Blogs – My Undergrad experience

I applied for the Undergraduate of the Year Awards on a whim. I had heard of it previously through emails from TARGETjobs but it took me weeks before I took the plunge and decided to apply. I’m so glad I did because it was an immensely enjoyable experience and is definitely something that I will look back on fondly for years to come.

The reason I decided to apply was because I stumbled upon the One to Watch category. As I was reading the description for this particular award, I thought that this was something for me. So, I went for it. The first part of the application was a series of skills tests along with three long-form questions related to the sponsor, IQ-EQ.

Next, to my surprise, I received an invitation to have a telephone interview with IQ-EQ’s team. The team at TARGETjobs was incredibly supportive in the lead up to this interview, giving me loads of tips and boosting my confidence. The telephone interview was fairly straightforward and based upon a few competency questions. For anyone preparing for this stage, I would recommend having a list of all your work experience and the particular skills you gained from each role in front of you so that you have something to refer to throughout.

Following this, I attended an assessment centre in London. This was my first experience of an assessment centre but the team at IQ-EQ instantly put me at ease. The day was focused upon three different tasks – an individual presentation, a group task and an individual interview. These were all far less intimidating than they sound and there was plenty of time during the day to chat to everyone. This was a great chance to (try to) relax and get to know the other applicants. I loved getting to know them all and left feeling incredibly inspired by all the brilliant work they had been doing alongside their studies.

Then came the day of the Awards itself. IQ-EQ hosted a brunch beforehand, which was a great opportunity to catch up with the rest of the finalists. Two of the IQ-EQ team members in attendance had previously taken part in the Awards and were a great source of insight into what to expect from the day. It flew by and even though I didn’t win, I can honestly say I had a fantastic day and am so grateful to the team at IQ-EQ, as their warmth and friendly approach made the day all the more enjoyable.

If you’re not sure whether or not to apply, my advice would be to go for it. Not only has the Undergraduate of the Year Awards boosted my confidence, but it has also opened doors to opportunities I wouldn’t have considered previously.