UCAS point issue for IB graduate jobs


I’ve been reading a while, and have a general question regarding entry requirements for an IB.

I’ve been working part-time since I was 17 to fund my education, sometimes 20+ hours per week. This has always had a knock-on effect on my education. I’ve just graduated with a 2.1 degree in Computer Science from a good University, but my issue is that I only have 280 UCAS points (two C’s at A-level) although these were in technical subjects.

The only time I’ve not worked part-time was in the run up month to my finals - and this is reflected by the fact I averaged grades in the high 70%'s in those exams, and achieved a first overall in final year examinations.

I’ve got a strong record in interviews and assesment centres, having been successful for nearly every interview I’ve ever attended. My work experience is in a range of technical and customer service based jobs (i.e a Building Society’s loans department, a department store’s menswear department). I also have a good record of extra-curricular activities (Mainly Boxing & Football).

Will my overall achievement be enough to get me past the initial stages of the applications?

Thanks in advance for any advice.


Getting in to IB is going to be tougher than usual right now because of the credit crunch and reduced amount of graduate positions. I think it is possible to get in to an IB with that CV, but your applications will need to be perfect, and explain how your results suffered slightly because you needed to work - paint the picture that you are someone who has worked very hard (in academic terms and paid for work terms) to get to and through university and that you are someone who gets their head down and gets the job done, no matter what it takes. Explain that you were aiming for at least a 2.1 at uni because you knew your studying would be limited because you had so much real (paid) work to do - but that you feel you could have achieved a first if you had been able to concentrate entirely on studying.

The boxing and football is good. Especially boxing, I think that’ll go down well with IB firms. If you’ve boxed competitively, won competitions or even just believe you’ve improved - tell them. Again, you should paint the picture that you train hard and achieve a great deal.

Although you have experience, you don’t have experience of an internship/placement at an IB and this might let you down. You should try and get some as it will massively improve you chances of getting a job, and also give you an insight in to what you’ll be doing.

Might be a good idea to start thinking of a back up too, in case you don’t get in to IB this recruiting season.


I think you should definately apply. Also try and go through a recruitment agency as well as via the application forms. The fact you have self funded your education is very impressive.

On the topic of sports- firms love to hire athletes- generally they are great team players, have discipline and stamina and lots of energy.



I was similar to you in that I funded my education - 4 jobs throughout my degree!! I second what people have said - all the banks loved this about my CV and I think it helped me get the offers I did. However, my best friend’s Dad had v serious mental health issues during his A levels which affected his results (he got ABD Alevels in Chem, Bio, Math); even with medical documentation and 2:1 Masters and PhD the bulge bracket banks did not accept him on the basis of his A levels and rejected him at application stage. He does now have a job in equity research at an investment bank and he got this through a recruitment company - carrington fox. However, his pharma PhD was a big part of this! If I were you and really wanted to get into finance I would also apply for brokerages, smaller banks etc as they are likely to be more flexible that big banks with hundreds of online applications to get through.

Hope this helps and good luck!



The Soc Gen contact is a good one! Try and get an informal internship or something through them maybe? Ask if he can send an email aeound asking if anyone needs some help for a month or so - I know someone who got a job this way. He offered to do it for free (they did pay him luckily!!).

I did Chemistry, Maths, Physics, Geography and got 4 As for my A levels and yep finance - european equities at JPMorgan Fund Management.

Really good luck and let me know if I can help at all!



Thanks for the prompt reply.