Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Meet the 2015 Languages Undergraduate of the Year Award winner!

Name: Aysel Kucuksu
University: Queen Mary University of London
Course: LLB English and European Law

Aysel won the Languages Undergraduate of the Year Award 2015 with EU Careers and still now can't believe she won!! 

I was on my year abroad in Denmark when I first saw an email from the Law department at Queen Mary, University of London outlining the various categories one could compete in as part of the ‘Undergraduate of the Year’ competition. Although the title itself was intimidating, I really wanted to challenge myself. Besides, the Languages Award seemed to accommodate for my love for languages without making a degree in it a prerequisite for an application, so I knew I could not miss this opportunity. The prospect of networking with fellow language enthusiasts and EU professionals as early as the Assessment Day stage also had its say in prompting me to apply; not to mention the opportunity to visit Brussels, the ultimate destination for lawyers and linguists alike.

Embarking onto the application process had its tough moments, however. The elaborate six stages I had to go through, varying from interviews, through essay writing, to psychometric tests (definitely as terrifying as they sound), were really designed to seep out the best candidates. So much so that by the time I reached the Assessment Day stage, I knew just how tough a competition the people I met during it would be. They were smart, ambitious, and coming from a plethora of educational backgrounds, and they also made for a great conversation. The Assessment day was probably the best stage of the application process precisely because I got to interact with these incredible individuals, some of whom I now call my friends.

The highlight of the competition was unquestionably the East Wintergarden dinner at Canary Wharf, however entering this outstanding venue, I was incredibly flattered by the effort that was put into the event and impressed by TARGETjob's remarkable attention to detail. Having Fiona Bruce as our host for the evening was the cherry on top of the cake. After a few lovely conversations, several delicious courses, and a couple of Fiona’s stories, it was time to announce the winners. Hearing each winner’s bio's before the time for the Languages Award came, I felt both extremely delighted and privileged to join their ranks once my name was announced.

Today, almost a month after the event in Canary Wharf, I still have not managed to shake off the excitement from it. With my trip to Brussels yet to happen, I am in constant conversation with a number of EU professionals, who are going above and beyond their duties to accommodate for my interests when it comes to visiting the city and its institutions. A month on and I cannot help but think about how lucky I am for getting this recognition simply for immersing myself into doing something I love.

Congratulations Aysel and to all the other finalists!
Pre-registration for the 2016 Awards is now open here!