It’s Friday afternoon, and university students across the country are wrapping-up lectures and making plans for the upcoming weekend. But for a select group of students, this particular afternoon holds something quite different in store.
At the prestigious East Wintergarden in Canary Wharf, 120 students sit on the edge of their seats, eagerly waiting to find out which of them will be revealed as an Undergraduate of the Year.
The TARGETjobs Undergraduate of the Year Awards, now in its seventh year, features 12 prestigious awards, including Future Business Leader, Future CFO and Future Civil Service Leader, as well as more industry-focused categories such as Law, Engineering and Management.
Each award is sponsored by a prominent graduate recruiter — ACCA, Bank of England, Civil Service Fast Stream, E.ON, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Expedia, Gazprom, Lang O’Rourke, L’Oréal, Mayer Brown and Rolls-Royce — who all offer fantastic prizes for the winners, including paid internships, trips abroad and meetings with senior executives.
Being invited to the ceremony is an astonishing achievement in itself. This year’s competition attracted over 3,250 entries from undergraduates studying at 166 different universities.
Over the course of three stages, including an application and questionnaire; an online assessment with situational, numerical and inductive reasoning tests; and finally, an in-person assessment with the respective award sponsor, this list of 3,250 original applicants was whittled down to just ten finalists for each of the 12 categories.
The shortlisted students for each award were then invited to the glittering London awards ceremony on the 22 April, where the winners were announced by the host – leading TV journalist and presenter, Fiona Bruce.
There is a notable diversity of skills and experience among the students that make them stand-out above their peers. This ranged from organising a schools outreach program, teaching English in Senegal, interning with industry giants, inspiring young software developers to participate in ‘Hackathons’, becoming treasurer for various university societies, writing successful blogs, volunteering as a student development ambassador; hosting a popular radio show, and being shortlisted for a Young Enterprise award, to name a few.
“Having supported the Undergraduate of the Year Awards for a number of years we have been able to recruit some of the brightest and the best management students” said Ashley Hever, Talent Acquisition Manager at Enterprise Rent-A-Car – sponsor of the Management Undergraduate of the Year award.
“This year the team has been particularly impressed by the quality and diversity of the students that we met. It is fantastic that so many students wanted to get involved in the competition and it is a brilliant achievement to make it to the final – well done!”
A full list of the winners can be found at https://undergraduateoftheyear.com/winners