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Are you the First Generation Undergraduate of the Year?

We’re searching UK universities to find the outstanding First Generation Undergraduate of the Year. We are looking for an agile thinker who is a natural people person and embraces diversity.

Applications for the awards are now closed.


A summer internship! HSBC is offering its winner a paid summer internship commencing 2020, one-to-one mentoring sessions and a breakfast meeting with a senior manager. There is also the possibility of securing a place on the HSBC Global Graduate Programme. On top of this, the other finalists will be guaranteed a place at its internship assessment centre.


We are delighted to introduce the 2020 finalists for this award.

Anna-Bryndís Zingsheim Rúnudóttir | King's College London | Economics and Management

Chao Ouyang | Durham University | Economics with Management

Eilidh Colquhoun | University of Strathclyde | Psychology

Lauren Maguire | Durham University | Natural Sciences

Lung Yin Hsu | Imperial College London | Biomedical Engineering

Talha Hussain | City. University of London | Accounting and Finances

William Bowler | Lancaster University | History

Xudong Wang | University of Cambridge | Natural Sciences

What is first generation?

You count as first generation to go to university even if your brothers or sisters, husband, wife or partner, foster parents, care workers, uncles, aunts and other members of your extended family have gone to university. You also count as first generation even if a parent who you have had no contact with during your secondary and post-16 education (or longer) went to university. Equally, applicants who have been adopted count as first generation even if their biological parents went to university.

You do not count as first generation if any of the following have gone to university or are currently doing so: your parents, step parents, a parent's unmarried partner living in the same household or adoptive parents who lived in the same household as you throughout the three-year period prior to the start of your university course.

What makes an award winner?

Our winner of the First Generation Undergraduate of the Year Award could be studying any degree subject, but they will possess certain skills and qualities. They will:

  • be self-motivated, naturally proactive and enjoy working on their own initiative
  • possess a hunger for knowledge and an ability to learn quickly
  • embrace diversity and build strong, trusting relationships with all kinds of people
  • be able to engage with others respectfully and listen carefully
  • stay calm under pressure and recover quickly from setbacks
  • thrive in achieving results through teamwork
  • be able to adapt their communication style and approach based on others' needs and preferences

How do I win?


Register your details online and answer three questions set by HSBC.

Must be completed by 31.01.20

Online tests

Receive an email inviting you to sit one online test designed exclusively by our partner SHL and further tests set by HSBC.

Must be completed by 31.01.20

Submit by 31.01.20

Your details must be submitted and all online tests completed by 31 January 2020.

If you are successful in getting through to the next stage, you will hear from us by 21 February 2020.

Assessment centre

If you pass the online tests and successfully make it to the next stage your application will be reviewed by HSBC.

Grand final

The final shortlist of ten students will be invited to the awards ceremony on 4 September 2020 at Canary Wharf, where the award winners will be announced!

HSBC and the First Generation Undergraduate of the Year Award

HSBC is proud to sponsor the inaugural First Generation Undergraduate of the Year Award as we believe it’s important that we have a connected workforce that reflects the communities where we operate and helps us serve our customers from all walks of life.

At HSBC we believe that different ideas and perspectives help us innovate, manage risk, and grow the business in a sustainable way. As a business operating in markets all around the world, we believe diversity brings benefits for our customers, our business and our people. We want to make sure that our people come from a wide range of backgrounds and reflect the communities we operate in. Being inclusive is an expression of our values to be dependable, open and connected. We want HSBC to be a place where people are valued, respected and supported to fulfil their potential.

Click here to find out more about us and our internship and graduate opportunities.

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