Today is going to be a very worrying time for students and parents as A level results are being released. The current prediction is that over 200,000 students will be left without places and will be forced to consider other options. This is partly down to the number of applications exceeding the number of University places available – allegedly, it has also been affected by students being given advice about A levels choices that is not inline with the desires and needs of Universities.
So, what to do next? Well, the last 2 days have highlighted for me how much talent we have in the UK.
On Tuesday, I had the pleasure of interviewing Jim McCarthy, the CEO of Poundland, who interestingly enough didn’t go to University (this is not unusual for successful entrepreneurs).
Yesterday, I was at the Red Bull HQ putting some of their student ambassadors through some interview training. Red Bull have endorsed my interview success guide “Why are Manhole Covers Round?” and had put together a careers day to help their ambassadors plan for their futures.
One of these student interviews stuck in my mind. She had travelled to the UK from a non European country aged 16 with a limited grasp of English. Her parents had jobs that took them overseas, and aged 18 she had decided to stay in the UK whilst they worked abroad. She combined her degree with many paid and unpaid jobs and has just secured a position with a leading finance house.
And her secret? “Hard work and always believing in myself.”
So, if you are a student or a worried parent reading this, remember that the CEO of Poundland didn’t go to University and think of the overseas student who never stopped believing in herself.