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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.

Announcing the 2021 finalists


A summer internship! HSBC is offering its winner a paid summer internship commencing in 2021, 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.


We are delighted to introduce the 2021 finalists for this award.

Abdullah Sheikh | Queen Mary University of London | Economics, Statistics and Mathematics

Bingming Li | University of Cambridge | Mathematics

Daniel Hempstead | University of East Anglia | Economics

Evelyn Chen | University of Southampton | Economics

Jenny Guo | University of Warwick | Economics

Jude D'Alesio | University of Bristol | Law

Kathryn Moore | University of Nottingham | Russian and History

Liam Paul McCue | University of York | Economics

Mateo Bartra | University of Leeds | Economics

Megan Jenkins | University of Bristol | Geographical Sciences

Zachary Levenson | University of Bristol | Aerospace Engineering

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 01.02.21

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 01.02.21

Submit by 01.02.21

Your details must be submitted and all online tests completed by 1 February 2021.

If you are successful in getting through to the next stage, you will hear from us by 26 February 2021.

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 30 April 2021, where the award winners will be announced!

HSBC and the First Generation Undergraduate of the Year Award

HSBC is proud to partner the 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.