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Isn't the Oxbridge monopoly on IB ridiculous?

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    I've found a recurring theme on this forum to be that if you have a degree from Oxbridge, you can find yourself a job in IB, whether your degree's in archaeology or veterinary sciences. Meanwhile, a degree in finance or economics from a uni outside the top five offers much less promising chances of employment in the industry.

    There seem to be be two philosophies at work here:

    1.) The non-Oxbridge graduate philosophy: we will take only the brightest, hardest-working and best qualified graduates of the most relevant subjects, and only a few of these. Now considering the high compensation that exists in the industry, fair enough. But...

    2.) The Oxbridge graduate philosophy: we want bright people (a 2:1 will do) with a varied skillset and considering how much of one's job is learnt whilst actually doing it or through specific training it doesn't much matter what they've studied and can even be an asset if it's unorthodox for the industry. However, this will apply almost exclusively to Oxbridge graduates.

    Now, either Oxbridge are head and shoulders above other universities in every aspect (head and shoulders and torso even) or this is a ridiculous double standard. I'm not complaining because I'm an Oxbridge reject interested in IB and feel shut out. I know employment is a buyers market and if an employer decides they're more intersted in a third class grad from southbank than me that's their full right. What irritates me about it is that surely it can't be beneficial to IB itself?

    A first class degree from a Russell Group outside the "top five" implies a certain level of personal ability, commitment and good teaching. Likewise, I don't believe the same philosophy is applied to the rest of the top five, which again seems odd. Is my understanding of the situation warped? Is there a good reason for this dichotomy? To be fair I know very little about the whole issue, but from my limited perspective it seems ridiculous.

    I'm not trying to make a point, just asking for opinions and further information.
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    (Taken from Sig)

    Oxford - PPE - Rejected, no interview
    LSE - G&E - Rejected
    Durham - PPE - Rejected
    Edinburgh - E&P - Rejected
    York - PPE - Offer, 36 points

    ^^ Says it all really
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    Bob Diamond never went anywhere near Oxbridge, and there are plenty of people working in IB that never went to Oxbridge and plenty who went to very regular red-brick unis and did what is deemed as "soft" subjects.

    I never went to oxbridge either But these days graduates from Oxbridge hope I give them a job
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    i think it's because the workload you need to substain at oxford or cambridge is the closest thing to ib you can experience at uni.

    it is true that for some subjects this workload is not so unbearable even at oxbridge, but then again, life is not fair.
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    (Original post by SW1X)
    (Taken from Sig)

    Oxford - PPE - Rejected, no interview
    LSE - G&E - Rejected
    Durham - PPE - Rejected
    Edinburgh - E&P - Rejected
    York - PPE - Offer, 36 points

    ^^ Says it all really
    I realised halfway through that this would probably be mentioned: see extract below. If it was my real motivation I would have avoided including my sig don't you think?

    I'm not complaining because I'm an Oxbridge reject interested in IB and feel shut out. I know employment is a buyers market and if an employer decides they're more intersted in a third class grad from southbank than me that's their full right. What irritates me about it is that surely it can't be beneficial to IB itself?

    My current goal is to work in an area related to public policy, the stratospherically high volume of working hours needed at entry-level for IB makes it undesirable to me.

    I hope you are accepted to all your UCAS choices and, should this fail to be the case, that your future actions on this forum are not compromised by your honesty about it. Now we've dealt with the cynicism, got anyting to contribute?
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    (Original post by Herr)
    Bob Diamond never went anywhere near Oxbridge, and there are plenty of people working in IB that never went to Oxbridge and plenty who went to very regular red-brick unis and did what is deemed as "soft" subjects.

    I never went to oxbridge either But these days graduates from Oxbridge hope I give them a job
    True enough, and props to you. But the question is, do you give them a job? Perhaps noticeably more frequently than graduates of other (competitive) UK universities? And if so, why?
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    (Original post by moritzplatz)
    i think it's because the workload you need to substain at oxford or cambridge is the closest thing to ib you can experience at uni.

    it is true that for some subjects this workload is not so unbearable even at oxbridge, but then again, life is not fair.
    Interesting point, but I can't see the workload being significantly lower at UCL or Durham, for example, than at Oxbridge? (I could be wrong).
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    (Original post by Eldedu)
    Interesting point, but I can't see the workload being significantly lower at UCL or Durham, for example, than at Oxbridge? (I could be wrong).
    for maths at least, ucl and durham syllabi are not even comparable to oxbridge one, not to mention that terms are a lot shorter
    i know it does not hold for subjects like PPE or EM but in that case you needed to work hard in order to get in. once you are in you're halfway (maybe more?) done.
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    (Original post by moritzplatz)
    for maths at least, ucl and durham syllabi are not even comparable to oxbridge one, not to mention that terms are a lot shorter
    i know it does not hold for subjects like PPE or EM but in that case you needed to work hard in order to get in. once you are in you're halfway (maybe more?) done.
    Ok, thanks for the information.

    So, ability to deal with a higher workload.
    Perhaps, off the top of my head, they'd be better at/more naturally inclined towards networking? (I have no idea if this is of value in IB). Considering Oxford PPE's track record for example, it can't hurt to have gone to college with half the cabinet.

    Any other reasons TSR?
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    (Original post by Eldedu)


    Any other reasons TSR?
    Right, the reasons why oxbridge students get in to IB as oppose to other unis, is for a couple of reasons.

    A.) Simlpy put - they tend to be very clever.

    B.) Alot of MD's etc, when to Oxbridge themselves. So natually, there is going to be a bit of a bias.

    C.) There are alot of events at oxbridge for networking opportunities, they bring in the old alumni etc so you have alot of exposure to very senior people.

    But...I know that at the end of the day, the desk wants someone who is easy to work with and is competetent. You nail these two and you will get hired.
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    (Original post by Eldedu)
    Ok, thanks for the information.

    So, ability to deal with a higher workload.
    Perhaps, off the top of my head, they'd be better at/more naturally inclined towards networking? (I have no idea if this is of value in IB). Considering Oxford PPE's track record for example, it can't hurt to have gone to college with half the cabinet.

    Any other reasons TSR?
    If you have hundreds and hundreds of CVs in front of you, what is another easy way to quickly narrow it down to a manageable number? Most will have excellent academics, relevant experience, good ECs. The more universities you recruit from the harder the job is for the person recruiting. Why do you need to look at applications from lower ranked universities when you can quite easily find more than enough people suitably qualified at the 5 you mentioned.
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    (Original post by SW1X)
    Right, the reasons why oxbridge students get in to IB as oppose to other unis, is for a couple of reasons.

    A.) Simlpy put - they tend to be very clever.

    B.) Alot of MD's etc, when to Oxbridge themselves. So natually, there is going to be a bit of a bias.

    C.) There are alot of events at oxbridge for networking opportunities, they bring in the old alumni etc so you have alot of exposure to very senior people.

    But...I know that at the end of the day, the desk wants someone who is easy to work with and is competetent. You nail these two and you will get hired.
    Agreed on all three counts. Surely though there are less places at Oxbridge than there are very clever people in the UK? Half the Russell Group unis (pick your own favourites) are presumably filled with people of a high calibre. And yet you so often read on these forums "If you're at Oxbridge, you've got a shot". Does a 2:1 theology student really take precedence over a maths first from Imperial?

    B and C I can more easily accept as sensible reasons.
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    There is no Oxbridge monopoly. There's certainly no old boy's network of all-Oxbridge managers. Maybe that once existed, but today there's what, one major bank that's even British owned? And RBS, for what that's worth.

    There a top-university monopoly, and that's simply because people admitted to those universities are better on average. It's a cheap filtering technique that's nonetheless very effective.
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    (Original post by Eldedu)
    Agreed on all three counts. Surely though there are less places at Oxbridge than there are very clever people in the UK? Half the Russell Group unis (pick your own favourites) are presumably filled with people of a high calibre. And yet you so often read on these forums "If you're at Oxbridge, you've got a shot". Does a 2:1 theology student really take precedence over a maths first from Imperial?

    B and C I can more easily accept as sensible reasons.
    To the bolded part, no. Imperial, LSE, UCL and Oxbridge are all target universities. There may be other reasons, but quite simply it is a fast and reasonably effective filtering system, which is necessary when you get as many applications as you do. Like you said, there are clever students at other universities, but there are also loads of clever students at the 5 universities mentioned above. They don't need to recruit at every university in the country when they can fill their quota with suitable candidates from those universities.
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    (Original post by Eldedu)
    Agreed on all three counts. Surely though there are less places at Oxbridge than there are very clever people in the UK? Half the Russell Group unis (pick your own favourites) are presumably filled with people of a high calibre. And yet you so often read on these forums "If you're at Oxbridge, you've got a shot". Does a 2:1 theology student really take precedence over a maths first from Imperial?

    B and C I can more easily accept as sensible reasons.
    Don't forget there are different roles and divisons within a banking, all demanding a different skill - set.

    The Imperial guy is going to be applying for more quant, structuring roles whereas the theology guy is going to do whatever, sales, IBD etc. so it all depends on what you can bring to the table. The theology guy for example may be brilliant with people and therefore stick him on a sales desk and he will most likely do well and bring in new clients.

    Also don't forget there is no rigid formula in place to work in IB. Many come in through weird and wonderful routes and again I can't emphasis the importance of someones personality within this field. If you are sitting on a sales desk, you could have a ton of idiots from oxford yet one brilliant guy from Manchester. At the end of the day it is your manager on the desk that is hiring you and not a computer screen therefore it depends fully on who you are.

    If you are getting at the fact within your OP that people outside oxbridge, LSE, Imperical etc. don't get a look at? Then that is life and that is the nature of this business. You come from a non - target you have to bring something else to the table, work experience etc. something a bit differenet which makes your CV get looked at that little bit longer.
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    Issue clarified. I think my main mistake was that I assumed IB had a larger demand for graduates and that this explained why they employed people with degrees that made them counterintuitive choices. If it's a skill-set issue and there are more suitably qualified top five grads looking to go into IB than IB needs, then it seems logical to me.
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    i personally i don't see 'failing' oxbridge as a sign of inability for any job. But inability for example to get into any of your top choices and ending up at say a respectable but 'normal' uni, its only legitimate that those that filter choose those from 'top unis'.

    "" suggest I'm just saying, don't strawman me here
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    (Original post by Trollolollol)
    i personally i don't see 'failing' oxbridge as a sign of inability for any job. But inability for example to get into any of your top choices and ending up at say a respectable but 'normal' uni, its only legitimate that those that filter choose those from 'top unis'.

    "" suggest I'm just saying, don't strawman me here
    Thanks for the input, but I was referring to the issue more from the banks perspective: how does this benefit them, than from the rejected prospective employees: why was Johnny from X picked over Sally from Y. In any case I feel it's been adequately clarified.
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    (Original post by Herr)
    Bob Diamond never went anywhere near Oxbridge, and there are plenty of people working in IB that never went to Oxbridge and plenty who went to very regular red-brick unis and did what is deemed as "soft" subjects.

    I never went to oxbridge either But these days graduates from Oxbridge hope I give them a job
    Just graduated from Oxford. Where's my job b*tch?

    Edit: 2 people have no sense of humour. Either that or they are oxbridge rejects
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    (Original post by fudgesundae)
    To the bolded part, no. Imperial, LSE, UCL and Oxbridge are all target universities. There may be other reasons, but quite simply it is a fast and reasonably effective filtering system, which is necessary when you get as many applications as you do. Like you said, there are clever students at other universities, but there are also loads of clever students at the 5 universities mentioned above. They don't need to recruit at every university in the country when they can fill their quota with suitable candidates from those universities.
    My mistake, haven't been sleeping enough lately

    Bit in bold is the clincher I suppose. I imagined they employed more people than they obviously do. Thanks.
Updated: July 12, 2012
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