I would like to start by saying that if you are undecided about whether you should apply to the Undergraduate of the Year Awards… PLEASE DO! It has been the most rewarding experience for me, and I will tell you why!

Having already submitted numerous vacation scheme applications this year, I knew I wanted to submit one more and so, although an unconventional route, I gave the awards application my all.

The application itself mirrored that of a Training Contract application, requiring each candidate to submit answers to four questions, along with additional information. The Occupational Personality Questionnaire came next, which evaluates each candidate's personality preferences in the workplace - essentially, determining how well suited you are to the job!

After a few weeks of waiting, I was informed that I had been shortlisted! The next round involved answering two commercial-related questions within a one-week period. After writing, re-writing and proofreading my answers a hundred times I managed to submit them on time. The outcome… I had been chosen as one of the 10 finalists for the future lawyer award! At this point, I was bewildered; I never imagined that someone like me, from a Non-Selective State School, a Non-Russell Group University, and a First-Generation University Student, could have made it this far!

Putting my sheer disbelief aside, I then had to prepare myself for an interview with Clyde & Co, consisting of a panel of two. The interview itself was fantastic, my interviewers were welcoming, and they showed a real interest in my experiences.

The day of the awards ceremony arrived, and I headed down to Canary Wharf, London. It was fantastic to be surrounded by hardworking, motivated, and inspiring people – everyone was so welcoming. A day of socialising, good food, drinks, and celebrations commenced. Fast-forward to the announcement of the future lawyer award winner and having my name read out… I could not believe it, all the hard work that had gone into my application and interview preparation had paid off, I was honestly lost for words but absolutely over the moon! If I thought my day could not get any better, later in the evening Partners from Clyde & Co and members from Graduate Recruitment asked if they could grab me for a moment, only for them to tell me that because they had been so impressed with my application/interview, they wanted to offer me a Training Contract there and then!! At this point I was speechless.

If you have made it this far, I hope that my experience encourages you to apply. If you do not try you will never know! I had doubts when applying, I think most people do, but to look back and see how rewarding this experience has been and the opportunities it has given me, I really want others to put any doubts aside and go for it!

Best of luck to all future applicants!!