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The Milk round is the term commonly used in the UK to describe the phenomenon of companies touring universities each year, in order to advertise their opportunities and recruit students. The name milk round also refers to the online university student website, which is an online version of the traditional method in which business recruited University students.
Milk being delivered direct to homes is a long-standing tradition in Great Britain. So, in the mid-1960s, when companies began touring universities to promote and advertise their job opportunities directly to candidates, the visits became known informally as "the milk round".
Traditionally the process involves recruiters attending graduate careers fairs and presentations located at universities across the UK. The Milk round tours usually take place during the Autumn and Summer academic terms.
Often the recruiters are large organisations with specific graduate training schemes, designed to train graduates and expose them to as many aspects of the business as possible, often over a number of years. In many cases the initial training scheme involves mentoring by a more senior member of the organisation.
The milk round is not managed by a central organisation, but each university careers service usually provides services to assist their students with company research, job applications and careers advice. Careers services also liaise with companies, to prevent clashes and help advertise the events.
Since the late 1990s activity generally associated with the milk round has moved online with the creation of web-based graduate job boards, CV databases and agencies. These websites perform many of the functions of the traditional milk round. Graduates can apply for specific jobs and compare different graduate training schemes. Web-based job boards overcome one of the major disadvantages of the traditional milkround, namely that students attending universities not visited by a recruiter's milkround can still gain access to that recruiter's jobs.