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Graduate job prospects with a 1st but with longer period of study Watch

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    Ok, so here's my major issue.

    In a week, I will be graduating with a 1st class degree from a Redbrick university.

    I worked so hard for it, but I cannot enjoy it because I am ridiculously anxious about my future prospects.

    You can tell me I have a 1st so I have nothing to worry about, BUT I got a 1st after 7 years of studying for an undergraduate degree in law.

    I deferred my exams multiple times because I had mental health problems.

    I suffered from depression and anxiety, I was obese and I had very little self-confidence and motivation. However, I have managed to overcome my problems, most of them, and I got my degree...finally.

    My question is how will employers see that? It's 7 whole years!! I have searched for similar forums online, here and on the internet generally, and I couldn't find much info.

    I didn't gain any work experience during those years and wasn't involved in any volunteering activities. I learned french but that's it. Those years were productive for me as I have lost the weight and overcame many of my problems, but I think they wouldn't look productive to prospective employers.

    I have applied for some unpaid internship programmes and for Masters in 3 universities, but I haven't heard back from them yet. I am so worried that they won't even look through my CV.

    Did you have any sort of experience like this and what happened? If not, what do you think about my situation and prospects?

    TIA
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    Well with no work experience you have very little chance of getting anything paid. Get yourself down to a charity shop as soon as possible.
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    meh it just crashed my answer...

    Brief recap.

    1.7 years is a lot, but well done. they will notice, so have a good explanation ready.
    2.. They will be more bothered when you mention mental health issues, they dont want problems they want solutions and people who cna cope in a pressiurised commercial environment. they will need to be satisfied you are a self starter with good confidence. Your competitors will be.
    3. The fact you havent got work experience or done much else will also be noticed. It doesnt show much ommitment to personal development or an interest in a legal career.
    4. I cant see why you are applying for masters. You have done the academic side.

    So they are looking for all rounders and your CV has some strengths i.e you did get a first, but it has weaknesses.

    If you wnat a legal career then do try, but make your CV better by strengthening it and learning the art of good applications. Some employers are going to be less bothered than others and you dont have anything to lose. I wouldnt write yourself off if its really what you want to do, just deal with the situation as is and review it after your first wave of tries.

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    When you do get interviews , then prepare properly.
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    (Original post by 999tigger)
    meh it just crashed my answer...

    Brief recap.

    1.7 years is a lot, but well done. they will notice, so have a good explanation ready.
    2.. They will be more bothered when you mention mental health issues, they dont want problems they want solutions and people who cna cope in a pressiurised commercial environment. they will need to be satisfied you are a self starter with good confidence. Your competitors will be.
    3. The fact you havent got work experience or done much else will also be noticed. It doesnt show much ommitment to personal development or an interest in a legal career.
    4. I cant see why you are applying for masters. You have done the academic side.

    So they are looking for all rounders and your CV has some strengths i.e you did get a first, but it has weaknesses.

    If you wnat a legal career then do try, but make your CV better by strengthening it and learning the art of good applications. Some employers are going to be less bothered than others and you dont have anything to lose. I wouldnt write yourself off if its really what you want to do, just deal with the situation as is and review it after your first wave of tries.

    Add

    When you do get interviews , then prepare properly.
    Thank you for bothering to reply.

    Actually, I don't want to pursue a legal career. I am more interested in research and teaching hence the Master's degree. I also do get your point about lack of work experience showing lack of personal development, and I want to make clear that I feel I have developed in certain ways during those years. I am certainly more confidence and it's a big deal to me that I have overcome my huge problems and graduated finally and with a 1st class degree. I have no illusions that convincing potential employers that I am fine and up to the game will be an easy task.
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    (Original post by graduate2016)
    Thank you for bothering to reply.

    Actually, I don't want to pursue a legal career. I am more interested in research and teaching hence the Master's degree. I also do get your point about lack of work experience showing lack of personal development, and I want to make clear that I feel I have developed in certain ways during those years. I am certainly more confidence and it's a big deal to me that I have overcome my huge problems and graduated finally and with a 1st class degree. I have no illusions that convincing potential employers that I am fine and up to the game will be an easy task.
    I would think it would be more forgiving in academic circles.
    Talk to your tutors and see what sort of reference they are prepared to write.
    Have you managed to get anything published?

    You really have to find the right balance when discussing your personal struggles. Be wary of making too much of them as they are interested in your academic abilities and skills, not your ability to lose weight. Just sell yourself without overdoing it. You gained a good degree, but you do have to show you have the other skills as well.
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    (Original post by 999tigger)
    I would think it would be more forgiving in academic circles.
    Talk to your tutors and see what sort of reference they are prepared to write.
    Have you managed to get anything published?

    You really have to find the right balance when discussing your personal struggles. Be wary of making too much of them as they are interested in your academic abilities and skills, not your ability to lose weight. Just sell yourself without overdoing it. You gained a good degree, but you do have to show you have the other skills as well.
    It's not so much the losing weight bit, but rather the depression and anxiety bit. There were many many many times that I really wanted to give up, but I didn't. I persevered. I do get what you mean though and I am working on it. As I have said I have applied for a few things just to see if I get any responses and I will continue applying. Right now, anything would seem great. I am not planning on being picky! I am hoping something will come up! The only things that I did in my years out of university were learning French and improving my German to a fluent level. Languages are a very useful skill, but in specific sectors. I regret not trying to gain work experience, but in the state that I was, I would have probably not been able to keep a job!
    • Very Important Poster
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    Just make a list of things you cna do and how long it will take then do the ones that you get most bang per buck. Work experience is less importnat for academia, but maybe you could or should have done some part time lecturing? If you wnat to be an academic then getting yourself published would seem to be relevant?

    Dont beat yourself up by any means and maybe get someone you can discuss your situation with who can give you objective feedback so you get the balance right of how you are presenting yourself.
 
 
 
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