Oxbridge – English degrees and media careersWatch
Short version: Is an Oxbridge education a pre-requisite for the BBC?
Full version: I worked in IT for years, was never that happy, and the most recent position I had I hated to the point I felt compelled to leave asap. Started an Access to HE course in Sep knowing I wanted to do a degree and ultimately change career, but not really knowing what degree, uni or career I was looking for. Been strongly considering in recent weeks applying for English & Film degrees, as I love both. First set of (3) assignment results have been way better than I dared hope for, and my Lit Studies tutor recommended I aim for higher ranked unis (in terms of academic standards), including, perhaps, Oxford.
Tutor encouragement is great, but it’s sent me into a bit of a tizzy. I’m aware that:
1. Level 3 results can’t distinguish between very good and truly exceptional, so are of limited value in predicting the likelihood of getting into top-ranked unis.
2. Oxford applications for 2015 closed in mid-October.
3. Exeter (I think) is the highest-ranked uni that offers both English and Film.
I’m trying to approach this with a level head and not get all giddy about the prospect of going to Oxbridge. Key questions – Is it worth dropping Film to aim higher? Should I wait until 2015 to apply for 2016 to give myself a shot at Oxford? – are ultimately ones only I can answer. Career aspirations are weighing on my mind, however, and this is where it gets hazy for me.
I’ve thought about teaching, but tbh at the moment I see this as a fall back option. I’d really like to get involved in the media in some way. I don’t aspire to fame, so not thinking of an on-air role, but something along the lines of writing/producing/research/behind-the-lines work, such as talent levels, luck, and opportunities afford. In pursuit of this goal, I’m just wondering how much of an advantage graduating from Oxbridge is, or, on the flip side, how much of a disadvantage not going to Oxbridge is?
My first major objective, essentially, is to get onto a great course somewhere I’ll flourish, and worry about career specifics a bit further down the line. However, while I realise there are no guarantees with anything, I keep stressing myself out thinking that the omission of Ox or Cam from my UCAS application will instantly cripple my chances of getting into media roles (as above). I admit I haven’t conducted exhaustive research, but it does, on the surface, at least, appear that Oxbridge is the principle proving ground for notables at the BBC etc. I’m wondering if that’s typical of the key behind-the-scenes personnel too.
I’d be most grateful if anyone can give an informed perspective on this.
If you haven’t already found it, then university connect is a really useful way for finding people at your course/university! You can also find a list of applicant threads and courses here.