Bricking it about grad scheme applications in 2012... do I stand a chance?


I need some advice from some other people who are as keen as I am to secure a grad job ASAP. I am a pure maths student at Royal Holloway, and I’ve just gotten a first for my second year and I’m pretty sure I’ll get a first overall. I’ve got ABCb in Maths, Media, French and Further Maths AS and I’ve little relevant work experience with actuary - essentially all I’ve done is some work experience in an IT department along with cleaning work at Heathrow.

I always loved maths and I love stats too, and that’s why I did them both as a degree. I’m not keen on the lack of mathematics in accountancy and hence I’ve decided on a career in actuary. However, it seems that almost all firms have filled their internship/work experience positions and now I don’t know what to do.

I’ve got my heart set on spending the summer getting fit and boosting my confidence, but I just can’t help but be absolutely petrified about grad applications that are getting closer and closer. I’ve been trying to get a temp job in admin/data entry for a while and even then I simply can’t get anything… probably because they know I’ll be leaving come September.

I’ve always been told that the analytical abilities that I have will put me in good standing… I’m currently in the top 5% of my year, but it seems that my friends who have gotten 2:2’s this year are telling me that good grades along with a passion for the industry simply isn’t enough to get an employers attention. Is this true, or are they just trying to scare me?


I think the answer to your fears is the fact your mates got 2.2s.

That grade tends to get overlooked and often it won’t reallty matter how much passion you have, because the grades don’t match what the company is looking for. Of course its not always as clear cut as that and sometimes work experience can help but I tend to find that usually it doesn’t make a difference.

The grade is the reason they are struggling, because there aren’t that many schemes that cater for 2.2 (I’d say maybe 10-15% will take 2.2…though remember they;d still be going agaisnt people with higher grades) and so they already have a battle.

Even for people with a higher grade its far from a forgone conclusion, but I do think having a 2.1/1st rather then a 2.2 will eventually make a difference when it comes to Grad Schemes.