Queen Mary University of London
Year of event:
My advice to anyone considering to apply? Just apply, don’t hesitat.
I remember first being contacted to join the award back in January, I had received a voice mail from targetjobs telling me I’d make a great candidate for the award, considering that I had attended ‘IT’s not just for the boys!’, another targetjobs event. I decided to search up the award to learn more. Honestly, at first, I was really doubtful. Even the title itself sounded daunting, Undergraduate of the Year? How could I possibly be good enough when there are thousands of amazing students out there? After lots of consideration and support from friends, I thought that I should at least give it a go, and that I had nothing to lose but everything to gain. So, I answered the questions as best as I could and sent off my application. Soon after, I received an invite to take part in the coding assessment. Aside from university, I hadn’t done anything like this before, so I didn’t know what to expect at all. Because of this, I procrastinated doing it, I’d open the email then decide I needed more time to prepare. Finally, I thought I should have confidence and just try as best as I could. Surprisingly, it went well! It wasn’t anything very hard and reminded me of coding exercises from my course. Though I wasn’t perfect, I managed to solve as many of the test cases as I could. Next were my two interviews. This was my first ever professional interview for a tech role, I didn’t have a lot of tech experience, so I thought I’d crumble under the pressure. Thankfully, things went well, and I was invited to an in-person discovery day at Skyscanner’s London office. When I got there, I had a lot of fun learning about Skyscanner, seeing their office and meeting likeminded people my age. Everyone was so friendly, it took the load off of me. The interviews were like the first, I got to talk more about my experiences, work in a team to solve a scenario, and a technical challenge. Now, this challenge was definitely the most nerve-wracking part and I did struggle a lot with it, however, I managed to pull through. After this day, I was notified that I was a finalist! I did not see it coming at all, as I thought I was lacking compared to others. Doing this award and seeing how far I was able to get was a huge boost of confidence to me, I also got to meet new people, and learn more about software engineering in the workplace. My advice to anyone considering to apply? Just apply, don’t hesitate, or worry so much about failure. Take everything with ease and just be confident yourself instead of comparing yourself to other students. Who knows? You could become the next finalist or winner.