Big plans. Bigger opportunities

You’re leaving university, but your journey is only just starting – as you carve out not only your career, but the impact you want to make in the world. For that, you’ll need a job where you can make a real difference.

With us, you’ll be able to do just that. We’re driving change, creating a more sustainable, inclusive world and we need people like you to help make that a change a reality.

Feel like you belong from day one

Our two or three-year graduate programmes will give you real, hand-on experience. As well as the support and tools to develop into specialist and leadership roles, and grow a career within a global FTSE 100 business.

You can join one of our schemes in the UK or Europe, with some programmes giving you the chance to experience life at DS Smith sites in different countries. 

Wherever you join us, you’ll be given a mentor and taken on a development pathway filled with structured, hands-on learning and projects that stretch you along the way. All whilst being part of a supportive network of fellow graduates.

Throughout all of this you’ll be helping us delight our customers, and encouraged to share your innovative ideas to help our customers succeed and us to deliver our ambitious sustainability goals too.

5 reasons to join the DS Smith Graduate Programme

  1. We’re top-tier provider of sustainable packaging solutions and Europe’s biggest recycler. We have a unique full-lifecycle strategy with an industry-leading approach to sustainability. We want the brightest minds to join us, bring their fresh perspectives and help us become even more innovative. That’s where you come in.
  2. Sustainability is at the heart of everything we do. You’ll have an active role in helping us to make a difference to the communities we work in and the wider world. No matter the role, each person helps us cut waste, protect natural resources and reduce our carbon footprint.
  3. We’re a FTSE 100 organisation that’s growing, and evolving. We want the same for our people too. We put our focus on people over process, engaging our teams in decision-making and collaboration so we can continue to lead in the market.
  4. You’ll be inspired and motivated by the people around you. In turn they’re encourage you to fulfil your true potential. Supporting you to develop and expand your skills through training, and with clear career paths. Although we’re driven, you’ll know we’ll never put our ambitions before your wellbeing. This is a career where we aim to get your work/life balance exactly right.
  5. Our programmes are designed to set you up to succeed either as a specialist or a future leader within our business. You’ll be offered the very best development opportunities, with an inspirational mentor to support you throughout the programme. You’ll also have opportunities to take on global projects and learn from senior leaders, with some programmes offering placements in more than one country.

Boundless opportunities

No matter what degree you have, your interests or your passions – we welcome you to join us, and celebrate the diversity of our teams. We're offering programmes across the following disciplines:

  • Sales, Marketing & Innovation
  • Engineering
  • Operational Management
  • Supply Chain
  • Procurement
  • Recycling
  • Paper Sourcing
  • Human Resources
  • Research & Development
  • Finance
  • IT

With all of our schemes, you’ll receive unique training and development specific to your role. Along with a broader programme of development, which features across all of our programmes, and will give you an opportunity to develop your career.

Learn and work throughout our business and around the world

We’re offering our programmes in 13 different countries:

  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Italy
  • Macedonia
  • Netherlands
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Spain
  • United Kingdom
  • USA

Due to the nature of our programmes, we’ll need you to be fully flexible on the country you work in and we may need you to transfer to another site or country during the course of your programme.

The programme structure

When you first join our Graduate Programme we’ll give you a full induction into the DS Smith way of working. You’ll be introduced to your manager and be given a mentor. Then, it’s time to put it into practice as you lead the way. Whether it’s leading teams or becoming the best at a particular specialism. From this point you’ll be in charge of driving your career , but you’ll be supported every step of the way – ensuring you find the right path and opportunity for you.

Your turn to step up

To be considered for one of our programmes you’ll already have a Bachelor’s degree. Some of our programmes will require you to have studied in a certain discipline or speak more than one language (details of minimum requirements will be included in the individual course description). You’ll also need the right to work in the relevant country you’re applying to. You’ll need to be ready to start your employment with us in September and be fully mobile in terms of location to ensure you get the maximum opportunities offered to you and to get the best out of the scheme and your career at DS Smith.

Diversity is key to our success and that’s why we are keen to speak to people from different backgrounds and experiences to help build and deliver on our plans. Whatever your background, we are looking for people who are caring, are not afraid to challenge, and who are trustworthy, responsive and tenacious.

How to apply

Application Process Timeline

  • Applications for the graduate programme will open in the second week of January, closing eight weeks later.
  • CV screening, Psychometric Testing, and Video Interviews will take place from January to March.
  • Assessment Centres will be held in March and April.
  • Offers will be made in April and May.
  • The start date for successful applicants will be in the first week of September.

Graduate Programme Timeline

  • Pre-onboarding activities, including "Keep in touch" speaker webinars, will take place from July to September.
  • Graduates will join DS Smith in September.
  • The onboarding process will take place in September and October.
  • A business tour of Kemsley Mill / Impact Centre will be conducted in October.
  • Year 1 will have three development modules in November, February, and July.
  • Year 2 will have three development modules in November, May, and September.
  • Graduation celebrations for Year 2 will be held in September.
  • Mentee training for Year 1 will take place in December.
  • The allocation of mentors for Year 1 will be done in December and February.

Get in touch