Thursday, September 17, 2015

Catching up with Jessica: our Engineering Undergraduate of the Year


Starting my 2nd year at Cardiff University studying Integrated Engineering, I had to decide whether I should do a year in industry and what the benefits would be. I was looking at what was to offer when I came across the TARGETJobs' competition for ‘Engineering Undergrad of the Year Award’. Looking at the previous year’s winner, the prize looked amazing. Not only would the winner get a year placement with Eon, they would also win a trip for two to one of Eon's European projects, an invitation to the awards ceremony and a trophy. I’m interested in the energy sector so knowing Eon sponsored part of this interested me. This title seemed pretty immense but I thought I’d give it try.


The process was quite straight forward. This process ranged from answering questions related to the energy sector to psychometric and logic tests, and submitting your CV. Don’t get put off by this; it was all in small chunks which made it easier. I suggest doing them as soon as you can but there is still time to do them last minute if you forget! If you’ve made the effort to apply you’d be silly not to go the last leg. 

Assessment Centre

I got a call from both TARGETjobs and an Eon representative; I was invited to come to the assessment centre along with 20 others for the day. Assessment days are always a bit daunting but this one was actually quite fun (as fun as they can be!); all the assessors there really just wanted to get the best out of you to see your full potential. I thought the assessment day went relatively well but now it was just a waiting game to hear back from them.

Awards Ceremony

The phone call I had been waiting for! I had been shortlisted to come to the awards ceremony. I was ecstatic. It was such an honour to get to the top 10, getting to this point was an achievement in itself. The competition was tough, I knew this the second I met all these energetic, intellectuals at the assessment centre.

The awards ceremony was held in East Wintergardens in London. It was such a vibrant day. I got the chance to meet the other candidates from across the different awards and the Eon representatives. It was a really good place to network. TARGETjobs pulled all the stops out with this, from the delicious food to Fiona Bruce!  Of course one of the most interesting things was meeting her; she gave a great talk to kick off the ceremony. As she read through the winners I started to get a little nervous, the ‘Engineering Undergraduate of the Year’ was one of the last to be called out. Then it was the time all of us at the table had been waiting for. When she called my name out I froze, I couldn’t believe it. Certainly a moment I will never forget.

Working for Eon

I have now started my placement. It wasn’t what I expected, as I didn’t really know what to expect! With regards to developing and gaining new skills this is a fantastic place to do so. I feel part of a team here. I’ve been here four weeks and loved every minute of it. On top of this I still have a trip planned to go to Germany to see one of Eon's projects.

Moving on/Advice

A female winning the ‘Engineering Undergraduate of the Year Award’ is a milestone in relation to us as a society moving forward in promoting STEM subjects to females and equal opportunities. I want to say a big thank you to TARGETjobs and Eon for supporting this; hopefully this will encourage girls to follow their dreams in subjects that are prevalently taken by boys. It is so important to have a mixed gender workforce!

Only advice I would give is to just go for it; do it for the placement, do it for the holiday, do it for the experience, the awards ceremony and for you. Through any part of the process you will only gain valuable skills to help you further in life. Apply now. What have you got to lose?

Apply for the 2016 Undergraduate of the Year awards now! 

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