While I could write a blog with application process and assessment centre advice I believe that if you are applying for an Undergraduate of the Year award there really isn't much new stuff I could tell you. Instead I'd like to focus on the unique benefits and opportunities associated with reaching the final or winning the award. As an engineer I like to talk numbers and I'll use that to visualize how I benefited from winning the E.ON Engineering Undergraduate of the Year:
- 25,200%– that’s how many more views my profile on LinkedIn had in the week following the award compared to previous weeks
- 11,000– that’s how many people viewed my post about winning the award
- 3 – that’s how many placement and graduate scheme offers I received from companies I never applied for in the weeks following the awards ceremony
- 22 – that’s how many hours it took me to apply and attend the assessment centre and awards ceremony.
If you look at that from the perspective of an investment into your own future, this is a very impressive return for such a low cost and risk investment. In terms of career prospects this award presents a unique opportunity. While a lot of students achieve very good results at top universities and participate in engineering projects, the award provides an opportunity to be noticed by business leaders in the engineering sector. As described by TARGETjobs, the Engineering Undergraduate of the Year Award is given to an innovative individual, with good commercial awareness and an ability to create and maintain meaningful relationships with clients. This means that winning the award opens a whole new set of career paths combining technical engineering with commercial management, i.e. the most competitive jobs, with the best exit options.
As part of the prize I was offered a year-long placement with E.ON in their Community Energy Business. This provides an opportunity to build an understanding and to meet top professionals and clients within the energy sector. I will also be given a chance to apply my technical knowledge as a performance engineer and gain experience on the commercial management side of the business, meeting clients and negotiating contracts.
Overall, I think that participating in the competition can provide real recognition and the ‘WOW factor’ needed to kick start a successful career.