We caught up with Management Undergraduate of the Year finalist, Kerrith, to find out about her experience participating in the competition hosted by TargetJobs. This is what she told us:
How did you find out about the Management Undergraduate of the Year Competition?
I was first made aware of the UGOY competition by my older brother, who was a third-year University of Leeds student at the time I applied. Despite my own doubts, due to being a first-year, he encouraged me to apply and expressed that even if I didn’t get far, there was no harm in applying!
What was your impression of Enterprise before you participated? Has it changed since?
My impression of Enterprise as a company, prior to participating in the competition, was purely based on research I had conducted myself on their careers website. Although my impression was that Enterprise was a large company that performed very well, it was very generic information and was not based on my own experience with them but rather what I had seen from their website.
Since taking part in the competition, my impression of Enterprise has been nothing but positive. It is clear that they are a company that upholds their values of being an inclusive, hard-working company, who puts their customers at the heart of what they do. Every person at Enterprise I have networked with has been lovely and their continued support (even after the competition ended) has been incredible.
What preparation did you do throughout the different stages of the process to ensure you were successful through to the final?
There were lots of different tasks I completed in order to be prepared for each stage of the competition. The first step of the application process was to give a short-length answer to a question Enterprise had set, which was to write about a time I had demonstrated management and leadership skills. To prepare for this question, I completed some research into Enterprise as a company and looked at how their values fit with the relevant experience I was going to answer the question with.
Next, I had to complete three psychometric tests. Having never practised these types of tests before, at first, I thought I would be at a disadvantage. However, looking back on this I think it worked in my favour! Sometimes with psychometric testing, people can overthink and therefore not perform as well. To prepare for this I remained calm, completed the practice questions which had been provided, and then just gave it my best shot!
The next step was a video interview with a recruiter from Enterprise. In preparation, I looked into the company again, but a little more thoroughly this time. I read up on recent news to do with Enterprise and made sure to prepare some questions to ask at the end of my interview. The Enterprise website is filled with so much information which was not just useful for my interview but also great to learn about the company!
Finally, I prepared for the assessment centre. Having been given some information via email on what the structure of our day was going to look like, this helped me to prepare in the most efficient way possible. The assessment centre comprised of a group task, a role-play, and another interview with a recruiter from Enterprise. To prepare for this, I looked into the key skills recruiters look out for when people complete assessment centres and familiarised myself once more with the Enterprise values. The best piece of advice I can give is to just be yourself and show off your skills!
Looking back how has the process helped you develop?
Professionally, the competition has given me invaluable experience and insight into lots of different things, such as psychometric testing, interviews, and assessment centres. This has helped massively as I have gone on to apply for placements in my second year and has meant that I have been through a process similar before. This has helped to calm my nerves and give me confidence. However, the process for UGOY has not only helped me develop professionally but personally also. Despite not winning the award, this is my greatest achievement so far in my academic career and one which I am very proud of. From debating whether I should even apply due to a lack of confidence in myself, to placing in the top 10, is something I shall always remind myself of when pushing for opportunities that I feel are outside of my comfort zone.
What employability tips would you offer to your peers at university?
My advice to my peers at university would be that when you are presented with an opportunity, make sure to grab it with both hands. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. As well as this, make sure to sign up to the university career websites for constant emails about opportunities that are available, there are other great ones you can find online too such as the TargetJobs subscription emails! Make sure to always update your CV too, you never know what you might apply for next, and it helps to always be prepared!
Are you the next Management Undergraduate of the Year? What have you got to lose? Apply now!