UK students show what it takes to be future business leaders
Tuesday, May 7, 2019

100 of the top university students have now found out who topped the prestigious ICAEW 100 leader board. Dhaval Desai from the University of Oxford was announced as the overall winner and will now receive £5,000 to put towards his future personal development. Not only that, but ICAEW will also be offering Dhaval a one-to-one employability skills session!

The ICAEW 100 competition was open to all UK university students regardless of their year group or degree subject. The journey to this prestigious award ceremony commenced with a series of online tests closely aligned to the skills demanded of those training for ICAEW’s global qualification: the ACA. With 78% of FTSE 100 boards containing an ICAEW Chartered Accountant, students who could show that they matched these key skills not only displayed aptitude in this field, but the clear potential to be a future leader.

A staggering 8,000 students from 150 different universities across the UK took part in the competition and the 100 highest scoring students were placed on an online leader board. Throughout the competition, the top 100 students were listed in alphabetical order, meaning that up until now the student with the overall highest score had remained a surprise.

The overall winner Dhaval admits ‘I wasn’t expecting to win at all! I was mainly doing it for the personalised feedback that you receive. I intend to spend my prize money teaching myself a new language.’

As well as an overall winner, prizes have been awarded to students who excelled in four key areas of professional development: adaptability, commercial acumen, integrity and relationship building.

Winners of these awards were offered exclusive prizes with the supporting employers: EY, KPMG, Mazars and PwC. Their prizes include work experience, insight days and professional mentoring with the supporting organisations – some of the most desirable employers in the UK. These prizes not only mean valuable insights into these top companies, but a chance to impress and make an incredible first stride along their career path.

‘This is the third year ICAEW and GTI have worked together on the competition, reaching more than 8,000 students this year. ICAEW 100 gives undergraduate students the opportunity to discover that a career in chartered accountancy offers variety and challenges and is open to all. It doesn’t matter what subject you’re studying or where you’re studying, as long as you’ve got the right skills.

Apart from the chance to win the prizes, the 4,500+ students who completed the competition received feedback on their performance that will help in their search for a graduate job. The competition itself mimics the first round of many employers’ recruitment processes, providing them with vital experience for the future.’

I’d like to congratulate the top 100 and all the award winners. I hope that their prizes help them prepare for successful graduate careers.’

Sharon Spice, Director of Global Student Recruitment, ICAEW

Prize winners:

Overall winner, sponsored by ICAEW
Dhaval Desai, University of Oxford, maths

Relationship builder, sponsored by Mazars
Alistair Reid, Durham University, maths

Commercial acumen, sponsored by KPMG
Syed Ahmed, King's College London, chemistry

Adaptability, sponsored by EY
Jack Ledingham, Imperial College London, chemical engineering

Integrity, sponsored by PwC
Om Kanabar, University College London, economics

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