By Jessie Willans on Fri 22 March 2019
It was time for the 2019 National Undergraduate Employability Awards, organised by RMP Enterprise. It was the day that we were all waiting for – could we win the Award again, for the 7th time?
Celebrating the outstanding achievements of universities and students in the field of undergraduate work experience, the awards saw 500 people come together to raise a glass to the industry’s finest. We were definitely feeling the pressure, to say the least!
Fizz, food & networking
After meeting at Liverpool Street Station, we headed for the pub to grab a quick bite to eat. Indulging in sirloin steaks, a few pints and a couple of gins, we happily lined our stomachs ready for the plentiful day ahead. Venturing towards Bishopsgate where the Awards were being held, our teeny toes were already aching! As we approached the venue, the interior was beautifully lit up with pink and blue lights. Beaming charisma, the place exuberated charm; complimented by the sweet sounds of live jazz. Nonetheless, once we were given our name badges, we ditched the coats and were ready to mingle. Though firstly and most importantly, we collected a cheeky glass of fizz! Filled with inspiring individuals and companies, the atmosphere at the Awards was electric. Joy bounced off the walls, and glasses of bubbly certainly entertained the aspiring competitors.
Col. Dame Kelly Holmes (DBE)
An unforgettable highlight of the day was when athlete and national treasure Col. Dame Kelly Holmes (DBE) gave an inspirational speech. Exploring all the highs and lows of her career, she gave her top tips for staying motivated. It was super insightful to hear all about her journey; from her time in the army, to winning gold at the 2004 Athens Olympics. Despite knockbacks, injuries and personal struggles, it was as clear as day that Kelly was a motivated, and always had been, a fearless individual. Holding onto hope, she was able to strive for her goals and dreams. Sparking a lot of thought amongst the audience, Kelly really allowed for us to reflect and respond to our own challenges. The persistency and drive not only ignited a sense of determination to achieve our own goals, it also highlighted the necessity of having self-belief and self-compassion, too. As Kelly spoke about her experiences battling with the inner critic, she highlighted that it isn’t always plain-sailing; even for those with the strongest of facades. Kelly highlighted that the key to fighting it, is by surrounding yourself with those who have your best interests at heart, remain onto hope and never forget your goals, dreams and aspirations. It’s certainly safe to say that I left Kelly’s speech feeling emotional, enthused and inspired.
Street food galore
Next, it was then time for even more grub! We enjoyed a varying range of different street foods, served in miniature, taster-sized dishes. Personally, the baby roast in the mini pan was a little masterpiece; simple, bitesize perfection! As we were too busy wrapped up in enjoyment, we unfortunately forgot to take any pictures. Though take our word for it, it was fabulous.
The countdown begins!
The break flew by, and before we knew it, the award ceremony was taking place. Sitting anxiously in our seats, our category ‘Top Small to Medium-sized Undergraduate Employer’ wasn’t revealed until the very end – it really was the most nerve-wracking wait. To make things even more tense, there was a countdown from 10-1 which eventually revealed the winner. Company by company, the countdown began…
As our name failed to appear, we suddenly came to the realisation that we had won! We literally, couldn’t believe it. The win hit us with a spiraling combination of glee, adrenaline and thrill; we did it - we won it, again! It all happened so quickly. A rapid rush of wild emotions, and with glorious parades of joy, we collected the award with beaming smiles and great amounts of gratitude. This was our 7th win, and our 3rd time in a row – we were ecstatic, thrilled and quite truly, flabbergasted!
It’s safe to say that for the rest of the evening, we were in full celebratory mode! Continuing the celebrations with the RateMyPlacement team and other competitors, we moved the party to All Bar One where we sipped even more bubbly and conversed the night away. It simply was a blissful night in the city. As glowing shafts of light lit up the faces of those surrounding, everywhere you looked, expressions shined with happiness – the atmosphere was bustling. We had the most amazing night celebrating with everyone, and to top it off, we were able to leave feeling proud and honoured that our hard work, dedication and commitment of supporting undergraduate students, had paid off.
An almighty thank you!
Finally, we want to say a huge thank you to RateMyPlacement for hosting an amazing evening; it really was filled with excitement, entertainment and memorable moments, and it’s undoubtedly a night we will always remember. Additionally, on behalf of all the placements, a massive thank you to ProspectSoft too, for providing us with such a brilliant placement programme. You continuously provide us with opportunities to grow, develop and believe in ourselves as individuals, and we couldn’t be prouder to be part of such an incredible family.
So, here’s to next year and who knows, we might even be able to take home the award, once again… (eek!)