No degree, no problem? | Questions for Henri


A marketing company is looking for inventive young people with original minds. Their recruitment scheme is open only to graduates. You have no degree. Write a letter persuading them to grant you an interview.


Dear Jon.

I have no degree.

If you are still reading, let me explain why it is still worth meeting me.

Three times as many people now go to university than in 1980. Last year around 335,000 students graduated, half of whom obtained a 2:1. With so many getting top degrees it didn’t seem to me like a wise way to invest three years.

Twenty years ago, a degree gave you the confidence going into the job market but this is no longer the case. Universities have become battery farms of drunken UV paint foam parties, churning out graduates who seek jobs based on reputation and remuneration rather than passionate interest.

Instead, I have spent three years exploring more efficient ways to prepare myself for work in the marketing industry. I have set up a string of small businesses, including a single event with a £150,000 budget.

I urge you to forget streamlining young potential into a graduates and failures, aiming instead for the most diverse, hardworking and brightest people. What do you really gain – a few hours cutting down the number of applicants from 3000 to the 2000 you get anyway?

Given that your people are your only asset as a business, it probably makes great financial sense to invest those extra hours for even the slimmest chance of finding someone special without a degree.

Yours Sincerely,