I am having trouble getting companies to reply to my applications, believe because I got a 3rd degree from Oxford. Unfortunately the underachieving was strongly related to the onset of my Crohn's disease that caught me completely off guard and crippled me during the time I was there. I am starting to wonder whether I should be mentioning this in some way within my applications cause it's a factor that I had no control over but I overcame it nonetheless - went ahead to do two masters degrees with work experience in the middle.

Has anyone had a similar experience? What did you do?

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    Related: workplace.stackexchange.com/questions/20144/… – David K Jul 17 '15 at 16:20
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    Experience is more valuable than your educational experience and since you don't have much and spent most your time getting degrees you just may not be a fit for most companies at this moment. It sounds like you may be aiming to high for the start of career, need to look at things realistic, take a 'less big company' job, get some experience, then move forward. – user37925 Jul 17 '15 at 16:44
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    I had a friend from school that wanted to work in video games and only applied at RockStar, Blizzard, etc... and continues this - now people less brilliant then him are working at those companies while he's just starting at a small place all because he refused to go after things in a realistic manner. He could easily be a top programmer at one of those companies by now if he had only kept his ego in check and took any one of the tons of offers he got from 'lesser' companies - all of which were better then the people now ahead of him took. – user37925 Jul 17 '15 at 16:45
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    Not listing it is not working. You may not get the interview but by listing it up front you have a chance to deal with it in the interview. If you list medical issues then that might raise a flag. – paparazzo Jul 17 '15 at 17:54
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    @user How realistic in what? You could just put the two Masters on your resume and your work experience, they will only know what you give them. If in the interview coming up it's brought up mention the strengths of the situation, for exmaple "I unfortunately got a third-class degree because I was extremely ill during my undergrad, however after recovering I continued to get 2 masters and work this job for said year" and explain the strengths/positives you got out of those programs and things you performed after the undergrad. Show them you grew and learned and are clearly better. – user37925 Jul 17 '15 at 19:49

I am wondering whether a brief explanation of my Oxford+disease-experience (with a positive resilience spin) will work for or against me.

I have never seen a case where a company had a strict education requirement, but was willing to waive it due to an applicant's (current or prior) illness.

If you always mention your Crohn's disease when you apply for a position, you could mention it, and mention how much you overcame while in college.

But using it as an excuse for not having the expected degree classification isn't likely to come across well. If you don't normally mention your disease, I would continue to avoid doing so.

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