Wednesday, November 9, 2016

What can you get out of the Undergraduate of the Year Awards? And why everyone should apply!

Walking onto the glass domed balcony of the East Wintergarden in Canary Wharf, full of bright smiling faces, I could not have imagined that my application for the Management Undergraduate of the Year would have brought me here just a few months ago.             

A few months prior to the award ceremony, an email from the careers centre at my University had caught my eye. I’ve always loved opportunities and the possibilities to stretch myself, so this seemed like something I would be very interested in, so I applied. I took the online tests and application thinking I had nothing to lose? I was thrilled to find I had been selected as part of the top 40 for a telephone interview, something which I had never experienced before, but I wasn’t going to let that worry me.

When applying for these awards or indeed a job, I believe it’s important to do your research, it shows you have enthusiasm for the company and a desire for success. I got in touch with the area manager from the company hosting the management award, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, she was more than helpful in providing me with advice for my telephone interview and beyond. I kept in contact with her throughout the process and she was a great support.

A few weeks later, knowing I would soon be receiving an email about the outcome of interview I nervously checked my email inbox, and there it was, I was going to London for the assessment centre!

After what was a very long but inspiring day, in which I met fantastic candidates and company representatives from all around the country, I waited for the phone call to know whether I had made it any further. At this point, after meeting the high calibre of candidates, I was proud to have reached this point - especially since my first year at University had not yet finished! I was then elated to learn I had made it through to the final. 10 out of 400 applicants!

The day before the award I received a phone call from the Area manager I had been in communication with, she rang to wish me the best of luck for the award the next day and to offer me an internship with Enterprise, regardless of what happened at the awards, I couldn’t believe it! 

The awards were a fantastic day and gave me the opportunity to meet so many amazing candidates and company representatives as well as catch up with some of the people I had met on my assessment day, naturally as the award announcements came closer I was nervous, however, despite not winning, I still felt, along with many people I spoke to afterwards, that we had all won, we were there at this incredible venue with some of the biggest names in business in the UK!

For the summer? I am spending ten weeks with Enterprise as a management trainee intern and I cannot wait to see what opportunities it brings!

My advice for applicants, it doesn’t matter what year of university you are currently in, or perhaps what qualifications you may think lack, these awards look for the people behind the application submissions, so apply, you never know where you may find yourself!

Friday, November 4, 2016

Hayat tells us how close you are to landing a dream opportunity

Hayat won the 2016 Civil Service Leader of the Year Award 2016. Here's what she has to say about the process...

Application process:
I saw an email about the Awards and was particularly attracted by the opportunity to win a place on the Summer Diversity Internship Programme. I really didn't have the confidence to go for the application but my mum told me I had nothing to lose and to just apply! This was definitely the best decision I made as becoming a finalist and then winning the award really increased my confidence in my own abilities. 

I completed some online tests (after practicing for a good couple of days as I had never done them before) I was told I could progress to the next stage. Answering the employer questions was the most enjoyable part as I was able to convey my passion for diversity and inclusivity in the work place and particularly in the Civil Service! I then progressed onto a telephone interview which was warm and relaxed so I was able to confidently express my interests and my previous experiences in different roles. The whole process was not as daunting as I imagined and I would definitely encourage anyone to go for it as it is worth the effort!

Awards Ceremony:
Once the main application process was over and I was told I was shortlisted in the final 10, it was a huge relief! To get this far was an achievement in itself! The awards ceremony in Canary Wharf was amazing. The venue was unlike any I had been to before and the array of eager and equally excited students in attendance was welcoming. It was lovely to interact with students and professionals from different fields and also to meet and speak with civil servants from the Fast Stream. 

My advice to any undergraduate would be to just go for it, never to doubt yourself and to fulfil your potential! 

Many thanks,