Operations Global Graduate Associates programme (Global)

Vacancy Details

  • Astrazeneca

  • Macclesfield


AstraZeneca is a global, innovation-driven biopharmaceutical business that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialisation of prescription medicines for some of the world’s most serious diseases. We’re proud to have a unique workplace culture that inspires innovation and collaboration. We believe in the potential of our people and people who join us develop beyond what they thought possible.


AstraZeneca’s Early Careers Website provides an excellent overview of our exciting career opportunities for Undergraduates, Graduates/ Masters and Postdoctoral level students.


About Operations

Our Operations organisation’s goal is simple. To make sure our patients worldwide are supplied with cost-effective, life-changing medicines. That makes Operations the vital connection between our Research and Development lab and the pharmacy shelf. We operate in over 100 countries, and our medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide.

We’re a team of around 50,000 people, working across the globe, driving innovation to solve some of the most serious medical issues facing mankind today. With manufacturing plants in 16 countries, we’re committed to ensuring a reliable supply of medicines, where and when they are needed most.

About the programme

Our ambition is to improve the lives of 200 million patients, and be a $50 billion company, by 2025. To do that, we need high-calibre graduates, with potential and ambition to become one of the leaders of the future, to join our Operations Global Graduate Associates Programme.

Operations is one of the largest, most important areas of our business, accounting for 11,000 people, and our supply chain truly is world-class. This is your opportunity to work on real, life-saving projects right from the start, supported by the best colleagues the industry has to offer.

AstraZeneca’s Operations business is organised into:

  • Four supply areas: Americas; Europe; Middle East and Africa; Asia Pacific; and Biologics
  • Three global functions: External Sourcing, Quality, and Supply Chain & Strategy
  • Two corporate functions: Global Procurement and Corporate IT

How does the programme work?

A key element of this three-year programme is leadership development. The first two years will be split between three different placements, and each role with give you valuable insight on how to influence decisions across a range of business areas. Depending on placement selection, there may be opportunities to live and work abroad to really embed your understanding of different cultures.

By giving you vital pharmaceutical industry exposure, this graduate programme is the perfect springboard to a senior job opportunity within AstraZeneca. Throughout the programme you’ll be frequently encouraged to review your progress towards achievement of role objectives and personal development plans with your manager. You’ll get the training, experience and support you need to develop a career you can be proud of.

What does the programme involve?

Starting in September 2021, the programme lasts three years. Three placements, each lasting eight months, will give you a great insight into our business and the chance to influence the direction in which we’re moving. You’ll then progress into a consolidation role for your third year and all progression is subject to performance. In our global and regional functions, you could develop knowledge of Supply Chain, Logistics, External Sourcing and Global Quality. You’ll also have the chance to work in two corporate functions, Procurement and Information Technology, as well as in Engineering.

Your programme will provide an invaluable blend of on-the-job experience and coaching. There will be a huge support network behind you, including a mentor and programme manager, and we’ll encourage you to develop your own network of contacts. We’ll let you know before the end of your second year whether we’ll be offering you a permanent, post-programme role, which we do for 90% of graduates.

Essential requirements

What we’re looking for:

  • Graduates in any discipline who have a bachelor’s or master’s degree (any discipline) awarded in 2020, or due to be awarded in 2021.
  • A passion to work in pharmaceuticals, particularly in Operations, with a real desire to make a difference to patients and our business.
  • The ability to quickly understand our environment, and the curiosity and flexibility to work anywhere within Operations.
  • Strong business acumen, leadership potential and change management capabilities.
  • The confidence and vision to look at, and challenge, existing ways of working.
  • A valid passport, geographical mobility, and willingness to spend a period of time living and working overseas.
  • Fluency in English.