University of Exeter mathematics student Emily Burton beat off competition from more than 4,000 others to win the TARGETjobs National Student challenge earlier this month. Her prize was £1,000 and a paid internship with Siemens, which supported the competition in partnership with the organisers, TARGETjobs Events.
A total of 4,332 students from 149 different universities attempted the TARGETjobs National Student Challenge. The first stage was an online intelligence test designed by testing experts Cut-e, and the 60 students with the highest scores were invited to the final at the Crystal Building in London. The final consisted of a series of individual and group exercises designed to test the students’ decision-making, creativity and business awareness, similar to the activities typically included in assessment centres for graduate jobs.
Emily said, ‘Working (and competing) with such a talented group of people really pushed me to make the most out of such an incredible opportunity. Now it has sunk in, I am absolutely thrilled to have won and very much look forward to working for Siemens in the near future. ‘
The runners-up were Catherine Smith, a sports science student from Loughborough University, and Daphne McRae, a law student from Queen Mary, University of London. It is the first time that the winner and runners-up in the National Student Challenge have all been female.
TARGETjobs National Student Challenge levels the playing-field
The TARGETjobs National Student Challenge is open to students of all degree backgrounds, with no targeting or pre-selection based on university or UCAS points, and it has a great track record for identifying talent from universities across the UK.
Claire Williams, marketing communications manager for graduates and skills at Siemens, said, ‘Those who made the final got an invaluable opportunity to meet and network with employers and experience what graduate assessment centres are like. Siemens is delighted to be able to offer the winner, Emily, an internship as we feel this is the most valuable prize of all: gaining industry experience prior to applying for graduate positions.’
The competition was organised with the support of partner employers BDO, Norton Rose Fulbright, eBay, Smiths News PLC and Cognizant, as well as headline partner Siemens. The partner organisations worked with Cut-e to help devise the assessment centre-style challenges faced by the finalists.