If this week’s information was a coffee, it would’ve been consumed entirely from take-away cups. Smack bang in the middle of an Oxford term, it’s been pretty hectic.  But it’s amazing what you learn as a careers adviser even without any research time…

  • Civil Service fast stream this year had 28,000 register on their website for 250 places, 18,000 did the online tests after the self-assessment, 4,300 the e-tray exercise and the applications of 1,552 were taken to the later stages of assessment. (Statistics and other information for careers advisers here)
  • EU civil service opportunities are likely to be less competitive however, and to offer around 330 vacancies for graduates – see here
  • PGCEs in ‘General Science’ are likely to phase out as funding follows the distinct science subjects
  • Prospective army officers now have to be in Sandhurst by age 26 at the latest (bar a few exceptions – see here)
  • Strictly academic CVs should not be viewed as the only option for those continuing in their studies or research. Anecdotally,  ‘hybrid’ CVs which show a more impact-awareness have been viewed favourably, even at doctoral stages. The idea  is that evidence of impact and public engagement skills harnessed elsewhere shows a foundation for future grant applications.
  • As a very generalised rule of thumb, finance graduate training within non-finance specialist organisations (e.g. a retail firm’s finance stream, rather than a Big 4 audit firm) are likely to offer training in half-day releases and the like, alongside a normal workload.  This is quite a different feel from the weeks off at a time that those in the financial sector often receive- could be more stressful, but potentially suit someone who is keen to move away from studying full-time, even for a short period.
  • Anecdotally again, lots of law interviews are bringing up the Legal Services Act – students should be aware that ‘Tesco Law’ (a common phrase describing the opening up of the legal sector, potentially driving high-street innovations) is a misnomer – The Co-operative are a realistic example, however!
  • The TDA have produced a fantastically useful grade comparison for overseas degrees in terms of equivalencies to a 1st, 2.1 etc., with an eye to mapping on to their bursary criteria.
  • Lime and pistachio muffins are bloody amazing.