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Does a first make up for 'crap' a levels?

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    Ok so coming up to the end of my second year on Geography and Politics at Queen Mary. Got a first last year and am on track to get another one this year. I understand its not a target uni but my A Levels didn't get me too far (ABC in History, English and Econ). Currently have a tax internship lined up for the summer but it doesn't appeal to me as a career.

    I am looking to go into sales as I'd like a face to face job and my interpersonal skills are really good. The hours also seem more reasonable and I'd imagine my social skills would place me in good stead so perhaps my shortcomings at A Level could be overlooked.

    Any advice would be nice as well as more info on the sales role.
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    Your A-levels are not crap. A first helps but not by a great deal. Experience and the qualities of a good employee is perhaps the most important.

    Your past may come back to haunt you might I add. Particularly if the job is competitive and IB is no walk in the park.
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    Even in a competitive field I find it hard to imagine they would distinguish candidates based on a set of exams they did at age 18 with virtually no relevance to their profession. If you have a first and compete with others with the same degree then surely they would filter people out with experience, CV standard and interview?
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    I've heard a lot about autofiltering and target unis. I understand once you're in a top uni the rest of it comes down to everything else but I'm not in the target group.
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    (Original post by JD.27)
    I've heard a lot about autofiltering and target unis. I understand once you're in a top uni the rest of it comes down to everything else but I'm not in the target group.
    Don't worry about it. Obviously that stuff helps a good deal but doesn't mean it's impossible for someone like you to make it. Don't count yourself out without even trying first. Nothing ventured nothing gained.
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    You might struggle based on the fact most of the more competitive schemes have an implicit or explicit UCAS requirement. 300 UCAS points might be enough though, but as a reference point Accenture and the Big 4 ask for 320/340 UCAS points for the more exclusive roles and these schemes are generally less competitive than anything in IB.
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    Operations seems your boat..enjoy sales support
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    (Original post by JD.27)
    Ok so coming up to the end of my second year on Geography and Politics at Queen Mary. Got a first last year and am on track to get another one this year. I understand its not a target uni but my A Levels didn't get me too far (ABC in History, English and Econ). Currently have a tax internship lined up for the summer but it doesn't appeal to me as a career.

    I am looking to go into sales as I'd like a face to face job and my interpersonal skills are really good. The hours also seem more reasonable and I'd imagine my social skills would place me in good stead so perhaps my shortcomings at A Level could be overlooked.

    Any advice would be nice as well as more info on the sales role.
    I forgot to add sales is highly pressurised also like trading. I was working with a salesperson in HK for 5hours the other day just because we messed up some trade bookings which led them to not receiving confirmations. This was a new tier1 client who we need ££ from. If we don't offer a good service they can go elsewhere. Hence the salesperson had a shift of 7am-8pm that day HK time just because of this one client. So you can see it's not more laxed, more competitive I would say.
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    Case in point: I have As at A level and a first but I was told I couldn't apply to HSBC because I got a B for GCSE English Language (i.e. not an A).

    Nevertheless, it's always worth asking, and if companies won't give you a chance because of a meaningless exam you did years ago then who would want to work there anyway, right?
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    Thanks for all the responses they've been helpful to a great degree. I'm just reading up on it now and will do more research into banking over the summer.

    For now I was wondering if anyone could point me in the direction of good info on sales as a career. Thanks again.
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    (Original post by iPodTunes)
    I forgot to add sales is highly pressurised also like trading. I was working with a salesperson in HK for 5hours the other day just because we messed up some trade bookings which led them to not receiving confirmations. This was a new tier1 client who we need ££ from. If we don't offer a good service they can go elsewhere. Hence the salesperson had a shift of 7am-8pm that day HK time just because of this one client. So you can see it's not more laxed, more competitive I would say.
    You're right. Sales is a real pressure cooker and extremely cut-throat.

    Rise to the top and you survive. Don't and you die. That's the reality.
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    Also, OP, don't worry. Nobody cares about A levels after you're 21. Especially if you got a 1st.

    It's the same principle as nobody caring about GCSEs when you're at uni.
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    (Original post by JD.27)
    Thanks for all the responses they've been helpful to a great degree. I'm just reading up on it now and will do more research into banking over the summer.

    For now I was wondering if anyone could point me in the direction of good info on sales as a career. Thanks again.
    Here's a tip: steer away from recruitment.
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    300 UCAS Points gets you onto many schemes, many of the top 100 however, will be out of range as a lot want 320 or higher. But as said, there will be others, just look for them! P.s. don't waste your time with apps where you don't meet minimum requirements. You'll get into sales. It's fairly easy tbh.

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Updated: April 12, 2012
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