August 21, 2013, by Nottingham Advantage Award

Q&A with Ernst and Young Enterprise in the Community Prize Winner Evelin Iliyanova

careers-headshot-hi-res-002Evelin Iliyanova graduated from The University of Nottingham with a BA Finance, Accounting and Management. Evelin has also gained business management experience through the Nottingham Advantage Award. She has received credit for the Business School Programme Certificate and Perspectives on Sustainability.

Each student who is enrolled in the Advantage Award is eligible to apply for various employer-supported prizes. Evelin chose to apply for the Ernst and Young Enterprise in the Community Prize because it allowed her to demonstrate the entrepreneurial and leadership skills she had developed throughout the Award.

Here is what Evelin had to say about winning the Ernst and Young Enterprise in the Community Prize:

What unique attributes/activities did you bring to the competition?

I think what made me stand out was the fact that through one of my Award modules I worked in a team of consultants to a social enterprise in Nottingham which employed people with physical or learning disabilities from the community. This experience allowed me to develop a large set of interpersonal skills while at the same time contribute to the community, not only the enterprise I was working with, but also a number of local schools, nurseries and the two Nottingham universities which we formed professional relationships with. I think these characteristics helped me to differentiate myself from other candidates.

Why has the experience has been useful?

I found the experience really helpful especially in regard to the interview it involved. It was structured in a similar way to graduate jobs interviews and I will take the experience from it to help me with my further job applications. Apart from this I enjoyed meeting the people from E&Y who gave me valuable advice for further professional development.

What do you hope to do in the future and how winning this prize has helped/enhanced your ideas?

Initially, I got engaged in my advantage award module because it was similar to the career I would like to pursue in the future.  It is based on team-working, while at the same time taking responsibility and stepping forward,  as well as delivering solutions to organisations and help them grow and develop. This is also what I believe the prize was designed for, and this reassured me I am on the right way to achieve my dream career. 

What do you think of the NAA itself?

I think the Award is a great way to develop important soft skills and gain relevant experience while meeting new people and often helping others. It is a great opportunity to make yourself stand out and give a good answer to the question ‘what did I achieve in university apart from my academic degree?’. Also, with so many modules and activities to choose from, there is always something to meet your interests and preferences. 

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