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Hypocrisy policy summarised

#1 Hypocrisy policy summarised
14/11/2005 14:42


I'm glad I posed this question because the discussion is interesting in the least. It is interesting to see personal biases play out in the responses (as well as some unexplainable skewed comments). Fact: Discriminating by university is a real reality and it happens across the board. Fact: I have not met one red-brickee that stands out from the crowd, AT ALL !!! (AND THAT'S SAYING SOMETHING). For every level of red-brickee, there are many other non-red-brickees with better "life" experience (generally) emanating from the understanding that opportunities may not be as favouring and having to work that bit harder to make up for the fact that they are not red-brickees. WHAT IS THE OUTCOME: An astounding CV that incorporates part time jobs and EARNING YOUR WAY. My latter point is most reflected in the levels of self esteem and self confidence displayed by red-brickees and non red-brickees. If you tacitly survey this in your organisation, I think you may find that those non-red-brickees that have made it that far (without the institutional leg-ups) have far more self belief and esteem going for them. They may feel as though nothing can impede their progress because that is how they're programmed to work. Red-brickees, on the other hand (generally speaking) expect to utter their university name and doors swing open. WHAT HAPPENS ONCE THE DOOR IS OPEN IS A FREE FOR ALL. ANYONE CAN DO THE JOB GIVEN THE OPPORTUNITY. FACT: Given the obvious bias in favour of red-brickees, there may well be a market move towards positive discrimination (especially in city jobs like investment banking) against outright hiring of red-brickees where the "profile" doesn't matter as much. Some organisations in the city want good students from London universities who have ties in the city. THIS IS PROMISING. FACT: A business shall be distinguished by the product of its work. We can argue all day about the profile that red-brickees give to clients (who have casually placed an incorrect direct correlation between red-brick and the candidate required for a department). But the bottom line is, non red-brickees will work twice as hard, increasing productivity, earning respect, changing the tolerance (not the attitutes, which seldom change). I'm not demeaning red-brickees, some are very impressive. My point is that they are no more impressive than others. This gives rise to more questions because the comparison is academic. Further research (excluding obvious leg-ups) will reveal the non-red-brickee holding down one, two, or three part time jobs whilst still managing to be just as academically impressive if not more. Does business want more profits or do they want more profile? Because profile can only take you so far. This is a rhetorical questions in case the likes of Big Boi latch on to this and take off on a tangent :-)

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#2 Re: Hypocrisy policy summarised
14/11/2005 14:54

Do you have to polish that chip on your shoulder regularly ?

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#3 Re: Hypocrisy policy summarised
14/11/2005 14:56


I do not think you are right, to be honest and this post smacks of a bitter 'class warrior' - regardless of the rhetorical nature of the question.

I work with a good mix of both Oxbridge types and 'modern uni' types at Accenture and notice that there are equally accomplished people from both backgrounds. Suggesting the 'red brickees' will work half as hard as their peers from what one can only believe from your rhetoric to be salt of the earth types from former poly's is a little niave.

I went to Aston and am hugely proud of that fact. I feel my more vocational degree is more relevant in many ways than friends of mine who read classics or history at one of the traditional venues. However, to watch someone who is well versed, eloquent and clearly in command of the English language can be inspiring - something that often a classic education can give you.

Get over the hysteria and open your mind a little.

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#4 Re: Hypocrisy policy summarised
14/11/2005 16:21


What an odd post? (the first one). Think that this has been covered before.......several times.

1) No one is saying that someone from a top uni will be more capable than someone from an ex-poly.

2) No is saying that people from red-brick uni's are less hardworking than people from "modern" universities.

If you're recruiting for a role in a firm and get, say, 200 CVs applying for one role then you need to trim the pile so to speak. You can't discriminate by race, creed, sex, religion, age, weight, eye-colour.....but you can discriminate against someone's education as it's a measurable that, on paper, you can evaluate people by. Is a socially acceptable predjudice, instead of dwelling on it try and figure out a way to ensure you can offer something different and stand out from all those "red-brickies".

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#5 Re: Hypocrisy policy summarised
14/11/2005 16:42


I find the first post a bit of a class war thing also and I'm from a very working class background with a good red brick degree in Economics and Management and a state school education before that. I find myself wrestling with mixed views on the poly/red brick and class argument.

For example at my interview for the consultancy I work for now, I went through the graduate assessment centre with a guy who went to Harrow and he name dropped to such an extent that combined with his 'i'm better than everyone else personality' he proceeded to make himself look ridiculous and suprisingly didn't get the role. He did however have a strong academic background, (as expected for £20k a year fees for 7 years thanks to his parents) but no more so than me who attended a good state school with kids from very disadvantaged backgrounds and others who weren't at leading public schools because their parents disagreed with th esystme and didn't want to produce the idiots I encountered at interview.

Personally, I think A-levels should be considered as the main filter-if they're strong and you went to a poly and did well and did well and can support the rationale for doing so then you should be on a level playing field. One must be careful though not to discount too much for a poly degree-in my experience they are considerably less taxing in the way individuals are assessed (i.e by coursework) rather than the 70 hours of exams i had during my degree.

I know for a fact that some companies simple filter on poly and a-levels, the economics of applications allows them such grace and if the new universities started addressing their syllabus and assessment tools i'm sure the currency of a degree will increase.

Another facet of recruitment at graduate level is that of recruiting via ethnic background-something i find insulting to say the least. Whilst i have not encountered racism being a white male I fully support equal opps and would like to think the world is moving with society in providing opportunities for all. KPMG however have a Asian recruitment policy targeting Asian grads in the UK-a scheme specifically for Asian graduates. Personally I think its wrong and a slap in the face to everyone else trying t oget a job on exam results, qualifications and experience alone.

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#6 Re: Hypocrisy policy summarised
15/11/2005 11:06


Surely any form of discrimination that is not based on merit is wrong. So if there is a policy to specifiaclly recruit a certain colour or creed then this is wrong, what would be the response if KPMG were recruiting White Males only, not one of apathy I'm sure.

So based on this and the other posts before, you can say that the selection of candidates is not purely based on your university or A-levels but on whatever the firm's recruitment policy on that day is. Just a question of being in the right place at the right time I reckon, just don't try and get too hung up on it and try and figure ways of beating the process.

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#7 Re: Hypocrisy policy summarised
16/11/2005 03:34

Well, if you weren't good enough for a top flight university at age 17 / 18, why should any employer give you the benefit of the doubt now ? Its up to you to prove that you've got what it takes. Big sulking outbursts like this won't help your case

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#8 : Hypocrisy policy summarised
16/11/2005 10:17


Think you're missing the point here, the previous post about being accepted to a top uni when you're 17/18 should bear no relevance to whether or not an employer would accept you later on in your career. Otherwise you'll be forever judged on your performance "x" number of years ago, negating an individual's personal improvements and professional learning.

The point here is pretty ill defined but the topic was raised in questioning the methods used to select candidates and that a firm can pick and choose candidates based on certain metrics. Academia is an easy and PC measurable to select against, it's not correct to use the logic that if at 17/18 years old you didn't achieve a top flight uni place then at 25,30.... you're still selected on grades nearly 10 years old. The downside is that this does happen and that firm will inevitably miss out on experience and depth of knowledge.

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#9 Re: : Hypocrisy policy summarised
17/11/2005 19:41


I do not understand the presumption that most people at red brick unis are from priviledged backgrounds. I am currently a final year law student at a red brick (poss one of the places you would expect this to stand true) and both myself and the majority of my friends are working class, and most of us hold down jobs to fund uni.

And it is just as hard for us to get into the top jobs, whether that be consulting or other areas.

The main advantage I see from my experience and that of friends in the local former poly is that our careers service is so much more useful. However they do offer assistance to the other local uni.

I think the biggest barrier is when people pressume they are disadvantaged because of their background - it is bound to show through as a lack of confidence to recruiters.

People should be proud of their achievements no matter what their background and importantly have the confidence to show that pride.

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#10 Selection by university...
18/11/2005 08:53


Aside from some possible confusion over terms (I understand in the US redbrick = old = ivy league vs. the UK meaning of new, non-ancient university, though it sounds now that people are comparing redbricks with concrete ex-polytechnics?). I wonder if the whole post is actually just a US-based troll to get argument going.

Anyway, my main point was this: having done quite a lot of recruiting for consulting, we do filter by university. For graduate recruits, we only actively recruit from Oxbridge, and look at candidates from 'good' universities (Imperial College, etc) if they apply. The reason is that we have tried lots of different approaches and settled on one with a good strike rate. The economics of using senior manager/partner time on recruiting are such that we are not going to interview all comers - we will apply filters to get the list down to a manageable number of candidates of good quality. I don't accept that we have any duty to be positively fair to all candidates - just as per the law not to be unfairly discrimatory. If the original post can't accept that logic in a reasonably level-headed way he ain't going to do very well in consulting anyway.

Interesting, we have actually applied psychometrics tests in our graduate round 1 and it works rather well. It correlates well with out final decisions / long term assessments of candidates and cuts down on the cost per candidate of round 1 vs. an extra interview.

And I can tell you that the people we take from Oxbridge will almost universally score achingly high scores on mathamatical reasoning (95-100 out of 100) vs. even say Imperial College which you would expect to be strong thre (85-95). I could probably tell you whether a group was Oxbridge or elsewhere based on a bunch of those test scores alone.

If you aren't from that background but think you are actually good enough then it is up to you to attract the attention of the recruiter. Show us.

Actually our favourite route for graduate entry is referall from existing employee, which is great route for finding people who fit well even if there background is not our standard fit.

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#11 Re: Selection by university...
20/11/2005 00:45


First of all, big congratulation for were=rabbit and David for keeping their eye on the ball (plus the guy that wrote "interesting").

To iron out a few skewed perceptions, I don't have a chip on my shoulder to polish, nor am I seeking employment in or out of management consultancy. I am happy where I am.

To all the Red-brick alumni, my post was very general in totallity but very specific in my personal experience. I therefore do not intend for the term Red-brickees to be catch-all for all those that were lucky enough to go to Oxford, etc. Good for you.

To the rest of you that missed the point (quite evident in the posts with not as much as an alias), I recommend some DIY polish to buffer up your chips on your shoulders (or little mountains). Those in this school really personalised the post, as though the only thing missing was their name. WHY BE SO INSECURE ABOUT SOMETHING THAT YOU'D HAVE PROBABLY MISSED TO SEE ANYWAY???? The comments that followed were really personal. WOW!!!

Like the comment about not being good enough at 17/18 to get to a red-brick, GOOD LUCK TO WHOEVER WROTE THAT POST.

Thank you all.

a touch of realism every now and again never hurt anyone.

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