My advice for anyone thinking of taking part in the competition is to go for it! There really is nothing to lose but so much you could potentially gain from building new relationships, networking, and opening doors to so many new opportunities. I don’t think there is a perfect formula for how to win the award, but just be your genuine self and showcase your passion, achievements and skills and the rest will follow.

As the first person in my family to attend university, I thought this competition would be a great way to gain new opportunities, build my confidence and network. I found out about this competition through an email from TARGETjobs and decided to apply for the First Generation category as this was most suited to me. As part of the competition, I had to complete an online application with three questions specifically set by HSBC. Following that, I had to sit a couple of online tests and participated in a virtual assessment, which involved solving a business problem in a set time

I never expected to be shortlisted out of the thousands of applicants, let alone to make it into the final ten. Despite the virtual setting, I had a great time at the ceremony, which provided an opportunity to meet fellow finalists, network with HSBC staff and speak to Rachel Riley. We also had a lovely picnic hamper sent to us the day before the awards, filled with lots of delicious treats.

Overall, the whole experience has helped to boost my confidence and understanding of the application process, from online tests to virtual assessment centres. If you’re still pondering whether to apply, just go for it! I want to also take the opportunity to thank TARGETjobs, HSBC and the Undergraduate of the Year Awards team for organising everything and providing me with this fantastic opportunity!