Now, the Second-Round Offers


What did we tell you, all you would-be graduates out there? Yes - not to be upset if you still have not been made an offer. Lots of people are turning down excellent situations in various establishments, creating opportunities for others, and you just have to keep your eye on things and not miss out on any chances which arise.

Now that first-round offers have been made by the various institutions, we have been notified of vacant places around the country - indeed around the world. Many of these are in rather private, fee-paying institutions, and some pay very large fees indeed, so they are well worth investigating.

If you didn't get an offer last week, or you are sure you can do better than any offer you have, then you should study the list below. These places are open to just about anyone with the right connections. If you have not applied previously you should just make the right contact(s). Fees may apply, though in some cases favours may suffice.

Remember, to be eligible for a place, you must fulfil minimum educational requirements. But there is no point in being over-educated. It only puts people off. A pleasant manner and a sound understanding of how things work will prove a lot more valuable and attractive to your new patrons than a long string of letters after your name. But not to worry - you won't have any at this stage.

If you are considering applying for a vacant place you should research the whole thing thoroughly. Who are your competitors likely to be? Can you find out, and undermine their reputations in advance? Can you enhance your own reputation without actually lying, or at least without being caught at it? What are the prospects, how good are the expenses, will there be share options and who do you know?

EIB: (European Investment Bank) Course LY324, European Investment and Financial Strategy for Vice-Presidents. Just one place still available at this stylish institution, due to long-delayed decision by one applicant to reject offer. Unwanted public interest a downside of otherwise satisfying course. Fees: £147,000 (to start with).

INTO: Course KJ506, leadership/decision-making at general secretary level. As a result of resignation, single vacancy currently sought by five applicants. One- to 10-year course, leading to degree in Popularity, Policy-Making, Charismatic Renewal, Senatorial, Gubernatorial and Presidential Style. Actual teaching experience not necessarily an advantage. May help to have simple, abbreviated name, like "Joe".

Eircom: course HJ786, Perks 'n Mercs engineering. Specialised course in balancing ailing share prices with rising salaries. Limited number of places available. Dour Protestant work ethic likely to impress more than naked self-interest. Quick-learn subsidiary course in public relations offered in conjunction.

ILDA: course GH9876, Locomotive Driving, Stalling and Complete Stoppage. Comprehensive diploma course in militant industrial relations with emphasis on rail transport. Includes day outings and flirtations with SIPTU and NBRU and regular visits to shrine of West Clare Railway. Enormous emphasis on safety, travel needs of the Irish people, and none at all on personal benefits, needs, desires, wish-lists. Costs (to Iarnrod Eireann): estimated at £8.5 million.

IHBA (Irish House Builders' Association): course PK896, Passing On Costs. Detailed course in Justification of Large Profits by Wealthy Builders. Still some places available. Not for those interested in social housing.

UFO Ireland: course YT784, Crop Circle Identification. Casual, open-ended course designed for farmers with not much to do, hoaxers with time on their hands, UFO enthusiasts and the mildly deranged or bewildered.

CCI (Catholic Church in Ireland): course LD867, Contentious Biblical Texts. Right-on diploma course focusing on unpleasant bits of the Bible and other religious texts with a view to not talking about them in public any more for fear of upsetting people. Main focus on St Paul, the inveterate letterwriter, and his rather embarrassing views on women. Females used to learning in quietness and full submission need not apply. Should appeal to those who have failed to get the points for Women's Studies in UCD.