I am a third year Modern Languages undergraduate studying French and Spanish at Exeter University. The opportunity to grow, improve, and continue to achieve more is highly important to me.

In the future, I am keen to utilise my French and Spanish proficiency and cultural awareness within an international, forward-looking company that holds a positively challenging, fast-paced working culture and dynamic mentality.

The Awards were set up to identify and celebrate the UK's best undergraduates in specific areas, such as future careers (CFO, Management etc) and other categories (Excellence through Adversity, LGBT+ etc). I applied for the First Generation Undergraduate of the Year Award in November to enhance my employability whilst at university and to gain experience of the graduate recruitment process. This award is issued by targetjobs in association with SHL and partnered with HSBC. The application process has been both insightful and exciting; I completed an online assessment with situational, numerical and inductive reasoning tests devised by SHL, a series of online HSBC assessments, three written questions set by HSBC and two 1-1 virtual interviews on the assessment centre day.

I found out I was 1 of the top 10 shortlisted for the award in March and was invited to attend the final awards ceremony at East Wintergarden in Canary Wharf on Friday 29th April.

The afternoon began with a champagne reception and time to network with fellow finalists, it was then followed by a few speeches from targetjobs and a three-course lunch. The award presentation, hosted by Sue Perkins (comedian, broadcaster, actor, writer and television presenter, most notably of The Great British Bake Off), commenced after lunch.

Out of 3968 applications and 122 amazing finalists, I feel extremely honoured and grateful to be 1 of the 12 winners of an award; I still cannot believe I’m writing this as I really was not expecting it!

I got to meet such inspirational students, connect with HSBC members (some of whom I met virtually on the assessment centre day) and talk to lovely the Sue Perkins! It was an incredible experience and one that I will never forget (it has not quite sunk in yet!)