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"Why I'm hiring graduates with thirds"

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
Whenever I return to my old university, I am always struck by how incredibly focused, purposeful and studious everyone seems to be. It fills me with despair.

It’s hard to tell the difference between a university and a business school nowadays. Where are all the hippies, the potheads and the commies? And why is everyone so intently serious and sober all the time? ‘Oh, it’s simple,’ a friend explained. ‘If you don’t get a 2:1 or a first nowadays, employers won’t look at your CV.’

So, as a keen game-theorist, I struck on an idea. Recruiting next year’s graduate intake for Ogilvy would be easy. We could simply place ads in student newpapers: ‘Headed for a 2:2 or a third? Finish your joint and come and work for us.’

Seems like a grand idea, personally I do agree that university classification is well overrated, even the graduate employers I spoke to (big 4 and some mid sized accounting firms) seemed to agree that A levels (!!) were a much stronger predictor of exam performance (in accounting you need to take more exams once you start >_>) than degree class.

Essentially, if you have plenty of free time and can pour your energy / motivation into your degree, most of the time you can get a 2:1 or first no problem. The people who fall short don't tend to be lacking in ability, but lacking in well, motivation. Motivation that a lot of people find when in a professional environment with a boss breathing down your neck. There shouldn't be any shame in not being ultra driven to grind yourself down when you're still figuring out what you kinda maybe might want to do with your life.


  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    To an extent I'd agree - after a few years in work no-one cares what class degree you got (or even if you got one). All they care about is whether you can do your work - I don't know the degree class of any one of my team.

    But at the same time, all else being equal I'd want as a new grad entry the 1 or 2:1 not the 2:2 or 3rd

    a 1st or 2.1 shows that either your naturally bright enough to wing it or hard working enough to sit down at your desk until the task is done. It's a hell of a risk to assume that someone who's not motivated in uni and gets a third suddenly becomes motivated once they start work. Especially as I don't want to breath down my people's necks; believe it or not I've got much more important things to do than be Mommy.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Out of the ones I graduated with the ones that had immediate success in getting jobs were the ones with 2:2's. However the ones with 2:1's and 1st mostly went on to further study or training and are now starting to get fairly good jobs. I got a 2:1 and I'm about to finish my masters in a month so I'm hoping the same happens for me. The reason I went back was because I spent a year carrying on stacking shelves and being lucky to get the odd interview but with no one looking at me twice. It's soul destroying to work your arse off for that 2:1 and hold down a job at the same time and see the ones that didn't really put much effort in or hold down jobs walk into them once we graduated.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Agree with Flashman. This smacks of 'deferred success'.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I will be lucky to scrape through my degree with a 2:2 if I even get that. However, every performance review I've had proves I can do a damn good job in my chosen career. Why? Because learning the theory on something from the 1950s is completely irrelevant in modern day business and I have common sense! I think the only thing a degree is good for on your CV is proving your commitment to something and proving you have self-drive to do something/persevere with something. And the only reason I haven't had promotion is because just when it looked possible the company decided to go through a massive restructure and actually reduce the number of HR Managers in the company as a whole. Very demotivating knowing I will have to gain employment elsewhere and work my way up again but it is somewhat comforting to know that I don't "need" a degree or need to worry about what grade I get to work in my chosen field. On the other hand, I still feel an element of pressure to get a good grade from my perfectionist/I don't want to fail side.
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