target jobs, undergraduate of the year awards 2016, east wintergreen, canary wharf, london

January 26, 2017, by Carla

Nottingham Student Shares Top Tips on Winning Undergraduate of the Year

By Molly Ashton, final year, BSc Hons Finance Accounting and Management

Are you looking to stand out on your job applications? Then look no further! Target Jobs’ Undergraduate of the Year competition is still open and it’s time you entered. This time last year I was in your position and a friendly nudge from an ACCA member sealed the deal for me, so consider this your friendly nudge…

The Undergraduate of the Year competition is designed to find the best students from their fields across many different disciplines such as management, mathematics, engineering and more. Last year I entered into the category of Future CFO, which was designed for students studying business-based degrees. This particularly category was sponsored by ACCA, a huge name in the accounting world, but if that isn’t your thing, how do the likes of Mars, Barclays and Rolls-Royce sound? There are 12 categories to choose from so play to your strengths.

I want to share a few hints and tips that I discovered throughout the process that will hopefully help your application stand out and who knows, maybe Nottingham could have another winner for 2017.

  1. Personally, I found that being yourself is the key thing throughout. Honestly, I was convinced I wasn’t going to win as I was surrounded by exceptionally clever students who had done amazing things. I had no doubt in my mind that I was going to watch one of the others accept the trophy.
  2. This brings me onto the next point: they don’t just look at your grades. Whenever I say I’m the Undergraduate of the Year, I always get asked what my average was and people definitely struggle to not look surprised when I say a 2:1. Yep, that’s right, I didn’t get a first. The competition is about finding someone who is a rounded person, someone who is both academic, but has plenty of people skills. Coming top of the class isn’t vital, so don’t let that put you off.
  3. The final thing I want to say is that you just need to enjoy the process. For me, I looked at the entire thing as new experience and whatever the outcome was, it would be something for me to talk to employers about in the future. If you go in with this mindset you are bound to perform better as you will appear relaxed. You have to remember that there’s nothing to be nervous about. You are going above and beyond your degree, so whatever stage you get to in the process is better than if you hadn’t applied.

If you need another incentive then don’t forget the amazing prizes that are up for grabs! I got an all expenses paid trip to Brussels, along with extra spending money and my mum got a cut-glass trophy that she can show off when guests come round! In all seriousness though, you have nothing to lose by applying and I want to wish all of you the best of luck – but get a move on your entries need to be in by the 30 January.

To win one of this year’s Undergraduate of the Year 2017 prizes, head to their website and select the category you want to apply for. Good luck!

Posted in Student Bloggers