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University Networking... Watch

  • View Poll Results: Can networking at university events help applicants in their application success?
    Yes
    5
    55.56%
    No
    4
    44.44%

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    As we all know, one of the best ways graduates find professional and managerial jobs after graduation is through networking at career events. I've been wondering, can you do this for university applications? Can you network with professors and admission tutors at university open days to give you a slight advantage over those who do not network with them?Many people, for years, have been thinking that the reason why so many private school students go to top universities and get the top jobs, other than grades, is because of "who you know, not what you know" becoming ever more prevalent in society. Does anyone believe that networking at university events can help applicants in application success?
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    (Original post by jh61)
    As we all know, one of the best ways graduates find professional and managerial jobs after graduation is through networking at career events. I've been wondering, can you do this for university applications? Can you network with professors and admission tutors at university open days to give you a slight advantage over those who do not network with them?Many people, for years, have been thinking that the reason why so many private school students go to top universities and get the top jobs, other than grades, is because of "who you know, not what you know" becoming ever more prevalent in society. Does anyone believe that networking at university events can help applicants in application success?
    You just need to get the grades. It's not the Masons.

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    (Original post by jneill)
    You just need to get the grades. It's not the Masons.

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    That said, I wouldn't mind joining them

    But I'm female ;_;
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    (Original post by enaayrah)
    That said, I wouldn't mind joining them

    But I'm female ;_;
    https://www.owf.org.uk

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    Perhaps not, their attire has completely put me off :erm:
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    (Original post by jh61)
    As we all know, one of the best ways graduates find professional and managerial jobs after graduation is through networking at career events. I've been wondering, can you do this for university applications? Can you network with professors and admission tutors at university open days to give you a slight advantage over those who do not network with them?Many people, for years, have been thinking that the reason why so many private school students go to top universities and get the top jobs, other than grades, is because of "who you know, not what you know" becoming ever more prevalent in society. Does anyone believe that networking at university events can help applicants in application success?
    As far as I'm aware networking doesn't work at university admissions level. After all unis love international students and they don't usually visit the campus until they move into halls. The reason private school students are more likely to get into top unis is because they are more likely to have top grades in the facilitating subjects that RG unis prefer. For jobs it is another matter and having contacts helps.
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    (Original post by jh61)
    As we all know, one of the best ways graduates find professional and managerial jobs after graduation is through networking at career events. I've been wondering, can you do this for university applications? Can you network with professors and admission tutors at university open days to give you a slight advantage over those who do not network with them?Many people, for years, have been thinking that the reason why so many private school students go to top universities and get the top jobs, other than grades, is because of "who you know, not what you know" becoming ever more prevalent in society. Does anyone believe that networking at university events can help applicants in application success?
    It does not work at university admissions level in the UK.

    This is because
    A) at open days, it is highly unusual for anyone to ask your name, and I would be highly surprised to find them making notes
    B) when you see that many prospective students in a day - be it at an open day, UCAS fair, or something else, they all start to merge into one very, very quickly - it's not uncommon to find that you couldn't recognise the face of the student you talked to half an hour ago, let alone their name or the topic of conversation
    C) the people who make admissions decisions are rarely, nowadays, academics. They typically work in admissions full time, do not hold a PhD and do not teach. They are unlikely to be seen at an open day, unless there is an admissions help desk. If they do not work in admissions full time, it is common to find that their job is combined with student recruitment, in which case they will be behind the scenes running the open day (they don't happen by accident!)

    Applicants from private schools tend to have higher success rates because
    A) better grades, on average
    B) better information, advice and guidance from their teachers, on average
    C) related to the above point, private school applicants can tend to have wider horizons in terms of the subjects they consider studying - poorly advised students will tend to default to a small number of highly competitive courses (eg medicine, law, engineering) which have clear career paths or those subjects which they have studied at school because no one has told them about alternatives, or they do not know / believe that people with philosophy or classics degrees do actually get good jobs. The more niche courses like classics and philosophy are typically less competitive, with lower grade requirements, but can offer equally good or better career prospects as English, history or psychology.
    D) where work experience is a requirement for a course such as medicine, they're more likely to have parents with friends in professional jobs, who can offer relevant work experience

    Interestingly enough, in the USA, it's completely different - there are legacy admissions if your parents went there, large donations by your parents will be taken into account, and teachers tend to have a much more personal relationship with admissions staff, meaning that they can advocate for one individual student.

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    (Original post by Origami Bullets)
    It does not work at university admissions level in the UK.

    This is because
    A) at open days, it is highly unusual for anyone to ask your name, and I would be highly surprised to find them making notes
    B) when you see that many prospective students in a day - be it at an open day, UCAS fair, or something else, they all start to merge into one very, very quickly - it's not uncommon to find that you couldn't recognise the face of the student you talked to half an hour ago, let alone their name or the topic of conversation
    C) the people who make admissions decisions are rarely, nowadays, academics. They typically work in admissions full time, do not hold a PhD and do not teach. They are unlikely to be seen at an open day, unless there is an admissions help desk. If they do not work in admissions full time, it is common to find that their job is combined with student recruitment, in which case they will be behind the scenes running the open day (they don't happen by accident!)

    Applicants from private schools tend to have higher success rates because
    A) better grades, on average
    B) better information, advice and guidance from their teachers, on average
    C) related to the above point, private school applicants can tend to have wider horizons in terms of the subjects they consider studying - poorly advised students will tend to default to a small number of highly competitive courses (eg medicine, law, engineering) which have clear career paths or those subjects which they have studied at school because no one has told them about alternatives, or they do not know / believe that people with philosophy or classics degrees do actually get good jobs. The more niche courses like classics and philosophy are typically less competitive, with lower grade requirements, but can offer equally good or better career prospects as English, history or psychology.
    D) where work experience is a requirement for a course such as medicine, they're more likely to have parents with friends in professional jobs, who can offer relevant work experience

    Interestingly enough, in the USA, it's completely different - there are legacy admissions if your parents went there, large donations by your parents will be taken into account, and teachers tend to have a much more personal relationship with admissions staff, meaning that they can advocate for one individual student.

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    *this*

    although I ticked Yes on the poll this has nothing to do with networking at open days.

    What *can* be beneficial for a small handful of applicants with non standard qualifications or an unusual background is to have a dialogue with admissions staff/academics prior to application. If your application is complicated and not just a case of "predicted the standard offer grades at A level > make standard offer" then taking the time to explain the situation in advance and to offer supporting materials/additional information shows that you know you aren't typical and have done your homework.

    Then when you application arrives on the admissions office desk and they escalate it to a manager or academic for review that person *is* likely to recognise the name and the background and should be able to make a fairly quick decision (instead of spending time emailing you for more information/additional evidence).

    So if you're home schooled and don't have GCSEs, or you're mature and have a bit of a hotch potch of qualifications, or you're applying to transfer (either into first year or later) from another university then yes - "network"....speak to admissions staff ASAP to discuss your chances and your background. It'll save you a wasted application and it saves admissions staff time in the long run.
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    (Original post by jh61)
    As we all know, one of the best ways graduates find professional and managerial jobs after graduation is through networking at career events. I've been wondering, can you do this for university applications? Can you network with professors and admission tutors at university open days to give you a slight advantage over those who do not network with them?Many people, for years, have been thinking that the reason why so many private school students go to top universities and get the top jobs, other than grades, is because of "who you know, not what you know" becoming ever more prevalent in society. Does anyone believe that networking at university events can help applicants in application success?
    Have you ever actually been to a university open day? If you haven't, then you probably don't realise the sheer volume of people admissions tutors and other university staff talk to on open days. Each course can also receive hundreds of applications. The chances of an admissions tutor being able to remember a five minute conversation you had three months ago, and that having any bearing on your application are very small.

    In general, applying to uni is very different to applying for a job, and because of the numbers involved, networking isn't likely to have the same impact. In some cases, if you're very lucky, networking for a job can jump your CV to the top of the pile- but in general this will only be the case if someone the hiring manager respects has significant experience of working with you and can tell them how wonderful you are. No-one in university admissions will have that kind of experience of you.

    That's not to say you shouldn't contact admissions tutors if you have unusual circumstances, or are a non-traditional applicant. However, I wouldn't consider this networking in the same way you would for a job. Equally, I wouldn't advocate reaching out to an employer and telling them about your mitigating circumstances, where as this can be totally appropriate when applying to uni. They're just very different application processes with different norms.

    I also don't think private school applicants are advantaged by directly knowing admissions tutors. They are advantaged by going to schools that will usually give them excellent advice about the UCAS process and admissions, and have supportive parents who have been to uni and can guide them- that can go a surprisingly long way compared to the most disadvantaged applicants. They also come from a culture where applying to top universities is seen as totally normal and not intimidating, which again helps a lot.
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    I accidentally voted yes before reading what the thread was about. Can a mod or someone change my vote to no?
 
 
 
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