Cara is the 2015 Law Undergraduate of the Year winner with Mayer Brown. Since the final we've caught up with her to find out why you should take part next!

When I saw the Undergraduate of the Year Awards advertised through my university careers newsletter, I signed up almost immediately; there was nothing to lose but so much to gain. However, before progressing very far, I encountered some difficulties in France where I am currently studying on exchange. I put my application to one side for a couple of months, and only returned to it after I’d received several reminders from the team at TARGETjobs. Looking back, I’m so glad that they phoned me up and nudged me to push on with my application, as otherwise I doubt I’d be where I am today!

After all this, I was just so happy to make it to the top 35. Making the next shortlist of ten was an achievement I had never anticipated and I went to the assessment day with a positive frame of mind, feeling proud of simply coming this far. I found the day very enjoyable; it was nice to meet the other shortlisted candidates and to put faces to the names of Mayer Brown, who were clearly investing a lot in the competition. Numerous members of the firm gave up their time to be on the judging panel and networking drinks followed, where we had the opportunity to mingle with the graduate recruitment team, trainees, associates and partners.

Being announced as the winner was an even bigger surprise and I’m just glad that the work I put into my application paid off, as well as grateful for the opportunity TARGETjobs created by organising the Awards and Mayer Brown for their sponsorship. I’m very excited to be joining the firm on their summer scheme later this year, as everyone who I’ve met from the firm so far has been lovely and I am keen to learn more about the work that they do.

I’d strongly encourage any penultimate-year law student to apply for the competition. The application itself is not that time consuming when you compare it to other applications for work and work experience, which have far more stressful assessment days! As for the competition, not only is there a great prize at stake but, if you’re shortlisted, you’ll have the opportunity to meet other talented students from a range of disciplines at the award ceremony. It’s a great atmosphere and nice to see so many employers reaching out to students in this way.