Q: I am a final year student - may I still apply to SEO-London?
A: Yes. The SEO programme is now open for first, penultimate AND final year students. If you are a final year student completing full time education in 2013, you can apply for graduate roles. If you are a penultimate year student or a final year student intending on pursuing a Masters programme for 2013-14, you can apply for the summer internship programme. If you are a first year student (or second year student pursuing a 4-year degree), you can apply for the First Year Fast Track programme. Please note that if you are a final year student applying for internships you will need to confirm which master’s programme you are considering when you apply. If you are offered a place on the programme, you will need to provide confirmation of your applications for master’s programmes. Before your internship begins you may need to provide us with a copy of your acceptance letter.
Q: What is SEO London’s grade requirement?
A: SEO's minimum grade requirement is equivalent to 'BBB' at A-level (300 UCAS points) and a second upper class (2.1) expected at university. If you are applying for an internship in Consulting you will need at least an ‘ABB’ at A-level (320 UCAS points).
Q: I did not achieve BBB equivalent at A-level and/or am not on track for a 1st/2.1 at university. Can I still apply to SEO London?
A: Applicants who do not achieve a minimum of BBB at A-level or who are not on track for a 1st/2.1 at university will generally not be considered unless there are mitigating circumstances (e.g. medical issues or bereavement, for which the applicant would have to provide official documentation).
Q: I am an international student who is not studying in the UK at present - can I apply?
A: To be eligible to apply you must have studied within the UK or EU for at least one year and must also be available in person for the firms' assessment centres. All international applicants should be intending to start their careers in the UK after graduation and remain for at least three years.
Q: I have made a past application to SEO in previous years. Can I still apply for this year’s class?
A: Yes, you are eligible to apply again but you must meet our eligibility criteria and complete a new application. You will need to create a NEW account using a different email address to the one that you used previously.
Q: I have made an application to SEO London; am I also eligible to apply to SEO USA?
A: Yes, as long as you meet the eligibility criteria. Please see www.seo-usa.org.
Q: I have made an application to SEO USA, am I also eligible to apply to SEO London?
A: Yes, as long as you meet our eligibility criteria. You must have studied or be planning to study in the UK for at least one year and you must also be available in person for the firms' assessment centres. You should also be aware of the key dates and make sure these dates complement your own schedule if you will be studying outside the UK.
Q: I am not currently based in London, are there opportunities to work in the other regional offices?
A: Yes, but this varies for each professional services firm. There are opportunities to work in the following cities: Aberdeen, Belfast, Birimingham, Bristol, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Hull, Inverness, Ipswich, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, Luton, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham, Reading, Southampton, and St Albans.
Q: When is the deadline (for both the application and the letter of recommendation)?
A: Please see our homepage for information on deadlines. For the letter of recommendation, the deadline is 31 January 2013. We recommend that you apply as soon as possible as places on the SEO programme are filled on a rolling basis. Service lines such as consulting and corporate finance are the most competitive and places are usually filled before November, which means you should apply by beginning of October if you are interested. Please note that it is your responsibility to ensure that your recommendation provider submits the recommendation letter before the deadline – applications will not be considered without a recommendation letter from a current (or the most recent past, if you have already graduated) academic tutor.
Q. When will I hear back about the status of my application?
A: You can expect to hear back within 4-6 weeks.
Q: What happens after I submit my application?
A: After you submit your application, there are three rounds of assessment. The first is the screening of your application form. If you are successful through this, the second stage will be an online numerical and verbal reasoning test. Following this, the third and final round of assessment will be a short telephone/in person interview. If you are successful with the interview you will proceed to the final stage of the SEO process, which is the recommendation stage.
Q: What happens if I am successful to the final stage (recommendation stage)?
A: If you are told by SEO that you have made it to the final recommendation stage of the SEO assessment process, this means that your CV and reference letter will be sent to our partner firms for review. Partner firms will then decide who they would like to call through to interview. We will be indicating to the partner firms that they can either reach out to you directly or they can contact SEO and we will get in touch with you regarding next steps. If you are contacted directly, you should let SEO know as SEO will provide you with materials and coaching for your interviews and assessment centres.
Q: If I am recommended will I have to go through the entire firm direct process?
A: Those that are called through to interview will be (in most cases) fast tracked to final round assessment stages. However, each firm will have their individual processes, but SEO will provide plenty of support and guidance with these interview and assessment stages.
Q: To whom should I address my cover letter?
A: You should address your cover letter to Hason Sandhu (Managing Director).
Q: Should I mention all three divisions to which I'm applying in my cover letter?
A: Your cover letter should describe your interest in your first choice division only. If you are later assessed for your second or third choice, we will contact you for an updated cover letter.
You can specify up to three divisions of interest in your online application but you will primarily be assessed for your first choice division.
Q: A significant portion of my education has taken place outside of the UK. How do you advise that I fill out the education portion of the application?
A: You should fill out the application as best you can with the international equivalent for each academic qualification. If you are unable to do this please mention so and detail the information on your CV so that we know to refer to that. You can convert your UCAS points using this link: http://www.ucas.com/students/ucas_tariff/
Q: I have only applied to a few professional services firms directly at this point, but I plan to apply to more in the next few weeks. Should I include the firms to which I plan to apply on the SEO application?
A: There is a place on the application form where you can advise us about this. Please note that if you are applying to any of our partner firms, please ensure you select SEO as your affiliation. This may help endorse any direct applications you may be making. You can do this by selecting "yes" when asked if you are an SEO candidate or selecting "SEO" when asked about how you heard about the firm.
Q: When I apply to SEO London, is my application sent to the sponsor firms?
A: No. When you apply to SEO London, your SEO application is only for our office and we do not pass this through to our sponsor firms until you are successful in the SEO process. If you are successful in the SEO process, the final stage will involve sending your CV to our partner firms.
Q: My CV is longer than one page for XXX reason, what should I do?
A: You should submit a one page CV with your SEO application. If for XXX reason you need to submit a longer CV, please be aware that if you are successful in being offered a place on the SEO programme, you would then need to update your CV to be no longer than one page. You should try and cut your CV down appropriately, please use the sample CVs as a guide to the type of layout and things you should be including (found in the application packet you will receive when you open an SEO application).
Q: Who should provide my letter of recommendation?
A: Recommendations must be provided by a current academic lecturer or tutor (i.e. not a sixth form teacher or former / current employer) who can comment on your academic record.
Q: Can my recommendation provider submit my recommendations via e-mail?
A: The recommendation cannot be submitted to SEO via email as it would not be official but they can use the online system to submit references in soft copy. If your provider is unable to complete the letter online via the application system he/she should alternatively post it to us directly and on official university letterhead.
Q: I would like to add an additional letter of reference or change my referee, but I have already submitted my application. What do I do?
A: In this case, please ask your referee to send a hardcopy (in university headed paper) by post. Please address it to SEO London, 52 - 54 High Holborn, London WC1V 6RL. This will be updated on the system within 1-2 weeks upon receipt.
Q: How will I know if SEO London has received my letter of reference?
A: You will be able to go back into your application and check that the letter has been submitted by using your PIN. You are also able to send a reminder to the provider through your application if you think too much time has passed and you want to ensure that it is sent. **Once your application says the reference has been submitted, please take this as confirmation that we have it stored in our system.** SEO London views the same screen that you view, so it does not help you to call us to confirm whether your reference has been received.
Q: I lost my PIN. Can you look it up for me?
A: No. You should go onto the application website and request that your PIN be sent to you (press the search button). If this fails you need to contact technical support via the website. SEO outsources the application technology, so we do not retain this type of information at the SEO office. Application Strategy Questions & Tips from SEO London
Q: Should I make applications directly to the firms as well? Will this help or hurt my chances of getting an internship in a professional service firm this summer?
A: SEO encourages you to make applications directly to the firms that most interest you. Please keep a few factors in mind as you devise your application strategy:
• SEO will not be able to place you in any firm where your direct application has been rejected.
• We would therefore advise you to pay close attention to the screening criteria that a partner firm details for those interested in applying (in particular, the academic grades required at A-level, university, etc.). Given the extremely high number of internship applications most firms receive, these grade requirements can often be very high and therefore result in your application being automatically rejected if you do not meet them.
• We always recommend that you make direct applications in addition to your SEO application to make sure you maximise your chances of gaining an internship.
Q: What should I do to improve my chances of being accepted into the SEO Programme and/or directly to a professional services firm?
A: We have compiled a packet of resources that contains detailed information about what you need to do to prepare for applications and interviews to SEO and to sponsor firms.