They’ve triumphed at sport, set up successful events and societies and made their mark around the world – all before finishing their degrees. And now they’ve fought off tough competition from 3,500 students drawn from 140 universities to win the prestigious TARGETjobs Undergraduate of the Year Awards 2015.
The twelve winners gathered in London last week to be presented with their prizes by TV journalist and presenter Fiona Bruce at a glittering gala ceremony. Eight of them were women, and the University of Manchester and UCL both provided two winners each. If you’re interested in applying to any of the employers that sponsored the competition and you’re curious to find out more about the qualities they value, the achievements of the Undergraduates of the Year might inspire you. And look out for your chance to apply – next year, could one of the winners be you?
Computer Science Undergraduate of the Year Award
Sponsored by CGI
Chelsea Sievewright, studying ethical hacking at Abertay University, organised and led a successful networking event for female STEM students and recently delivered a talk to the Scottish Parliament about her experiences of being a woman specialising in technology. She is an active member of her local committee of BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT.
Construction Engineering and Design Undergraduate of the Year Award
Sponsored by Laing O’Rourke
Jessica Dowdy, studying construction project management at Oxford Brookes University, was the national award winner of the Women in Property Student Awards 2014. She has established and led the Oxford Brookes University Construction Society in addition to becoming student representative for her course.
Engineering Undergraduate of the Year Award
Sponsored by E.ON
Jessica Rafter, studying integrated engineering at Cardiff University, is a STEMNET ambassador, committed to promoting engineering careers through teaching in schools. She recently volunteered in Uganda for three months in health centres, prisons and schools, and when she finishes her degree she hopes to work in developing countries using knowledge from her studies. She is an enthusiastic member of the engineering netball team.
Female Undergraduate of the Year Award
Sponsored by Rolls-Royce
Aleksandra Pedraszewska, studying land economy at the University of Cambridge, is a president of her university’s Polish Society and initiated an event with a budget of more than £12,000 to help students learn about career opportunities in Eastern Europe. Aleksandra has completed internships in areas including venture capital, sales, law and communications, and is a keen volleyball player, representing the university.
Future Business Leader of the Year Award
Sponsored by Mars
Lynne Howie, studying business economics and finance at the University of Strathclyde, has worked in Texas as a customer business intern for American Airlines and has also worked for Gleneagles Hotel during the 2014 Ryder Cup. Lynne is from an entrepreneurial background and aspires to set up her own business one day.
Future CFO of the Year Award
Sponsored by ACCA
Aatuallah Naser, studying mathematics at the University of Manchester, has worked with the university finance team to begin a project to make medical equipment at the university more accessible to research groups, and to allow collaboration between other leading universities in the north west. He is a member of the Manchester Model United Nations society, which lead to him winning an outstanding delegate award at a national conference in Leeds.
Languages Undergraduate of the Year Award
Sponsored by EU Careers
Aysel Kucuksu, studying English and European Law at Queen Mary University of London, is fluent in five languages. She spent an Erasmus year in Denmark, where she learned Danish alongside her study of EU law. As the president of the Queen Mary RAG Society, she coordinated the fundraising of £10,000 for local charities. She volunteers on the immigration team of the Queen Mary legal advice centre.
Law Undergraduate of the Year Award
Sponsored by Mayer Brown
Cara Goldthorpe, studying law with French law at UCL, has taken part in many mooting competitions, winning the London Universities Mooting Shield with the UCL team. She has worked as a paralegal in the complaints department at Lloyds Bank and hopes to pursue a career in litigation.
Low Carbon Energy Undergraduate of the Year Award
Sponsored by EDF Energy
Rahul Taneja, studying chemical engineering at. the University of Manchester, has been president of his local chemical engineering society and a member of his local trading society, where he maintained an interest in financial markets. He has been awarded academic scholarships while at university and is interested in integrating sustainable practices into the workplace.
Male Undergraduate of the Year Award
Sponsored by L’Oréal
Harrison Dent, studying European social and political studies at UCL, is currently on his year abroad studying in French at the Université Libre de Bruxelles. He is a member of his host university’s Model United Nations (MUN) team, and this lead to him travelling to New York to take part in the National MUN conference. He also attended the Global Young Leaders Conference in Washington, New York and China, and was invited to attend Barack Obama’s second presidential inaugural ceremony.
Management Undergraduate of the Year Award
Sponsored by Enterprise Rent-A-Car
Nathan Craig, studying industrial economics at the University of Nottingham, is a course representative and is seeking to complete the Nottingham Advantage Award this year. He has played rugby at a high level and has kept this up throughout his time at university.
Mathematics, Economics and Finance Undergraduate of the Year Award
Sponsored by Gazprom
Katy Barlow, studying maths and economics at the University of St Andrews, is captain of the university athletics team, has played tennis for her county and has cycled across Switzerland. She has been placed on the university’s dean’s list for academic excellence and represents second year economics students on the staff-student consultative committee.