2018 winners

The Future CFO of the Year Award, sponsored by ACCA

Charlie Francis – University of Bath, Accounting and Finance

Charlie studied accounting and finance at the University of Bath. In his first year he was accepted onto the EY scholarship scheme, which saw him complete a summer internship in 2017 and a year-long placement in its More London office in 2018/19. He became a full-time associate at EY in September 2020. Charlie also completed internships with PwC and Harrods Finance, alongside part-time work at Reading Festival and volunteer work as a peer mentor at university. Outside this, Charlie has represented his university in squash and rowing and is a keen skier and sailor.

Head to Charlie's blog to find out about his experience of the Undergraduate of the Year Awards.


Charlie Francis | University of Bath | BSc Accounting and Finance | Shashwat Jha | University of Cambridge | BA Economic Tripos | Bobbi Lang | Imperial College London | MSci Physics with Theoretical Physics | Ryan Makuku | University of Birmingham | BSc Accounting and Finance | Rory McAlpine | University of Dundee | BAcc Accountancy | Christo Nation | University of Exeter | BSc Business Economics | Sandisiwe Ncube | University of Warwick | BSc Mathematics | Charlie Nightingale | University of Leeds | BSc Economics | Sivajanani Suresh | City, University of London | BSc Accounting and Finance | Ryan Sutherland | University of Warwick | MEng Discrete Mathematics

The Undergraduate of the Year Award for Innovation, sponsored by Barclays

James McKevitt – Loughborough University, Aeronautical Engineering

James studied aeronautical engineering at Loughborough University and was the head of rocketry and projects for the university Space Society. Working with senior university staff and engineering students, James pioneered an outreach activity for local schools aimed at educating year 10 students, inspiring them into further study in STEM subjects. He also helped support iNet, a Space Industries Accelerator, at his university and increased its exposure to students. James was also awarded an international space scholarship, meaning he met with NASA Control Room Engineers in Florida, and since worked with TfL and the London Underground on control room layout and management.


Arunita Roy | King's College London | BSc Computer Science with Management | Damian Zabielski | University of Kent | BA Business with Management | Daniel Johnston | Imperial College London | MEng Aeronautical Engineering | Demi Ng | Newcastle University | BSc Biomedical Sciences | Holly Simpson | University of Bristol | MArts Anthropology with Innovation | James McKevitt | Loughborough University | BEng Aeronautical Engineering | Kudzai Moyo | University of Warwick | BSc Accounting with Finance | Marco Benedettelli | Royal Holloway, University of London | BSc Psychology | Nicolo Frisiani | University of Manchester | BEng Electrical and Electronic Engineering | Philipp John | University of Warwick | BSc Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship

The Engineering Undergraduate of the Year Award, sponsored by E.ON

Igor Gawron – University of Sheffield, Mechanical Engineering with Nuclear Technology

Igor studied mechanical and nuclear engineering at the University of Sheffield. He has a keen interest in the energy sector and has worked for NuScale Power, a leader in nuclear energy innovation. While at university, he took on the role a computational fluid dynamics tutor and a researcher in student-led projects. Igor was also a member of the Sheffield Engineering Leadership Academy, engaging in outreach and public engagement activities. He also enjoys sport: he competed for the university triathlon team and played on a five-a-side football team.


Kalifat Akande | University of Nottingham | MEng Chemical Engineering with Environmental Engineering | Alexander Brown | University of Sheffield | MEng Chemical Engineering | Eva Dewsbury | University of Liverpool | MEng Mechanical Engineering | Aaron Doyle | University of Southampton | MEng Mechanical Engineering | Igor Gawron | University of Sheffield | MEng Mechanical Engineering with Nuclear Technology | Nina Greasby | University of Southampton | MEng Mechanical Engineering/Sustainable Energy Systems | Arushi Madan | University of Birmingham | MEng Electronic and Electrical Engineering | Cameron Scott | University of Strathclyde | MEng Electrical and Mechanical Engineering | Ruchika Scott | University of Sheffield | MEng Mechanical Engineering | Calum Watkins | University of Strathclyde | MEng Electrical and Mechanical Engineering

The Management Undergraduate of the Year Award, sponsored by Enterprise Rent-a-Car

Holly Hetherington – University of St Andrews, Management

Holly studied management at the University of St Andrews. As well as working hard on her degree, she was a member of the university’s league-winning women’s hockey first team. Holly was also employed by the university’s Athletic Union as the fifth team’s hockey coach and she supported the local community by teaching children. Holly enhanced her leadership and communication skills in her role as communication officer across over 60 sports clubs for the Athletic Union. She was also a social media ambassador for PlayerLayer, which involves running the St Andrews media accounts for the brand.

Head to Holly's blog to find out about her experience of the Undergraduate of the Year Awards.


Yasmin Akram | University of Leeds | BSc International Business | Katie Bradford | DE Montfort University | BA Business and Management | Zoe Evans | University of Sheffield | BA Business Management | Connor Griffiths | Royal Holloway, University of London | BSc Business Management | Holly Hetherington | University of St Andrews | MLitt Management | Elizabeth Lucas | University of Kent | BA Accountancy and Finance | Sophie Lycett | University of York | BA Politics with International Relations | Caitlin McDonald | Loughborough University | BSc International Business | Ayesha Naser | Manchester Metropolitan University | BA Economics | Rachel Smith | The University of Edinburgh | MA Business Management

The Computer Science, IT and Physics Undergraduate of the Year Award, sponsored by FDM

Marek Gaj – University of Leicester, Computing with Management

Marek studied computing with management at the University of Leicester. He was awarded the prize for the best computer science grade average for two consecutive years. Marek’s love for computer science started when he was 13 years old and successfully created an online game with over 20,000 active users. He has worked as a digital analyst for Hotels.com and won the annual Facebook London Hackathon, securing a place in the global final in California. Marek has represented his country in athletics and started practising ballroom and Latin dancing while at university.


Emilian Cebuc | Abertay University | BSc Ethical Hacking | Oliver Copleston | Cardiff University | BSc Computer Science | Marek Gaj | University of Leicester | BSc Computing with Management | Dewi Gould | Imperial College London | MSci Physics with Theoretical Physics | Phoebe Hunter | University of Liverpool | BSc Physics | Costanza Maria Improta | University of Manchester | BSc Computer Science | Robert Kirk | University of York | MSci Natural Sciences | Francesco Perticarari | Goldsmiths, University of London | BSc Computing | Dominic Reeves | Lancaster University | MPhys Physics | Martina Buendia Silva | University of Aberdeen | BSc Computer Science and Mathematics

The One to Watch Undergraduate of the Year Award, sponsored by First Names

Christina Hadjiyianni – Durham University, Geography

Christina studied geography at Durham University. As a Laidlaw scholar, she undertook independent research, demonstrating and developing her leadership skills. Christina was awarded the College Award and completed the Durham Award. As a competitive sportswoman, she represented her university in football and basketball. Christina also worked for the National Citizen Service as a team leader. This enabled her to make a positive impact in her community by helping young people to build relationships, improve their employability skills and fundraise over £2,800 for charity.


Giorgio Collett | Durham University | BA Philosophy, Politics and Economics | Chrisina Hadjiyianni | Durham University | BSc Geography | Israrullah Khan | University of Aberdeen | LLB Law with English Law | Bonnie Sze Long Liu | University of Southampton | LLB Law | Megan Ridd | Lancaster University | BSc Economics | Ibrahim Sheikh | University of Cambridge | BA Natural Sciences | Laura Smyth | University of Oxford | BA History and Politics | Sean Sutiono | Newcastle University | BSc Accounting and Finance

The Mathematics, Economics and Finance Undergraduate of the Year Award, sponsored by Gazprom

Zara Loughridge – University of Edinburgh, Economics

Zara studied economics at the University of Edinburgh. She enjoys learning new languages and was awarded a class medal in her first year for achieving the top mark in a German module. During the summers of 2016 and 2017, Zara worked on the social team at Discovery Summer, teaching and coaching students of over 60 nationalities and hosting evening shows for audiences of over 120 students. She has previously volunteered as a St John Ambulance Cadet and her efforts were recognised when she received the Millennium Volunteers Award for 100 hours in 2014. In her free time Zara enjoys playing the piano and Olympic weightlifting.


Polina Dergacova | University of Aberdeen | MA Economics and Finance | Michael Georgiou | Aston University | BSc Mathematics and Economics | Fionn Godwin | Aston University | BSc Mathematics with Economics | Mozomul Hoque | University of Birmingham | BSc Mathematics | Amani Lahmami | Queen Mary University of London | BSc Mathematics | Ben Lonergan | University of Birmingham | MEng Chemical Engineering with Business Management | Zara Loughridge | The University of Edinburgh | MA Economics | Meera Soni | University of Bristol | BSc Economics

The Construction and Engineering Undergraduate of the Year Award, sponsored by Laing O'Rourke

Rachel Hayden – University of Bath, Civil Engineering

Rachel is a civil engineering student at the University of Bath. She won the 2017 Ford Prize for Women in STEM Study in recognition of her work as a STEM ambassador and running of a global female engineering competition. Rachel is a QUEST scholar with the Institute of Civil Engineers and one of five global ambassadors for the International Women’s Academy. She has attained grade 8 in singing and on the flute and piano. As a member of the National Youth Choir of Great Britain, Rachel has performed at the Royal Albert Hall and recorded at Abbey Road Studios.


Lewis Bunch | Cardiff University | MEng Civil Engineering | Alina Dragancea | University of Bristol | MEng Civil Engineering | Rachel Hayden | University of Bath | MEng Civil Engineering | Shenene Jess | University of Leeds | MEng Civil and Structural Engineering | Timothy Newcombe | University of Nottingham | MEng Architecture and Environmental Design | Anna Pieprzyk | University of Greenwich | MEng Civil Engineering | Izabella Platts | Nottingham Trent University | BSc Building Surveying | Catriona Salvini | Heriot-Watt University | MEng Structural Engineering | Lauren Wade | University of Plymouth | MEng Civil Engineering | Bryony Watson | Heriot-Watt University | MEng Mechanical Engineering

The Male Undergraduate of the Year Award, sponsored by L’Oréal

Edward Ashton Johnson – University of Exeter, Business Economics

AJ studied business economics at the University of Exeter. He has started various companies including a platform that promotes local discounts to students over a chatbot, a flower delivery service for Valentine’s Day and an events company called Cucucachoo, which he continues to run and which sells out nightclubs in two minutes. AJ has run events for companies including a peach beer company and a clothing brand. He was also the head of finance for the Exeter Entrepreneurs Society. AJ has interned in various sectors including marketing and growth at Cleo, a digital financial chatbot. He also coordinated its national brand ambassador programme.


Edward Ashton Johnson | University of Exeter | BSc Business Economics | Matthew Caine | University of Manchester | BA Politics, Philosophy and Economics | Giulio Capodimonti | City, University of London | BSc Management | Harry Caro | University of Exeter | BSc Business Economics | Emmanuel De Labauve D'Arifat | University of Reading | BSc Accounting and Finance | Ewan High | Swansea University | BEng Aerospace Engineering | Liam Partridge | Queen Mary University of London | BA English and Film Studies | Osman Salam | Aston University | BSc International Business and Management | Peter Whitehead | Queen Mary University of London | BA English | Arkadiusz Zadka | University of Leeds | BA Management and the Human Resource

The Fashion Retail, Buying and Merchandising Undergraduate of the Year Award, sponsored by Marks & Spencer

Victoria Stace – London College of Fashion, University of the Arts London, Fashion Management

Victoria joined Marks & Spencer as a buying graduate after the awards. She also completed a placement year at Ralph Lauren as part of her fashion management degree at London College of Fashion. She received the Mint Velvet fashion consultancy project award in 2017 and was also the managing director of the prize-winning UAL fashion enterprise management group in 2016. She worked for Hydra Retail Solutions as an executive assistant, which involved undertaking visual merchandising for international brands as well as recruiting and training for new European projects. Victoria also interned with women’s fashion magazine MAGNIFY and acted as her university’s CMI ambassador.


Phoebe Catinella | London College of Fashion, UAL | BA Fashion Buying and Merchandising | Chloe Goodall | Birmingham City University | BA Fashion Business and Promotion | Remy Martin | University of Huddersfield | BA Fashion and Textile Buying Management | Seetal Mistry | London College of Fashion, UAL | BA Fashion Buying and Merchandising | Daniel Mitev | University of Surrey | BSc Business Management | Bridget Nzenwa | University of Manchester | BSc Fashion Buying and Merchandising | Inez Pillans | Glasgow Caledonian University | BA International Fashion Branding | Magdalena Sawicka | King's College London | BSc Business Management | Elizabeth Shearman | University of Bath | BSc International Management and Modern Languages | Victoria Stace | London College of Fashion, UAL | BA Fashion Management

The Female Undergraduate of the Year Award, sponsored by Rolls-Royce

Abigael Bamgboye – Imperial College London, Materials Science and Engineering

Abigael studied materials science and engineering at Imperial College London and was a Bank of England scholar. She is a proactive member of her local community; at school she led the History Society and was the editor of an award-winning science magazine. Abigael was the vice-president of Imperial’s Materials Society and led a committee to organise its first Materials Careers Fair in 2017. She is passionate about STEM and aims to inspire young people through Construkt, an engineering outreach programme, and her role on the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining’s Women in Materials committee. Abigael also enjoys dancing and learning Japanese.


Abigael Bamgboye | Imperial College London | MEng Materials Science and Engineering | Kate Drury | University of Sheffield | MEng Chemical Engineering | Brogan Gauld | University of Glasgow | MEng Mechanical Engineering | Nadia Gjerdingen | Imperial College London | MEng Mechanical Engineering | Ana Groom | University of Cambridge | MEng Engineering | Michaela Haynes | Coventry University | BEng Mechanical Engineering | Nikita Khandwala | University of Oxford | BA Modern Languages and Linguistics | Laura McElhinney | Queen's University Belfast | BEng Mechanical Engineering | Linh Pham Thi | University of Oxford | MEng Engineering | Sophie Rose | University College London | BA Politics and Eastern European Studies

The Undergraduate of the Year Award for Impactful Social Action, sponsored by #iwill and Teach First

Mercy Ngulube – University of Leicester, English

Mercy Ngulube studied English at the University of Leicester. She is the former chair of the CHIVA Youth Committee and used this role to drive through campaigns and concerns on behalf of young people living with HIV. Mercy represented CHIVA with professionalism, realism, humour, passion and intelligence. She is a recipient of the Diana Legacy Award. Mercy has spoken in the House of Lords, co-hosted an event at Downing Street, delivered a TEDx talk, and travelled internationally to attend conferences to further her role as an activist.


Annabel Allen-Stevens | University of Brighton | BA Environment and Media Studies | Rob Angel | University of Bristol | BSc Economics | Eleanor Brown | University of York | BA History | Jan-Oliver Distler | Lancaster University | BA International Business Management | Maisie Harley | Durham University | BA Criminology | Tierney Holloway | University of York | BA English and Related Literature | Gursharan Kambo | Aston University | BSc Business and Management | Isabel Locke | Durham University | BA Geography | Mercy Ngulube | University of Leicester | BA English | Rebekka von Thadden | King's College London | BA International Relations