Today I finally got round to going to see the careers advisor at my university, which meant trudging through the snow* to the strange building round the side of Keynes College. The careers advisory service at UKC is located in a building designed as the house for the master of Keynes College and it's not the prettiest of buildings - unique, I'm sure, but not pretty. It looks like the architect, who'd been denied the opportunity to do anything fancy whilst populating campus with concrete squares, decided to add all the quirky architectural features he'd wanted to put on Keynes College on this one small building. The result is a odd, pointy building with a very high Apsi** and a fairily serious damp problem.
I wont bore you with the details of what was discussed, suffice to say it was useful: it would seem that my employment prospects aren't as grim as I tend to decide they are. There is one cause for annoyance, however, which was not dispelled by the talk. That is the very annoying way which I'm told employers, as a whole, assess the merits of someone's time at university. You are a desirable applicant if you spent your time at uni working for societies, writing for the uni paper, working for the uni radio station, doing summer internships and just generally working towards some specific career goal from the age of 18 onwards. They also see merit in those who manage to graduate with first class honours, presumably because it shows them as dedicated and intelligent. If you don't fall into either of those categories, however, then you are apparently a worthless burden on the state who may as well just send his CV to McDonalds.
I am currently precariously balanced on the first class honours side of the fence, however, my average mark is barely more than the minimum for a 1st, so it would only take one bad essay to throw me into the 2:1 category. This is worrying when I consider the fact that A: I'm working pretty much to the edge of my ability at the moment, if I screw up an essay I can't just cancel it out by writing another worth 80% or something, and B: I have concluded, from my experience of university, that the marking of work is, to a large extent, arbitrary - So when I say I only need one bad essay to screw this all up I mean that I only need one essay that my seminar leader takes a dislike to.
Needless to say I think that I'm going to have to spend the rest of this term either in the library or whispering sweet nothings to the faculty.
*ok, so there wasn't really enough snow to 'trudge' through per se, but I was in a stompy sort of mood.
**Architecture per square inch