Looking for internships? Worried about your graduate job prospects? Here’s a great way to get a foot in the door and prepare for the applications process: take part in our Undergraduate of the Year competition.
Competition for jobs and schemes with big graduate recruiters remains exceptionally tough. A survey carried out by the Association of Graduate Recruiters, which represents many of the leading graduate employers, and published in July 2013 found that its members received on average 85 applications per vacancy. If you want to change those odds in your favour, the Undergraduate of the Year competition is a golden opportunity.
Each prize is sponsored by a top graduate employer and the reward on offer is typically an internship or work experience programme place, often with added bonuses such as an overseas trip. You could even win a guaranteed place on a graduate scheme.
Here’s why you should make sure you don’t miss out (applications close on 31 January):
- It’s a great opportunity to gain experience that could be very close to the recruitment process used by graduate employers you are interested in. Each sponsoring employer is likely to use a similar approach to assessing competition entrants as when evaluating graduate scheme candidates, as in either case, they are looking for the key skills and competencies they need in their business. If you’d like to work for any of the employers that are involved, you really should have a shot at the competition.
- It’s a great opportunity to network, both with company representatives and with the other students taking part.
- It’s brilliant practice for psychometric tests and other kinds of assessment used in graduate recruitment. You might surprise yourself with how well you perform – and what could be a better confidence boost? If you find any aspects particularly difficult, at least you’ll know what you have to work on.
- If you make it to the finals, you’ll get to go to a swanky awards ceremony at a glamorous venue – again, more networking opportunities – and you’ll have every reason to feel proud of yourself for having got that far.
- You might just win – and there couldn’t be a much better way to turbocharge your graduate career prospects!
Check out the Undergraduate of the Year prizes and employers
- IT and Computer Science Undergraduate of the Year sponsored by Marks & Spencer. Win a guaranteed place on Marks & Spencer’s software engineering graduate programme, a technology hamper and a M&S food hamper.
- Engineering Undergraduate of the Year sponsored by E.ON. Win a 48-week paid internship with E.ON plus a long weekend trip for two to visit a key European energy project.
- Law Undergraduate of the Year sponsored by Mayer Brown. Win a place on Mayer Brown’s three-week summer work experience programme with accommodation allowance, plus an iPad.
- Management Undergraduate of the Year sponsored by Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Win a ten-week summer placement with Enterprise Rent-A-Car, including a week in the US.
- Construction Engineering and Design Undergraduate of the Year sponsored by Laing O’Rourke. Win an international summer work placement with Laing O’Rourke.
- Undergraduate of the Year for Commercial Excellence sponsored by Nestlé. Win a Raleigh International expedition to Borneo in 2014 and a 12-week summer internship within the commercial area of your choice.
- Low Carbon Undergraduate of the Year sponsored by EDF Energy. Win a paid internship with EDF Energy, an exclusive lunch with a station director and a visit to a nuclear power station in France.
- Scotland Undergraduate of the Year sponsored by CGI. Win a graduate role within CGI’s UK business.
- Mathematics, Economics and Finance Undergraduate of the Year sponsored by Gazprom Marketing & Trading. Win a summer internship at Gazprom Marketing & Trading’s global HQ in London, plus a week’s placement in their Singapore office.
- Future Business Leader of the Year sponsored by Mars. Win a paid internship for summer 2014, with the potential for a graduate job offer starting in 2014 or 2015, plus a one-week trip to the Wrigley Global Headquarters in Chicago, USA.
- Female Undergraduate of the Year Award sponsored by Rolls-Royce. Win a ten-week paid summer placement with Ross-Royce, including one or two weeks at a European facility, an opportunity to shadow a senior female manager for a day, an Apple iPad and Rolls-Royce branded gifts.
- This year, we also have a new award: Languages Undergraduate of the Year sponsored by EU Careers. Win an expenses-paid two-day trip to the heart of the EU in Brussels, where you’ll meet influential people and visit some of the EU’s most famous institutions.
Our 2013 Undergraduates of the Year were a really impressive and inspiring bunch. For example, Ella Jakubowska, the Female Undergraduate of the Year, an English Language and Literature student at the University of Leeds, had been one of the youngest organisers of Crisis at Christmas aged 18, and was also a qualified RAF Lance Corporal and Non-Commissioned Officer.
Jake Tudge, Engineering Undergraduate of the Year, an aerospace design engineering student from the University of the West of England, had already got a number of other awards and honours under his belt, including the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Leadership Award, an award from South West Water where he had undertaken a European Union sponsored internship, and Rathbones’ Green Intern of the Year Award. And Hassan Qulqass, IT and Computer Science Undergraduate of the Year, a computing science student at Aston University, was fitting in plenty of work alongside his studies, working as an IT administrator, a volunteer software developer at the university’s software company, and a freelance developer for small to medium local businesses.
Next year you could be an Undergraduate of the Year winner!