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To Recruitgal (and others) - UCAS Points!

 
#1 To Recruitgal (and others) - UCAS Points!
13/06/2005 18:22

S.H.

Hi Recruitgal. I’m graduating this year, and expecting a 2:1 (hons) in a Business related discipline. I want to get into consulting either directly, in a graduate role for a consulting firm, or by going into Tax/Auditing for 3 years, gaining my ACA qualification and then moving into consulting. The problem is, I have NO A-Levels. I was accepted onto my degree coarse as a mature student (well technically, I was 24 when I began my degree) because I had a couple of years Junior Management experience in the retail sector. This is obviously a major barrier for me as all the consulting/accounting firms that I am aware of require a minimum amount of UCAS points to even get through the initial screening process. I am aware that some companies use this process as a means to cut down the vast amount of applications they receive, without seriously believing that A-level results are a good indicator of future performance (although in my understanding, this is not so much the case in the accounting industry, where A-level results are considered a viable indicator). Can you recommend any firms that may be willing to overlook the lack of A-levels, if I can demonstrate my skills through my achievements at work along with my 2:1 degree? I am really keen on getting into consulting, and I’m determined not to let a decision I made at the age of 16 get in the way (in case you where wondering why I didn’t do my A-levels, I left school after my GCSE’s to do an engineering apprenticeship. Unfortunately, the qualifications I gained in the two years I completed do not, to the best of my knowledge, translate into UCAS points). Any advice you can give me on this frustrating dilemma will be much appreciated.

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#2 Re: To Recruitgal (and others) - UCAS Points!
17/06/2005 09:50

Chris

S.H.

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#3 Re: To Recruitgal (and others) - UCAS Points!
17/06/2005 10:16

Chris

Hi, I passed my degree a few years ago with a 2.1 in a business discipline and decided at the time that consulting was for me. I had actually passed my A levels but with really poor grades, partly because I spent too much time being an unruly teenager but mostly because I greatly underestimated how hard they would be. Anyway, needless to say, my applications to all the consulting firms and indeed all the other graduate schemes was rejected on the basis of my crap A levels. I personally think that graduate recruiters do use UCAS points to reduce the number of applicants quickly. As regards your point about Accounting firms and UCAS points, my understanding is that there has been some sort of research undertaken that has proved that you are more likely to pass your very expensive Accounting exams if you have good A level passes, which seems fair enough to me. However, all is not lost as there are plenty of non big 4 accounting firms that will put you through your exams on the strength of your 2.1. This is kind of what I did except I worked in industry (not on a grad scheme) for a couple of years and did a few CIMA exams before moving to Accenture. As time moves on, how you have performed in an actual job becomes a much more important measure than your early academic history. Accenture's online grad application actually wouldn't even let me proceed to fill out the form because of my lack of UCAS points. However, once I had done well in industry and knocked a few CIMA exams into shape, they hired me. My advice to you would be to keep applying to the consulting firms but if you can't get on then get into an analytical role where you will get some sound business experience, if it's a grad scheme and/or there are professional exams on offer, all the better. Once you have cut your teeth in an analytical role you should be able to get into a consulting job or similar role. Hope this helps and good luck!

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#4 Re: To Recruitgal (and others) - UCAS Points!
21/06/2005 19:35

S.H

Chris, thanks for your comments and advice, its good to now that its not all doom and gloom. I have since spoken to someone on the Grad recruitment team at PwC, expressing my interest in working in Assurance(RAS), and explaining my position. I was expecting a straight knock back but instead was asked to e-mail my CV, so fingers crossed (although I wont be holding my breath). Regarding the professional qualifications, Im not to familiar with CIMA. From reading other posts on this site, CIMA seems to be more practical and decision making based, but how well regarded is it as a consulting tool compared with ACA/ACCA? Also, if I were to study for CIMA in my own time, how much time would it take up, and how expensive is it? Did accenture support you in continuing the qaulification? Regards S.H

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