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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 28-06-2011, 10:30 PM
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Default Value of good academic credentials

Just wanted to start this topic to encourage some discussion.

Do good university results put you at a significant advantage when it comes to graduate job applications? I suggest to limit this discussion to private sector jobs because it is well known that civil service jobs have a significant focus on academic results.

How important is a first class honours? Or what if the person was the top ranked student of the course? What kind of "advantage" does having these academic credentials can one expect compared to another candidate, ceteris paribus? Can such stellar academic results make up for a less than stellar CCA record?

I guess on one hand you could be impressed, on the other hand you could interpret the person as having no life outside studies.

Assumptions are
1. Reputable UK/US/SG universities. Probably can leave Oxbridge and reputable Ivys out because the brand name of this universities speak for themselves even w/o stellar results.
2. Private sector jobs (as reasoned above)
3. Graduate positions (For graduates who have left university <5 years)
4. Reasonable presentation skills, social skills (to exclude out bookrooms/geeks)
5. Average CCA record in uni.


Any recruiters/interviewers can share their comments?

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Old 28-06-2011, 11:11 PM
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I think this question is a rather no brainer, good results will definitely give you at least an interview. Anything during and beyond the interview is based on your performance.

No one will interpret a person with good results as having no life outside of studies. One will however, judge whether you're social awkward based on your interview performance.

Relevant CCA records might give you the edge, but the fact is that you need to get your resume through the system, to the hands of the recruiting manager. Normally at the hands of HR, your resume will be filtered out by results already. I would say CCA records should only serve as icing on the cake, rather than being treated as a cake itself.

On another note, unless you have CCA/internship records like youth ambassador to the UN health program or something, that's a totally different story.

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Old 28-06-2011, 11:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by esoteric View Post
Just wanted to start this topic to encourage some discussion.

Do good university results put you at a significant advantage when it comes to graduate job applications? I suggest to limit this discussion to private sector jobs because it is well known that civil service jobs have a significant focus on academic results.

How important is a first class honours? Or what if the person was the top ranked student of the course? What kind of "advantage" does having these academic credentials can one expect compared to another candidate, ceteris paribus? Can such stellar academic results make up for a less than stellar CCA record?

I guess on one hand you could be impressed, on the other hand you could interpret the person as having no life outside studies.

Assumptions are
1. Reputable UK/US/SG universities. Probably can leave Oxbridge and reputable Ivys out because the brand name of this universities speak for themselves even w/o stellar results.
2. Private sector jobs (as reasoned above)
3. Graduate positions (For graduates who have left university <5 years)
4. Reasonable presentation skills, social skills (to exclude out bookrooms/geeks)
5. Average CCA record in uni.


Any recruiters/interviewers can share their comments?
u just have an advantage in the interview process, because most employers will throw away the other CVs....

then its up to u on how to perform in the interview and in the job...

n notice the language u r putting across here... its like u r seeking approval from other ppl, like employers... my advice to u is work hard, save money and start a business... otherwise u will always be working for others... u will nv be rich working for others....

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Old 28-06-2011, 11:29 PM
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good results indicate
(a) good attitude (discipline, will power, etc)
(b) good aptitude (in picking new skills, memory ability, critical thinking, etc)
or both

Active CCA records indicate
(a) interest in the CCA (or no interest in studies)
(b) aptitude in the CCA (e.g. good sportsman?)

unless your future job is related to your CCA;
most employers will look at results before CCA records as a filter,
especially for the more competitive industries.
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Old 28-06-2011, 11:33 PM
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btw, "Reasonable presentation skills, social skills" can be developed
after you leave university.

academic credentials cannot be so easily acquired especially good ones.
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Old 29-06-2011, 08:39 AM
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Smile view from a fo banker

With FO banking role being the flavour of the month, we tend to receive many resumes whenever we post an opening. Logistically it is challenging to interview more than 10 or so persons.

Here's some of the defining characteristics which stand out when we review resumes to select interviewees-
- relevant internships with prestigious firms (proves the candidate knows what he/she is in for from a work expectation, working hours etc perspective & as a qc check as well cos its not easy to get these internship)

- first class honours (upper 2nd ok if other traits are spectacular)

- track record of academic success (spectacular A lvl results, RJC/HC etc, prior scholarships)

- standout performance in cca (national lvl sportsman, president scout, student council president, etc)

- international contest winner for relevant topic

Of course, not all candidates will have all of the above, but many will have 3 to 5 of the above traits, with the internships being perhaps most important, with academics closely behind, then CCA after. Exceptional CCA performance may get you a look as well.

To be honest, we are very impressed with many of the people we are unable to interview, but the degree of competition out there is mind boggling. Suspect its because the media has really played up FO banking jobs in recent years so there is more interest these days.

Hope this helps.

Rgds
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Old 29-06-2011, 12:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anon View Post
I think this question is a rather no brainer, good results will definitely give you at least an interview. Anything during and beyond the interview is based on your performance.

No one will interpret a person with good results as having no life outside of studies. One will however, judge whether you're social awkward based on your interview performance.

Relevant CCA records might give you the edge, but the fact is that you need to get your resume through the system, to the hands of the recruiting manager. Normally at the hands of HR, your resume will be filtered out by results already. I would say CCA records should only serve as icing on the cake, rather than being treated as a cake itself.

On another note, unless you have CCA/internship records like youth ambassador to the UN health program or something, that's a totally different story.

Looks like good academic results just gets you through the first door, i.e the interview. After that it does not really matter anymore. I believe Shell takes this approach. Once you get a slot in Shell Recruitment Day, results are inconsequential when it comes to selection; its all about presentation skills, EQ, business acumen and knowledge of current affairs, and most importantly, whether they "like" you.
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Old 29-06-2011, 01:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
With FO banking role being the flavour of the month, we tend to receive many resumes whenever we post an opening. Logistically it is challenging to interview more than 10 or so persons.

Here's some of the defining characteristics which stand out when we review resumes to select interviewees-
- relevant internships with prestigious firms (proves the candidate knows what he/she is in for from a work expectation, working hours etc perspective & as a qc check as well cos its not easy to get these internship)

- first class honours (upper 2nd ok if other traits are spectacular)

- track record of academic success (spectacular A lvl results, RJC/HC etc, prior scholarships)

- standout performance in cca (national lvl sportsman, president scout, student council president, etc)

- international contest winner for relevant topic

Of course, not all candidates will have all of the above, but many will have 3 to 5 of the above traits, with the internships being perhaps most important, with academics closely behind, then CCA after. Exceptional CCA performance may get you a look as well.

To be honest, we are very impressed with many of the people we are unable to interview, but the degree of competition out there is mind boggling. Suspect its because the media has really played up FO banking jobs in recent years so there is more interest these days.

Hope this helps.

Rgds
Looks like we have an recruiter for FO in BB banks here. Agreed that interviewing does consume significant time and resources. A typical recruitment day for a FO role in a BB bank (for c.a 20 canditates) can possibly include

1. Verbal, Math Aptitude test ~ c.a 30 - 40 min
2. Reading and write up on case study ~ c.a 1 hr
3. Presentation on case study to Associate/VP level staff ~ c.a 15 min
4. 3-4 rounds of interview with MD/D/VP/Associate/Analyst ~ c.a 15 m per interview
5. Group exercise ~c.a 30 min

Half a day seems like a short time. But the no. of man hours multiplied by the salary/hr of the MD/D/VP can aggregate to a significant amount.

Indeed the competition for FO roles, especially in Singapore, is remarkable. As a recruiter, could I pose a few hypothetical scenarios for your opinion? Who has the best chance? Anyone else please feel free to comment.

Assumptions
Jobs are for FO roles in Singapore

Candidate A
SMU, Economics, summa cum laude,
Internship experience: BB bank in Singapore, MO
CCA records: 7 (from scale of 1 - 10, 10 being the best)
Presentation skills: 8, ditto
Work Status: seeking first job after graduation

Candidate B
LSE, Economics, 1st class,
Internship experince: Top consultancy (Bain/BCG/McKinsey) in London
CCA records: 6,
Presentation skills: 8
Work status: seeking first job after graduation

Candidate C
University College London, Engineering, 1st class, top student of his course with multiple prizes
Internship experience: BB Bank, FO office in London
CCA records: 7
Presentation skills: 8
Work status: worked 3 years in a Ministry/Stat board, looking for career change (read in between the lines )

Candidate D
NUS,Business Admin, 2nd upper
Internship experience: Business Development in MNC
CCA records: 9 (Engineering Council Preseident, Sports Captain etc)
Presentation sklls: 8
Work status: worked 2 years in an MNC, looking for career change
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Old 29-06-2011, 02:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
With FO banking role being the flavour of the month, we tend to receive many resumes whenever we post an opening. Logistically it is challenging to interview more than 10 or so persons.

Here's some of the defining characteristics which stand out when we review resumes to select interviewees-
- relevant internships with prestigious firms (proves the candidate knows what he/she is in for from a work expectation, working hours etc perspective & as a qc check as well cos its not easy to get these internship)

- first class honours (upper 2nd ok if other traits are spectacular)

- track record of academic success (spectacular A lvl results, RJC/HC etc, prior scholarships)

- standout performance in cca (national lvl sportsman, president scout, student council president, etc)

- international contest winner for relevant topic

Of course, not all candidates will have all of the above, but many will have 3 to 5 of the above traits, with the internships being perhaps most important, with academics closely behind, then CCA after. Exceptional CCA performance may get you a look as well.

To be honest, we are very impressed with many of the people we are unable to interview, but the degree of competition out there is mind boggling. Suspect its because the media has really played up FO banking jobs in recent years so there is more interest these days.

Hope this helps.

Rgds

please don't bs when you don't know what is happening. For FO job, we look at:
1) are you a known entity, ie are you already in the firm, or have worked for us, and/or have very good recommendation from someone we know
2) relevant work experience or internship at least
3) school, and by that i mean university, not jc, and results. nobody gives two hoots about which jc u were from, and most hiring manager, especially if he is a foreigners, don't know nor care about it
4) cca and prizes are good, but they don't really matter because if you are good, that would already be reflected in your results. and only top international prizes matter, like olympiad
or putnam. anything else is just an interesting (hopefully) talking point

as for the candidates, B and C stand out with C being the better choice since there is relevant experience. McKinsey experience is good only if i am looking for a business manager, not a trader. For sales role in FO, all of them stand a chance and it depends on who can speak and look best.
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Old 29-06-2011, 03:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
please don't bs when you don't know what is happening. For FO job, we look at:
1) are you a known entity, ie are you already in the firm, or have worked for us, and/or have very good recommendation from someone we know
2) relevant work experience or internship at least
3) school, and by that i mean university, not jc, and results. nobody gives two hoots about which jc u were from, and most hiring manager, especially if he is a foreigners, don't know nor care about it
4) cca and prizes are good, but they don't really matter because if you are good, that would already be reflected in your results. and only top international prizes matter, like olympiad
or putnam. anything else is just an interesting (hopefully) talking point

as for the candidates, B and C stand out with C being the better choice since there is relevant experience. McKinsey experience is good only if i am looking for a business manager, not a trader. For sales role in FO, all of them stand a chance and it depends on who can speak and look best.
Look its a given that if you hv the right contacts in the company, or if u used to be an intern in the company, you have a better chance for FO roles. My answer above assumes that you have neither, and the recruiter is reviewing your resume on an unbiased basis.

Agree that internship and university results are most important and thought I had made myself clear enough in my post. if you have a singaporean screening, jc track record etc will play a part as well.

I'm not a recruiter but am on the business end deciding which of the HR screened candidates to call for an interview. So believe it or not, I leave to the forum, but tot I'd give my 2c ...
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