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The Undergraduate of the Year Awards was an amazing experience which not only helped me to secure a summer placement with one of the world’s leading suppliers of gas and electricity, but also gave the opportunity to meet some extremely talented people along the way.

The application process for the award was challenging but very straightforward: it included a usual section on education and previous work experience, three or four online tests, and a few competency questions from the award partner which were related to company values (team work, innovation and excellence). In the next stage Gazprom Marketing & Trading (Gazprom M&T) contacted me directly and asked for a copy of my CV and a Cover Letter outlining my career aspirations. A few days after I was invited for an assessment centre in Manchester. Although I had to take multiple coffees after a 5am flight that day, the relaxed atmosphere in the office made me feel very comfortable. To my surprise we were not asked any technical questions, the focus instead was on getting to know us better. The day consisted of a group work, values-based game and an interview. My personal values and a ‘work hard, play hard’ spirit matched well with the company's culture, and at that time I remember thinking that Gazprom M&T would be a great place for me to work at!

I was over the moon when I got an invitation to the awards final ceremony which was held in London. I got to meet some truly exceptional students that day as well as talk to inspiring Rachel Riley. It was an honour to be amongst those very best undergraduates!

Even though I did not win the award, I was still offered a summer internship in the Gazprom M&T Finance department. Based in the Manchester office, I was primarily responsible for processing various types of invoices and ensuring payments were made in a timely and efficient manner. I managed to maintain excellent working relationships with both internal and external customers by answering their queries in a clear and professional manner. I also assisted with a few ongoing projects and developed a good overall understanding of business operations by shadowing professionals in Accounts Receivable, Expense Management, Risk, Sales, Forecasting, and Accounts Management.

I felt welcomed and valued from day one. My team was always there to help, they supported my ideas and encouraged me to learn. Not only did I grow professionally and develop valuable skills during my time at Gazprom, but I also met amazing people who turned my summer into an unforgettable experience!

I am now looking forward to writing my dissertation and graduating this year. Even though I am thinking of doing a Master’s next year, I am still hoping to return to Gazprom M&T in the future!