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Where does The Open University sit where recruiter perception is concerned?

 
#1 Where does The Open University sit where recruiter perception is concerned?
27/04/2016 19:19

j7e

Hi all - I'm wondering what the general perceptions are for OU degrees and graduates, in terms of how they're valued relative to other universities. For example, various graduate roles specifying Oxbridge and/or red brick institutions - how might the OU be classed by recruiters and employers in terms of its value? Are there any particular employers and recruiters in consulting who are receptive to OU graduates?

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#2 RE: Where does The Open University sit where recruiter perception is concerned?
29/04/2016 08:04

Mr Cool to j7e (#1)

Not comparable. The OU is there to provide a second educational chance to people, or more rarely to allow a Professor of X University to do their fourth hobby degree.

Truth is that every hiring manager I've ever known has been very impressed that you've managed to study every weekend for seven years, while privately wondering why you didn't just go to a proper uni and do a proper degree.

The entire concept of a "second chance" is anathema to consulting hr. They pick from first time, first class honours, first class bores.

For additional qualifications (e.g MBA) it marks you as being pretentious enough to want an MBA, but not having enough belief in yourself to go to INSEAD.

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#3 RE: Where does The Open University sit where recruiter perception is concerned?
29/04/2016 12:36

j7e to Mr Cool (#2)

Sure, I think I'm being realistic enough to know that it wouldn't be in any way comparable to those institutions. It's been hard to get a proper read of just where it sits and how it's valued.

If the consulting industry is off-limits to OU graduates, are there professions which might be more accessible and serve as a proxy for the kind of work done in consulting? Or is it a case of following the generic graduate scheme route and trying to eventually float towards more strategic roles?

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#4 RE: Where does The Open University sit where recruiter perception is concerned?
29/04/2016 12:37

Bushy Eyebrow Partner to j7e (#3)

Join a small company where they might value your vertical expertise more than quals

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#5 RE: Where does The Open University sit where recruiter perception is concerned?
29/04/2016 22:12

j7e to Mr Cool (#2)

Mr Cool - just to clarify... Does your answer apply to pretty much all graduate consulting positions and not just MBB/Big 4?

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#6 RE: Where does The Open University sit where recruiter perception is concerned?
01/05/2016 00:50

Mr Cool to j7e (#5)

The only places that will be impressed by an OU MBA will be places that will hire you without it anyway.

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#7 RE: Where does The Open University sit where recruiter perception is concerned?
01/05/2016 07:10

Bushy Eyebrow Partner to Mr Cool (#6)

True

Plus, think carefully about the ROI on an MBA... Nothing's guaranteed just because you've spent £150,000 or so on tuition and lost income! That's a big old dent in your personal net worth to recover, especially if you have to work longer hours post-MBA because of the nature of post-MBA types of jobs!

And as for "valuable contacts"... yeah, yeah

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#8 RE: Where does The Open University sit where recruiter perception is concerned?
01/05/2016 12:51

Frio to Bushy Eyebrow Partner (#7)

What level of work experience do you have?

If you had good work experience and an OU degree, I'd interview you. I'd much prefer someone with an OU degree in maths, engineering etc than a degree in media studies.

If you have no work experience then it will be more difficult, apply to places like EY that ignore academic qualifications at the first round.

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#9 RE: Where does The Open University sit where recruiter perception is concerned?
02/05/2016 14:52

j7e to Frio (#8)

I wouldn't say that I've got any 'deep' vertical work experience, hence taking the OU route. My most extensive experience probably stems from voluntary activities (campaign organisation). The degree I took was the BSc (Hons) Technology (mostly systems thinking, innovation, product design, IT systems) with a post-grad certificate (systemic change management, quality systems etc). The only numeracy involved was statistical analysis as part of the quality module (Minitab rather than SPSS), so in that respect I wouldn't claim it had any significant mathematical content.

As well as your suggestion of EY, would it be realistic to look at organisations like IBM, Fujitsu, Atos etc? Presumably they don't have the same cachet issues as MBB. Ultimately, I want to be on a trajectory towards involvement in innovation (less so the branding side), which is where my interests and motivation lie.

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#10 RE: Where does The Open University sit where recruiter perception is concerned?
04/05/2016 08:02

Mr Cool to j7e (#9)

None of the big firms lead innovation. Their head count is too large; they need big projects to feed many mouths, while innovation projects tend to be smaller, faster, leaner without the 300 PMO and management positions that the big firms thrive off.

Join a tech company

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