December 3, 2020, by Matthew Lumley

My employer experience after winning an Advantage Award prize

By Noor Farisan, BA Hons Economics 

Winner – Leadership prize supported by Mars 

The Nottingham Advantage Award recognises students for their skills and rewards them with prizes sponsored by prestigious employers.  

My main motivation for applying for the Leadership Prize was that my values aligned with Mars’ core values. I was interested in finding out how these values could be incorporated into being a successful leader.  

Through tailored conversations with a range of associates and senior leaders – including some involved in the opening of M&M’s World London – I was presented with new perspectives and career options. 

If you are curious about applying to a prize and how you can benefit, please read on. 

My week with Mars

Due to COVID-19, visiting one of Mars’ sites was not possible. Fortunately, because everything was moved online, I had the opportunity to speak with associates from all three sites. 

liaised with two associates to discuss my interests and who I would like to speak to across the week. They then organised for me seven conversations with associates from various backgrounds and roles. 

My conversations included topics such as: 

  • The Mars Leadership Experience 
  • Transitioning from studying to the workplace with two Nottingham alumni 
  • Being a leader in a global team 
  • The career journey of a senior leader 
  • Volunteering 
  • Sustainability  

If you think – like I did – you will feel daunted by speaking with senior leaders from a global Fast-Moving Consumer GoodsFMCG – companyworry not.  

Everyone was incredibly friendly and genuinely interested. They were happy to respond to my questions – even ones I thought were silly. This illustrates Mars’ culture well – a supportive and friendly environment that will help you thrive in your role.  

What I gained from the prize

You must be wondering – “What would I gain from the prize?” Well, you could gain a lot. 

I was actively looking at careers after graduating and this prize introduced me to the graduate roles offered by Mars. Since the start of second year, I was mainly focusing on careers in consulting and the financial service. However, this prize exposed me to a completely different industry that I had never considered before.  

I specifically benefited from learning about the roles in the supply chain. It was interesting to hear how they incorporated values, like mutuality, into their role when negotiating with suppliers. Senior leaders also shared how they applied the values throughout their career journey and how it benefits them as leaders.  

Speaking to them also introduced me to new perspectives. I learnt about different approaches to overcoming a variety of challenges. It gave me an insight into potential scenarios that I may experience in my future career. 

Why you should apply

Aside from what I mentioned, here are a few other ways you could benefit from the Advantage Award prizes.  

Firstly, it looks great on your CV. 

In a competitive job market, having a prize sponsored by a prominent company will definitely make your CV standout. You could also talk about how you earned the prize in interviews to impress the interviewers. 

The prize also allows you to grow your network and connect with those already in the workplace. This is extremely beneficial as it can give you an insight into the industry and even assist you in your application process. 

Overall, I learnt a lot about the careers and culture at MarsThis was an invaluable experience which students, like you and I, could have not experienced if it were not for the Nottingham Advantage Award prizes.

What next?

Prize applications are due to open in February.

Our team are currently finalising details with our employer partners and will email all Award students when ready 

In the meantime, read more about last year’s winners.

Contact and Follow us

You can keep up-to-date on the Award via social media, so please like and follow us on Facebook and Twitter. 

If you want to speak to one of the Award team then please contact us at

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