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Am I screwed? (criminal record)

 
#1 Am I screwed? (criminal record)
31/10/2015 20:10

athymy

Hi everyone.

I am currently a first year economics student at a target school in the UK (for investment banking). I am on top of my studies and I've joined most finance related societies and attend most career/networking events.

However, I have a major set back. I am from a European country in which I was stupid enough to get a criminal record for being under the influence of narcotics (no possession). For this I received a fine and did not have to go to court (almost like a caution in the UK). This will stay on my record for the next 5 years after which it will be nearly impossible for anyone to find out. However, I finish my undergrad in 3 years and during these 3 years I want to do some internships.

I know my conviction will not show up on an CRB checks but most banks/accounting firms will most likely ask for a copy of my home country's criminal record. And when they see it I am sure they will decline my offer (since the number of applicants is so extremely high why would they want to hire a convict?).

I guess I am just looking for some advice on how to use my time in the best way I possibly can given my situation. Should I just focus on my grades and skip interning and then do a 2 year masters? Because once I finish my MSc my record would be clean.

What would you guys suggest?

Thanks in advance.

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#2 RE: Am I screwed? (criminal record)
01/11/2015 07:43

Bushy Eyebrow Partner to athymy (#1)

I'd go for the MA route... if you're absolutely, one hundred percent completely and without any doubt at all certain that it will, indeed, completely and utterly drop off your record without any trace whatsoever by then

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#3 RE: Am I screwed? (criminal record)
01/11/2015 10:49

athymy to Bushy Eyebrow Partner (#2)

I'd go for the MA route... if you're absolutely, one hundred percent completely and without any doubt at all certain that it will, indeed, completely and utterly drop off your record without any trace whatsoever by then

Thank you for the reply. Yes, I am 100% sure. I have contacted the police and they have confirmed this. Furthermore, due to my citizenship I would be able to do a MSc in Finance from Stockholm School of Economics for free (no tuition) so I guess that would be another advantage.

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#4 RE: Am I screwed? (criminal record)
01/11/2015 21:32

Bushy Eyebrow Partner to athymy (#3)

I'd go ahead and do just that then... Side step the issue by staying in education a little longer.

And next time: "Just say no!"

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#5 RE: Am I screwed? (criminal record)
02/11/2015 11:26

Rollercoaster to athymy (#1)

I'm intrigued to know just how a UK CRB check would show up any foreign data at all.

Essentially I'd wager that if you don't mention it then you wouldn't get found out.

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#6 RE: Am I screwed? (criminal record)
02/11/2015 21:55

abc123 to Rollercoaster (#5)

I agree with Rollercoaster.

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#7 RE: Am I screwed? (criminal record)
03/11/2015 19:16

presidentbartlet to Bushy Eyebrow Partner (#4)

I'd go ahead and do just that then... Side step the issue by staying in education a little longer.

And next time: "Just say no!"

I agree - you'll have to "lie" to say you don't have a record on the pre screen so even if they don't find out you'll have that lie hanging over you all the time and it could come back to bite you later on.

Better to enter with a clean conscience and not have to worry.

If you ever watch "suits" it's just like that!

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#8 RE: Am I screwed? (criminal record)
04/11/2015 17:40

C123 to athymy (#1)

It doesn't sound like you have a conviction, even if it's on your record... I doubt it would stop them recruiting you except if they had a lot of public sector/defence/etc contracts as it might cause issues trying to sell you to them. Good luck, either way!

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#9 RE: Am I screwed? (criminal record)
05/11/2015 00:51

athymy to Rollercoaster (#5)

I'm intrigued to know just how a UK CRB check would show up any foreign data at all.

Essentially I'd wager that if you don't mention it then you wouldn't get found out.

That is quite reassuring to hear :) However, I believe that since I am not a UK citizen, the employer will ask for a copy of my Swedish criminal record. And even though my conviction there isn't a crime in the UK, a drug charge is still a drug charge...

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#10 RE: Am I screwed? (criminal record)
05/11/2015 00:55

athymy to presidentbartlet (#7)

I'd go ahead and do just that then... Side step the issue by staying in education a little longer.

And next time: "Just say no!"

I agree - you'll have to "lie" to say you don't have a record on the pre screen so even if they don't find out you'll have that lie hanging over you all the time and it could come back to bite you later on.

Better to enter with a clean conscience and not have to worry.

If you ever watch "suits" it's just like that!

I completely understand your point (I have watched Suits!) and I would never lie on the application. I have gotten myself into enough trouble as it is. The problem is that I don't really know if I would be lying if I answered 'no' seeing as my conviction is not a crime in the UK.

Maybe I should look into applying abroad? I mean I have the right to work anywhere in the EU and some parts of Asia. Maybe they'd be more lenient...

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#11 RE: Am I screwed? (criminal record)
05/11/2015 00:59

athymy to C123 (#8)

It doesn't sound like you have a conviction, even if it's on your record... I doubt it would stop them recruiting you except if they had a lot of public sector/defence/etc contracts as it might cause issues trying to sell you to them. Good luck, either way!

The thing is, in my home country, I do have a conviction. However, the thing I was convicted for is not a crime in the UK...

Do you by any chance have experience when it comes to background checks? Meaning, have you secured a job in the finance industry without being asked questions about your criminal history?

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#12 RE: Am I screwed? (criminal record)
09/11/2015 15:48

marsday to athymy (#11)

Discretion plays a part, even in FS.

Example:

you have a criminal record for possessing alcohol in Saudi Arabia. This is not criminal here in the UK, but discretion could say that you chose not to adhere to the law of the state, therefore it remains a matter of criminal record.

vrs

Example:

you have a criminal record for a PDA with someone of the same gender. As being gay isnt a crime in the UK, its not a choice and is also a protected characteristic, this would not have criminal record status in the UK and would instead be classed as persecution.

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#13 RE: Am I screwed? (criminal record)
09/11/2015 18:08

Mr Cool to marsday (#12)

I personally have never heard of anyone getting an FS job without completing a CRB.

In terms if discretion, I suspect that your problem will be that you may simply be an easy target to filter down the applicant numbers....

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#14 RE: Am I screwed? (criminal record)
10/11/2015 10:05

Jack Black to Mr Cool (#13)

I work in FS and have done so for 3 major institutions, and non have done a CRB on me. Not sure why actually, a lot of my colleagues have been vetted.

Personally, if I was in your situation, I would say nothing. If they have no way of finding out then why would you.

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#15 RE: Am I screwed? (criminal record)
02/12/2015 16:27

MMeister to athymy (#1)

Really tricky. I don't envy your situation at all. The way its going, assuming you were caught with weed and nothing more, this could be overlooked by some employers by the time you graduate.

If as you say, what you had isn't a crime here (make sure) then don't mention it. Then when they find you have a Swedish criminal record, just explain that your offence isn't a criminal action here and that you thought the application meant as per UK law or some other bullshit. At that point they'll either dump you or give lenience, but nothing more will happen so its defo worth a try.

Some of the internships might be quite lax on this stuff.

The SSE is also a good idea. Was thinking of going there myself actually (but not because I have a criminal record haha).

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#16 RE: Am I screwed? (criminal record)
03/12/2015 00:23

athymy to MMeister (#15)

Really tricky. I don't envy your situation at all. The way its going, assuming you were caught with weed and nothing more, this could be overlooked by some employers by the time you graduate.

If as you say, what you had isn't a crime here (make sure) then don't mention it. Then when they find you have a Swedish criminal record, just explain that your offence isn't a criminal action here and that you thought the application meant as per UK law or some other bullshit. At that point they'll either dump you or give lenience, but nothing more will happen so its defo worth a try.

Some of the internships might be quite lax on this stuff.

The SSE is also a good idea. Was thinking of going there myself actually (but not because I have a criminal record haha).

Actually I wasn't caught with anything per se. I mean I had nothing on my possession, just in my system. However, to make matters worse, it was not weed.

Yeah, SSE seems like my best choice. I have 2.5 years of uni left and I've started practicing for the GMAT already. And given that it's free, I really see no better option.

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#17 RE: Am I screwed? (criminal record)
03/12/2015 03:37

Dan! Dan! Dan! to athymy (#16)

I worked in a bank (front office) in London in a previous life, and no such checks were run on my record.

Couple of other thoughts:

My understanding is that CVs are filtered down to a select pile before any time is wasted doing such background checks. My current company sometimes runs those checks after interviewing. So even if they found out, they may already have identified you (if indeed you are) as a great candidate in every other regard.

So then the dynamic is "hey, remember that hot blond smart Swedish kid we liked? He/she got high once"

Which brings me on to my second point. I know a significant number of bankers in London and a large proportion of them are under the influence recreationally on a frequent basis. Would be strange and unfortunate if your recruiter hadnt gone down that road at one point themselves and couldn't see past it.

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#18 RE: Am I screwed? (criminal record)
03/12/2015 20:36

presidentbartlet to Dan! Dan! Dan! (#17)

I worked in a bank (front office) in London in a previous life, and no such checks were run on my record.

Couple of other thoughts:

My understanding is that CVs are filtered down to a select pile before any time is wasted doing such background checks. My current company sometimes runs those checks after interviewing. So even if they found out, they may already have identified you (if indeed you are) as a great candidate in every other regard.

So then the dynamic is "hey, remember that hot blond smart Swedish kid we liked? He/she got high once"

Which brings me on to my second point. I know a significant number of bankers in London and a large proportion of them are under the influence recreationally on a frequent basis. Would be strange and unfortunate if your recruiter hadnt gone down that road at one point themselves and couldn't see past it.

Agreed - my current employer screens after the offer has been accepted (screening is expensive!) and any "exceptions" are discussed and agreed with HR and the area director. If you've lied on the screening app form, of course, then it's straight out no questions asked.

So the point above probably stands, if you get the job and are accepted but potentially seen as an exception then you might be okay still...

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