Now in its tenth year, the TARGETjobs Undergraduate of the Year Awards brought together prominent employers and talented undergraduates for a prestigious awards ceremony presented by Rachel Riley at the East Wintergarden in Canary Wharf on Friday 26 April.
There were more awards than ever before, with 14 awards partnered by leading employers and professional bodies including ACCA, Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance, National Student Pride, Deutsche Bank, E.ON, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, IQ-EQ, Laing O'Rourke, L’Oréal, Rolls-Royce, #iwill, Teach First and Visa. There were fantastic prizes up for grabs for the students involved, including paid internships, trips abroad, meetings with senior executives and a graduate job! To celebrate the tenth anniversary of the awards, ten previous award winners were also invited to talk to the finalists about how the awards helped them to progress in their careers and where they are now.
Reaching the final is a huge achievement for the 133 student finalists. Engagement in this process was at a five-year high this year, with 4,542 entries from 138 different universities across the UK. This is a great accomplishment for the TARGETjobs team, who worked with our vast university network, including department heads and careers services, supporting them to promote the awards to their students. The awards are an excellent opportunity for universities to showcase the calibre of undergraduates at their institution, while giving their students the chance to practise the graduate recruitment process and secure positions with internationally recognised organisations.
Stuart Johnson, Director of Careers Service at the University of Bristol has been thrilled to see so many of his students involved this year. “The Undergraduate of the Year Awards are a real endorsement of student success. There are so many talented and inspiring students out there and it's fantastic to be able to showcase this talent and connect it to high profile employers. Whilst the nature of awards means there can only ever be a handful of winners, the rigorous nature of the awards means that it's a worthwhile experience for all who choose to apply."
With all entrants completing an application, an online assessment with situational, numerical and inductive reasoning tests devised by SHL and an assessment day, it ensures the employers also have a pipeline of excellent potential candidates for future placements and graduate vacancies.
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 fencer who has represented Wales, an editor-in-chief of a student newspaper, a founder of a business that redistributes surplus food to local non-profits, a co-host of a radio show, an Army cadet, a lifeguard and volunteers in areas ranging from guide dogs and festivals to orphanages and conservation work. While some have worked and volunteered abroad, others have set up their own businesses or become ambassadors/leaders for excellent causes.
GTI director, Simon Rogers said, "We are very proud of what The Undergraduate of the Year Awards has achieved over its 10 years - a platform to showcase the most inspirational young people. Huge congratulations to the class of 2019 and thanks to all those who continue to give their enthusiasm, investment & support to this important programme.”
A full list of the winners can be found below. More information on the winners can be found here.
The Computer Science, IT and Physics Undergraduate of the Year Award, partnered with Visa
Mehdi Naderi Varandi, Newcastle University, computer science
The Construction and Engineering Undergraduate of the Year Award, partnered with Laing O'Rouke
Luke Collinson, University of Manchester, mechanical engineering
The Female Undergraduate of the Year Award, partnered with Rolls-Royce
Judith Cameron, Queen's University Belfast, mechanical engineering
The Future Business Leader of the Year Award, partnered with P&G
Arya Tandon, University of Oxford Hertford College, philosophy, politics and economics
The Future Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of the Year Award, partnered with ACCA
Daisy Vanags, University of Bristol, international business management
The Future Lawyer of the Year Award, partnered with Allen & Overy
Carmen Barragan, Imperial College London, materials science and engineering
The Undergraduate of the Year Award for Impactful Social Action, partnered with #iwill and Teach First
Samir Badaro, University of Bristol, criminology
The Undergraduate of the Year Award for Innovation, partnered with Deutsche Bank
Chevonne Fernandes, University of Leeds, physics
The LGBTQ+ Undergraduate of the Year Award, partnered with Clifford Chance and National Student Pride
Thomas Moran, Lancaster University, management and information technology
The Male Undergraduate of the Year Award, partnered with L'Oréal
William Jolley, Durham University, mathematics
The Management Undergraduate of the Year Award, partnered with Enterprise Rent-A-Car
Bella Scanio, University of Nottingham, ancient history
The New Energy Solutions Undergraduate of the Year Award, partnered with E.ON
Benedek Dalglish, University of Leeds, mechanical engineering
The One to Watch Undergraduate of the Year Award, partnered with IQ-EQ
Sina Sadrzadeh, University of Bristol, economics and Management
The Science Undergraduate of the Year Award, partnered with Clifford Chance
Madeleine Cullen, University of Sheffield, chemistry