Now in its eighth year, the TARGETjobs Undergraduate of the Year awards continues to recognise and celebrate the best student talent in the UK.
Instead of leaving the library and wrapping up their studies for the weekend, 120 excited students gathered at East Wintergarden in Canary Wharf last Friday afternoon, for the announcement of the winners of the TARGETjobs Undergraduate of the Year annual competition.
There were 12 prestigious awards up for grabs, including Future CFO, Future Business Leader and the One to Watch, alongside more industry-focused categories such as Computer Science, Engineering and Management.
Each of the awards was sponsored by a prominent graduate recruiter — ACCA, Barclays, Deutsche Bank, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, E.ON, FDM, First Names Group, Gazprom, Laing O’Rourke, L'Oréal and Rolls-Royce — all offering fantastic prizes for the winners, including paid internships, trips abroad and meetings with senior executives. With even more award entries than last year, the competition continues to inspire and engage thousands of students throughout the UK.
Applications were submitted by 3,441 undergraduate students from universities across the country for one of the 12 awards and, of these, 1,050 made it through the assessment process. This consisted of three stages, including an application and questionnaire; an online assessment with situational, numerical and inductive reasoning tests; and finally, an in-person assessment with the respective award sponsor. The top ten students for each award were then invited to attend the grand final where the winners were announced. The 120 finalists were present at the London awards ceremony on the 21 April – an inspiring afternoon of networking and celebration. This year’s winners were lucky enough to be presented with their award by the ceremony host: writer and television presenter – Konnie Huq.
Both the finalists and the winners showcased an impressive range of skills, experiences and achievements, but what makes an Undergraduate of the Year? A sample of the incredible attributes of the winners include: a two-time marathon runner, a founder of a web development and design company, an organising chair of the UK Space Design Competition 2017, a radio presenter and political writer, and volunteers in various fields such as an international youth festival, conservation work in Indonesia and code clubs in local schools. While some have worked and volunteered abroad, others have set up their own businesses or become ambassadors/leaders for excellent causes.
‘I’m so happy. I can’t wait to tell my mum and dad!’ said the winner of The Future Leader in Business Undergraduate of the Year award, Oliver Haddon. ‘I would definitely recommend applying for the awards. I’ve enjoyed every part of it and it’s really stretched and pushed me'.
And his advice for anyone thinking of applying for next year's awards?
'I think take each stage as it comes really – I never expected to get this far. So just being open and having a good attitude for each stage is a good approach to take.'
GTI director, Simon Rogers said, 'The 12 winners have achieved so much already, and all demonstrate dedication, ambition and generosity, making them stand-out among their peers. They are a testimony to the exceptional young talent the UK has to offer today'.
A full list of the winners can be found below. More information on the winners can be found at www.undergraduateoftheyear.com/winners/2017
The Computer Science, IT and Physics Undergraduate of the Year award, sponsored by FDM Group
Kieran Stone, Aberystwyth University, Artificial Intelligence and Robotics
The Construction, Engineering and Design Undergraduate of the Year award, sponsored by Laing O’Rourke
Matthew Welsh, Nottingham Trent University, Civil Engineering
The Engineering Undergraduate of the Year award, sponsored by E.ON
Craig Stephen, Heriot-Watt University, Mechanical Engineering
The Female Undergraduate of the Year award, sponsored by Rolls-Royce
Trisha Saxena, Imperial College London, Physics with Theoretical Physics
The First Year of the Year award, sponsored by Barclays
Tai Lee, Newcastle University, Economics
The Future CFO of the Year award, sponsored by ACCA
Ekaterina Christova, University of Cambridge, Economics
The Future Leader in Business Undergraduate of the Year award, sponsored by Mars
Oliver Haddon, University of West England, Business
The Undergraduate of the Year for Innovation award, sponsored by Deutsche Bank
Hannah Blair, University of Surrey, Computer Science
The Male Undergraduate of the Year award, sponsored by L’Oréal
Angus Gillan, University of Birmingham, Ancient History
The Management Undergraduate of the Year award, sponsored by Enterprise Rent-A-Car
Kirsten Alexander-McGarry, University of Strathclyde, International Business with Modern Languages
The Mathematics, Economics and Finance Undergraduate of the Year award, sponsored by Gazprom
Connor Vidal-Cocker, University of Reading, Mathematics
The One to Watch Undergraduate of the Year award, sponsored by First Names Group
Alex Stickler, Cardiff University, Economics and Finance