You didn't attend a top tier uni, but you got a top tier job, Share your Tips!

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Realitysreflexx
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It isn't all about the top 40 UK universities or the Timeshigher/QS/Domestic Tables!

Share your story!
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nnth
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(Original post by Realitysreflexx)
It isn't all about the top 40 UK universities or the Timeshigher/QS/Domestic Tables!

Share your story!
this website tells the tales of 15 celebs who don't have uni degrees. I think the main qualities these people possess are:
- adaptability
- resilience
- motivation
- creativity
- sociable, charismatic personalities that help them to make connections in the industries they enter
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ICEng99
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I think I fit the profile here. Studied engineering at an expoly and currently got a good grad job lined up for after I graduate. My top tips would be:
- Yes getting a good grade is important but it's not the be all and end all of uni. There will be thousands of students with firsts and 2.1s just like you so you need to find a way to stand out.
- Not all extracurriculars are created the same. Joining a team sport club will look better on your cv than a knitting club (no shade to knitters). I don't look like most people interviewing me so there's some unconscious bias at play but I've managed to get pretty much all of them to like me just through the lucky fact they've all played rugby and I play rugby so we've found some common ground. Being on a club committee also helps as it's makes answering "tell me about a time when..." questions so much easier.
- Work experience is extremely important, start applying for summer/year long placements from your first year, you'll likely get a lot of rejections but then you can spot your weak points and you'll get better at applications and dealing with rejection with practice.
- Your uni most likely has a careers service, not enough people utilise them enough. You can have them look over your cv and cover letter and do practise interviews and ask them for advice for every step of the job application process.
- Start applying for grad jobs as early as possible. My first offer for a company I applied to in early September was in before Christmas. Having something lined up already is a huge weight off your shoulders. Most of the big high paying companies get thousands of applications and will close job postings earlier than advertised, plus you don't want to be sat there writing cover letters while stressed with deadlines.
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threeportdrift
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(Original post by ICEng99)
I think I fit the profile here. Studied engineering at an expoly and currently got a good grad job lined up for after I graduate. My top tips would be:
- Yes getting a good grade is important but it's not the be all and end all of uni. There will be thousands of students with firsts and 2.1s just like you so you need to find a way to stand out.
- Not all extracurriculars are created the same. Joining a team sport club will look better on your cv than a knitting club (no shade to knitters). I don't look like most people interviewing me so there's some unconscious bias at play but I've managed to get pretty much all of them to like me just through the lucky fact they've all played rugby and I play rugby so we've found some common ground. Being on a club committee also helps as it's makes answering "tell me about a time when..." questions so much easier.
- Work experience is extremely important, start applying for summer/year long placements from your first year, you'll likely get a lot of rejections but then you can spot your weak points and you'll get better at applications and dealing with rejection with practice.
- Your uni most likely has a careers service, not enough people utilise them enough. You can have them look over your cv and cover letter and do practise interviews and ask them for advice for every step of the job application process.
- Start applying for grad jobs as early as possible. My first offer for a company I applied to in early September was in before Christmas. Having something lined up already is a huge weight off your shoulders. Most of the big high paying companies get thousands of applications and will close job postings earlier than advertised, plus you don't want to be sat there writing cover letters while stressed with deadlines.
These last two points are really important and as far as I can tell on TSR, most people ignore them. They very expensive university that you are paying for your degree also funds, to the tune of several million pounds, a careers service that is entirely focussed on getting students in to work. There is no other time in your life when this will happen. Use it from your first year onwards, you should be visiting at least once per term to learn your way around their resources, use their training and practice interviews, to see their visits schedule and alumni networks etc.

Second, you have to be able to cope with applying for a job while starting your final year. Organising your time to do that is light years easier than organising your life after uni - so get sorted. You should have been working with your careers service so that you have a good idea what the schedule of company visits and presentations will be, and you need to carve out several hours of your week to going to these presentations and writing applications. Also your CV written and application form skills need to be sorted by the end of your penultimate year.

Waiting until after you have graduated to start job hunting is just chucking out the best support you will ever get and is making your career start massively more difficult.
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Ilie746
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(Original post by ICEng99)
I think I fit the profile here. Studied engineering at an expoly and currently got a good grad job lined up for after I graduate. My top tips would be:
- Yes getting a good grade is important but it's not the be all and end all of uni. There will be thousands of students with firsts and 2.1s just like you so you need to find a way to stand out.
- Not all extracurriculars are created the same. Joining a team sport club will look better on your cv than a knitting club (no shade to knitters). I don't look like most people interviewing me so there's some unconscious bias at play but I've managed to get pretty much all of them to like me just through the lucky fact they've all played rugby and I play rugby so we've found some common ground. Being on a club committee also helps as it's makes answering "tell me about a time when..." questions so much easier.
- Work experience is extremely important, start applying for summer/year long placements from your first year, you'll likely get a lot of rejections but then you can spot your weak points and you'll get better at applications and dealing with rejection with practice.
- Your uni most likely has a careers service, not enough people utilise them enough. You can have them look over your cv and cover letter and do practise interviews and ask them for advice for every step of the job application process.
- Start applying for grad jobs as early as possible. My first offer for a company I applied to in early September was in before Christmas. Having something lined up already is a huge weight off your shoulders. Most of the big high paying companies get thousands of applications and will close job postings earlier than advertised, plus you don't want to be sat there writing cover letters while stressed with deadlines.
Really interesting, would it be okay for me to ask you a few questions in private about your university experience and being at an ex-poly?
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Realitysreflexx
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Even though I went to top universities (relatively speaking), my top tip to any applicants would be these...

Realise what the ATS is and why it matters.

Realise you need to edit your CV's to match job descriptions once you've realised point one.

Realize that you won't get every job and you really only need one!

Be prepared to use the STAR method before you start interviewing.

Start the process early.

Use milkround if the big gradschemes close. Or really just always use milkround. It's how I got my job lol.
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Oceanwater
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(Original post by ICEng99)
I think I fit the profile here. Studied engineering at an expoly and currently got a good grad job lined up for after I graduate. My top tips would be:
- Yes getting a good grade is important but it's not the be all and end all of uni. There will be thousands of students with firsts and 2.1s just like you so you need to find a way to stand out.
- Not all extracurriculars are created the same. Joining a team sport club will look better on your cv than a knitting club (no shade to knitters). I don't look like most people interviewing me so there's some unconscious bias at play but I've managed to get pretty much all of them to like me just through the lucky fact they've all played rugby and I play rugby so we've found some common ground. Being on a club committee also helps as it's makes answering "tell me about a time when..." questions so much easier.
- Work experience is extremely important, start applying for summer/year long placements from your first year, you'll likely get a lot of rejections but then you can spot your weak points and you'll get better at applications and dealing with rejection with practice.
- Your uni most likely has a careers service, not enough people utilise them enough. You can have them look over your cv and cover letter and do practise interviews and ask them for advice for every step of the job application process.
- Start applying for grad jobs as early as possible. My first offer for a company I applied to in early September was in before Christmas. Having something lined up already is a huge weight off your shoulders. Most of the big high paying companies get thousands of applications and will close job postings earlier than advertised, plus you don't want to be sat there writing cover letters while stressed with deadlines.
What if I don't like sports but have a real passion for knitting? Why would I join a club I don't like?

Btw I'm in year 12 so I'm just tryna get started 4 uni. I really don't know sh6-# about what employers want.
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Ilie746
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(Original post by Oceanwater)
What if I don't like sports but have a real passion for knitting? Why would I join a club I don't like?

Btw I'm in year 12 so I'm just tryna get started 4 uni. I really don't know sh6-# about what employers want.
I'm going into second year, I don't have much advice for you, but I'd say do what you like and will enjoy. If you have a passion for knitting why not start a knitting club (if there isn't one already and be a leader. Haven't started any clubs myself but I guess that's still a good option.
Last edited by Ilie746; 1 month ago
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tinygirl96
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Top tips
Have a amazing cv and unflappable attitude to life
Hone your interview skills
Smile
Know another language
Be calm
Act smart always
Be open to trying out new things
Possess a growth mindset
Have really good teamwork and communication skills
Make friends too
Network constantly
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Blue_Cow
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Use your summers properly - get an internship in 1st year if possible, failing that, get one in the summer between 2nd/3rd year and try to convert it to FT.
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jhhuck1
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(Original post by Realitysreflexx)
Even though I went to top universities (relatively speaking), my top tip to any applicants would be these...

Realise what the ATS is and why it matters.

Realise you need to edit your CV's to match job descriptions once you've realised point one.

Realize that you won't get every job and you really only need one!

Be prepared to use the STAR method before you start interviewing.

Start the process early.

Use milkround if the big gradschemes close. Or really just always use milkround. It's how I got my job lol.
what does this all mean
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Blue_Cow
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(Original post by jhhuck1)
what does this all mean
ATS = Applicant Tracking System. They can automatically scan your CVs/cover letters/documents for keywords, which are often derived from the job description/criteria

STAR is a method/format to answer questions. Situation, Task, Action, Result. It helps to structure your answer properly and succinctly.
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Ilie746
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(Original post by Blue_Cow)
Use your summers properly - get an internship in 1st year if possible, failing that, get one in the summer between 2nd/3rd year and try to convert it to FT.
Would you say a year-long placement would be useful?
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Blue_Cow
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(Original post by Ilie746)
Would you say a year-long placement is useful?
Definitely. If you have the opportunity to do one, take it.

1 whole year to prove yourself to an organisation and make a meaningful impact.
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Realitysreflexx
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(Original post by jhhuck1)
what does this all mean
Google it all. Really top tips. Each individual sentence and capitalized abbreviation has great meaning. People go into job hunting naively, that rarely work.

Really you need to hunt for a career.

Not just "get" a job.
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Realitysreflexx
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(Original post by Blue_Cow)
Definitely. If you have the opportunity to do one, take it.

1 whole year to prove yourself to an organisation and make a meaningful impact.
Absolutely agree with this, I got a pretty good job without a single internship and that's rare. And if I wasn't a german (brexit made me very valuable) with a reputable UK degree and pre-settled status, and native German and English skills , I'm doubtful I would have as good as one as I got.
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Giangix
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I feel like I fit the description here as well. Studied in Wales, and went on to find a job in finance in London with zero finance-related experience.

During my time in university, I have done all sort of things, from serving beers part-time to pay bills to marketing, sales and other internships with local employers. Very few people understand that the competition for jobs is much lower at a local level. Many people seek an internship in big firms, but small local employers would be more willing to let you work there and you get way more responsibilities.

Anyway, during my interview, I was asked why I had no finance experience. I said "I applied to every single finance internship I could possibly find but unfortunately I didn't get in and rather than doing nothing I decided to learn valuable skills in other sectors". I think that this honesty and transparency got me the job. A|t the end of the day, anyone can do those jobs, you just have to show them why you are different than all other candidates e.g. you are smart, funny, have interesting background, speak 10 languages, etc.

You have a story of your own and you need to storytell! If you need tips on how to do that, feel free to DM me!

I was also using Linkedin Easy Apply, a service called www.gradtext.app, and others to get as many job ads as possible and apply to them as quickly as possible.
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