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10 reasons why you should apply for The Undergraduate of the Year competition:
Ella Jakubowska winner of the Female Undergraduate of the Year Award sponsored by Rolls Royce tells you ten reasons why you should applying to 2014's awards. 1) You might discover something you never knew about
I almost didn't apply to the Undergraduate of the Year
awards because I was worried that I was not good enough. I also almost bailed
at the first hurdle upon seeing that the online psychometric tests involved a
considerable amount of maths. Not only am I incredibly glad that I persevered,
but I realised as a result that I absolutely can not be as bad at maths as I
thought, and I must have done fairly well at the logical reasoning and business
analysis sections too. I am a lot more confident in my business-related skills
2) You might discover something you never knew about a
Until a few months ago, I thought that Rolls-Royce made
cars. I also thought they would have absolutely no need and no opportunities
for an English Literature student. I was wrong!
3) You might benefit from the challenge:
To say that the application process was rigorous would be
something of an understatement. It was difficult but it was a similar process,
I am told, to Rolls-Royce's graduate scheme application. Even if you don't win,
the process helps you gain experience and build confidence that will be
invaluable in your last year of university when you're competing for the best
jobs, internships or graduate schemes.
4) You might meet some really wonderful, like-minded people:
The other women in the Female Undergraduate of the Year
competition that I met were an intimidatingly successful but also interesting,
impressive and kind bunch of people. At the assessment centre some of us went
for dinner and it was really reassuring and made me feel like no matter who
won, I would be really genuinely happy for them. I also got the chance to meet
many Rolls-Royce employees, particularly high performing females, giving me an
insight into what it is like for strong women in stereotypically male-dominated
5) You might make some connections that could influence your
I have met people from Rolls-Royce, TARGETjobs, other
Undergraduate of the Year categories, and my LinkedIn inbox has been
overflowing with congratulations from professionals from big companies ever
since I won. With networking being so important to a career, these effortless
connections are sure to help me once I leave university.
6) You might benefit from the overall experience:
As I mentioned, it is challenging. But you come to realise
that although it is such a privilege to be in the last round of selection, you
got there because of your hard work. Being able to stand up and stand out in an
environment filled with strong candidates is something that you can genuinely
feel very proud of, even if you don't win. I actually had a lot of fun during
the process, which was something I was not expecting.
7) You have nothing to lose but potentially a lot to gain:
One of the things that the overall process has reinforced in
my mind is that you should always go for everything, take chances and a lot the
other clichés about how if you never try you'll never know. As Thomas Edison
supposedly said: "I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t
work". As if you can’t tell from the title of this post, I can’t
emphasise enough how strongly I advocate going for it and just applying for one
of the categories next year because it can not do any harm but could do a world
8) You might get to go to the (swanky) Awards Ceremony:
The venue...The drinks reception...The food...The speeches.
Before the winners are announced, the top 10 from each category are invited to
a very prestigious awards ceremony and not only is it a gorgeous venue and really
exciting event, but the main course was one of the most delicious things I have
9) You might meet Sir Trevor MacDonald:
I think this one speaks for itself.
10) You might just win:
I hadn't even hoped that I might win. The other candidates
were so strong but I must have been stronger than I thought I was to win it!
Not only did I win an iPad and a fantastic internship that I am
greatly looking forward to starting in a few weeks, but I feel like I am
making positive things happen that are shaping my entire future. The more I
learn about what my internship will entail, the more excited I become - it will
not be your standard making tea and doing photocopying internship! As I sit
here writing this on my shiny new iPad, it is ridiculous to think that the
night before the initial application was due in, I almost went out instead of
staying in to submit my application. I'm glad that there was a little voice in
my head telling me that despite all my doubts, I might just win.
By Ella Jakubowska, winner of the 2013 TARGETjobs Female
Undergraduate of the Year. Are you tempted to apply - pre-register here to be the first to know when the awards open