Marie Notermans collecting her award from Sir Trevor McDonald (who hosted the awards) and Richard Phelps, Head of Corporate and Employer Solutions at Barclays

Success at Undergraduate of the Year Awards

A University of Exeter student has been named as the Arts and Humanities Undergraduate of the Year. Marie Notermans, who is studying English and Spanish, beat off fierce competition at the recent TARGETjobs Undergraduate of the Year Awards.

With over 4,400 applicants from over 140 universities, five students from Exeter including Marie were shortlisted as finalists for the different awards.

The awards, with 12 different categories, were launched four years ago, to identify and celebrate the UK’s best undergraduates in specific areas. The shortlisting process mirrors a graduate recruitment selection procedure, and includes online tests, interviews and assessments.

Exeter students were shortlisted across five different disciplines; a considerable achievement for such a high profile competition.  Each of the undergraduates nominated attended the awards ceremony in Canary Wharf, London where Marie was presented with her award by Sir Trevor McDonald.

Shortlisted UGs:

Victoria Bresslaw (Law)

  • for ‘The Law Undergraduate of the Year’ sponsored by Mayer Brown

Emily Hickley (Economics with European Study with proficiency in Mandarin Chinese)

  • for ‘The Female Undergraduate of the Year’ sponsored by Rolls Royce

Sarah Philp (IT Management for Business)

  • for ‘The IT and Computer Science Undergraduate of the Year’ sponsored by Marks & Spencer

Jesse Wilson (Economics and Finance)

  • for ‘The Future Business Leader of the Year’ sponsored by Mars

Marie won a ten-week summer internship on the Barclays Wealth and Investment Management Internship Programme and a meeting with a member of the Senior Leadership Team. Helen Ogilvie, Head of Entry Level Recruitment for the wealth and investment management division of Barclays, said:“We were impressed by the calibre of all the finalists, but Marie really stood out by performing at a consistently high standard across all of the assessment exercises. She came across as a very engaging, professional and confident individual; all of which are important attributes in a client-facing role. Marie also showed the determination and resilience needed to be successful in the Financial Services industry and demonstrated an impressive level of commercial awareness.

We always look for more than just financial acumen in our graduate recruits: emotional intelligence, empathy, and the ability to build strong and long-lasting relationships with clients are also key. They also need to be able to see the big picture while being able to drill down to extraordinary detail in their research. These distinctive skills transcend degree subjects, hence Barclays support for the Arts and Humanities award. We look forward to welcoming Marie onto our Summer Internship Programme.”

The award caught Marie Notermans interest because of the unusual nature of a bank sponsoring an award for Arts and Humanities students. She said:“I had not thought seriously about working in the banking industry before, but as the award was aimed at students like me, it encouraged me to research what was involved with the role. I feel proud of what I have achieved and hope it inspires and reassures other students from the Arts and Humanities that their subject choice in no way limits the career options available to them. Studying Humanities makes you a rounded and multi-skilled person, you can communicate clearly thanks to all the essays you write; you might have language skills that mean a company can send you to different countries; you spend your class debating and discussing with other students and often have to give group and individual presentations.”

Paul Blackmore, University of Exeter’s Head of Employability and Graduate Development, said:“This is an outstanding achievement for Marie in winning this award and also a remarkable achievement for the other four Exeter students from across the other Colleges chosen as finalists, not least due to the fierce competition that they faced. The combination of the University’s investment in the employability agenda combined with the increasing number of career-minded students being attracted to Exeter continues to raise our profile as a leading University that places the career prospects of our students as its top priority.”

The support and encouragement Marie received from the Careers Zone throughout her time at Exeter and during the application process for TARGETjobs UG Award was invaluable. She said:“David Pritchard from the Career Zone, gave me practical advice and things to research for the TARGETjobs UG Awards, but more than anything he gave me confidence. I truly could not have done it without his help, and am extremely grateful for his support. Having spoken to students from other universities applying for the award none seemed to rate their university career services, so I feel lucky to have access to the great support and resources available at Exeter.”

She added:“The Career Zone team provide a useful and personalised service, and throughout my time at Exeter I have been involved in and completed the Exeter Award and the Leaders Award, as well as partaking in the Career Mentor Scheme. These projects have really helped me develop my commercial awareness and focus on what employers are looking for.”

In other competitions, Exeter has led the way in achieving the highest number of nominations for the ‘Student Employee of the Year Awards 2013’. With 77 nominations (11 more than the nearest rival), the University is raising the bar yet again and continues to consolidate its reputation as the destination of choice for career-minded students. Results of the competition will be announced in July.

Date: 1 May 2013

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