Meet Lucy, a second year economics and finance student at Leeds Beckett University and finalist of the 2022 targetjobs Management Undergraduate of the Year award:
The Management Undergraduate of the Year Award
In January 2022 I received emails from my university regarding the ability to apply to the targetjobs Undergraduate of the Year Awards. I was looking for ways to practice my interview skills and increase my confidence and this looked like a fantastic opportunity. Little did I know how many opportunities applying to the awards would bring me….
As I browsed the awards categories the Management Award, sponsored by Enterprise, stood out to me. Initially, I hesitated to apply as I did not study management at university, nevertheless I felt confident that my previous work experience would be able to compensate.
The application process
The first stage of the application process included some questions alongside an aptitude test and psychometric test, and it gave me a great insight as to how companies may assess potential candidates. To my delight, my application was successful, and I had about a month to prepare myself for the virtual interview. To ensure I was best prepared I firstly attended the interview hints and tips workshop Enterprise provided, which was very useful to discover what employers look for when interviewing.
I also researched Enterprise’s company values and reviewed the competencies Enterprise looks for when hiring for their Management Training Programme. I then thought about my prior experience and tried to link the skills I’d developed to those competencies, allowing me to pull on those experiences in my interview answers.
Prior to this experience I had never done an online interview and afterwards was left feeling very unsure on how it went as it was a new experience for myself. However, any doubts I had instantly vanished when I found out I was successful and had made the next stage – attending an assessment centre. That was also an experience that pushed me completely outside of my comfort zone, although now I wonder what I was even worried about – I wish I could re-live that day as it was so much fun, and everybody was so friendly!
Such a rewarding experience
Before starting the award process, I knew Enterprise was a car rental company, however, I soon learnt about the wide range of fantastic opportunities that Enterprise had to offer. So much so, that I am now excited to say that I am about to embark on a 12-month internship with Enterprise as part of my placement year. One of the biggest factors that persuaded me to join the company was the ‘promote from within’ structure, allowing me to progress in management, as well as the high rewards up for grabs. The company culture is reflected in one of their founding values ‘we work hard and reward hard work’ this is something that I love as it creates a motivational and positive work environment.
Reflecting back, I would say this process has helped me improve my confidence dramatically as I know the management team at Enterprise have confidence in my ability as a manager and hard-working individual. This experience has taught me to stop doubting myself. By applying to the awards and pushing myself out of my comfort zone I have met so many people, from other talented undergraduates to dozens of other employers at a fabulous awards event at Canary Wharf in London!
What have you got to lose?
To my peers at university, I recommend getting as much industry experience as possible and get involved in things that will help you develop the skills that employers are looking for; maybe join a sports team, society or volunteering group. These experiences will allow you to develop skills such as time management, resilience, leadership, communication, teamwork, work ethic… the list could go on.
By applying to the targetjobs Undergraduate of the Year Awards you are given the opportunity to attend interviews and assessment centers which builds your confidence and knowledge on what employers are looking for.
Lastly, I want anybody at university to know not to worry about the future; your hard work will pay off so take some time for yourself, whether that is going for a long walk or listening to music or simply taking a bath. I wish the best of luck to everybody and hope this short blog has been useful to those considering applying for the targetjobs Undergraduate of the Year Awards and wanting to build their industry experiences.
Register here for the for the 2023 Management Undergraduate of the Year Awards. We are also currently accepting applications for our Placement and Graduate Management Trainee Programme.