Are you the most Innovative Undergraduate of the Year?

Entry criteria

We’re searching UK universities to find the most Innovative Undergraduate of the Year. You will have plenty of drive and entrepreneurial spirit up your sleeve and you’re no stranger to being called digitally savvy.

Win

  • a two-week summer internship with Barclays. You'll get to spend time in four areas that focus on innovation including Barclays Eagle Labs, RISE, Barclays Technology and Customer Banking Solutions
  • membership of Barclays Eagle Labs for one year, providing you with a space to create, innovate and grow your ideas as well as benefiting from the Eagle Labs network. The Eagle Labs are based in several locations UK-wide
  • membership of RISE, giving you access to a global network of FinTech entrepreneurs, mentors and companies, including open desk space in London twice a week for three months
  • a Fitbit Blaze

What makes an award winner?

Our winner will have:

  • an entrepreneurial and questioning mindset
  • the drive and persistence to change the status quo for the better
  • a relentless enthusiasm for improving lives and ways of working via new technology and Big data

You'll also be:

  • hungry to always learn more
  • keen to make strong and lasting relationships
  • able to understand the story behind the facts and figures
  • comfortable calling on others for help and collaboration
  • determined and unfazed by challenges, changes or ambiguity
  • able to think broadly and consider a wide range of factors

How will Barclays pick the winner?

The top 25 students, selected by Barclays, will be invited to Barclays HQ in Canary Wharf to take part in the Innovation Pitch Day. This is a unique opportunity to showcase your innovations and convince the panel (comprised of representatives from Barclays Eagle Labs, RISE, Customer Banking Solutions and Barclays Technology) on why you should be selected as the winner.

The closing date for entries is 29 January 2018.

How do I win?

Stage 1

Register

Register your details online and answer three questions set by Barclays.

Must be completed by 29.01.18

Stage 2

Online tests

Receive an email inviting you to sit four 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 you will hear from us by 1 March 2018.

Stage 3

Innovation pitch day

The top 25 students will be invited to Barclays HQ in Canary Wharf where you will pitch your innovation to a panel of senior figures from Barclays Eagle Labs, RISE, Customer Banking Solutions and Barclays Technology.

Stage 4

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!

Barclays

Barclays and the Undergraduate of the Year Award for Innovation

Barclays is a transatlantic consumer, corporate and investment bank offering products and services across personal, corporate and investment banking, credit cards and wealth management, with a strong presence in our two home markets of the UK and the US.

With over 325 years of history and expertise in banking, Barclays operates in over 40 countries and employs approximately 85,000 people. Barclays moves, lends, invests and protects money for customers and clients worldwide.

This is the first year that Barclays is sponsoring the Undergraduate of the Year Award for Innovation. We’ve set the pace in the financial services industry, from pioneering international trade finance and large-scale branch banking to launching the world’s first cash machine and mobile cheque deposit technology. And we have no intention of slowing down now. Ideas are our true currency – and we need your help to grow them. That’s why we’re looking forward to finding our Undergraduate of the Year for Innovation in 2018.

Why should you apply for the award?

In addition to meeting senior figures in the industry and networking with like-minded peers, you’ll be in with the chance of winning a two-week internship at Barclays. Our winner will be truly immersed in the innovation that Barclays fosters every day, both within the communities we serve and by driving improved products and services for our clients and customers.

This is a unique, one-off opportunity to gain insight into four different areas:

  • Barclays Eagle Labs: from accelerating UK business to enabling collaborative innovation and digital empowerment for all, our Eagle Labs are a space to create, innovate and grow.
  • RISE: a network of physical spaces and a virtual global community designed to pioneer the future of financial technology.
  • Barclays Technology: pioneering the latest technology to design cutting edge services and products.
  • Retail Product and Segments: our Customer Banking Solutions business is part of Barclays UK, an innovative and transformation area of the bank. Barclays UK focuses on developing new and highly personalised solutions that support our clients during every life stage.

Click here to find out more about Barclays and our career opportunities.

Previous winner

Hannah Blair, University of Surrey, Computer Science

Hannah is a computer science student at the University of Surrey and has completed her placement year at The Walt Disney Company in London. Hannah loves combining creativity with technical projects – mainly mobile and web apps – and focusing on user interface and user experience design, having learned valuable skills at a mobile development start-up. Hannah regularly attends competitive hackathons, allowing her to apply her problem-solving skills and innovative ideas to developing a winning final product. She won a prize with The Hut Group’s Game of Code for her app idea and design. She’s now running her own web development and design company and spent summer 2017 as an innovation labs intern at Deutsche Bank*.

*Hannah won the 2017 Undergraduate of the Year Award for Innovation, sponsored by Deutsche Bank. Barclays is the new sponsor for 2018 and is looking forward to receiving your application.

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 30 January 2017.
  • 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.