8 Jul 2015
My Undergraduate of the Year Experience with TargetJobs
At the start of my final year, following my placement year, a friend told me about an event held by TargetJobs called 'IT's not just for the boys.' It is a networking event held in London to encourage girls to work in the IT industry. As I knew I would need to find a job this year, I thought I would have nothing to lose by applying and it may lead to something. One application and telephone interview later I headed to the Bloomberg offices in London for the event. I met many interesting people including recruiters and students. There was a skills session where I was put with Sky, along with five other girls, to develop an app and then present it to a panel of recruiters.
A couple of months after the event, the organiser at TargetJobs got in touch with me to tell me about a competition they were holding called Undergraduate of the Year. She recommended me to enter! The competition had various categories covering a range of subjects and a different company sponsoring each award. I applied for the Computer Science Undergraduate of the Year sponsored by CGI; the prize being a permanent graduate job in one of their major business units. The application was long, with the normal CV type questions followed by three or four long answer questions related to technology, CGI and the competition. I was then invited to take the online tests; if you have done an online test you will know they are not particularly nice. I had a go but thought there is no way I had passed and that would be the end. But then, I received an email from TargetJobs saying I had been shortlisted to the final forty applicants being sent to CGI who would select the final ten for their assessment centre. Much to my surprise, I was selected for the final 10. I attended the assessment centre in Reading along with the other nine finalists. The assessment centre was just like any other, an interview and group exercise. The day was enjoyable and it was great to find out more about the company.
Several weeks later I was asked to attend an interview for the business area I had said I would like to work in. To my surprise, my interviewer had attended Loughborough and also studied Computing and Management. The interview was a chance to see if I would fit into the CGI team in Scotland and which role I would want to take on. A week later I was contact via telephone to say they woul like to make me a job offer, this meant I was still in the running to win the competition!
I attended the awards in London knowing I had already been offered a job. I did not win the award, however, the whole experience was amazing, meeting other students who had made it to the final in all different subject areas. Plus, Fiona Bruce, who was presenting the awards, read my name out! To have made it to the final ten out of 3,553 people who applied across twelve categories; it was an amazing achievement and experience. I would recommend it to anyone who has the chance!
Footnote from Dr Colin Machin, Emma's Personal Tutor
Emma has been very modest in this article. She told me that one of the judges took her aside and told her that "the final decision was very difficult". I took this to mean that she was a very closed second. Also, the ultimate good news is that Emmas has been awarded a First Class Honours degree. Very well done Emma.