allows you the opportunity to drive your own career, then the Nissan Graduate Scheme should be your first choice!
Current Role: Controller, NMUK
Following a visit to NMUK during my university course I was taken with how the company values were closely aligned to my own, personal beliefs. I therefore decided to apply for the Placement programme and had such a great experience that it was a natural step to apply for the Graduate Programme.
It was exciting knowing I would be working for an international company, and one that would support me well in my professional and personal development. The off-site training was invaluable in preparing me for the personal skills I would need in the workplace and also allowed me to build strong relationships with my fellow graduates. Physical activities such as gorge-walking and canoeing were also really good fun and I got to know at least one person in each department, which really put my mind at ease.
The responsibility I was given from day one made me feel massively valued as a Graduate and gave me sense of achievement. I was speaking with Managing Directors and travelling across Europe to support their project management activities within a matter of months. Although I had the help of my mentor, my ability was never questioned and I was given full responsibility once I felt ready.
I completed the Nissan Graduate Programme just over two years ago and am now working as a Controller. I have already made life-long friends here at NMUK and we regularly meet outside of work; last year a group of us even went to Florida! The best part of my job is working with my team to improve the way we do things every day.
Being part of an organisation where you can make real changes is a rare thing but one that is openly offered at Nissan in return for hard work and dedication.
Current Title: Vice President – Supply Chain Management, Nissan Europe
Being from the North East I was familiar with the Nissan Sunderland plant and their triumph story. Once I completed my degree I just knew I wanted to be a part of that success.
I joined the company in 1995 as a graduate in the Operations Management Department. The NMUK Graduate Programme appealed to me because it was well-structured and there was key focus on the individual’s development. The level of training courses offered were excellent and individual mentoring meant that individual needs would be taken into account.
In my current position I am able to implement change at a reasonably fast pace. If somebody comes to me with an idea that will help improve the business and it is cost-effective, then we implement it, no matter how big or small. This type of autonomous environment empowers people and encourages them to drive the business forward. I also get to deal with lots of other departments such as Production, Engineering, Design and Sales; this makes the day job hugely varied.
In 1995, I made the decision to join NMUK. 20 years later I am in a leadership role in a company that has consistently invested in me over that time.
Carly de Silva
Current Title: Senior Engineer – Individual Strategy
I joined the Nissan Graduate Programme in 2004 on completion of my Masters in Material & Design Engineering. I recognised that Nissan is one of the most reputable employers in the North East for Engineering and the NMUK Graduate Programme package is also one of the most attractive. I loved the fact that they offered a lot of opportunities for diversity in Engineering.
Out of all the training courses I really enjoyed the off-site residential courses at Derwent Hill – they were a great experience and I got so much more out of them than I expected. On the programme, the time goes so quickly because you are continually learning and evolving and my favourite part of the training was working on-site and getting to know NMUK – the people, the processes and how it all works!
I am currently working in Vehicle Industry Strategy, working on longer-term projects and strategies across Nissan Europe, and I love it. My job has lots of variety and opportunities to learn, dealing with colleagues right across Nissan Europe and Japan.
I often get asked what advice I would give to a student looking for a graduate job and I always tell them to look for something that will offer the chance to move around and learn about the world of work. It is hard to decide what to do for the rest of your life at aged 21! Being on a graduate programme like NMUK’s means you don’t pigeonhole yourself early in your career and you get the chance to explore different opportunities.
Current Title: Senior Controller – Alliance Logistics Europe (ALE)
I graduated in 2011 with a law degree and applied to NMUK because I wanted to work for a world-class organisation that had the opportunity to work and travel to other functions in Europe.
The ethos of “driving your own career” is very evident and I love the fast pace and autonomy within the company.
The training schedule is vital and all of the team-building and leadership courses were really enjoyable and gave me a great opportunity to socialise and network with graduates from other areas of the company.
Within Alliance Logistics Europe, I have the chance to work across a wide scope of departments, as you are linked to so many areas of the business. The best part of my role as Senior Controller is leading and developing a team to their potential in order to achieve our goals together. The high expectations and big responsibility involved in Alliance Logistics Europe mean that there are new challenges every day and always the opportunity to improve the business. Being given the autonomy, support and encouragement to do this by my department is paramount to my success in these projects.
If I had to sum up NMUK in three words it would be Dynamic, Innovative and Dedicated.
Current Title: Manager – Engineering (Nissan Motors Limited Japan)
In 2001 I undertook a 12-month placement at NMUK as part of my Automotive Engineering degree. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and came back to the company in 2004 on the graduate programme.
I can’t emphasise enough how important the social side of the programme proves to be. The network of friends and contacts I was able to build during my programme still stands me in good stead 12 years later. Often, my first point of contact in an unfamiliar department is a colleague from my original graduate intake. I have also made some lifelong friends through the programme, some of whom I have holidayed or even lived with!
The off-site training element of the programme was also very interesting and allowed me to build the skills I would need to progress within the company.
I have recently been seconded to Japan where I look at vehicle allocation globally and industrial strategy for the region (Europe and Russia). It is very different from my previous experiences in body engineering and interfaces with a lot of key decision-makers for the business as a whole. In all of my roles it is so rewarding that I am able to help create a legacy for the future, installing new models and facilities to protect the future of the company and its entire workforce.
Compared to other graduate programmes, new starters are very much part of the team from day one and relied on to contribute to the business objectives. If you are self-motivated and open-minded in the pursuit of your goals, then you will find yourself in the right, supportive environment as a graduate at NMUK.
How We Support You
Our commitment to comprehensive ongoing training and development is second to none. Everyone within Nissan has come to expect the best opportunities at every stage of their career. We don’t let them down.
From day one you will have an experienced mentor to guide and support you through your programme and you will benefit from thorough objective setting and appraisals every six months.
Everyone starts with a thorough induction course, to welcome you to the team and introduce the Nissan ethos. After that your training will be personalised to you, depending on your career development and chosen department. This means your training remains relevant and focused to your ongoing career and level of progression. Common non-technical courses are tailor-made to match the Nissan philosophies and working practices, and will cover areas such as: