Matthew Welsh, winner of the Construction, Engineering and Design award!

Initially the application process for the TARGETjobs Undergraduate of the Year Awards began by accident when searching for a part-time job at university. I fell upon the application process and decided that it would be a great opportunity to develop both my professional and personal network. The early stages of the process began with the rigorous testing of analytical skills, which helped the assessors gauge how in tune you are with your industry.

Following success from this, the assessment centre was another advantageous opportunity for professional development as it allowed individuals to begin to behave in an industry-related manner, discussing real-life construction issues and determining, in groups, a beneficial outcome that aims to encourage social, economic and environmental sustainability.

The process has been a great opportunity to network with industry professionals who can advise and encourage willing and determined engineers in order to ensure they make the most out of the opportunities presented to them, both at the undergraduate stage and post-university.

I am honoured to have won and taken part in such a prestigious award that will hopefully help me pave my way to a successful career within the industry. Not only has the award aided my professional development, but along the journey I have been fortunate enough to create new friendships with like-minded engineers, which hopefully will open me up to new opportunities available to myself. I can then be part of the handing down and creation of such opportunities to the next generation of engineers to come.

The opportunity to take an international industrial placement will be hugely beneficial for my technical development but it will also open me up to exposure within new technologies and industry processes, which I will be able to take into my own career in years to come, improving the way the industry is shaped and ensuring it is future-proof to this constantly changing, inherently variable, dynamic industry.