Are you the Construction and Engineering Undergraduate of the Year?

Entry criteria

We're searching UK universities to find the outstanding Construction and Engineering Undergraduate of the Year. You must be a creative thinker, natural problem solver and someone who likes to challenge the status quo.

Win

An all-expenses paid international summer placement in August 2018! You’ll get to work on one of Laing O’Rourke’s overseas projects – previous winners have been to the likes of Australia and Dubai.

What makes an award winner?

We’re looking for people who share our passion for ‘challenging and changing’ the construction industry. So, you’ll be the kind of person who:

  • likes to shake up the status quo – because you know there’s a better way and you’re determined to find it
  • is a creative thinker and a natural problem solver
  • has a keen interest in the construction industry, meaning you’ll be up to speed with the latest developments and newest techniques

Project delivery is a team sport, so you’ll also:

  • have excellent communication skills
  • be willing to play an active (even leading) role
  • use your initiative and drive in the face of a challenge
  • be able to work as part of a group, listen to and learn from others around you

Read the blogs of previous Construction and Engineering Undergraduate of the Year winners and finalists to find out more about what makes an award winner and get their exclusive tips.

You can also get application advice here.

The closing date for entries is 29 January 2018.

How do I win?

Stage 1A

Register

Register your details online and answer two questions set by Laing O'Rourke.

Must be completed by 29.01.18

Stage 1B

Online tests

Receive an email inviting you to sit three online tests designed exclusively by our partner CEB.

Must be completed by 29.01.18

Submit by

29 January 2018

Your details must be submitted and all online tests completed by 29 January 2018.

If you are successful in getting through to the next stage, you will hear from us by 1 March 2018.

Stage 2

Assessment centre

If you pass the online tests and make it to the next stage your application will be reviewed by Laing O'Rourke.

This stage may include a telephone interview and an assessment day.

Stage 3

Grand final

The final shortlist of ten students will be invited to the awards ceremony at Canary Wharf, where the 2018 award winners will be announced!

Laing O'Rourke

Laing O'Rourke and the Construction and Engineering Undergraduate of the Year Award

At Laing O’Rourke we believe talent should be celebrated. We know there are some pretty amazing undergraduates out there – and think it’s time to shine a spotlight on their achievements. That’s why, once again, we’re sponsoring the Construction and Engineering Undergraduate of the Year Award in 2018.

What’s in it for us? Well, we get to engage with students, like you, from universities across the UK. We’ll challenge you to think creatively about the future of our sector and share our insights into the latest developments in project delivery. We’ll show you the many different opportunities open to you and hopefully inspire you to continue on to a career in our industry.

What’s in it for you? In addition to receiving the recognition of respected industry figures, you’ll be in the running for a summer work placement on one of our projects overseas. Through the selection process, you’ll also gain first-hand experience of the recruitment methods used by major companies like Laing O’Rourke – putting you ahead of many of your peers. But, most importantly, with an award like this in the bag, you’ll be well on your way to a successful future.

Find out more about us and our graduate opportunities at: careers.laingorourke.com

Previous winner

Matthew Welsh, Nottingham Trent University, Civil Engineering

As the president of Nottingham Trent University’s Civil Engineering Society, Matthew is always seeking new ways to innovate in the industry and with the people who shape it. Through his work as an ICE student brand ambassador, Matthew was involved in the organisation of Sir John Armitt’s ICE guest lecture at the university, addressing the future of the industry and the challenges posed by Brexit. Following other successful summer placements, Matthew spent his summer 2017 as a civil engineering intern at Laing O'Rourke and is looking forward to facing new, exciting challenges within the industry.

Head to Matthew's blog to find out about his experience of the Undergraduate of the Year Awards.

Apply

Before you start your application

Before you begin please make sure you have read the entry criteria carefully. Click on the ‘Entry criteria’ and ‘How do I win?’ tabs for criteria details and information on the process.

Browser suitability

To enable you to take the tests you will need to make sure that:

  • Flash Player is up to date. The tests can be accessed on the following browsers:
    • Internet Explorer – Version 6.0 and higher (Windows PC Only)
    • Firefox – Version 2.0 and higher (Windows PC or Mac)
    • Safari – Version 4.0 and higher (Mac only)
    • Google Chrome – Version 4.0 and higher (Windows PC or Mac)
  • iPads, other tablets and smart phones are currently not supported.

Hints and tips

Give yourself enough time:

  • As part of the process you will be asked to answer some questions set by the award partner. Take your time with these as they will be used as part of the longlisting process. Compose them in Microsoft Word (or a similar programme) and spell check and word count your answers before submitting into your application form.
  • You don’t have to complete everything in one go. Just remember to save everything as you go!
  • The tests themselves (up to four depending on the award category) should take no more than two hours to complete.
  • ALL stages must be submitted by 29 January 2018.
  • If you are not sure about anything then ask! You can contact us via email.

Advice from finalists

Andrew Reynolds

Andrew Reynolds, finalist in 2016

How did you find the application process?

The application process was challenging but interesting. Questions were asked that required a strong knowledge of the sponsor company's areas of interest. The assessment centre was a good reflection of actual graduate assessment centres, which was good practice!

Did you ever think you would get as far as you did in the process?

I felt I would do fairly well considering how my skills matched the required skills. However, the standard of other candidates was very high and I was delighted and surprised to make it through to the final ten.

Has this process helped you in your career to date?

When informed of having made it into the top ten candidates, I was also offered the placement, which was the award for the overall winner. While I did not win the overall award, getting a work placement had been my main goal and this was completed. My summer placement was an incredible experience and I secured a place on the graduate scheme at the end of my summer – I begin work once I complete my degree this year.

Sum up your experience of the Awards in three words:

A fantastic opportunity.

Bronte Wright

Bronte Wright, finalist in 2016

How did you find the application process?

Challenging but very rewarding: the initial questions took me the longest as I wanted to make sure they were perfect! The telephone interview was a competency-based interview, which I had done a couple of before so that one was okay. However, it was the first assessment centre I had ever been to so it was quite nerve-racking, especially as everyone was going for the same prize, but I had so much fun on the day. Enterprise was really friendly and welcoming and I learned a lot!

Did you ever think you would get as far as you did in the process?

Definitely not! I didn’t think I would even make it past the initial application as the three questions that were asked were very challenging and required big answers. I was amazed to have got to the top ten in the end and, even though I didn’t win the ceremony, it was fantastic and I got to network with so many people!

Has this process helped you in your career to date?

Absolutely! From the Undergraduate of the Year Awards I was offered a summer internship with Enterprise in the accounts department of their Nottingham regional headquarters. I was there for three months and really enjoyed it! Since then I have been offered a placement in revenue management down in the European headquarters but unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances, I will no longer be taking a placement year so I’m searching for summer internships elsewhere. The process was the first proper application process I went through as well, so I’ve definitely gained some transferable skills such at networking that I can take forward into future applications!

Sum up your experience of the Awards in three words:

Challenging, rewarding, exciting.

Erika Tsoi

Erika Tsoi at the 2016 awards ceremony (centre).

How did you find the application process?

I found the application process was a good length compared to other job/internship applications I have done. It was also a very good opportunity to practise the different stages of a job application. I found the initial submission of my application a little scary as I felt I would not get very far in the competition so I put off the initial submission up until the last week of the deadline!

Did you ever think you would get as far as you did in the process?

Absolutely not! Having taken part in this competition has definitely boosted my confidence when it comes to job applications, speaking to senior people and communication in general.

Has this process helped you in your career to date?

Without this competition, I would not have found my graduate job!

Sum up your experience of the Awards in three words:

Outstanding, exciting, enjoyable.

Fraser Turner

Fraser Turner, finalist in 2016

How did you find the application process?

The application process is great practice for all the screening processes you will go through while hunting for a real job. It also encourages a bit of creativity and helps you learn key skills such as presentation and group debating. At the same time it is enjoyable and takes you out of your comfort zone, helping you to grow as a person.

Did you ever think you would get as far as you did in the process?

Never in a million years – after reading previous winners' bios I never expected to get past the first round!

Has this process helped you in your career to date?

Yes, it is an excellent talking point in interviews and it secured me a summer internship last year. The experience is a great example of self-motivation and you pick up a lot of useful skills along the way!

Sum up your experience of the Awards in three words:

Well worth it.

Josh Robson

Josh Robson at the 2016 award ceremony (centre-left)

How did you find the application process?

It showed me what it was like in the interview and recruitment stage of trying to find an internship or job. In addition, my confidence and ability to excel myself improved, especially when put under pressure.

Did you ever think you would get as far as you did in the process?

I didn’t think I’d make it past the first stage and was shocked at how far I got. It was a great confidence boost.

Has this process helped you in your career to date?

Massively. L’Oreal offered me an internship to complete after I finish my year abroad at the University of Florida.

Sum up your experience of the Awards in three words:

Exciting, challenging, motivating.

Kira O'Donoghue

Kira O'Donoghue, finalist in 2016

How did you find the application process?

The application process was tough but enjoyable. I particularly enjoyed the Rolls-Royce assessment centre, which was challenging but incredibly rewarding; we had the opportunity to network with successful businesswomen and develop our skills in presenting and teamwork.

Did you ever think you would get as far as you did in the process?

No, not at all! I saw the opportunity advertised on my university careers service and thought I would do the initial application. I was pleasantly surprised at every stage where I found out I had been successful. I definitely did not expect to make it to the final ten of the Female Undergraduate of the Year Award.

Has this process helped you in your career to date?

The process has definitely helped me in terms of my career. Despite the fact I didn't win the award I was offered a ten-week internship with Rolls-Royce as a commercial intern. The experience was great and taught me a lot of new skills, allowing me to gain an insight into a business place I was interested in. Upon completion of the internship I was offered a graduate position, which I have gladly accepted.

Sum up your experience of the Awards in three words:

Rewarding, challenging, worthwhile.