Kate Prescott, finalist in 2015
How did you find the application process?
I found the application process pretty similar to that for most internships and graduate jobs, although with slightly more focus on my personal aspirations and achievements. I think it’s important however to think of not only what you personally can gain from winning the award, but also to consider the point of view of the company sponsoring the award, many of whom are offering exclusive internships or similar opportunities for the winners. Therefore, including information on what you have to offer to the company and why you are interested in that company or sector would probably help during the final stages of the competition.
Did you ever think you would get as far as you did in the process?
I wasn’t really sure what to expect - I felt that I did have many of the personal qualities and experience required to do well in the competition, but with so many applicants it was hard to tell how well I could do. In particular, I was concerned that my quite introverted personality could affect me at the interview stage, but in the end I managed to overcome the nerves! I would advise anyone thinking of applying to give it a go, even if they don’t think they have much of a chance.
Has this process helped you in your career to date?
Despite not winning the competition, myself and all the other ten finalists of the Female Undergraduate of the Year Awards were offered 10 week internships with Rolls-Royce. This was a fantastic experience, enabling me to experience working in a professional environment on project management type tasks. It has been really invaluable for my CV as evidence of professional experience as well as opening my mind to different career options outside of the standard lab work/ PhD most Chemistry students aspire to.
Sum up your experience of the awards in three words:
Exciting, rewarding, opportunities.