The left seats of the UK's jet fleet are full of people who didn't graduate from the self proclaimed elite schools. A majority never qualified when there were any substantial numbers attending full time courses. They also tend to be the people interviewing you.
They are also high enough up in the food chain not to have to do the drudgery of initial sifting of applicants. It's entirely possible that the person looking doesn't have a licence and certainly would never be invited to beanos the 'top' schools arrange. As far as they are concerned 13 months in Jerez probably means you're a bit too keen on sherry and all that time at Oxford might have been a youth detention centre. Talk to people several years
into the industry for the truth regarding recruitment, err, well, like us
There are some superb alternatives out there.
You fully intend having a flying career lasting decades don't you?
Therefore anyone who doesn't spend a week or two of their lives visiting each prospective school for a full day is a cretin. Stop stroking those lovely glossy brochures and get down there. Sit in on a selection of lectures, briefings and a sim session at every single school. Ensure you see samples of their genuine notes and briefing documents. Insist on being allowed to talk alone to students rather than hovering sales people.
However, it is equally cretinous just to accept the word of someone who went to one of the most mentioned schools. They are human, gave them anything up to 50 grand and that is an immense psychological deterrent to honesty. We all as humans have to justify our actions and internally reinforce our decisions - one prime way is to tell others about it.
Companies want bright, competent, well qualified and well adjusted individuals they know their pilots can bear to spend a long day with. That's it. So:
Read the forum voraciously, especially
the stuff before you joined.
Develop your own short list of the schools that get talked about and arrange proper visits.
Come to a PPRuNe seminar - in case some of you haven't done the sums yet we subsidise you to attend
. Did you get that? Aviation professionals from all over the world contribute to put something back into the industry. Unvarnished truth guaranteed because those that give the money insist on it.