Derek Bekoe only entered the Undergraduate of the Year Awards 2014 to see how far he could go…

Being announced as the winner of the IT and Computer Science Undergraduate of the Year Award by Sir Trevor McDonald at Canary Wharf was a memorable experience for me. I applied just to see how far I could go and it feels great to have won.

The application process was a smooth one with a few different stages. The first stage was an application form asking for some basic information and the completion of online tests. The final stage was an assessment centre held in London. The day was enjoyable with presentations, group exercises and an interview. Ten students were invited to the final, of which I won.

The prize was a guaranteed place on the Marks & Spencer software engineering graduate scheme and a technology hamper. The hamper was delivered a couple of weeks after the awards ceremony. Among lots of other really interesting technology, it contained an Xbox One with Kinect, an Amazon Kindle Fire HD tablet, Apple TV and a Pebble smart watch. I use the Pebble watch every day and it has brought about some interesting conversations about wearable technology. I've made some great contacts with software engineering staff at Marks & Spencer and look forward to finding out more about the graduate scheme.

Since the Awards, I have completed the Bristol PLUS Award at my university, which recognises students demonstrating high leadership, commercial awareness and problem-solving skills. I am also currently completing my internship in technology at J.P. Morgan.

I'd like to thank TARGETjobs Events and Marks & Spencer for the award; the experience was great!

Where are they now?

Software engineer at Microsoft.