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Would employers like what they see on my CV?

Discussion in 'Employment & Jobs' started by Karismah, May 16, 2008.

  1. Karismah

    Karismah Bit Poster

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    Dear all,

    I stumbled upon this site out of nowhere a few days ago, and since then, I've been really impressed by the standards of realistic advice and insights into IT certifications and careers.

    I'm at a pretty low point in my career, if one even exists that is.

    Up to the age of 18, I was always academically really strong, and I mean straight A's. I always thought that education would never be an issue for me and that once I hit 22, I would have graduated, done a post grad and that I'd be in a great job doing great things for a great company. Unfortunately, life is never as you plan or imagine it and my case is no different.

    I started my degree, but had lots of issues in between, took gap years, missed exams through illness, failed a year, etc. It has taken me 6 years to complete a 3 year bachelor, and here I sit, having just completed my exams, pretty certain that I'd fail the whole thing!

    I have about 6-8 months IT experience (though that was a big fish small pond scenario, with multiple responsibilities and no expertise line).

    I have no qualifications. I'm not certain that my employer where I had 6-8 months experience would give me any sort of reference. Plus, that experience was 2-3 years ago.

    I'm currently working towards my A+ and Network+. I've studied MCP and CCNA in the past, but have never done the exams. Am pretty strong with Windows XP, Office, etc. And I'm reasonably strong with hardware.

    The problem is, my degree has punched a huge hole through my CV. How would employers take that? Would they not judge me negatively?

    I am "the local support guy", "on call 24-7" for any friends, friends of friends, friends of friends of friends, family, etc. who need any help with their computers or networks. I do get paid, but you can appreciate that I can't charge close friends and family members and the money is nothing to brag about and nowhere near something that anybody could live on. Though this isn't the standard professional experience, it certainly is experience for me. I've learnt a great deal. Would this be credible enough as IT experience on my CV? The worst thing is, I'm pretty confident on my stuff.

    I've done up my CV, am dishing it out to recruiters and employers alike, am realistic, hard working and am more motivated than ever but fear that my degree and references may backfire on me.

    Will they though? And if so, how do you advise me to go on from here?

    I'd be grateful to anyone for any sort of advice they can give regarding this matter.

    Thank you.
     
    Certifications: None
    WIP: A+, Network+
  2. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Being a big fish in a small pond is a *good* thing, usually. When you're the only one responsible for everything, you gain a lot of experience with... *everything*. What did you get to work with?

    Not sure what you mean by "no expertise line". Does that mean you didn't focus or specialize on one thing? Again, that's a *good* thing, in my opinion. Specializing is fine... but it limits the potential jobs you can get, particularly at your level of experience.

    It's too early in your career for the CCNA. Continue with the A+ and knock it out. Then hit Network+, followed by the MCDST. Hold off on anything further until you build up a little more experience.

    If you have 6-8 months of real-world business IT experience, sounds like you might be well-suited for a desktop support role, preferably with an employer that will allow you to start getting your feet wet with server administration.

    In what way does your degree punch a hole through your CV? Because it took you 6 years to get it? Then don't list the dates of your education, if you can avoid it... simply list the year of graduation and be done with it!

    IT experience, to most employers, is IT experience in a business environment, with networked systems and users and data and the problems that all that brings.

    That said, if that's all you've got, it's better than nothing. Use what you have to your advantage.

    How is being confident on your stuff "the worst thing"? Being confident is a good thing! But to the contrary, it doesn't sound like you are very confident at all, particularly if you truly believe that your degree and your IT knowledge are negatives! Chin up, and smile. You *can* succeed in IT.

    I guess I need a little clarification as to why your degree would backfire. I had a bachelors degree (in Chemistry!) when I got my first IT job, and I got my degree at the ripe "old" age of 27. Do you think my degree reflected negatively on me, either because of the date or because of the non-IT major? Certainly not! In fact, it's always been looked upon quite favorably by employers!

    Most employers won't give anything much of a reference, neither positive nor negative, these days. That said, you might want to find out what sort of a reference, if any, your employers would give, if they are asked.

    Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged. - 1 Chronicles 22:13b. You'll do just fine. :)
     
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
    WIP: Just about everything!
  3. Karismah

    Karismah Bit Poster

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    Hello Michael, thanks for the response.

    Yes I feel I didn't specialise on one thing. I just felt that though I got to touch everything, all the way from setting up 2000/2003 servers, file servers, domains, wireless networks, wired networks, pc fixing, IT training, sales, marketing, administration, development, policies, procedures, web design, and quite a few other things, nothing was consistent enough for me to really get in-depth exposure to. It was only a few months of experience and not long enough for me to really get a grip of things within such a short amount of time. I'm glad you think it's good, because I always thought that people prefer someone who has solid experience in specific lines.

    I second you with that about the CCNA. I initially had exposure to CCNA at age 16 and gradually built up a bit of knowledge, then got mesmerised by people and training providers alike regarding the prospects. I've always been an IT guy and almost got fooled into the whole get rich quick thing. I am certainly going to work hard on the A+, my Network+ is definitely next, and MCDST is definitely on my list of to do's based on what I've seen and read of it.

    What I meant by the degree punching a whole is that I am going to fail in it. Not a nice thing to say, and unfortunately I have to take it on the chin. I didn't emphasise on that much on my initial posting. But to think that firstly I took 6 years to do a degree, and secondly to think that it is an IT related degree just makes it incredibly bad. Doesn't it? How do I prepare for onslaughts in Interviews, or how do I make it look better on my CV? I mean, I did pretty well on the project work, but I messed up on the exams for various reasons. I am still academically strong, and I truly believe that. However, my degree, or lack thereof hardly backs that belief up.

    What I meant here is that I AM confident with what I can do, and what I meant by it being the "worst thing" is that my lack of qualifications and experience are hardly evidence of it.

    My only solid IT experience may not provide me with a reference since I'm not even sure if the company exists, and things were slightly complicated. So that, and my poor degree results would backfire I'm sure.

    However, I thank you for the words of encouragement. My regret is that I should have been somewhere now with the time I've had. I could have had 5 years solid experience. It's always hard to digest it when I know that I've always been in IT and never made the most of it. It's not even a career change.
     
    Certifications: None
    WIP: A+, Network+
  4. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Not everyone. I've been more of a generalist, and my employers have *loved* it. They knew that they could throw just about *anything* at me and I'd be able to handle it.

    If you want to specialize, start specializing. Nothing wrong with that. But if you don't want to, don't feel like you are forced to do so... because it is possible to be very successful being a jack-of-all-trades.

    Yes - it's quite easy to fall into that trap.

    Don't get me wrong - that advanced knowledge is *great*, even now. But the higher-level certifications aren't helpful to you at this point.

    Good deal on the pursuit of the A+, Network+, and MCDST - I wish you luck!

    I'm not sure I understand. If you failed, then you don't have a degree, right? Or, if you have a degree, then you didn't fail. If those aren't true, then what am I missing? Are you simply saying that your grades were poor?

    Why would it be bad that you have an IT related degree?

    There are plenty of people out there who take many years to do a degree. The fact that you perservered and GOT your degree shows that you aren't a quitter. Many others aren't as fortunate... they abandon their dreams of getting a degree. You got yours.

    If your grades are poor, there's not much that can be done. Best you can do is to list your degree and not list your grades. Same thing with the 6-year time period... list your degree, list your graduation date, but don't list the amount of time it took. The CV is yours - craft it to your advantage!!!

    Okay, fine... so get qualifications and experience. It won't happen overnight. Build it over time. Eventually, you WILL have qualifications and experience.

    If you're sure that your poor degree results would backfire, then you don't have confidence.

    You don't need a degree to succeed in IT. It's helpful... but it's absolutely... not... required.

    If you don't have a company that will provide you with a reference, then start over. Get an entry-level job, and start building verifiable experience. There's really no other option, is there? :)

    You are somewhere. You're better prepared than you were before. :) You cannot change the past - so stop kicking yourself over it. Look positively towards the future, and grow from the experience.

    Dude, I could have started in IT right after getting out of the Army in 1992. But I didn't. I wanted to be a research chemist, and so I went to college. I got my degree in 1997 and spent 6 months looking for a job. I found one for $25,000 per year... washing out test tubes. What?!? How could I prove my worth to a company by washing out test tubes?!? That's not chemistry!!! :blink So I got my first "real" IT job in 1998 at age 28.

    Do I regret getting my degree? No. Would I have had a more successful career with 6 more years of experience? Probably. But then I probably wouldn't have ever gotten my degree... and I've since gotten jobs that *did* give preference to degreed candidates. Take heart in that you got it... for bad or for good, you GOT it. And what's done is done. Move forward with the cards you've been dealt, because that's your only option. In 10 years, when you're successful, the struggle will be a distant memory... and you probably wouldn't want to change the past for anything. ;)
     
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
    WIP: Just about everything!
  5. Karismah

    Karismah Bit Poster

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    Your advice was brilliant. Thank you Michael. But I failed to clearly indicate my circumstances regarding my degree. It's not poor results, it's not a degree. I failed trying to do a degree.

    Why I bring about the 6 years scenario is that it took me 6 years to do a degree, and I still failed. Employers will question the gap in my CV.

    And in regard to my IT-related degree backfiring on me, well they would wonder how good (or bad) I actually am when I failef in a degree in a subject area that I wish to pursue my career in. They'd think that this guy has failed his computer science degree after a "6 year struggle". What hope does he have.

    No matter what, I acknowledge my situation and the difficult road ahead. I also have belief in myself that I can and will succeed. I just need to somehow try to cover up this mess of mine.

    See, I don't have a degree. So what was I doing for those 6 years? If I passed, I would have done exactly as you described. But I failed. I'm just trying to get my head round to how I'd handle interview situations when my CV gaps comes into it.

    I guess it'd be silly of me to state I attended degree but didnt complete it in my CV? Or would that be shooting myself in the foot.

    If I failed in, say, a chemistry degree and wanted to pursue IT because chemistry wasn't my thing, that would have been a different situation altogether.

    I just need to prepare myself and my CV in interview and application situations. Do I cover up my failed degree course? Do I say I was travelling? Or do I say I attempted, failed, and moved on. The latter just looks so bad.

    But no matter what, I'm studying for my A+ as we speak, and no matter what, IT is my line. I just need to be prepared to answer questions.

    And about your comment on jack-of-all-trades, I've always been someone where, if I've been asked or given something, I do it, and if not, go and learn it, then do it. And it doesn't even stop at IT. As an example, I had to look into beauty and therapy for someone. I decided to study a bit, and then advised them on what I learnt, even though it was their field. I guess that's something I can somehow convey on my CV too, the ability to learn and grasp concepts quickly...?

    Either way, thank you for your time and advice Michael. I hope you understand my situation better this time round regarding my failed degree and CV, and perhaps give me advice on that.
     
    Certifications: None
    WIP: A+, Network+
  6. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Thank you - it is my pleasure to assist.

    Then don't mention the degree, and don't mention the employers before the degree. BAM! Instant gap removal! :)

    That doesn't leave you much to start with... but it's likely better than mentioning something that is worse than nothing, right?

    Yes, I believe it would be silly to state that you pursued a degree that you do not have. That'd be like listing that you studied for the A+ exams but failed them. Why would you do that? :)

    I somewhat disagree. As an employer, if I saw that you failed to get ANY degree, regardless of the field of study, then I'll wonder how you will apply yourself in IT.

    The CV should be designed to sell yourself and your abilities. Listing that you failed to get a degree doesn't sell yourself. In fact, it does quite the opposite!

    What were you doing besides studying for your degree? Were you working at all, even in a part-time job? Is there anything you can say where you wouldn't be lying, but you wouldn't have to reveal the degree?

    Yep, things like that work well. On an older version of my resume, I listed the following bullet points:
    • Easily trainable on any software package/system, quick learner
    • Analytical thinker, good attention to detail, excellent troubleshooting and diagnostic skills
     
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
    WIP: Just about everything!
  7. Karismah

    Karismah Bit Poster

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    Hi Michael,

    Hmm... Leave the degree out and everything that preceded it? That's taking away everything. Tough decision. I did very well in my degree till the final exams, where due to various issues, I failed. Perhaps I could tell the truth and hope employer understands my situation. My projects were good. My group projects were good. The experience was something.

    Gosh, this is difficult... Do I just completely deny I went to no university at all? The good thing is, I've always been in employment in some capacity throughout my time at university...

    So ( I know I keep repeating this but it's quite difficult to just do), you feel I should just leave university out altogether and that would be of more benefit than putting my degree down, stating I did excellent in my projects, and then stating I didn't complete the degree for certain reasons?

    If I posted my CV for viewing, would anyone, including yourself have a quick glance at it and give me some advice, i.e. whether I look employable, how I could improve, etc?

    Thanks again for your help.
     
    Certifications: None
    WIP: A+, Network+
  8. Markyboyt

    Markyboyt Kilobyte Poster

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    So with a degree do they not let you resit any of the tests if you fail them?
     
    WIP: A+
  9. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Can you not just finish the degree mate? :blink
     
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Exchange 2007\2010
  10. Karismah

    Karismah Bit Poster

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    Unfortunately, this may sound very wasteful and ridiculous, but I've had my chances to resit.

    I've finished the degree, but haven't passed it. I really don't want to do another year, not that they'd allow me to do so anyway.

    This degree has been a real pain for quite a while for me. I lost interest a long while ago and continued to do something. I finished project work, did really well, etc. etc.

    But when I took a year out at the end of my second year, my interest just went. I came back, did my final year. But had bereavement in family during exam time and didn't sit exams. Come next year, with other issues in the mix, I attempted the exams half heartedly and failed. Now here I am, having completed the exams, and 100% sure I've failed.

    I had no interest, and had quite a bit going on, and truly, the degree was least of my worries. Now I just want to move on with life without this degree hampering my progress so much.

    I always thought a degree is my only way to success until I started to open my eyes and realise it so isn't true. I attempted my degree for partly that reason and continued to try (with not much interest), because family pressure required me to do so.

    Here I am now, in a situation where I really should not be in, but unfortunately am!

    I just want to move on and feel I can. My degree could have made life easier for me, as I see my friends who studied with me doing really well for themselves. But I don't have a degree. So, though I don't have a degree, I don't want any CV gaps or degree failure issues to haunt me in my search for a new job and settle in my career.
     
    Certifications: None
    WIP: A+, Network+
  11. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Ahh, if you do fail *could* you resit after the summer hols?
     
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Exchange 2007\2010
  12. Karismah

    Karismah Bit Poster

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    Sorry, one important thing I forgot to mention is that, resits in my university are a real pain. As final year students, resits are NOT allowed after or during the summer. They have to always be taken the following summer (a whole year wait!), which is why it's not really an option for me... :(
     
    Certifications: None
    WIP: A+, Network+
  13. kevicho

    kevicho Gigabyte Poster

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    Just like i to say i can empathise, i pretty much lost interest in uni after the first semester, but i finished it, luckily i was working part time in IT at that time, so i had some motivation to do it.

    I too had bad luck when it came to exams, i missed one exam in my final year thanks to a bus not turning up, then they wouldnt let me in the exam (I live in a pretty rural area, no car) and then waiting 7 months since finishing the work to resit.

    I then received wrong advice on what to focus on (ie i focused on theory) and the majority of the exam was calculations and formulas, not blaming the tutor, but i learned a valuable lesson that day (Revise everything, twice!).

    I then left university with nothing, and for 2 years i didnt do anything about it, but then i was contracting in 2006, and i enquired whether i could finish off my unit, to cut a long story short i went to two lectures, learned from the book they gave me, made sure i handed everything in on time and passed my last module.

    I think maybe you may do the same, but you should just follow where your interests lie, as if you are not interested in something then you are in the wrong place.
     
    Certifications: A+, Net+, MCSA Server 2003, 2008, Windows XP & 7 , ITIL V3 Foundation
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  14. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Well, it all boils down to you doing one of three things:

    - go through the pain and resit and do it RIGHT this time, thereby getting your degree
    - not resit and not get your degree, and leave it off your CV
    - not resit and not get your degree, and keep it on your CV

    Personally, if I were an employer looking at your CV, and you had included that you had gone to school but not finished your degree, that would be an instant warning sign to me. What would you *almost* finish at work, but fail to do because it's a pain to finish?

    Leaving it off your CV *would* mean you lose all that education... but if you don't have a degree, you aren't losing anything on your CV you don't have! If it's worth it to you to put a degree on your CV, man up and finish it... ALL of it. Otherwise... you don't have anything to put on your CV except your past employment.

    I empathise with your situation, but there's no magic solution to this, Karismah. You either go through the hassle of finishing your degree, or you don't have a degree to put on a CV.
     
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
    WIP: Just about everything!
  15. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Personally I would finish the degree as it will keep your CV balanced. 8)
     
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Exchange 2007\2010
  16. Karismah

    Karismah Bit Poster

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    Hmm. I'll try to come to some sort of solution eventually, hopefully! It's now about deciding to leave my degree off my CV, or putting it on. I'm inclined to leave it off. Tough, but it wouldn't really be of much benefit having it on.

    My decision to not go ahead and resit if necessary is not because I'm not bothered. I sat my exams first time last year, but I wasn't attending university. The year previous to that, I did my final year full time but situations caused me to defer my exams. So the next year, I decided to sit my exams although I was not a full time student, just had to go at the end of the year and sit the exams. I was held back doing things like finding jobs, etc. because I felt I had to finish the exams and concentrate on them. When I didn't attend university, I started to go astray, because that studying disclipline began to disappear. I made mistakes, whatever the situation was, and I ended up failing. I suddenly realised I have a chance to resit the exams the following year (this year), without being penalised, i.e. capped results. So I attempted it. Another whole year went by and I'm about to fail. If I take the exams next year (yet again - technically a second resit), I would probably have my results capped, meaning my overall results would not be enough to pass at all. But even if the results are not capped, should I really put in time to get the degree when knowing myself, I may end up just messing up all over again?

    It's not that I lost interest in the subject area, but I lost interest and appreciation for the value of the degree, especially since it just continued to hold me back.

    It looks bad, and it is. My fault entirely for not passing, end of. But it seems it's not an option to resit. I would have loved to. But I've always had this issue (and it really does affect me) where I can't seem to concentrate on too many things at once, and if I have something singularly to concentrate on, if my discipline goes, everything just falls apart. I've learnt a few things along this little journey and it's something that I just have to live with and get on with.

    Oh well...
     
    Certifications: None
    WIP: A+, Network+
  17. onoski

    onoski Terabyte Poster

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    Hi Karismah, you can do this and get your degree done and completed once and for all. I once had a resit at uni and had to wait a year but I was determined and did get it done. You're young so go for it and don't let anything distract you as the only set back is you.

    I'd get it done and finished with, and remember nothing is easy and failure for me is just not an option. This is not to say that I've not failed in the past just that I'd try to pass the next time and the next time till I get through. However, ultimately the choice is yours. Best wishes:)
     
    Certifications: MCSE: 2003, MCSA: 2003 Messaging, MCP, HNC BIT, ITIL Fdn V3, SDI Fdn, VCP 4 & VCP 5
    WIP: MCTS:70-236, PowerShell
  18. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    How is this confidence in your abilities? Overcome the fear and doubt. You'll encounter ***many*** situations in IT where you don't think you can handle something.

    But you can.

    If you think you'll fail... you likely will.

    You simply didn't know that you don't need a degree to get into IT. So, get into IT, and eventually finish up that degree. If you don't do it there, do it elsewhere. Whatever it takes... just knock it out. And have confidence! You can do it!

    I don't know much about the college system in the UK... but in the US, you wouldn't have these silly restrictions you seem to have at your college. Have you considered other university options?

    If you can't concentrate on many things at once, you might have difficulty in IT. I can't begin to count the number of times I've had to multitask several different problems or several different projects at once... it's usually the norm, not the exception.

    It sounds like you're rationalizing your failure rather than overcoming your problem. Don't allow yourself to be ruled by what you perceive to be your limitations. Overcome them!!! The only thing holding you back is you... seriously. Work on it! Otherwise, you've let it defeat you... and worse, you've let it define you.
     
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
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  19. Karismah

    Karismah Bit Poster

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    I think everyone is right. I always seem to be making excuses for failures just to console myself, when really, it's all nothing but a result of my poor attitude towards things. I always had a poor attitude towards my degree, and paid the price. To be honest, if I dont change myself, I don't see myself going anywhere because this seems to be my problem for everything - trying hard, and if I fail or am not doing well enough, I give up and try to give myself excuses to kid myself that the failure was acceptable. This eventually backfires on me.

    Thanks onoski for the wishes. Congratulations on your efforts and success. And Michael, you're right when you say I am trying to rationalise my failure. But I had my chances and I messed them up.

    Here is my journey through my university, year by year, till now (note it should have only lasted 3 years):
    1. Started first year - passed
    2. Started second year - passed
    3. Took a gap year
    4. Returned to 3rd and final year - passed all project work, but didn't sit exams due to certain reasons so deferred them
    5. Sat my deferred exams from previous year (my final year exams) - failed
    6. NOW - resat final year exams - failed again
    If my university allow me, then I can resit. If they don't, then what? I have no choice in that matter, and having checked the regulations, I am convinced that they would not allow me to resit.

    So, what do I do? Michael, do you mean restart my degree elsewhere hence defeating my daemons and succeeding in the long struggle to graduate? I can leave it and move on, but that means I'm just burying unfinished business, and my attitude may not change till I finally finish "a" degree.

    Without a choice in the matter, I would have to just get on with a career in IT from scratch, with no way to get my degree in the current situation, leaving me with no ammunition in my CV.

    Although I sound as though I've given up, I feel I'm at a situation (with only myself to blame of course) where I've hit the end of the road in my chances to graduate. I thought there may be one tiny possibility to resit and finish it, but I wondered if it was worth it. You guys made me realise it WILL be worth it so instead of accepting the defeat, I could try to resit it one more time. Unfortunately, university policies would completely erase that tiny possibility to do a resit. I've emailed my tutor to see what possibilities I have. If I don't have an opportunity to resit, my only chance to get a degree is to restart fresh, and I don't think that's worth it at all. So I'm disappointed with myself, and accept blame, but I don't see anyway to rectify it. I can only move on with things. I just need to fix things, and can only do that by getting my certs - A+, Network+ and MCDST, and getting a job, and working my way up. My degree will haunt me now and then because it was an achievement just waiting to be grabbed. I didn't reach hard enough for it.

    That's the only thing I can do...isn't it?

    PS: What's the easiest way to quote from multiple posts in one single post? Do I have to manually put quote tags in, etc. or is there a way of manually selecting quotes and automatically inserting them into a new post?
     
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  20. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    You still have future chances. :) If you don't try to correct your mistake, the mistake will remain uncorrected - it won't fix itself! Thus, the only way to truly fail is to give up. :)

    Doesn't matter how long it SHOULD have taken. You're letting that rule you. The only thing that matters is getting it finished.

    If I told you that you should be able to pass the A+ exams within a year, and you fail them repeatedly until the year is up, should you just stop trying? Should you stop trying after two years? Or three? No... because once you pass, you hold that certification. Same with your degree!

    Have you contacted the university administration? Not just read the regulations... but discussed this matter with them? Let them know that you're serious about completing it. See what they say! The worst they can say is no... which is no different than if you had not asked them at all. And they might just help you out.

    Whatever it takes to get that degree knocked out. Might mean you pass the few exams you lack... might mean you try again the next summer... might mean you finish your degree at a different university... might mean you start over from scratch (though it's unlikely you'd have to start over from scratch).

    Defeating your demons often involves attacking them head-on. Convince yourself you CAN do it! Millions of people have done it before you, and millions of people will do it after you. You're *not* less intelligent or less capable as every one of them. I can tell by your well-crafted writing.

    Plenty of people have gotten their first IT job without a degree. In fact, most of them *don't* have a degree! You'll simply be in the same boat as they're in.

    You can graduate up until the point you don't have breath left in your body. The only thing that will prevent you from graduating is you, if you decide to give up.

    Or two more times. Or twelve more times. When you stop is up to you.

    Would it? It'd be a cake walk, considering you've sat everything before! It'd cost money... but perhaps you'd get an employer to subsidize your education expenses.

    Why not contact the university administration directly instead of relying on second-hand information from a tutor?

    Stop looking at who to cast blame upon and start focusing on how to rectify the situation. Blame doesn't fix the problem... it just makes you feel bad.

    You're right - you can only move on with things. Focusing on the past won't help you to do that. Focus on the future. Who cares that it took you six years? Who cares that you didn't pursue things hard enough? The only thing that matters is learning from your mistakes... not wallowing in them and dwelling on them. Simply refuse to do what you did before. :)

    You *can* still reach your goal. It might not be in the way that you had envisoned it... it might not be as quickly as you had envisoned it... it might not be at the university where you had envisioned it... but you CAN reach your goal.

    I manually put the quote tags in.
     
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
    WIP: Just about everything!

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