Imperial Tobacco Group

Imperial Tobacco Group

Imperial Tobacco Group

Imperial Tobacco is a global company with a challenger mindset, big ambitions and bigger opportunities.

The Group has 44 manufacturing sites, around 35,000 employees and our brands are available in over 160 countries. Our core business is built around a tobacco portfolio that offers consumers comprehensive brand choice, and we’re also creating new consumer experiences through our non-tobacco subsidiary Fontem Ventures.

Being a FTSE 30 company in a highly regulated and competitive industry doesn’t just happen. We thrive on challenges and our people are the cornerstone of meeting these head on. Our aim is to build organisational resilience in order to deliver sustainable long-term growth through our brands, markets and people – including our much-valued graduates.

Our graduate opportunities are designed to bring on tomorrow’s leaders. If you’re ready to push yourself, you could grow to make a huge impact on a global scale. So if you have ambition, ideas and commercial nous, consider starting your career with Imperial Tobacco. We will provide you with an outstanding opportunity to learn, achieve and shape your future and the future of our business.

We are currently able to offer a range of graduate opportunities within three distinct pathways:

  • Technical roles (Manufacturing and Supply Chain)
  • Corporate roles (HR and Finance)
  • Business Management (Global Sales Markets)

We expect our graduates to take charge of their own careers. That’s why we offer real roles with real responsibilities from day one. This approach ensures that you immediately become part of a team, where you can meet your potential whilst helping us meet the challenges we face every day.

Our graduates each bring something special and unique to the table, but of course there are certain criteria you must all meet to join the Imperial Tobacco family.

Firstly, you’ll have recently attained or expect to achieve a high standard undergraduate degree (e.g. 2.1; GPA of 3; 60%; or better) in an analytical or numeric-based subject. And your subject of study should be related to the business area you apply to join, such as Business, Economics, Science or Engineering.

Throughout the selection process, you’ll be assessed to ensure you meet our requirements. The motivations and attributes we hope to discover in you are:

  • Drive and cost focus to deliver results
  • Ability to plan for and resolve problems
  • Flexibility to adapt to the challenges we face
  • Communication skills to enable effective collaboration


Case Studies

  • Name: Joe McKenna
  • Role: Market and Competitor Intelligence Analyst
  • University: The University of Exeter
  • Degree: Geography BA (Hons)


Why did you join the ITG graduate scheme?

Personally, I love the variety that the Business Management graduate scheme offers. With the variety of job roles, you’re constantly learning new skills, meeting new people and gaining valuable experiences on a daily basis. Through the first job role, you’re spending time on the road, selling Imperial products directly to our customers in their shops, a fantastic experience! Our sales force is recognised as one of the best FMCG company sales teams in the UK, and working with them allows you to understand the core business model – making money through selling cigarettes.

Key Projects

Alongside my daily role I was involved in a Graduate Project with colleagues from Dubai, Morocco, Italy and the UK, researching and analysing how Imperial can best leverage new HR systems currently being implemented across the business. Whilst based in Bristol I’ve been involved in a cross-functional project team looking at how we can increase our brand shares in small retail stores through different departments working together. An ongoing project with some great successes, especially in the Isle of Man, it has enabled me to gain fantastic exposure to sales colleagues and the wider business.

What’s been the biggest challenge?

You are consistently challenged to learn and develop whilst on the Imperial graduate scheme but one of my biggest personal challenges was driving through a snow storm to a shop in a council estate in Croxteth, Liverpool to meet an elusive shopkeeper and sell him a brand he had previously refused to stock in order to hit my sales targets. Now that I’ve completed several rotations I’ve found it challenging knowing that just as you start hitting your stride in a department you have to undertake a new job role and begin the process all over again going back to knowing nothing. Whilst frustrating you’re helped by the wide range of transferable skills you develop along the way.

What’s your career aspiration and how has the graduate scheme supported this?

I’ll be honest and admit I have absolutely no clue where I see my career progressing and I don’t see that as a bad thing. An attitude of wanting to improve on my weakest skills and gain knowledge of areas that I know nothing about has driven my career moves thus far. The Business Management graduate opportunity has provided me with four roles, allowing me to learn what best suits me. So far, I’ve experienced working with Independent retailers, followed by seven months tackling the sale of illicit tobacco, and I’m now in a commercial analyst role examining the UK tobacco market investigating opportunities to grow our market share at the expense of our competitors.

Into the future I’m looking to spend time in our marketing department to learn more about our brands before working in the Key Accounts team with retailers such as Tesco & Asda. There’s no guarantee I’ll have decided on my career path by the end of my graduate scheme but Imperial has and will continue to give me a broad range of skills and experiences to ensure that I will succeed at whatever I finally decide is the right job for me.

Training & Profiles

As a rule, if you’re successful in receiving an offer we’ll invite you to join us by October to undertake a real role within the business. On top of this you’ll begin our Graduate Learning and Development Programme by undertaking a series of activities that go hand-in-hand with your role.

With the support of your manager and the wider HR community, these activities will provide the frameworks and platforms needed to further develop your skills and capabilities over two years (three for Finance roles) as an Imperial Tobacco graduate.

In your first year, you’ll build networks through the Global Graduate Community Induction, deliver one of the Global Graduate Team Projects and gain insight into our Field Force within a Sales Markets. In the second year, we’ll hand you even more control. You’ll continue to have access to development tools and learning platforms but it will be up to you to take advantage of them.

You should be prepared to seek out opportunities that will further enhance your skills and you should be flexible enough to take on new challenges. Throughout your time as a graduate at Imperial Tobacco you will have the opportunity to reflect upon and review your success with your manager. Access to development tools will allow you to gain exposure, develop your capabilities and technical skills and broaden your experiences.

On successful completion of your graduate life, you can expect to be given more responsibility and challenges to continue your exciting career at Imperial Tobacco.

Application Procedure

We want the right people for our business. You will undertake our rigorous selection process to secure a graduate opportunity at Imperial Tobacco:

  • First, register your interest by creating a candidate account via the graduate career pages of our corporate site.
  • Then, for our Corporate and Group roles, complete your application. For our Market opportunities upload your CV. Both these activities must be done through your online candidate account.
  • You’ll then be asked to complete a series of online aptitude tests.
  • If successful, we’ll organize a screening interview with you. This could be face-to-face or over the phone.
  • If you meet our standards, you’ll be invited to an Assessment. The Assessment usually includes a face-to-face interview, but if not you’ll be invited to a follow-on interview afterwards.
  • If you successfully complete the selection process, you’ll receive an offer to join us.

If you’re ready to become part of an industry-leading organisation, and build a challenging and rewarding career, apply at:

For any other enquiries, please visit the site where you will find details of how to contact us.