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Oxbridge graduates in unemployment

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    In Britain we have this immense belief that if you go to Oxbridge you are immediately set for life. Indeed, this feeling is consistently shown in this thread almost every day.

    So, do you know anyone who has graduated from Oxbridge recently and has struggled to find employment? Or is the above belief entirely valid?
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    I doubt it really. Oxbridge is the best of the best. It gives you the greatest of all opportunites, but I still think it's a combination of luck and hard work after you graduate. Still... I'm a firm believer that Oxbridge peeps do stand a slightly better chance than us other uni folk. Only time will tell I guess... x

    EDIT: Didn't deserve to be negged for this. It's the truth.
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    Yes, I know of a few from Cambridge who graduated this year and are also struggling on the job front. They got 2.1s.
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    (Original post by QI Elf)
    Yes, I know of a few from Cambridge who graduated this year and are also struggling on the job front. They got 2.1s.
    Is that a reflection their personalities? Since despite, the current job shortage, I really can't see why they'd struggle to get a job within reason.
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    (Original post by Tsunami2011)
    Is that a reflection their personalities? Since despite, the current job shortage, I really can't see why they'd struggle to get a job within reason.
    Why? And why must it be their personalities? Academic performance, work experience (and how they spent their time at university), subject choice, location,personal circumstances (including illness) all of these affect. An Oxford or Cambrdige degree is not a magic ticket to cushy graduate employment. They can be unemployed or struggle to find a graduate job as much as anyone else, particularly if they have little work experience and social skills and/or those with arts degrees.
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    (Original post by Tsunami2011)
    Is that a reflection their personalities? Since despite, the current job shortage, I really can't see why they'd struggle to get a job within reason.
    I wouldn't say so. One of them at least wasn't even getting interviews so had a chance to display their personality.

    I think much of the problem is about experience and the lack of it that they (and me) have.
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    Personally know of 7 Oxbridge grads who has been jobless for more than a year.

    2 from Oxford, both in Law, 1 is a 1st and has outstanding results in his BPTC..... no pupilage until now. The other one is a 2:1 and did very well for her BPTC but also no pupilage.

    The 5 from Cambridge, mixture of all grades, one thing common among all 5, they weren't from well off backgrounds and 3 comes from a scientific type background but not a single one had an interview since graduating in 2010 or if they get called for an interview they don't make it to the 2nd round.

    Then one is an econs grad with a 1st, I tried to hire her but she failed at the last round, my boss asked her why she would make a better employee than the other candidates, her answer made everyone chuckle, she said she graduated from Cambridge. I thought she had potential but my bosses found her to be too academic.

    The other one has a law degree but is hell bent on being an investment banker, her grades are fine, her CV is fine too but can't speak a sentence without S or F words coming out of her mouth and even in an interview she would say it. I marvelled her courage and cockiness, she would make a great investment banker if someone would give her the chance, but she has too much pride to change her ways and therefore she has been jobless for the last year.

    (Original post by Tsunami2011)
    Is that a reflection their personalities? Since despite, the current job shortage, I really can't see why they'd struggle to get a job within reason.
    Because they have behaviours that doesn't befit an Oxbridge grad.
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    I graduated from Cambridge and there is Oxbridge unemployment, roughly the same levels of it as with other Russell group universities I would say, from comparing with what friends from home have said.

    Arts students are more effected than science graduates, but that is because most science grads if they can't get a job pick up a PhD place, whereas funding options for postgraduate study are more difficult to get with an arts subject.

    I know very few people who are actually on the dole, but huge numbers who are seriously underemployed. They're working on shop tills and in petrol stations while they apply for something better, but you may not find anything for months or even years in some cases. I know a guy working in telesales, somebody driving an Ocado delivery van, waitressing and bar work are popular.

    The other two scourges are part-time work and redundancy. I know a couple of people who have found a job after six months searching, only to loose it again six months later; and again huge numbers of people who want to be working full time, but can only get three days a week.

    It's not so hard to get a job in the South East and London, but if you go back up North it becomes very hard. Where my degree is from is a hindrance to finding a job in my hometown, there is no skilled work here and nobody wants to hire an Oxbridge educated receptionist, because they think that you won't stay in the job for more than a week before you're off.

    It is harder if you are state educated and have fewer contacts, but having said that people who would normally have contacts have exhausted them all. My dentist was saying the other day that his (Oxford educated) daughter is costing him a fortune doing an unpaid internship in London. He has tried to find her work, but couldn't get anybody closer to give her a comparable internship.

    Then there are a lot of people like me, who are doing non-graduate jobs because they don't know what they want, or because they are taking more qualifications and want to retrain. I'm starting a veterinary course, I knew a lot of people going into medicine who spent a year dossing around to get medical work experience, because the only hours they could volunteer in were during the working week or they were working part-time as an HCA.

    Basically, we're affected the same way everybody else is. It follows national trends with women and arts graduates being worse affected, and with less employment in the North. There isn't any reason why we would be less affected sadly, you can't get a job if a company aren't hiring.

    The only mitigating factor I would say is, it's much easier to get onto a postgraduate course with an Oxbridge degree. I know a lot of graduate entry medics, law conversion courses, pgce courses, you name it - whether they get a job when they come back out of course is still a moot point.
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    (Original post by donut1)
    In Britain we have this immense belief that if you go to Oxbridge you are immediately set for life. Indeed, this feeling is consistently shown in this thread almost every day.
    I wish that this was true so much, but sadly no.


    Unless you consider a till job in costa coffee followed by a desperate retreat back into academia, 'set for life' lol.
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    Unistats says there are such things as unemployed Oxbridge graduates. Unfortunately this might have to do with humanities degrees not being as useful to employers as numerical ones. :\
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    (Original post by Dreizhen)
    Unistats says there are such things as unemployed Oxbridge graduates. Unfortunately this might have to do with humanities degrees not being as useful to employers as numerical ones. :\
    The unistats figures will be an underestimate because people don't admit to being unemployed. I'm certain of this, because several of my friends have lied and told me their internship was paid, when I knew for a fact it wasn't because I had applied for the same one, or at least seen the advert

    To be counted, the university has to have kept track of you, and this becomes less likely if you're not in employment. I know so many people with no job or a bad job, who have depression or have just got stuck in a rut, who prefer not to admit it on paper. I have a couple of friends who have just disappeared off the face of the earth, I'm fairly certain they aren't in employment and prefer to cut contact rather than admit it.

    There are different reasons for underemployment too, sometimes you could get a job in tax accountancy with KPMG in Hull no problem, but you prefer to work stacking shelves for ASDA if it means you can live with your girlfriend in Aberdeen. I feel more sorry for people who have got amazing jobs in finance but sacrificed a lot to get them, than I do for people who have looked at their priorities and decided they'll work in telesales for a few years until all this is over.
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    (Original post by Erich Hartmann)
    Personally know of 7 Oxbridge grads who has been jobless for more than a year.

    2 from Oxford, both in Law, 1 is a 1st and has outstanding results in his BPTC..... no pupilage until now. The other one is a 2:1 and did very well for her BPTC but also no pupilage.

    The 5 from Cambridge, mixture of all grades, one thing common among all 5, they weren't from well off backgrounds and 3 comes from a scientific type background but not a single one had an interview since graduating in 2010 or if they get called for an interview they don't make it to the 2nd round.

    Then one is an econs grad with a 1st, I tried to hire her but she failed at the last round, my boss asked her why she would make a better employee than the other candidates, her answer made everyone chuckle, she said she graduated from Cambridge. I thought she had potential but my bosses found her to be too academic.

    The other one has a law degree but is hell bent on being an investment banker, her grades are fine, her CV is fine too but can't speak a sentence without S or F words coming out of her mouth and even in an interview she would say it. I marvelled her courage and cockiness, she would make a great investment banker if someone would give her the chance, but she has too much pride to change her ways and therefore she has been jobless for the last year.



    Because they have behaviours that doesn't befit an Oxbridge grad.
    Wow, very informative post. Thanks!

    I wonder why your friends struggled to get pupilages with their degrees.... I'd be surprised if they were overlooked in favour of people with degrees from Durham, UCL, Warwick etc. Yet these same people from lesser universities I've heard of often getting pupilages. Odd.
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    (Original post by pirate_eye)
    The unistats figures will be an underestimate because people don't admit to being unemployed. I'm certain of this, because several of my friends have lied and told me their internship was paid, when I knew for a fact it wasn't because I had applied for the same one, or at least seen the advert

    To be counted, the university has to have kept track of you, and this becomes less likely if you're not in employment. I know so many people with no job or a bad job, who have depression or have just got stuck in a rut, who prefer not to admit it on paper. I have a couple of friends who have just disappeared off the face of the earth, I'm fairly certain they aren't in employment and prefer to cut contact rather than admit it.

    There are different reasons for underemployment too, sometimes you could get a job in tax accountancy with KPMG in Hull no problem, but you prefer to work stacking shelves for ASDA if it means you can live with your girlfriend in Aberdeen. I feel more sorry for people who have got amazing jobs in finance but sacrificed a lot to get them, than I do for people who have looked at their priorities and decided they'll work in telesales for a few years until all this is over.
    Higher education is a scam and the higher you go the scammier it gets. Universities exist almost exclusively for the benefit of people who work at them.
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    (Original post by donut1)
    I wonder why your friends struggled to get pupilages with their degrees.... I'd be surprised if they were overlooked in favour of people with degrees from Durham, UCL, Warwick etc. Yet these same people from lesser universities I've heard of often getting pupilages. Odd.
    It's not odd. Perhaps they are stronger candidates. It does happen. It is not all, or even necessarily largely, about university name.
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    (Original post by donut1)
    Wow, very informative post. Thanks!

    I wonder why your friends struggled to get pupilages with their degrees.... I'd be surprised if they were overlooked in favour of people with degrees from Durham, UCL, Warwick etc. Yet these same people from lesser universities I've heard of often getting pupilages. Odd.
    Pupillage is *insanely* competitive. A 2.1 from Oxbridge is not necessarily better than a 1st from Durham etc for pupillage. You also have to have shown a flair for advocacy, done a lot of law-related ECs. People with Masters tend to do better. People on the BPTC tend to do better. And often people who've worked for a while first are better candidates. And sometimes, you're just plain unlucky.
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    (Original post by donut1)
    Wow, very informative post. Thanks!

    I wonder why your friends struggled to get pupilages with their degrees.... I'd be surprised if they were overlooked in favour of people with degrees from Durham, UCL, Warwick etc. Yet these same people from lesser universities I've heard of often getting pupilages. Odd.
    As a few other posters had pointed out, it isn't as odd or as uncommon as you think it is.

    The days where coming out with a university degree ensured you were set for life has long been over and now it is also affecting Oxbridge and Russell Group university graduates.

    As for why the 2 didn't get pupillage, no single factor can be pinned down as the reason but the one who got a 1st often he came off as being "too academic" and most were of the opinion that he wasn't barrister material for one reason or another. The other person, she had nothing else to offer beyond her law degree, no ECs or even record of even applying for a mini pupillage.

    In reality unless you are applying into a big and very reputable investment bank like JPM or GS it is actually very rare that an Oxbridge degree will be of a significant advantage, even if you had a 1st it is quite likely someone with a 2:1 from Durham, UCL etc could easily get offered that job.

    These days I no longer do graduate hires, but when I was doing it our dept had a scoring matrix system on who to select for interviews. You will see why many Oxbridge won't really do as well as expected as it is scored according :-

    Degree, is it a 2:1? 30% You won't get any extra points for a 1st, it goes down to 20% if it is a 2:2 and 0% if you don't state.

    University, what is it's ranking as per The Economist. 1-10 place = 20% 11-25 = 15% 26-50 = 10%

    Work experience, any internships or industrial experience? Any overseas work-experience? Are they relevant to the industry? 30% you get full marks if the answer is yes to all 3. This one is done manually. This is also where I will for the first time decide if you deserve the points for your academic record as I will now read what was it you studied.

    Any extra curricular activities or any thing that sets you apart from the rest especially one that shows you have leadership or teamwork attributes. Do you have anything extra to offer? 15% This together with your work experience section would determine if I want to even look at what subject your degree is in. If it is relevant to the company objectives then I let them have the full points they had scored, if it isn't then I see how they try to sell themselves in their CL.

    The final 10% comes from how well you've written that CV and that Cover Letter is. How's the grammar, does the sentence structures in the CV match that of your CL. Does it appear that your CV was done professionally? Finally if it is a paper resume, is the paper clean and of good quality? 5% You won't believe the number of people who either gained or lost an interview just by this 5% alone.

    Usually if someone scores above 65% then they can expect a call from me for the 1st round of interview. Vast majority of those who did well at the interview and eventually get jobs tend to be in the 70-85% range....surprisingly.
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    (Original post by Erich Hartmann)
    As a few other posters had pointed out, it isn't as odd or as uncommon as you think it is.

    The days where coming out with a university degree ensured you were set for life has long been over and now it is also affecting Oxbridge and Russell Group university graduates.

    As for why the 2 didn't get pupillage, no single factor can be pinned down as the reason but the one who got a 1st often he came off as being "too academic" and most were of the opinion that he wasn't barrister material for one reason or another. The other person, she had nothing else to offer beyond her law degree, no ECs or even record of even applying for a mini pupillage.

    In reality unless you are applying into a big and very reputable investment bank like JPM or GS it is actually very rare that an Oxbridge degree will be of a significant advantage, even if you had a 1st it is quite likely someone with a 2:1 from Durham, UCL etc could easily get offered that job.

    These days I no longer do graduate hires, but when I was doing it our dept had a scoring matrix system on who to select for interviews. You will see why many Oxbridge won't really do as well as expected as it is scored according :-

    Degree, is it a 2:1? 30% You won't get any extra points for a 1st, it goes down to 20% if it is a 2:2 and 0% if you don't state.

    University, what is it's ranking as per The Economist. 1-10 place = 20% 11-25 = 15% 26-50 = 10%

    Work experience, any internships or industrial experience? Any overseas work-experience? Are they relevant to the industry? 30% you get full marks if the answer is yes to all 3. This one is done manually. This is also where I will for the first time decide if you deserve the points for your academic record as I will now read what was it you studied.

    Any extra curricular activities or any thing that sets you apart from the rest especially one that shows you have leadership or teamwork attributes. Do you have anything extra to offer? 15% This together with your work experience section would determine if I want to even look at what subject your degree is in. If it is relevant to the company objectives then I let them have the full points they had scored, if it isn't then I see how they try to sell themselves in their CL.

    The final 10% comes from how well you've written that CV and that Cover Letter is. How's the grammar, does the sentence structures in the CV match that of your CL. Does it appear that your CV was done professionally? Finally if it is a paper resume, is the paper clean and of good quality? 5% You won't believe the number of people who either gained or lost an interview just by this 5% alone.

    Usually if someone scores above 65% then they can expect a call from me for the 1st round of interview. Vast majority of those who did well at the interview and eventually get jobs tend to be in the 70-85% range....surprisingly.

    What about the applicant's car collection? I have a recently written off Citroen Saxo hatchback 1.4 (but drove more like a 1.1) 10% ?????
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    (Original post by gethsemane342)
    Pupillage is *insanely* competitive. A 2.1 from Oxbridge is not necessarily better than a 1st from Durham etc for pupillage. You also have to have shown a flair for advocacy, done a lot of law-related ECs. People with Masters tend to do better. People on the BPTC tend to do better. And often people who've worked for a while first are better candidates. And sometimes, you're just plain unlucky.
    PRSOM.

    It's why some of us who considered the bar are looking to qualify as solicitors...
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    Obviously there are lots. I'm unemployed as of the moment, having graduated this year. Probably mostly a personality thing more than anything else though!
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    Really interesting thread; tbh I didn't realise that Oxbridge students were affected to this extent

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