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Bristol students named as Undergraduates of the Year

Derek Bekoe collecting his award from Sir Trevor McDonald (who hosted the awards) and Mike Blakemore from the sponsor Marks & Spencer

Derek Bekoe collecting his award from Mike Blakemore, Head of Software Engineering at Marks & Spencer and Sir Trevor McDonald OBE, who hosted the awards

Brittany Harris collecting her award from Sir Trevor McDonald (who hosted the awards) and Mark Richardson from the sponsor Laing O’Rourke

Brittany Harris collecting her award from Mark Richardson, Head of Human Capital at Laing O’Rourke and Sir Trevor McDonald OBE, who hosted the awards

Press release issued: 30 April 2014

Two University of Bristol students have been named as winners of the 2014 TARGETjobs Undergraduate of the Year competition for outstanding achievements in their undergraduate studies.

Derek Bekoe, an undergraduate in Computer Science, has won the IT and Computer Science Undergraduate of the Year Award, sponsored by Marks & Spencer.  His prize is a guaranteed graduate job and a technology hamper.

Brittany Harris, an undergraduate in Civil Engineering, has won the Construction Engineering and Design Undergraduate of the Year Award, sponsored by Laing O’Rourke.  Her prize is an international summer work placement.

Professor Nishan Canagarajah, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, said: “I was delighted to hear that despite strong competition from across the country our students have, once again, done so well.  Our Faculty is committed to producing the leaders and entrepreneurs of the future and Brittany and Derek are an excellent example of Britain’s rising engineering stars.”

Stuart Johnson, Director of Careers Service at the University of Bristol, added: “The University had four finalists in the 12 award categories and Bristol were the only University with two winners, which is a fantastic achievement.  Congratulations to all the finalists and especially to the winners - Derek and Brittany.” 

The competition identified the top undergraduates from a range of degree subjects from across the UK. Applicants took a number of assessments, and psychometric tests. The competition received over 100 applications from students from over 30 UK universities.

Through a series of online tests, application forms, interviews and assessment exercises, the winners emerged from a very strong field.

The 12 winners were announced by Sir Trevor McDonald OBE at a ceremony in London last week [Friday 25 April].  Each award was sponsored by a top graduate recruiter: Mars, Laing O’Rourke, E.ON, EDF Energy, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Marks & Spencer, Gazprom, Nestle, Rolls-Royce, EU Careers, CGI and Mayer Brown.

Further information

About the TARGETjobs Undergraduate of the Year Awards

The TARGETjobs Undergraduate of the Year Awards was launched five years ago and now has 12 awards.

The Awards were set up to identify and celebrate the UK's best undergraduates in specific areas, like subject of degree (law, engineering etc) or other categories (future leaders, women, commercial excellence). Being the best means having a combination of academic excellence, the ability to pass a series of difficult online assessments, good written communication and finally the interpersonal skills necessary to compete with other students in assessment centres run by the sponsoring organisation. The final shortlisted candidates are invited to the Awards event in London in April where the winners are announced.

Each award is sponsored by a prominent graduate recruiter who provides a prize for the winner, including a paid internship.

Each award has clearly stated entry criteria, including year of study and minimum educational requirement. 

Undergraduates from all UK universities are eligible and past winners have come from over 30 different universities.

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