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are you ever too old for a grad scheme?

 
#1 are you ever too old for a grad scheme?
17/10/2006 19:23

oldgraduate

Dear all,

i am 25 years old, i have a first class degree from a top tier university, have 4 'A' grades at A level however i have not even begun a career yet. I have been travelling around the world for three years (yes a long time- i have been undertaking voluntary work/working in bars etc). I have now got back to the UK and i realise that i need to start my career. i want to get into MC (strategy in particular) but was wandering if there is anyone else out there who has just joined or is looking to join a MC grad scheme at my age or older. I am looking for an entry level/analyst role could anyone advise me what companies will have me at my age (with no experience in industry at all). Am i too old for the grad schemes of Mckinsey/Bain/Accenture/Deloitte etc ?

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#2 RE: are you ever too old for a grad scheme?
17/10/2006 19:53

KC to oldgraduate (#1)

you're certainly not too old, I'm just starting ACN at 27 with only one degree. The only criteria you may fall down on is that for grad position they sometimes say things like within 24 months of graduation. With your decent academics, as long as you can show you have been doing something worthwhile in the last few years, I'm sure you'd be fine.

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#3 RE: are you ever too old for a grad scheme?
17/10/2006 19:56

oldgrad to KC (#2)

KC do u mind me asking you what you have been doing since your degree till now? thanks for your comments though

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#4 RE: are you ever too old for a grad scheme?
17/10/2006 20:38

D to oldgrad (#3)

I am 27 and just about to accept an offer. Been three years since graduation. Although I have been employed almost full time in overseas management work.

While I will be starting at the bottom, the firm has been kind to give me (what I hope) is a higher offer accounting for my extra 'maturity'!

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#5 RE: are you ever too old for a grad scheme?
17/10/2006 20:46

Niall to D (#4)

D,

What firm is it, I am 26 and worked overseasfora few years and am looking for a grad scheme.

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#6 RE: are you ever too old for a grad scheme?
17/10/2006 20:47

shy to D (#4)

You're definitely NOT too old, I'm 29 and just about to start a grad position. Yes, some of the firms do say you need to have graduated in the last 2 yrs, but I sure you'll be fine!

Good luck.

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#7 RE: are you ever too old for a grad scheme?
17/10/2006 21:38

KC to oldgrad (#3)

I started off at uni doing medicine then changed to another programme (I opted to do an extra year in this degree to spend time at an american uni too) so i didn't actually graduate until I was 25. Spent a year doing temp work, applied this summer. To be honest with your academics I'm sure you will be fine, if you're unsure phone different firms' recruitment lines to seek advice etc but I think a lot of company's will see people over mid-20s as at an age where they're going to be slightly more settled and focussed if anything and bringing more experience and maturity to the table whilst being paid the same rate as any other starter, thus I'm sure you stand with good credentials. Good luck.

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#8 RE: are you ever too old for a grad scheme?
17/10/2006 23:34

D to Niall (#5)

Niall:

I got an offer from OC&C. They seem to be recruiting heavily at the moment (website says 40 this year and with only 80 current employees in London I guess there is some serious growth!) They are boutique strategy firm with great emphasis on work/life balance and an entrepreneurial style, quite a lot of equity work and a good reputation in commerce and retail. There aren't many resources about them around, but what I have heard (here for example) is that they are highly regarded in what they do (they say they compete with Bain on many projects) and are beginning to get some wider recognition.

I have also just had a rejection from McK after the final stage... obviously disappointed but on consideration as a 'mature' applicant I think life at OC&C might well be more suitable with the work/life balance (especially as my previous job had zero social life!). But would have been great to be exposed to such a variety of sectors...

However I do still have other applications pending that either I have heard nothing from, or just been put on hold! What I have really learnt as a mature applicant is really let the recruiter know that you are looking for a job NOW not next September like the rest of the milkround! And biggest tip: get a recruiters email from a friend in the firm (if you can) then you at least you can get fast-tracked to the first stage avoiding the long wait that I gather is usual. (I did this with McK and got invited to the test only a few days after I sent in my CV rather than the 3-6 weeks as it says on the website).

Best of luck!

D

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#9 RE: are you ever too old for a grad scheme?
19/10/2006 17:41

Helen Gillard to oldgraduate (#1)

Hello,

I just wanted to say that I began a Grad scheme at the age of 23, after deferring for a year owing to illness. Some may stipulate "a recent Graduate" which I can foresee as being the only hinderance to you.

If this is not mentioned in the description of the programme/prerequisites, just go for it! To be honest, even if it is and you can demonstrate that you tick every other box, you've as much chance as a recent graduate, if not more, as you have work experience which counts for a lot.

Re. the career front, I did not get into what I do now until the age of 25 and didn't have a clue what I wanted to do up until then!

Best of luck!

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#10 RE: are you ever too old for a grad scheme?
21/10/2006 09:41

Newton to oldgraduate (#1)

<i>Oldgraduate</i>

I don't think there is a problem with being too old for a graduate scheme. There can be a problem with having too much experience as an analyst, but most firms have learned to separate the age/experience issue.

Having said that recruiters shouldn't generalise on the basis of age, I am going to do just that: as an older graduates you may be more mature and therefore better suited to a consulting career.

In the last couple of weeks I have been on my firm's stalls at the Cambridge, Oxford and LSE stalls. It was really apparent (regardless of age) which candidates had just done a couple of internships, only really had administrative experience and would be suited to our analyst scheme. Other candidates stood out (again, regardless of age) for their experience of having had genuine responsibility and would go insane with frustration if they had to spend two years as an analyst.

Regards,

<i>Newton</i>

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