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Monday, September 1, 2014

Although Kris didn't win the Engineering Undergraduate of the Year Award 2014, he tells us about his experience and new opportunities that have come his way!

The first I heard about the award was at the start of January when I received a call asking if I would be interested in applying. The call came as a shock, E.ON wanted me to apply For the Engineering Undergraduate of the Year Award? I pondered over whether to apply or not for the next week before deciding there was nothing to lose in doing so. Looking back I am so glad that I did!

The first stage was relatively straightforward and involved completing an online form along with some focused questions surrounding the energy industry. I would strongly suggest taking the time to research before doing them as it was hugely helpful in preparing answers. This was followed by a set of online tests similar to ones I have completed when applying for internships.

A couple of weeks later an email arrived informing me I had been selected to go through to the next stage and that E.ON would be in touch about whether I had made it through to the assessment centre. I was ecstatic to have even made it through to this stage. The wait for E.ON to get back to me was close to 2 months and I had almost resigned myself to the fact I hadn’t got through.

Half way through March, out of the blue, I received a call informing me I had been selected to attend an assessment centre for the award. It was such a surprise and things were only going to get better!

The assessment centre was held at the Ratcliffe-on-Soar Power Station near Nottingham. E.ON were great hosts and while the day was challenging, it was a great chance to learn more about the company as well as meet some of the management as well. I would strongly advise again that time is taken to learn about E.ON and what they do before the assessment day as it was a key feature of the day. After two long drawn out weeks I got the call informing me I had made it to the final. I haven’t smiled so much for a long time!
The awards ceremony came round very quickly. It was a 4am start travelling down from Scotland but it is definitely the most awake and excited I have been for a long time, almost as exciting as Christmas Day! Canary Wharf was very impressive and we were met with a champagne reception and the chance to meet other finalists from the other awards. It was also a great chance to meet the other finalists for my category and some of the managers from E.ON as well. The main awards ceremony was presented by Sir Trevor McDonald which was inspirational. One by one each award was read out along with the list of finalists. I was delighted that Sir Trevor McDonald had read out my name! Sadly though it was not to be and I didn't walk away with the award.

I may not have won the award but I found the experience very rewarding and allowed me to further develop myself. E.ON offered me a placement as a result of the assessment centre so there are other opportunities that could present themselves to you after taking part in the awards. I'm now spending 6 months working for Rolls-Royce and never thought I would be in the position where I would be offered two different placements by large prestigious companies such as E.ON and Rolls-Royce.

Thinking of applying? Stop thinking and get over to the website to start your application. You have nothing to lose and you could be sitting there next year listening to your name being read out as one of the finalists! Good luck!