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    (Original post by slowhand87)
    There are no offical league tables for non undergrad unis, however the links with industry are world renowned.

    the business school is:

    the best in the UK as ranked by the Wall Street Journal
    15th best in the World by the Economist
    5th in Europe as ranked by Forbes
    Seriously..?

    Could you find a link to clarify this for me? I would appreciate it..I've looked at postgraduate business schools and the name hasn't popped up

    I've found the economists rating..none of the others though
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    (Original post by chaz1992)
    i'm sure if you invest £14.60 per a level exam now (87.60 per a level + £60 for books = £137.60 per a level), you'll be able to get an a*/a/b easily in subjects like maths, f maths and physics as you've graduated from engineering.

    Also:

    http://www.graduate-jobs.com/recruit...n_engineering/

    ...and on my old computer, i had a website saved that had loads of graduate oppertunities where the interview criteria was only based on uni performance. Will try looking for it on google and will post link if i find it.
    14.60 where you taking a level exams?
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    Perhaps you could go enter yourself into some A-Levels as an external candidate and bump up your UCAS score. If you have a first and an MA they should be eeeeasy to get A's in and then you should be able to make it past the sifting stage of grad schemes. I know it's stupid but many graduate schemes automatically sift out those that don't meet their UCAS demands, they don't even look at the rest of your application.

    Makes me glad I have 440 UCAS pts and shouldn't have this problem even though I'll still probably have sod all chance of getting onto the grad schemes I want to.

    Edit: Missed someone already saying this, my bad.
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    (Original post by Abukar)
    14.60 where you taking a level exams?
    In the UK.

    That's how much an exam entry costs with Edexcel this year for each maths module.
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    (Original post by slowhand87)
    Sorry but my experience of having worked and studied with many different people, is that the less academic people out there (I would put myself in that bracket) who have had to study harder and work to fund there education would in most cases make better employees.
    I sympathise, I really do. But you just can't see it. Don't you think employers want good employees? Of course they do - but your criteria of what a good employee is might not be the same as theirs. I'm afraid that to me it looks like you've fallen into the "Captain of the Netball Team" syndrome. Ok, you've worked part-time for many years with a retailer as a technical assistant. By any objective criteria, that's not a bad thing - but just above, you've made out like you were chairman of ICI. It's not for you to judge who would make better employees at this stage - only for you to hope that the firms will adjudge you on more than just your A-levels.

    As a graduate, I don't see that a few years working in a shop amounts to much to differentiate you.


    I have no sense of entitlement, Im not asking for a huge salary with a big firm, Im just making the point that it seems slightly unfair that recruiters do not want to even interview candidates just on the basis of looking at grades from 6 years ago.
    You don't see that it might not be your A-levels. It might be that you put yourself across very badly. It's already clear that you think you have advantages over other candidates, which may not be borne out in fact.
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    (Original post by DarkWhite)
    It sounds like you're making excuses for application shortcomings. If you have good GCSE/equiv. grades, a 1st class honours degree in engineering from a top university, and the work experience you've mentioned, then you should find a job in time.

    Maybe get somebody to read your application forms with you, ask the employers for feedback if they have time to see where you're going wrong, and submit your CV/covering letters to the TSR forums to get a true outside opinion from a group of people experienced in this area.

    A number of key things spring to mind though:

    * An MSc isn't a "get out of jail free key" to make up for a previous poor grade. Besides, many students undertake undergraduate masters programmes nowadays.

    * There's no such thing as a 1:1; it's just a 1st.

    * If your retail work experience was simply a shop assistant, maybe you're trying to sell it too much with the multinational side of things, as well as the Technical mentions. Unless you were collaborating with staff overseas on whether to fit particular components into embedded systems, employers don't want people going over-the-top.

    * How well did/does this e-commerce do? If you're still doing it, why do you need a job? If you stopped it, why?

    * 20 hours a week is good, but it doesn't say much for time management if it meant you got CDE in your A-Levels. You need to sell the skills you've developed through this work. Employers are increasingly looking for key skills like communication, team work, improving own learning performance, IT, and leadership. Every other kid is getting a degree these days, so selling your experience without going over the top is key.

    * Maybe try avoiding graduate schemes, as they're infamous for having UCAS points requirements. You can apply directly to companies with a covering letter, and think of companies who offer regular jobs not strictly designed for graduates but which would be suitable for graduates. If you really want to apply for graduate jobs, you could always use say key skills qualifications to boost your UCAS points tally.

    * Forget about your friend getting a job and the whole being bitter thing. You'll only get annoyed and underperform if you keep comparing yourself to others.

    * Stop being so pessimistic! 40 jobs sounds like a lot, but there are obviously a lot more jobs out there, and you can always avoid grad schemes, as they're barely anything special.



    Well, I got BCC in my A-Levels and have managed to secure 2 graduate jobs, for example. Just because you're not having much luck, doesn't mean others aren't.
    Thank you for your constructive remarks, I realised now that the MSc was maybe the wrong option however it seems to be a natural progression in the current job market.

    Realised about the '1:1', my mistake

    I have worked as a IT technician for a retailer, however have had previous experience in the customer service and sales roles. Do a lot of dealing with clients and stuff so it has offered transferable skills. The ecommerce thing was just a part time venture and never anything that was going to be long term. Have been applying to small companies as well via covering letter + CV, however they tend to look for experienced candidates.

    However I would be happy working at a smaller place.
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    (Original post by Peel)
    Cranfield is actually a very good postgrad uni for engineering. Which university did you go to?
    The fact that there are people who have never heard of Cranfield says a lot. What makes you think a monkey in HR will have too (particularly for the non-engineering schemes)? Even so, they are likely to favour graduates from universities that they are familiar with and have hired scores of graduates from before.
    And also for the record, league tables mean jack.
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    (Original post by Chrisl12345)
    Seriously..?

    Could you find a link to clarify this for me? I would appreciate it..I've looked at postgraduate business schools and the name hasn't popped up

    I've found the economists rating..none of the others though
    http://www.som.cranfield.ac.uk/som/p...chool-Rankings
    http://www.cranfield.ac.uk/about/fac...id=promobutton
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    40 applications is nothing.

    Get some feedback on your CV from your investment banking friend.

    Make sure your CV say EXCEL and VBA on it! (very important)

    Go to efinancialcareers.com and apply for every job posted in the last few days. Most of these jobs are fake but it's a good way to get recruiters to see your CV. In two days time you'll get start getting phone calls. When this dies down just carpetbomb your CV again until and you'll get a fresh round of recruiters to talk to.

    e: Consider deleting your a-levels from your CV, you have plenty of other interesting things to talk about.
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    (Original post by chaz1992)
    in the uk.

    That's how much an exam entry costs with edexcel this year for each maths module.
    yh. Do you know where in the uk i can get them prices?
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    (Original post by Abukar)
    yh. Do you know where in the uk i can get them prices?
    My school told me that that's how much I have to pay to be entered in for an exam retake.
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    (Original post by IAmCroissant)
    The fact that there are people who have never heard of Cranfield says a lot. What makes you think a monkey in HR will have too (particularly for the non-engineering schemes)? Even so, they are likely to favour graduates from universities that they are familiar with and have hired scores of graduates from before.
    And also for the record, league tables mean jack.
    Where did I say people in HR will have heard about Cranfield, or league tables mean anything...

    I must have touched a nerve, but all I was saying is that you shouldn't dismiss Cranfield because you haven't heard of it before.
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    PS Reviewer
    If your grades aren't high enough you need to look at other opportunities, it just means you might have to start a bit lower on the ladder.
    Has anyone looked over your applications? Maybe you aren't selling yourself enough - such as when you have to write a PS-style section.
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    (Original post by slowhand87)
    removed for ease of reading
    retake your a levels. do maths further maths and physics, youll pass all 3 with about 90+%. I am **** at engineering and I know if I retook mine I would get those grades purely because engineering is so much harder than a levels.
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    (Original post by slowhand87)
    I would like to know if anyone has a similar experience to me or can offer any pearls of wisdom.

    I graduated last year with a 1:1 in an engineering degree and am currently studying a MSc at a well regarded university. With my MSc due to finish in Sept this year I decided several months ago to start applying for graduate schemes (both engineering and non) and also normal (non-grad) jobs that suit my degree.

    However 6 months and around 40 applications later, I have made one assessment centre and had around 39 rejections. I have been searching for the answers to why this has happened and now it appears that companies only care about A levels!

    I thought that recruiters would clambering to interview me because of my past.

    MY ACADEMIC+WORK RECORD

    - Studying MSc at World Renowned University
    - First Class Honours Degree - Engineering
    -7 Years working part time for a multinational IT Retailer (Technical, Customer Service and Sales Experience)
    -Started and ran my own E-Commerce site for 2 years

    I have worked nearly 20hrs per week since I was 16 whilst studying at University and I thought that these attributes would propel me into great job.

    However it appears that I am being punished for my academic record from 5 years ago. My A-Level results were C,D,E in IT,Maths and Physics. Admittedly these are very poor however I did not work hard enough and realised when starting my degree that I needed to improve.

    When applying for graduate schemes, most required a numerical test of which I always past. I have considered retaking my A-Levels however it seems that organisations do not accept A Level retakes.

    Most companies ask for at least 280 UCAS point however I have under 200 and am being punished for my record 5 years ago. My MSc is also irrelevant due to my college results.

    Having just found out that a friend of mine who obtained a 2:1 at similar ranked University but obtained 360 UCAS points has just been offered an Investment Banking position with a part time MBA degree it leaves a bitter taste in my mouth (considering that he has never has a long term job)

    So...at 23 with what I thought was a very good CV 6 months ago, has now meant that I cannot find employment and no grad-schemes will even listen to me.

    Anyone thinking of going to Uni without 3 A/B A-Levels DO NOT BOTHER AND WASTE THE TIME AND MONEY -
    One of the reasons that once I've done my undergraduate degree and masters degree I'm GTFO of this country and going to a country that uses common sense.

    I got a good amount of UCAS points but im stilling leaving.

    Why on Earth any company would look at A Levels before a degree is beyond me.

    Plenty of people mess about during college as they're still adolescents and then go to university more mature and turn their life around and work hard for 3 or more years depending on what they do.
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    That's ridiculous as you've clearly proven yourself academically and professionally. Maybe you should retake a-levels with a different exam board (perhaps the fact that they are retakes) would be less obvious that way. Also have you thought about reworking your CV (maybe you should upload it here for us to look through) as those who excel in maths and science aren't always the best writers.
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    OK, just a couple of things. First, you need to accept that A-levels aren't irrelevant. You did poorly and one of the consequences of that is that you have to overcome hurdles like this. Graduate schemes are exceptionally popular and employers can afford to be hardasses when it comes to sifting through. The simple fact is that the job market is littered with graduates with good university degrees and masters, good A-level results and some part-time or vacation work behind them. By and large, that's considered the standard. Most have to look to other means to make their applications stand out.

    I'm curious as to how many of your forty applications have resulted in specific feedback that the sole reason you're not getting through is A-level results?

    As has been mentioned, definitely have your CVs and applications looked over. Even if you had outstanding experience, it's worthless unless sold right. And selling it right doesn't mean overblowing it and making it sound more than it was (as you seem to have done in the OP). Look at the two examples below:

    Example 1
    "Three years spent in a key performance and service delivery role in a major international corporation dealing with a multinational client base and a diverse range of key stakeholders."[/quote]

    Example 2
    "Three years spent working in McDonalds. The role allowed me to develop excellent teamwork skills through working effectively with colleagues from a range of backgrounds and strong communication skills through working to deliver an excellent customer experience to all customers. In addition, I have developed strong abilities in working under pressure and in busy environments."
    Both could apply to the same job. The top one sounds better on paper, but the second one is more real. You're a graduate - no one expects you to have years of high level corporate experience. They want you to show you have the basics needed in a workplace - time management, communication skills, can handle pressure, can work within a team etc. It sounds to me like you're trying to big up your part-time job into something it isn't and hoping no one will notice. They will. It would be far more effective to be fully upfront about what your position was and what you learned from it.

    The other thing to bear in mind is that experience is about more than work. Did you organise any events at Uni? Did you get involved in committees/students union/societies? Because most of those you're competing with will have.

    What about internships? Have you gained relevant experience in a corporate environment - albeit it on an unpaid and temporary basis? Can you point to anything beyond the same job you've done for seven years that you've done to challenge yourself during the summer for the past few years?

    The simple fact is that, at the end of the day, you're a graduate with poor A-level results, an ok degree from an ok uni, a decent masters from a decent uni (albeit one which many recruiters will not be familiar with) and experience in a part-time service delivery role. Your experience is decidedly average and you're applying to schemes that seek exceptional candidates.

    I'm not saying this to be harsh, but you don't seem very self-aware. Getting a 1st doesn't erase your poor academic history, and having a part time job for seven years isn't the pinnacle of experience.

    Without being self-aware you will continue to apply for these schemes, get bitter about not getting through, blame it all on your A-level results and not address the deeper issues with your application.

    So start by identifying your application shortcomings:
    -Your A-level results are poor
    -Having a job for seven years without progressing might indicate that you haven't challenged yourself or been good enough to progress.
    -You don't seem to have any extra-curricular experience which might indicate a lack of drive (as well as experience)
    -You don't have direct industry experience (unless you're applying for a basic technician position)
    -On top of all of the above you don't seem to have specific skills that are rare in the graduate population (can you speak a language that would help a company in a major target market; are you fluent in software that is crucial to their success and difficult to master)

    Now your choice is simple:

    1) Address all or most of those weaknesses
    2) Continue to tell yourself it's all about your A-level results - because it's easy to feel bitter when the cause of your troubles is a silly decision at 18 rather than deliberately refusing to self-improve now.


    So you're going to need to apply to either non-graduate scheme jobs or grad schemes without a UCAS threshold. Again, if you've applied for forty jobs, i find it wildly difficult to believe that all of them have shut you out JUST because of your UCAS tariff.

    Redouble your efforts, concentrate on positions that are attainable, build experience, build saleable skills and build unique selling points that will help you advance.

    You made a bad decision 6 years ago but you are now using it as an excuse for a lot of other shortcomings in your professional experience. Get over the A-levels and find a wide-ranging solution.
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    this is mostly tru, however...employers are finding it difficult to differentiate between degrees,unfortunately and this counter to what most people on this thread believe a degree is not a degree(dont lynch me ) employers are looking at universities with a strong academic standard...questions will be raised as why people with CCC at A level who go to i.e wolverhampton ect, come out with the same degree class as someone from i.e manchester who needed AAA...unfortunately the maths dosnt stack up when arguing that both degrees are of equal academic rigour
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    (Original post by livingston)
    OK, just a couple of things. First, you need to accept that A-levels aren't irrelevant. You did poorly and one of the consequences of that is that you have to overcome hurdles like this. Graduate schemes are exceptionally popular and employers can afford to be hardasses when it comes to sifting through. The simple fact is that the job market is littered with graduates with good university degrees and masters, good A-level results and some part-time or vacation work behind them. By and large, that's considered the standard. Most have to look to other means to make their applications stand out.

    I'm curious as to how many of your forty applications have resulted in specific feedback that the sole reason you're not getting through is A-level results?

    As has been mentioned, definitely have your CVs and applications looked over. Even if you had outstanding experience, it's worthless unless sold right. And selling it right doesn't mean overblowing it and making it sound more than it was (as you seem to have done in the OP). Look at the two examples below:


    "Three years spent in a key performance and service delivery role in a major international corporation dealing with a multinational client base and a diverse range of key stakeholders."


    Both could apply to the same job. The top one sounds better on paper, but the second one is more real. You're a graduate - no one expects you to have years of high level corporate experience. They want you to show you have the basics needed in a workplace - time management, communication skills, can handle pressure, can work within a team etc. It sounds to me like you're trying to big up your part-time job into something it isn't and hoping no one will notice. They will. It would be far more effective to be fully upfront about what your position was and what you learned from it.

    The other thing to bear in mind is that experience is about more than work. Did you organise any events at Uni? Did you get involved in committees/students union/societies? Because most of those you're competing with will have.

    What about internships? Have you gained relevant experience in a corporate environment - albeit it on an unpaid and temporary basis? Can you point to anything beyond the same job you've done for seven years that you've done to challenge yourself during the summer for the past few years?

    The simple fact is that, at the end of the day, you're a graduate with poor A-level results, an ok degree from an ok uni, a decent masters from a decent uni (albeit one which many recruiters will not be familiar with) and experience in a part-time service delivery role. Your experience is decidedly average and you're applying to schemes that seek exceptional candidates.

    I'm not saying this to be harsh, but you don't seem very self-aware. Getting a 1st doesn't erase your poor academic history, and having a part time job for seven years isn't the pinnacle of experience.

    Without being self-aware you will continue to apply for these schemes, get bitter about not getting through, blame it all on your A-level results and not address the deeper issues with your application.

    So start by identifying your application shortcomings:
    -Your A-level results are poor
    -Having a job for seven years without progressing might indicate that you haven't challenged yourself or been good enough to progress.
    -You don't seem to have any extra-curricular experience which might indicate a lack of drive (as well as experience)
    -You don't have direct industry experience (unless you're applying for a basic technician position)
    -On top of all of the above you don't seem to have specific skills that are rare in the graduate population (can you speak a language that would help a company in a major target market; are you fluent in software that is crucial to their success and difficult to master)

    Now your choice is simple:

    1) Address all or most of those weaknesses
    2) Continue to tell yourself it's all about your A-level results - because it's easy to feel bitter when the cause of your troubles is a silly decision at 18 rather than deliberately refusing to self-improve now.


    So you're going to need to apply to either non-graduate scheme jobs or grad schemes without a UCAS threshold. Again, if you've applied for forty jobs, i find it wildly difficult to believe that all of them have shut you out JUST because of your UCAS tariff.

    Redouble your efforts, concentrate on positions that are attainable, build experience, build saleable skills and build unique selling points that will help you advance.

    You made a bad decision 6 years ago but you are now using it as an excuse for a lot of other shortcomings in your professional experience. Get over the A-levels and find a wide-ranging solution.[/QUOTE]


    What you say makes a lot of sense and I value your views. I dont believe A levels are irrelevant, it appears that they are essential and I accept that.

    The majority of my job applications have not cited A-Levels as the reason for being declined, however most of the graduate scheme applications have. In terms of my job description on my CV it is:

    I currently hold the position of senior technician having received a promotion two years previously. *************, one of Europe’s leading electronic retailing groups. Working as part of the technical team, my role involves the repair and servicing of IT systems together with customer support both on and off site. My previous role within the organisation involved customer service and technical support. I have also gained sales experience in a number of different business areas during my time with the company.

    With respect, i believe that it is more than a standard part time job and involves a number of skills that are transferable. I have also ran my own e-commerce site for 2 years which i thought my show a level of initiative.

    Would working abroad, albeit on a voluntary basis for 6 months enhance my prospects in your opinion?
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    Did you ever email the recruitment department of the jobs you applied for explaining your situation and qualifications and whether you'd be considered because of it? They may have just screened you out because they didn't know.
 
 
 
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