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‘Translating’ Qualifications | The Careers Service ‘Translating’ Qualifications – Oxford University Careers Service
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Converting grades to UK qualifications

If you come to Oxford with qualifications other than the standard UK qualifications (GCSEs, A-levels, or a 1st, 2nd or 3rd class degree), then to help a potential British employer, you should try to contextualise your academic results so that they can understand your achievements.

Try to avoid “translating” your qualifications as the employer may use a different metric to you and you don’t want it to appear as if you are “inflating” your grades!

Examples

You have two options when it comes to describing international academic grades:

Explain and provide context

List your international qualifications, providing an explanation and/or include the maximum achievable grade. This is the preferable option as many firms are familiar with international applicants and this avoids any mistakes (inflation or deflation) in “converted grades”.

See examples below:

A-Level Equivalent

  • Lycee La Citadelle, Limoges, France. International Baccalaureate 40/45 

Degree Equivalent

  • Michigan State University, USA. BA in Politics and Economics
  • Grade Point Average (GPA) 3.78 (max. 4.00)
  • 750 GMAT (top 2%)

Providing this additional information will help the employer to better understand how you have performed.

With regards to professional qualifications (eg: law, medicine) we would recommend that you check with the relevant UK professional body whether they are valid in the UK.

Convert

If you do want to “convert” your international grades into UK grades, the NARIC website (which is the official and government supported, national agency for the recognition and comparison of international qualifications and skills) can provide this service, however, there is a charge involved.

N.B. There are many websites which claim to offer “grade conversion”. However, we recommend that you use these carefully, as there is often no way of verifying that their conversions are correct and reflect those that employers will accept.

If you are still unsure about what to do, contact the employer/organisation to explain the situation and ask them for advice on how best to present your qualifications.

Converting grades to US qualifications

If you have a UK undergraduate degree and you are applying for jobs in North America, be aware that US degrees don’t use our classification system. Stating that you are ‘predicted a “2.1” will not necessarily be understood by a US employer unless they tend to recruit heavily from the UK. Providing information on your first/second year exam results (if they are requested) in a percentage format (eg: 68%) can also be helpful in conveying your academic ability.

You might not need to include any degree classification, but if it forms part of their requirements, you should. If you cannot find further information on how to do this on the organisation’s website, we would recommend contacting the employer’s HR or recruitment team for assistance.

If it’s only an approximation that you need, you might find the Fulbright Commission GPA conversion guidelines useful.

This information was last updated on 06 September 2018.
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Recent blogs about ‘Translating’ Qualifications

FCO Graduate Internship: An Insider’s View

Blogged by Hugh Nicholson-Lailey on 21/02/2019.

Alice graduated from Oxford last summer and has provided us with an insider’s perspective on the FCO’s Graduate Internship which we blogged earlier this week and is now open for applications.

The scheme

The FCO graduate internship is a paid work experience scheme of up to 9 months which allows recent graduates to get taste for FCO work. What you will do on a day-to-day basis depends on which department you are allocated to – you could be working on a country desk, on a particular theme or in an operational role.

See the job advert [#1617790] and note that the deadline is midnight on 11 March.

Why I applied

I applied because of my interest in international affairs and desire to work in public service. This internship is a great way get an insight into the FCO/the civil service more generally without being tied down. For those interested in the Fast Stream, doing well at this internship gets you a ‘fast pass’ to the Fast Stream Assessment Centre, skipping the online tests that often cause people difficulty.

A day in the life

I have had some great opportunities so far. My day job involves conducting research, engaging with stakeholders within the FCO and in other government departments to make practical assessments about a varied and fascinating geographical area. I have taken on a lot of responsibility, writing policy submissions to ministers, working on FOI requests and running presentations to external stakeholders. My team are really friendly and keen for me to make the most of development opportunities – this is a work experience scheme after all! I have gained an insight into what working for the FCO overseas is like by visiting a British Embassy, been to see EU institutions in action and volunteered as a delegation liaison officer at an international conference. I have also had lots of formal training on diplomatic skills and am doing developmental Spanish language training.

My tips

The application/interview process has changed this year, and now focuses on success profiles and behaviours rather than competencies. You can find information on these in the job advert. The most import thing is to really tailor your examples to the question asked. If you make it on to the internship, be proactive – think about what you would like to get out of the internship and take the opportunity to meet as many people and take on as many tasks as possible.

Unmissable for Chinese students – the Warwick China Fair!

Blogged by Karen Walker on 21/02/2019.

Are you ready for the Warwick China Fair?

Taking place on Saturday 2 March between 10:00-15:00, the Warwick China Fair is mainly targeted at Chinese final year and postgraduate students and recent graduates (although all Chinese students at Oxford University are welcome to attend!). We are excited to announce that the Career Fair App is now available, as well as a webinar to help you plan your day!

The Career Fair App is available on both Android and iPhone – for more information about how to download and use it please have a look at our information page. It includes a list of all the employers attending, plus other information that they’ve supplied. Over the next week, more information will be added to the App, including info about the presentations and events taking place.

You can also watch the webinar Preparing for the China Fair 2019 kindly delivered by colleagues at the University of Manchester.

In addition to a careers fair, the event includes a panel presentation about the current Chinese job market from senior Chinese HR professionals, a session on visas, plus a series of employer presentations giving you the chance to meet and network with employers.

Employers in attendance will include:

CPA Australia, KPMG, Geely, Dyson, China Unicom, 51 Job, Mthree Consulting, Mars, AlphaSights, Hays Asia, British Council China,  Nu Skin, Hisense,  Decathlon, Xinlung Group, Tong Digital, Entrepreneurs Global, Gradlink, Dealmoon, XRS Online (TAL Group), FDM Group, AstraZeneca, Merck Group, Ambright Group, Lockin China, Zhaopin, Career Mentor, Hilti, EREC Estates, HungryPanda Ltd, Farleys Solicitors LLP and three senior HR Directors flying in from China and accompanying the British Council China.

Oxford only has a limited number of spaces for students at this fair – so make sure you sign up soon!

The Fair is organised by Warwick in partnership with the Universities of Oxford, Birmingham, Bristol, Aston and Nottingham.

UK Summer Internship Applications Now Open!

Blogged by Internship Office on 21/02/2019.

Apply for a UK summer internship by 11 March

You can now browse and apply for a wide range of exciting UK summer internships offered through the Summer Internship Programme. All opportunities are open exclusively to Oxford students, and can be applied to through CareerConnect.

UK placements feature a research and communications opportunity at the Royal Society for Tropical Medicine in London, a heritage internship in Scotland, and sustainability consultancy in Oxford. The deadline for applications for this batch of placements is Monday 11 March.

The Internship Office is offering application support sessions for prospective applicants to discuss internship ideas, and get advice on CVs and applications. These sessions take place at The Careers Service and can be booked through CareerConnect.

Please see our comprehensive application support guide for other ways to get support when applying to Internship Office Programmes. If you have any further questions, contact us on internships@careers.ox.ac.uk.

ICSA Essay Competition 2019

Posted on behalf of ICSA . Blogged by Juliet Tomlinson on 20/02/2019.

ICSA Tom Morrison Essay Prize competition 2019

Want to be awarded for your original thinking? Fancy a chance of winning £1,000 (or £500 as a runner-up)? If so, make sure you enter this essay-writing competition which runs until 18 March 2019. The question is as follows:

In an increasingly automated world, robotics, artificial intelligence and other technological advancements are expected to have an impact on governance. Consider the opportunities, challenges, benefits and risks that such technologies might bring to the role of the company secretary.

Visit the ICSA website to find out more about the competition.

Insights into the world of governance with ICSA

Posted on behalf of ICSA. Blogged by Juliet Tomlinson on 20/02/2019.

Have you ever considered the roles of company secretary or governance manager?

These fascinating roles can lead you to a career in a huge variety of different organisations and businesses.  There are plenty of opportunities to discover more about these careers throughout 2019 through the activites of the Governance Institute – ICSA.

Insight Days: The governance teams from some big brands will be hosting them in 2019.

Or you might like to consider attending an Open Evening with ICSA to discover more. You can join them in London on Wednesday 8 May to find out what opportunities a career as a company secretary or governance professional can offer.

The event takes place at ICSA: The Governance Institute, Saffron House, 6-10 Kirby Street, London, EC1N 8TS. Doors open at 18:00 for a 18:30 presentation, refreshments are served 19:30 – 20:30pm. Places are limited so register now to discover how to get your governance career started with ICSA. Book your free place here.

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