Wednesday, July 12, 2006

I'm not an academic failure...promise!

The following conversation took place this morning between me and someone who works for a strategic consultancy firm in Tel Aviv. I hope its 'success' will not be reflective of my general search for jobs.

Hi Calev?


Hi this is Shelly from ****. You spoke to Sharon before; I have your CV in front of me, I just wanted to ask you a few things


I wanted to ask you what mark you got in your psychometric?

Well actually I didn’t do a psychometric – I am an oleh from England but I do have a Masters degree.

o.k – well what did you get in your SATs ?

well we don’t do SATs either; what we have in England is GCSE’s which you take in 10 subjects when you are 16, and also A levels which you take in 3 subjects when you are 18. According to those marks you are accepted into university.

o.k – well what was your average mark

Well, GCSEs and A levels don’t actually have marks, they are A, B, C etc. I got good GCSEs and A Levels and what is called a Merit from LSE, the London School of Economics

Oh, I haven’t heard of that


Just personally, I haven’t heard of that

Oh, because a lot of Israelis go there, and its considered to be a pretty good place

Oh, well anyway, what was your average mark?

So in Leeds, where i got my first degree, they have the following grades; a First, which is like 70 and above, a 2.1 which is 60 and above, and a 2.2 which is 50 and above. But 70 isn’t like 70 in Israel, (where if you get 70 you cry and retake the exams) its more like 90 something. And 60 is more like 75. In a Masters degree its graded slightly different - Distinction, which is 70 and above (in fact at LSE you needed to get two distinctions and two merits to get a distinction but i didnt mention that), Merit which is 60 and Pass which is 50. I got about 67 which is considered good in England.

o.k – well I am not really sure how we should proceed, because we don’t actually know how good your marks are. We will have to get back to you in a couple of days

o.k – have a good day

Another job I am looking at requires I pay them 250 shekels and provide a guarantee of 5000 shekels (for which i need to pay the bank 460 shekels)…and that’s only to be considered for the position in the first place!

Strange place this land of milk and honey...


Dot Co Dot Il said...

Good luck on the search. What sort of job is it that requires you to put up money?

Anonymous said...

It's a good job you didn't mention that you were a chess prodigy she might have wanted match scores

Wisey said...


Let's play online sometime.

Anonymous said...

Hi Calev,

My wife, who got a distinction for her masters and a prize from one of the London colleges, has had trouble with the universites here because "her grades aren't good enough". And that's the univeristies, not some random HR person. The Ministry of Health refused to recognise her degrees at all, and told her to "go back where you came from".

So your story doesn't sutrprise me at all. You would think a State built on encouraging Aliya.... (insert rant here).

BTW You wouldn't recognise my nickname because a) I wasn't on hach with you and b) I only got it realtively recently. Woteva, you'll work it out.

Yellow Boy

Anonymous said...

You did a history degree where one exam involved a map question where you had to fill in the names of countries...

I think it's right they don't recognise your "degree"..

Calev said...

Dot co - its the Ministry of Foreign Affairs - they have a public tender

Anonymous - i wish you would sign your name, but surprisingly chess expolits at the age of 8 didnt come into our conversation and doesnt appear on my CV - i need to try and maintain some type of street cred

Wisey - any time babe

Yellow boy - two years below me on Hach?

Anonymous II (Blakey) - Anyone who knows where Bohemia and Moravia are, as well as the Sanjak of Novibazar, deserves all the marks he can get


Anonymous said...




Wisey said...

I'm sure we'll find a place...

The Ginrod said...

Czech republic and current Serbia/Montenegro. Doesn't everyone know Eastern Europe? hehehehe

Calev said...


with that knowledge you would have been top of the class...