Entrepreneurship, charity fundraising, building racing cars, flying military planes, leading sports teams to success… Between them, there’s not much the TARGETjobs Undergraduates of the Year 2014 can’t do. The winners of the prestigious competition were announced by Sir Trevor McDonald OBE at a ceremony in London earlier this week, and they are a phenomenally impressive bunch. They come from universities across the UK and degree subject backgrounds ranging from civil engineering to marketing.
Each prize in the Undergraduate of the Year competition is sponsored by a top graduate employer and the reward is typically an internship or a place on a work experience programme. CEB SHL Talent Measurement, a specialist in helping graduate recruiters identify top talent, works closely with the employers to ensure that the assessment process for each award identifies the skills and competencies the sponsor is looking for.
If you’re interested in working for any of the sponsoring employers, and want a better idea of the qualities they are seeking, look no further than the inspiring achievements of the Undergraduate of the Year winners. Perhaps next year you could be one of them!
Undergraduate of the Year Award for Commercial Excellence
Sponsored by Nestlé
Winner: Miklos Toth, studying business studies with finance at Edinburgh Napier University
Miklos is a member of the Napier Society of Banking and Finance, and before heading off for his industrial placement he was actively involved in giving presentations and predicting future trends for gold prices. In his spare time he is learning Spanish and enjoys swimming and Wado-Kai karate. He also takes part in trading competitions as a hobby and produces house music.
Construction Engineering and Design Undergraduate of the Year
Sponsored by Laing O’Rourke
Winner: Brittany Harris, studying civil engineering at the University of Bristol
Brittany is vice president of EWB (Engineers Without Borders) Bristol and runs a branch partnership with FRANK Water, a Bristol-based initiative that funds sustainable clean water projects in developing countries across the world. She has successfully applied for the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Leadership Award and is using this to travel and develop her language skills so she can gain a better understanding of different cultures.
Engineering Undergraduate of the Year
Sponsored by E.ON
Winner: Alan Middup, studying MEng mechanical engineering with a year in industry at the University of Sheffield
Alan is the team principal of Sheffield Formula Racing, his university’s Formula Student team. This involves him managing a team of engineering undergraduates through a project to build a racing car as part of the nationwide Formula Student competition. He is also a STEMNET (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Network) ambassador, involved in giving presentations and organising workshops to inspire young people to study engineering.
Female Undergraduate of the Year
Sponsored by Rolls-Royce
Winner: Courtney Gill, studying land economy at the University of Cambridge
Courtney is the alumni director of Cambridge’s Finance and Investment Society and was selected as a Deutsche Bank Scholar. She captained the university golf team to victory against Oxford and is vice-president of the Ospreys, the university society for high-achieving sportswomen. She has spent the last two summers teaching in Hong Kong and Thailand and served as Chapel Warden of Trinity College.
Future Business Leader of the Year Award
Sponsored by Mars
Winner: Baran Ceylan, studying business administration at the University of Bath
Baran co-founded the business start-up RECollar, which provides voice-recording pet tags, and won the PwC and Bright Futures National Business Champion competition as a result. He recently founded Wordme, an online greeting cards business. He has already obtained financial backing from several investors, employs four staff and has secured retailers across the UK. He has also completed six-month placements at Unilever and L’Oréal, as well as summer internships at PwC and Akbank, one of the largest banks in Turkey.
IT and Computer Science Undergraduate of the Year
Sponsored by Marks & Spencer
Winner: Derek Bekoe, studying computer science at the University of Bristol
Derek is the webmaster of the university’s student newspaper and television society and won a place to participate in a Google mentoring programme in software engineering. He has completed an internship at J.P. Morgan and is due to return for another internship this summer. He has recently received the Bristol PLuS Award, which provides formal recognition of the achievements of students who have gained significant professional and life skills through work experience and volunteering.
Languages Undergraduate of the Year
Sponsored by EU Careers
Winner: James Ellis, studying modern languages at Newcastle University
James has worked as a teacher in Argentina, at a translation bureau in Germany and at an advertising agency in Bordeaux, and is heavily involved in the Erasmus society at Newcastle. This summer he will be accompanying a group of human rights lawyers to Colombia to act as an interpreter.
Law Undergraduate of the Year
Sponsored by Mayer Brown
Winner: Alexander Hughes, studying for the LLB (European legal studies) at the University of Southampton
Alexander regularly takes part in mooting and negotiation competitions and reached the Grand Final of the Thomas A Finlay Moot Court Intervarsity Competition, an international mooting competition hosted in Dublin. He plays rugby at university, has mentored first year law students as well as local sixth form students and has received two law school prizes for his performance in his most recent university examinations.
Low Carbon Undergraduate of the Year
Sponsored by EDF Energy
Winner: Celine Dischamps, studying for a masters in chemical engineering at the University of Manchester
Celine is a committed student ambassador who promotes higher education to underprivileged children. Last year she was also a PASS (Peer Assisted Study Sessions) leader, supporting the international initiative that brings together small groups of students to discuss their course material and student life. Celine spent a semester studying at the National University of Singapore and was awarded the Singapore DUO Exchange Award. She has also interned at one of Etex’s development centres and for the pet and animal hospital charity Blue Cross, and has volunteered for the Lyndons Arts Trust, a charity that promotes the arts in the community. Celine has reached grade eight level in ballet and plays for her university’s korfball team.
Management Undergraduate of the Year
Sponsored by Enterprise Rent-A-Car
Winner: Samantha Dartnall, studying information management and business studies at Loughborough University
Samantha, who is originally from New Zealand, is currently on a 12-month placement with Rolls-Royce in a project management role, and is a keen member of the Rolls-Royce hockey team. At university she captained the women’s squash team, is a student representative on the staff-student committee, and works part-time at a conference centre and a pharmacy. She also manages her own investment portfolio and loves outdoor pursuits such as equestrian and snow sports.
Mathematics, Economics and Finance Undergraduate of the Year
Sponsored by Gazprom Marketing & Trading
Winner: Mark Devine, studying finance (with a year in industry) at Queen’s University Belfast
Mark is a keen musician and entrepreneur who started an entertainment business aged 16 that he ran until 2012. A member of the Queen’s University Symphony Orchestra, he worked for Morgan Stanley during his second year and aims to complete the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) level one exam in June 2014, having won an awareness scholarship from the CFA Institute.
Scotland Undergraduate of the Year
Sponsored by CGI
Winner: Jamie Cooper-Higgins, studying marketing at the University of Strathclyde
Jamie holds the rank of officer cadet in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve (RAFVR), enlisted with the Universities of Glasgow and Strathclyde Air Squadron. During his two-year honorary commission he has undertaken military flight training and been involved in overseas training expeditions and philanthropic work. His band, Luca’s Atlas, has released music through iTunes and Spotify.
Find out more about Undergraduate of the Year and how to impress top employers