I could spend the time completing the application process for a shot at the next stage and ultimately winning, or I could not try and regret never knowing… It was worth the effort then and in retrospect definitely worth the effort now!
There are 12 different categories in the Undergraduate of the Year Awards which all follow a similar, but not identical, application process. I applied for the Scotland Undergraduate of the Year Award 2014 and first of all had to complete an online application, then a comprehensive set of SHL psychometric tests designed by the event sponsor The Corporate Executive Board Company (CEB).
Although academic performance was a factor in winning, it definitely wasn’t the only one. The awards recognise drive and ambition in candidates, shown through extra-curricular activities and life experiences. I’ve tried to maximise my experience while at university through part-time work, marketing internships, military service with the RAF – and last summer as a Saltire Scholar I interned with Barclays Wealth & Investment Management in New York for two months. I’ve not had any of these opportunities handed on a plate to me, and I’ve had to work for them, but I’m very grateful towards organisations like the Saltire Foundation for working so hard to offer these amazing opportunities.
Attending the Grand Final in Canary Wharf, London, was absolutely fantastic! Sir Trevor McDonald hosted the awards and it really was an honour to accept the award from such a distinguished public figure. His speech about the trajectory of his own career and the merits of hard work and determination really resonated with everyone in the room. The whole episode will definitely stick with me forever.
Do you think this could be you for 2015? Apply to the awards here: undergraduateoftheyear.com