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Guest blog post: Jaz Rabadia talking about A-levels

Jaz_SGost-49A-levels – they aren’t the ‘B’ all and end all…. 

I needed BBB in my A-levels to study Engineering at university. When opening my results envelope I knew it wasn’t going to be what I needed. In classes I was great at science, design technology and maths but for some reason I really struggled during my A-Level exams. There were so many of them, the questions were tough and the pressure of it all affected my performance.

I had some tough decisions to make, do I retake a year and go for the grades I knew I was capable of achieving? Should I change direction and pick subjects that weren’t so maths and science focussed? Or could I attempt to continue onto university knowing that my grades wouldn’t be up to scratch even though my knowledge was.

I decided to go with the latter and I got into City University, London through clearing on a BSc Engineering course. In order to upgrade to a BEng degree I would have to take on additional modules in the second year and show potential and improved results to progress.

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Carlisle…Dublin, Dundee, Humberside

As a follow up to Employer Liaison’s most recent posting regarding graduate jobs outside London I’ve just completed a bit of additional research around the Engineering sector and, spookily, the results look awfully similar:

  • Gradcracker: 40% current vacancies outside London and the South East
  • TARGETjobs: 30% current vacancies outside London and the South East
  • The Graduate Recruitment Bureau: 40% current vacancies outside London and the South East

And if you look at a couple more sites… Continue Reading

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Technically speaking

Here’s an unashamed steal from the TargetJobs website concerning two articles (here and here) written about the subject of handling technical interviews. Something for the I.T. and Engineering students amongst us. I particularly like the highlighting of the following 3  aspects of what you’re likely to encounter:

1) Know your basics – the fundamental things that may have been taught to you at the start of your course.

2) When you’re given a practical problem to solve with a technical solution it pays to show your thinking and your rationale as you think through it ahead of, perhaps, trying to give an absolutely spot on technical solution.

3) It’s okay to say you don’t know. Technical interviews are often done to test the boundaries of your technical knowledge and we all have boundaries. Even the most experienced techy will have a boundary to the questions they can answer  well. Just be prepared to maximise your own boundary of technical knowledge.

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Pushing at an open door

Here’s a tip to get smart with your graduate, internship or placement job hunt. Next time you’re talking to an employer (perhaps at today’s Engineering, Science and Technology careers fair) one question to ask could be “what roles do you find difficult to fill?”. Because every year without fail some of the largest and most popular employers have vacancies they fail to fill*. If you can find out which ones you can perhaps target these roles ahead of others, safe in the knowledge that you’re probably in a much shorter queue of applicants**.

*The Association of Graduate Recruiters Winter Survey of 2013 reported that a third of those companies that replied to the survey failed to fill all their vacancies in the previous recruitment campaign year.

**This post was inspired by a recent conversation with an engineering employer expressing their frustration that so many candidates ignored their Marine business opportunities.

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The latest graduate jobs crystal ball

Every 3 months the Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR) surveys it members. These members are typically large organisations recruiting substantial numbers of undergrads onto their one year placement programs and grads onto their graduate schemes. The 2013 Summer Survey results, featuring responses from 209 organisations, has just been revealed. You might already have read about it, normally underneath a flurry of pessimisitic, emotive headlines!

Before I reveal some of the highlights I’d like to give you a health warning about both the survey itself and the articles that the newspapers then write. It’s a fact that only 5-10% of  grads end up on one of these graduate programs or schemes. The huge majority of grads in the UK find graduate level employment with Continue Reading