Tuesday, August 28, 2012

GUEST BLOG: Management Undergraduate of the Year winner

Grace Gimson, this year's Management Undergraduate of the Year, sponsored by Enterprise-rent- a-car, tells us her experience about winning the awards and offers up some very useful tips. 

How would you like to be named Undergraduate of the Year in the UK under your discipline?! The thought briefly crossed my mind after I’d sent off my initial application…But it wasn’t until my name was announced by Michael Portillo at the finalist’s awards afternoon that I realised the ‘Management Undergraduate of the Year’ title could become mine!

I actually applied to Target Jobs Undergraduate of the Year Awards with the intention of keeping practiced with application processes while on my year in industry (part of my university degree) at Microsoft. I knew all too well that before I knew it I’d be in my final year trying to secure a graduate position, so a chance to get a bit of extra application experience was worth taking. The ‘Management’ award category was sponsored by Enterprise Rent a Car, so Enterprise carried out the majority of the application process. Here’s a breakdown of what I had to do (it doesn’t seem like this much work when you’re doing it I promise :(

  • Online application using short essay answers specific to your award.
  • Three online psychometric test - by SHL, you can practice on their website.
  • A telephone interview with Enterprise.
  • The assessment centre with other candidates, involving both group and individual assessment over a morning or afternoon session.

Hopefully you will make it through all of these with no problems, and maybe even enjoy it  :O, I had a great time at my assessment centre! If you’re a little new to application processes like this, then have a look at a few tips I wrote in a blog post last year. If you make it through to the top few, then you’ll be sent to London for the awards afternoon along with all of the other finalists. If you win the award then aside from an amazing feeling of pride while collecting your trophy on the stage, you will be awarded a prize- in my case a 10 week paid placement working with Enterprise, including a week in the USA!

So, why should you think about applying? Well, if not just for the application experience, then to boost your confidence (every part of the application process you get through is an achievement), to learn more about the industry/company you may want to go into (find out what they look for in applicants, and hopefully see their offices at the assessment centre), meet other like-minded people (the awards afternoon included 10 finalists for each award, and it was a chance to network with the other students as well as recruiters), and of course you may win!

The calibre of applicants who made it through to the awards seemed incredibly high, but don’t let that put you off. I never entered thinking I may have a chance of winning…so it may just take entering the Undergraduate of the Year Awards to help prove to yourself how well you can do!

I'm here to answer any questions about my experience of the awards, so feel free to get in touch on Twitter @gracegimson or Linkedin. It may help you to see a rundown of last year's winners in all categories too. Good luck!

Grace Gimson.

Thank you Grace. Don't forget pre-registrations for the awards are now open, and if you pre-register you will not only be the first to know when the awards applications are fully open you will also be entered into a prize draw to win £25 worth of itunes gift vouchers - what are you waiting for. 

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