A 2:2 degree – Triumph not Tragedy

‘Well, I wanted to do a Graduate Scheme in Marketing, but they don’t take 2:2’s, so I’m going travelling. There’s nothing much else I can do’. – 2017 Graduate

badge-686321_640As she said these words, a gloomy silence fell on our little meeting, and we both sighed in an ‘ah well, nothing to be done’ sort of way, gazing wistfully out of the window, imagining what glittering career might have been. That pesky 2:2 went and ruined everything..

‘NO!!’ I started, whipped into a frenzy of frustration, ‘there are loads of things you can do!! And congratulations on your degree’.

Here are a few for starters:

  1.  Don’t underestimate the huge value that a 2:2 degree from the University of Manchester carries with employers. Truly, it is globally recognised as a tough gig, and a 2:2 demonstrates skills such as research, analysis, project management and resilience. BE PROUD, it really is impressive.
  2. If employers state specifically and unequivocally that a minimum 2:1 is required, then don’t spend energy on making applications ‘just in case’. You will not succeed, and it will demoralise you.
  3. Instead, start thinking creatively. To find worthwhile work experience with a 2:2 is absolutely possible, there are jobs (great ones) out there, but you need to draw on that creativity, that resilience, those skills you’ve developed in your degree.
  4.  The 2:2 does not define you as a failure. Positivity is catching – if you can think positively about your achievement, others will too – that includes employers. If you don’t believe me, then try it and see. Email me if I’m wrong and I’ll buy you a bar of choc. That’s how confident I am.
  5. Come and see us/telephone us/ Skype us at the Careers Service – I can absolutely guarantee you will leave our 30 minute meetings with a positive plan of action, some steps forward and/or renewed energy. http://www.careers.manchester.ac.uk/services/
  6.  Have a look at the Manchester Graduate Talent  – it has saved many a soul who felt a bit like things were hopeless, and proved to be a really great stepping stone. http://www.careers.manchester.ac.uk/findjobs/graduatejobs/mgt/

Banish from your speech things like ‘I only got a 2:2’ and start saying ‘I have just graduated from the University of Manchester with a 2:2 degree – how brilliant is that’. Congratulations!


By Bernadette Lyons

Careers Consultant

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