Graduate without a job Watch

RichF
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Hello everyone

I graduated in July with a first class master's degree in a science from a Russell Group university but I've so far failed to find a job. I feel like I've exhausted most avenues and I'm wondering why I bothered getting myself in what amounts to just under £30k worth of debt.

The big job websites do not have many jobs applicable to my degree, they mainly seem to be endless sales and recruitment jobs. I've been in contact with a few recruitment agencies but I know they only bother sending my generic CV without a cover letter to companies and I'm pretty certain most companies ignore recruitment agencies anyway. I have got around this by finding out the name of the company in question and applying directly to them. Unsurprisingly, when I apply directly with a CV and cover letter they actually respond! I guess this way they do not have to pay recruitment agencies any commission. So far I've had three interviews but no job offer.

It just feels like I'm going nowhere fast and my salary expectation has progressively dropped since I graduated. Now I'm willing to work for free just to get the experience! I'm currently stuck at home in front of my laptop with my phone all day searching for jobs and it's really starting to get to me. In the meantime, I've taken a part time retail job but even that isn't permanent - It's only Xmas cover.

Anyone else in a similarly depressing situation?
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cheriebb
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as if I wrote this.

I figured out the same trend with regards to getting interviews if you apply directly. When I applied continuously to the recruitment agencies and got no interviews ,I applied directly to the companies and I got interviews. Why is that? What am I missing ? Whats the missing link between me-recruiters and the companies?!

It is absolutely ridiculous the grad market. There is no choice apart from the stupid sales and recruiters jobs! I am stuck up north at my parents but i want to be back in london so baaaad!! i dont know when this whole thing will be over. (
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TheSilentBang
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Try and get some volunteer works experience in the area you're interested in just to keep yourself relevant with recent works experience. From personal experience I know the temporary Christmas jobs often get turned into a permanent one if you're willing to put the hours in, at least that way it gives you a basic salary with flexible hours whilst you pursue your actual career interests.

Best of luck!
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EmptyBracket
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I feel your pain Rich, 1st class honours BSc Economics here, with an 80% average mark and two scholarships to my name at a top 15 Russell Group. Good work history too, but no relevant internships. It is so hard to step down from acadmecially challenging studies to applying for jobs every day- mentally it is exhausting and demeaning.
My day consists of practicing phychometric tests, researching one company and making an exceptional application now. I have had three offers but all for jobs I don't want and would jeopardise my future career aspirations. The plan for me now is to apply to every single graduate job or relevant entry level position this year, making solid applications. If I don't succeed in securing a decent offer I will return to Uni to pursue MSc Finance or Economics at Warwick, and I will be applying heavily for intern ships throughout the MSc so I don't end up in this position. Keep plugging away, I know how depressing/demeaning this is after all the hard work we have put in to achieve exceptional degree results.

(Original post by RichF)
Hello everyone

I graduated in July with a first class master's degree in a science from a Russell Group university but I've so far failed to find a job. I feel like I've exhausted most avenues and I'm wondering why I bothered getting myself in what amounts to just under £30k worth of debt.

The big job websites do not have many jobs applicable to my degree, they mainly seem to be endless sales and recruitment jobs. I've been in contact with a few recruitment agencies but I know they only bother sending my generic CV without a cover letter to companies and I'm pretty certain most companies ignore recruitment agencies anyway. I have got around this by finding out the name of the company in question and applying directly to them. Unsurprisingly, when I apply directly with a CV and cover letter they actually respond! I guess this way they do not have to pay recruitment agencies any commission. So far I've had three interviews but no job offer.

It just feels like I'm going nowhere fast and my salary expectation has progressively dropped since I graduated. Now I'm willing to work for free just to get the experience! I'm currently stuck at home in front of my laptop with my phone all day searching for jobs and it's really starting to get to me. In the meantime, I've taken a part time retail job but even that isn't permanent - It's only Xmas cover.

Anyone else in a similarly depressing situation?
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wanderlust.xx
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(Original post by EmptyBracket)
I feel your pain Rich, 1st class honours BSc Economics here, with an 80% average mark and two scholarships to my name at a top 15 Russell Group. Good work history too, but no relevant internships. It is so hard to step down from acadmecially challenging studies to applying for jobs every day- mentally it is exhausting and demeaning.
Building sympathy ...

I have had three offers but all for jobs I don't want and would jeopardise my future career aspirations.
... aaaaaaand it's gone.

Whoop dee freaking do, you got a first. So did I. What does it matter? Go out into the world and contribute to society instead of whining about how you're no longer getting anything on a plate anymore.

For the record, I was unemployed 6 months after graduating. I worked my arse off with applications and got myself a Christmas temp job at a retail store. Since then I've applied, jumped and worked up without any "who you know" *******s. I did it alone. Truly alone. If I can do it, you certainly can. It takes a tremendous amount of work ethic and willpower, and an exceptional amount of resilience in the face of failure - because you will fail, over and over - but it can be done.

Welcome to the real world.
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RichF
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Thanks for the different perspectives so far. I hate to say it, but it makes me feel slightly better knowing I'm not the only one in this situation.

(Original post by TheSilentBang)
Try and get some volunteer works experience in the area you're interested in just to keep yourself relevant with recent works experience.
Yes this is something I'm desperately trying to do. Unfortunately, it is easier said than done. Companies seem unwilling to take me on even when I offer to work for free.

(Original post by wanderlust.xx)
For the record, I was unemployed 6 months after graduating. I worked my arse off with applications and got myself a Christmas temp job at a retail store. Since then I've applied, jumped and worked up without any "who you know" *******s. I did it alone. Truly alone. If I can do it, you certainly can. It takes a tremendous amount of work ethic and willpower, and an exceptional amount of resilience in the face of failure - because you will fail, over and over - but it can be done.
Out of interest, was your first full time job related to your degree/what you wanted to do or did you take it just to get some work experience?

This is something I'm struggling with at the moment. Whether I should stick to my guns and focus on finding that graduate job that is relevant to my degree and what I want to do or broaden my search just to get some work experience under my belt, even if it is not relevant to what I want to do. But if I take the latter option, people keep saying degrees have a 'sell by date' and if you leave it too long companies will no longer be interested. They will have next years graduates to cherry pick instead.
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EmptyBracket
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Bravo, I've come from nothing myself. I have no A-levels yet have the tenacity required to not only overcome rejection and continued failure, but also the learning agility and determination to catch up and then outperform every man and woman on my degree course, who have come from privileged. I don't give a rats ass what you think, you sound like the kind of guy who must have got a 2:1 in a ****e subject from a crap Uni, I'm worth more than 18.5k a year with a mid tier firm to my name. I know where I want to be and what is required, and I will achieve that. It just to happens that means turning down some ****ty ACA contract from a mid tier, and other graduate jobs that i'd have not benefit in taking. You have contributed absolutely nothing, despite what you may think it is often not wise to take the first opportunity that springs up- I have aspirations to go further than you do and my intellectual ability and tenacity will ensure that is achieved, mark my words!

(Original post by wanderlust.xx)
Building sympathy ...



... aaaaaaand it's gone.

Whoop dee freaking do, you got a first. So did I. What does it matter? Go out into the world and contribute to society instead of whining about how you're no longer getting anything on a plate anymore.

For the record, I was unemployed 6 months after graduating. I worked my arse off with applications and got myself a Christmas temp job at a retail store. Since then I've applied, jumped and worked up without any "who you know" *******s. I did it alone. Truly alone. If I can do it, you certainly can. It takes a tremendous amount of work ethic and willpower, and an exceptional amount of resilience in the face of failure - because you will fail, over and over - but it can be done.

Welcome to the real world.
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Renegade Dagger
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I'm in the same situation as you guys. 1st class from Warwick, 2 years of experience in academic publishing, and a scholarship and distinction in my master's from St Andrews, but since I graduated a couple of months ago, I've not been able to find anything. Like you, I feel like I'm making strong applications, and have tried applying for different kinds of jobs so not as to lay my eggs in one basket, but they seem to be ignored (particularly if they are via recruitment agencies). What's really annoying is that I do have substantial work experience, so I'm too qualified for graduate entry level roles and companies don't want me - I've had a few of interviews where it was embarrassingly obvious I was more experienced than the interviewer. And on the other hand, most other roles want significant (i.e. 3 years of experience), or really specific skills which I don't possess.

Applying for jobs is a full-time job - and I'm finding it takes about a day to do just one (anyone else finding this?) - and so I'm slightly loathe to do an internship. Also I don't want to not be able to attend interviews, should I not be able to have time off. I'd be happy to take most anything - but then it means that I'm taking a massive step back (both in responsibility and pay) and it's going to be difficult to explain that to future employers, I think.
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EmptyBracket
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You have two solid institutions to your name, so this should help make employers take note. What subject did you study?

I find a good application takes at least a day too. I would do an intern ship myself, but most are only open to undergrads in their second or third year, putting them out of our reach. I guess one could get around this by stating you are studying a masters next year (even if you're not) though, although of course you already have one.

(Original post by Renegade Dagger)
I'm in the same situation as you guys. 1st class from Warwick, 2 years of experience in academic publishing, and a scholarship and distinction in my master's from St Andrews, but since I graduated a couple of months ago, I've not been able to find anything. Like you, I feel like I'm making strong applications, and have tried applying for different kinds of jobs so not as to lay my eggs in one basket, but they seem to be ignored (particularly if they are via recruitment agencies). What's really annoying is that I do have substantial work experience, so I'm too qualified for graduate entry level roles and companies don't want me - I've had a few of interviews where it was embarrassingly obvious I was more experienced than the interviewer. And on the other hand, most other roles want significant (i.e. 3 years of experience), or really specific skills which I don't possess.

Applying for jobs is a full-time job - and I'm finding it takes about a day to do just one (anyone else finding this?) - and so I'm slightly loathe to do an internship. Also I don't want to not be able to attend interviews, should I not be able to have time off. I'd be happy to take most anything - but then it means that I'm taking a massive step back (both in responsibility and pay) and it's going to be difficult to explain that to future employers, I think.
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addylad
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(Original post by Renegade Dagger)
I'm in the same situation as you guys. 1st class from Warwick, 2 years of experience in academic publishing, and a scholarship and distinction in my master's from St Andrews, but since I graduated a couple of months ago, I've not been able to find anything. Like you, I feel like I'm making strong applications, and have tried applying for different kinds of jobs so not as to lay my eggs in one basket, but they seem to be ignored (particularly if they are via recruitment agencies). What's really annoying is that I do have substantial work experience, so I'm too qualified for graduate entry level roles and companies don't want me - I've had a few of interviews where it was embarrassingly obvious I was more experienced than the interviewer. And on the other hand, most other roles want significant (i.e. 3 years of experience), or really specific skills which I don't possess.

Applying for jobs is a full-time job - and I'm finding it takes about a day to do just one (anyone else finding this?) - and so I'm slightly loathe to do an internship. Also I don't want to not be able to attend interviews, should I not be able to have time off. I'd be happy to take most anything - but then it means that I'm taking a massive step back (both in responsibility and pay) and it's going to be difficult to explain that to future employers, I think.
A massive step back in responsibility? Compared to what, being a student? Don't make me laugh. As a student you have virtually zero responsibility.

You sound so arrogant when you talk about how you supposedly know more than the interviewer. How does a first even qualify you for a job? You are yet another graduate who thinks they can walk into a job by listing their grades.

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Renegade Dagger
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(Original post by addylad)
A massive step back in responsibility? Compared to what, being a student? Don't make me laugh. As a student you have virtually zero responsibility.

You sound so arrogant when you talk about how you supposedly know more than the interviewer. How does a first even qualify you for a job? You are yet another graduate who thinks they can walk into a job by listing their grades.

Posted from TSR Mobile
Perhaps you didn't read all of my post. I said that I had over 2 years of work experience, and so yes, I am overqualified for entry-level roles within my industry. Not to mention, that roles that I'm applying to are up to £10k less than what I was earning (since I was promoted in my previous job), which is not only a blow, but in practical terms, salaries that low are extremely difficult to live on. I've done several unpaid internships in order to build up my CV in the past, and have been working in some form since I was 14. Going through the process again is demoralizing.

I never said getting those grades entitled me to a job; I'm commenting on how hard it seems for me to get a job at the moment. And, like it or not, good grades often do denote hard work, excellent organizational and time-management skills and so do thereby show good candidates.

To be frank, your reply was pretty douchey. I don't think anyone in this thread is being arrogant or presumptuous. It's simply a miserable situation to be in.
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moutonfou
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This is an argument I have with myself every day. I have a first class degree and a master's with distinction, I am now earning just under £15,000 and neither my senior colleagues nor my boss even have a degree. They talk down to me constantly and I think: I must be better than this. I have to be worth more than £15,000.

But then what else am I going to do? The problem is even though I have a first class degree, master's, etc, they are in arts subjects. I have lots of knowledge but I have zero skills. I did get work experience during every year of my degree and it is only thanks to that that I am able to earn the £15,000 that I do. I wish I was worth more than £15,000 but I don't know if I am.

Unless you want to teach or get on an any-degree grad scheme, I can't think of any use for an arts degree. If I could do my time again I would go STEM/management all the way.
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EmptyBracket
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That is indeed your problem, and unless the degrees are from an exceptional University such as Oxbridge they are not particularly useful at all unfortunately. Although you could still apply to somewhere like Big 4 accounting which accept any degree from any Uni.

(Original post by moutonfou)
The problem is even though I have a first class degree, master's, etc, they are in arts subjects.
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Quady
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(Original post by moutonfou)
This is an argument I have with myself every day. I have a first class degree and a master's with distinction, I am now earning just under £15,000 and neither my senior colleagues nor my boss even have a degree. They talk down to me constantly and I think: I must be better than this. I have to be worth more than £15,000.

But then what else am I going to do? The problem is even though I have a first class degree, master's, etc, they are in arts subjects. I have lots of knowledge but I have zero skills. I did get work experience during every year of my degree and it is only thanks to that that I am able to earn the £15,000 that I do. I wish I was worth more than £15,000 but I don't know if I am.

Unless you want to teach or get on an any-degree grad scheme, I can't think of any use for an arts degree. If I could do my time again I would go STEM/management all the way.
Barely any grad scheme cares what degree you did, nor where you did it, only that it was a 2.i

If you aren't in a sector you want to be in and just want more money then if you're any good at interview/assessment centre a management consultancy will take you.
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Quady
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(Original post by wanderlust.xx)
Building sympathy ...



... aaaaaaand it's gone.

Whoop dee freaking do, you got a first. So did I. What does it matter? Go out into the world and contribute to society instead of whining about how you're no longer getting anything on a plate anymore.

For the record, I was unemployed 6 months after graduating. I worked my arse off with applications and got myself a Christmas temp job at a retail store. Since then I've applied, jumped and worked up without any "who you know" *******s. I did it alone. Truly alone. If I can do it, you certainly can. It takes a tremendous amount of work ethic and willpower, and an exceptional amount of resilience in the face of failure - because you will fail, over and over - but it can be done.

Welcome to the real world.
So what do you do now and how much are you on?
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brabzzz
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EmptyBasket...

Russel League! Got a 1st? Congrats, welcome to the club...there's tens of thousands of you. As you should be aware by now, a 1st translates -incredibly- loosely to enhanced employability, though within the context of record numbers of graduates, it's a drop in the ocean anyway.

Just throwing it out there that the amount of good jobs requiring 1st from a good uni is FAR lower than the amount of (even employable) top grads these universities produce. You might have 3 reasonable offers in the bag - but statistically, your chances of you getting the creme de la creme you so crave is simply 'tiny'. Your attitude marks you out as someone i'd not employ - though maybe you'll find a niche in some bank or law firm before you figure out only 1/50 make it to be big money even there and the rest burn out, wishing they'd taken an ACA contract that would give them good career prospects without the sheer pressure. Or not, you might fit and get lucky.

What i'm really trying to say is that as an unemployed graduate, you know nowt and you're worth less than ANYONE, no matter their level, that has been in the workplace for a few months. If you think it's demeaning having to look for a job after getting a 1st, you're in for a shock as far as real life goes ;-)
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EmptyBracket
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Lol.. buddy your post barely warrants a response. I've been around the block and have an extensive work history having served 6 years in the Royal Marines. In addition, an ACA training contract from big 4 is not exactly the creme of the jobs, is it.. especially for someone with my academic rigour! Get your facts right too, most of the people who are unemployed with firsts do not have a high first like me.. and they have not studied at a top University in a proper subject. You'll find most have gone to a **** University and have studied some worthless subject like art, socioloigy.. or even something less academically demanding like Business Studies. I have a top high first in a proper subject, not some mickey mouse crap from Donald Duck ex poly.

That may sound cocky, or whatever you want to call it.. but I do not come across like that at interview, I simply say it how it is on here. Don't like it? Do I seem like the kinda guy who gives a rats ass about what you think?! If I lacked ambition like you, I would have settled for Donald Duck ex poly, with a **** 2:1 in a Mickey Mouse studies. Furthermore, I would have bitten the HR persons hand of for a measly 18k aca mid tier contract. I would then have settled for a mediocre career earning around 50k for the rest of my life. Hate to break it to you buddy, but fortunately I'm not you.. I have ambition, talent and the drive needed to ensure my future success. I'm going to the top, and unlike you I will therfore not be accepting positions that are not in line with my aspirations. Sorry I couldn't sugar coat that for you, sweet heart!

(Original post by brabzzz)
EmptyBasket...

Russel League! Got a 1st? Congrats, welcome to the club...there's tens of thousands of you. As you should be aware by now, a 1st translates -incredibly- loosely to enhanced employability, though within the context of record numbers of graduates, it's a drop in the ocean anyway.

Just throwing it out there that the amount of good jobs requiring 1st from a good uni is FAR lower than the amount of (even employable) top grads these universities produce. You might have 3 reasonable offers in the bag - but statistically, your chances of you getting the creme de la creme you so crave is simply 'tiny'. Your attitude marks you out as someone i'd not employ - though maybe you'll find a niche in some bank or law firm before you figure out only 1/50 make it to be big money even there and the rest burn out, wishing they'd taken an ACA contract that would give them good career prospects without the sheer pressure. Or not, you might fit and get lucky.

What i'm really trying to say is that as an unemployed graduate, you know nowt and you're worth less than ANYONE, no matter their level, that has been in the workplace for a few months. If you think it's demeaning having to look for a job after getting a 1st, you're in for a shock as far as real life goes ;-)
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brabzzz
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This is civvie street and a forces background is a mixed bag (for example your attitude might be explained by your RM past), you make assumptions about me (not that i give a toss) and you confuse academic ability with employability.

Anyways, enough time wasted, good luck with the search.

edit: Academic ability is a funny concept anyway. Nevermind a high first, i got top mark in my year, good subject & uni - all it needs is hard work and good exam technique. Also interesting that you're rubbishing Big 4 when half your other posts enquire into how to get into Big 4. Especially Big 4 CF. I spent 3 years in Big 4 CF (Private Equity M&A). They're barely recruiting at the moment - best of luck with that.
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EmptyBracket
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Wow, welcome to the club buddy- I got the highest mark in my year by a full 5% margin, I achieved 81% average in BSc Economics. Clearly your reading abilities are not up to scratch either my friend, I enquire how difficult big four corporate finance is to get into when compared to audit- I'm actually applying for audit. My problem is not my degree or armed forces background, it is merely that I don't have any UCAS points. I have many friends from Uni who I pissed all over on the course, who were offered positions at GOldman Sachs in a proper Corporate Finance department, and also IB reject department at Big 4 too like you. I'm easily good enough for both, I have extensive experience of discounted cash flow modelling in Excel and manage a 6 figure personal investment portfolio which I have grown by well over 100% whilst t Uni. The average salary for my uni and course 6 months after graduation is £27,000- for the best student in the entire year to accept an 18k mid tier position shows lack of ambition, that is not me and I laugh at your comments for thinking I should accept I have an interview tomorrow anyway, so I'm afraid as much as I would love to reply to your worthless posts I have company research to conduct

(Original post by brabzzz)
This is civvie street and a forces background is a mixed bag (for example your attitude might be explained by your RM past), you make assumptions about me (not that i give a toss) and you confuse academic ability with employability.

Anyways, enough time wasted, good luck with the search.

edit: Academic ability is a funny concept anyway. Nevermind a high first, i got top mark in my year, good subject & uni - all it needs is hard work and good exam technique. Also interesting that you're rubbishing Big 4 when half your other posts enquire into how to get into Big 4. Especially Big 4 CF. I spent 3 years in Big 4 CF (Private Equity M&A). They're barely recruiting at the moment - best of luck with that.
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brabzzz
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1) Why have the banks not bitten your hand off already if you're SO good?

2) If you can add 30% a year to your portfolio, consistently, why bother working for someone else? If you can keep that ROR up, you'll make Warren Buffet look like a pauper within a few years. And if you can prove you can add such value, go back to question 1.

3) Why are you asking advice on a student forum, if you're that good?

Doesn't make sense to me. SO good you're....here. Arguing.

Anyways, like you said, time to go.


(Original post by EmptyBracket)
Wow, welcome to the club buddy- I got the highest mark in my year by a full 5% margin, I achieved 81% average in BSc Economics. Clearly your reading abilities are not up to scratch either my friend, I enquire how difficult big four corporate finance is to get into when compared to audit- I'm actually applying for audit. My problem is not my degree or armed forces background, it is merely that I don't have any UCAS points. I have many friends from Uni who I pissed all over on the course, who were offered positions at GOldman Sachs in a proper Corporate Finance department, and also IB reject department at Big 4 too like you. I'm easily good enough for both, I have extensive experience of discounted cash flow modelling in Excel and manage a 6 figure personal investment portfolio which I have grown by well over 100% whilst t Uni. The average salary for my uni and course 6 months after graduation is £27,000- for the best student in the entire year to accept an 18k mid tier position shows lack of ambition, that is not me and I laugh at your comments for thinking I should accept I have an interview tomorrow anyway, so I'm afraid as much as I would love to reply to your worthless posts I have company research to conduct
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