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PhD grad, with poor undergrad degree

#1 PhD grad, with poor undergrad degree
05/03/2012 18:47


During my undergraduate degree (10 years ago) I liked to enjoy myself and ended up with a pretty poor grade 2:2.

Since then I have done Msc and an MRes (both averaging A grade) and a very successfulness PhD with multiple papers (all in sciences/engineering from mid level universities)

I was just wondering what are my chances with a good firm ? Or will they simply look at the 2:2 and not even consider me ?


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#2 RE: PhD grad, with poor undergrad degree
06/03/2012 17:31

Rollercoaster to alec (#1)

Most firms will filter you out if you have this grade on your CV at the first filter stage. Some may pay more attention to the experience you have. Your best bet is to network with consultants that then want you to come into their firm regardless of that grade. If you have to apply via the standard process through firm's HR websites then (in good consulting style) you have a number of options with associated risks:

- Don't disclose it. If pushed, lie. If you have to produce the actual certificate for the HR drone to photocopy then they probably won't read it anyway and it'll sit on file for 10 years proving how much fun you had but not actually affecting your ability to do your job. Of course there is a risk that they will actually read your certificate AND check the application tie up, in which case you will get fired.

- To avoid this you could fake the certificate. The chances that they will check the university (and the university can be bothered to check their historic results) are slim. Again the risk is you get fired.

- You could buy an online degree or even go back to university and study for a degree now to get grades that match the profile. You will need to hope they don't check the dates tie up or you will get asked questions and then fired.

- Or you could be honest.

From previous experience with other clients I can assure you that all are valid options that have worked, however I would have to recommend the last option as the best course due to the relationship of trust an employee should enter into with an employer, and professional conduct being a core competency for a consultant (in a written paper). However the informal dinner / pub chat would be to try the first option.

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#3 RE: PhD grad, with poor undergrad degree
06/03/2012 22:34

Anon66 to Rollercoaster (#2)

I would frankly not put the grade on your CV unless asked, but otherwise be honest during the application.

You are expected to be selective when pulling together a CV (i.e. under "other skills" you are not expected to write "cooking a kick ass pizza"). The PhD and MRes should reassure the CV writer of your academic skills which is what the grade is a proxy for. If you are not forced to put the grade down thus don't.

You are expected to be honest. This doesn't mean proactively revealing inconsequential, yet negative information about yourself. However there is a million miles between leaving very old grades off your CV and specifically writing fake grades on it. Of course, if you are specifically asked in the online form for your grades you might then have to put the 2:2 down if you are trying my honesty policy.

I think basing your career upon lies will eventually come back to haunt you - why start now?

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