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My 1st from BCU Watch

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    Hi all,

    I graduated last year with a 1st from BCU. I believe in my opinion that it is of equal standin to other "good" uniz. But my mates from Birmingham (redbrick) tell me that even though I have a 1st I will still be filtered out from top firms because of going to BCU. I got BCC at A-level and my mate says that I need at least AAB to have a shot at the big firms due to the auto-filter.

    I also believe that my 1st is worth like 1st from Birmingham, Manchester, Bristol, Nottingham. I say this becoz they all standardised and marked by an exerternal examiner so surely my capability is exactly the same as my mates from Russell Group unis.

    What do you guys think? I think if I had the chance to go to a red brick I would get a 1st too because all degrees are marked equally (so I believe).

    Just wanted your thoughts and that.

    Thanks

    Jeyesh
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    Good work.
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    There's a lot of debate at this in Oxford all the time, mostly because a lot of idiots seem to think they and their degrees are worth more than everyone elses.

    I'm afraid that degrees aren't uniformly marked - I know that we're marked by a panel of examiners from within the Uni, and then it might be briefly checked by someone external just to see that they haven't done anything totally crazy. It would only really be possible to directly compare by setting one standard exam per subject. So in that sense degrees aren't standardised.

    I don't see why you would be filtered out, certainly not if you did well on the companies own testing. The head of graduate recruitment in the south east (or similar title) for PwC said that they care more about your A levels than your degree, because that's more like the kind of work you might be doing for them.

    Hope that at least contains some useful info
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    oh and hell yeah, good work.
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    This has to be a troll.
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    (Original post by whiplash)
    This has to be a troll.
    I'm not trollin, i'm bein genuine, i think my 1st is good enough if you compare it to other red brick unis, they're all marked accordingly so why is mine worth less than others?

    Some firms won't let me apply becos my a-levels are bcc. I applied to barrister sets for mini-pupillage, all 12 rejected me, it's either because i'm asian or my uni (but barristers are stuck up about unis anyway).
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    (Original post by legaleye)
    I'm not trollin, i'm bein genuine, i think my 1st is good enough if you compare it to other red brick unis, they're all marked accordingly so why is mine worth less than others?

    Some firms won't let me apply becos my a-levels are bcc. I applied to barrister sets for mini-pupillage, all 12 rejected me, it's either because i'm asian or my uni (but barristers are stuck up about unis anyway).
    Well done on your first.

    Unfortunately, you will struggle to secure a TC with one of the major firms because of your A Level results. If you look at their websites you'll see that many require a minimum of ABB or AAB at A-level. In addition, BCU is not well regarded - that will not stand against you too, despite achieving a first.

    That is also why you were unsuccessful at securing a mini-pupillage: not your ethnicity.

    Did you apply for any vacation schemes?
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    The key words to your post are "in my opinion". Even if you are correct about the exams being standarded (I'm a little doubtful - I don't think exams are standardised, this isn't the same thing as using an external examiner to achieve consistent marking within a university), employers don't see it that way. Unfortunately for you, a BCU just isn't seen as equal to a first from a Redbrick.

    You also need to appreciate that people with firsts from somewhere like Birmingham will more often than not come away with 12 straight rejections for mini-pupillage applications too. Birmingham is certainly second/third tier in such a competitive environment. In fact, it happens to people with Oxbridge degrees - the process is just that competitive for barristers and I'm afraid you don't have a chance if you are applying for top commercial sets. Pupillage, even mini, is VERY VERY VERY competitive.

    Top-tier London firms filter out people without AAB (though top-tier doesn't necessarily mean better - if you don't want stupid long hours they are probably not a good place to be).

    You will do fine and you can still have an excellent, rewarding and fulfilling legal career, but it won't be starting at a top chambers or a magic-circle type firm. You need to research this very thoroughly and be realistic about your expectations. I gather a slight hint from your posts that you haven't really researched the applications process: it is essential to do this, both for careers generally and the particular firm you are applying to. It is competitive at all levels.
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    I think as Chalks said, your A Levels may pose more of a problem than your university. Although your university may pose a problem with some elite firms, firms are slowly beginning to lighten up with regard to where you do your degree. One of my friends, for example, did an LLB at UWE (University of the West of England) and secured an interview with Ashurst (top-20 firm) (though he had AAA grades at A Level). I know another trainee at Davies Arnold Cooper (medium-sized Real Estate / Insurance Lit firm, top-70) who also studied at a very non-traditional university.

    You could try speaking to HR to see if they would still consider your A Levels. You could possibly even consider resitting. Or you could just aim at firms that do not have an A Level requirement.
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    It is frequently, and rightly, said that a good masters won't repair the damage of a poor first degree. However you are someone for whom a masters degree at a very good university (merit or distinction only) might cement your academic performance at BCU. Obviously it cannot deal with firms that use auto-filtering software but so far as I know, no barristers chambers use such software and only a proportion of solicitors firms do so. Often what is described as auto-filtering software is a woman in HR. If you present with first class honours and say a masters distinction from UCL she is going to be less bothered about your A levels.

    If you do decide to do a masters you deal to concentrate on "core" legal topics. International human rights law is no good to man nor beast. Taxation is always seen as a tough choice and a valuable skill that is not widely held. Masters level courses in advanced property and equity subjects would also be desirable.
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    The problem isn't so much that you went to BCU, it's that you got BCC.

    If this isn't a troll (which surely it is) then i'm sorry to say you haven't really got a hope in hell at a MC or even SC firm.
 
 
 
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