"Undergraduate Of The Year For Excellence Through Adversity" finalist
Jack Wright, a Computer Science student, made it to the final 10 in TARGETJobs "Undergraduate of the Year for Excellence Through Adversity" 2021 awards.
Jack was among the final 10 students out of the 532 shortlisted. Each award is partnered by a prominent graduate recruiter who provides a fantastic prize for the winner, including a paid internship, trips abroad and other exclusive opportunities. Jack discusses his experience on his course and the process of applying to the award.
I started my studies in September 2020, and I am currently enrolled at Leeds Beckett University, studying for my bachelor’s degree in Computer Science at the Headingley campus. The modules I have completed in my first year are challenging but approachable. As someone who had little prior knowledge before attending university, it has been reassuring that the module content is taught in depth which has allowed me to keep up to pace with my studies.
The TARGETJobs Undergraduate of The Year Award appealed to me as they offer many awards such as First-Generation Undergraduate award, LGBT+ Undergraduate Award, Black Heritage Undergraduate award, and many others. The award which interested me the most was the Excellence Through Adversity Award, with Rolls-Royce as the sponsoring partner, as I felt this award was the most relevant for me due to the educational barriers I faced before attending university.
The application process was quite extensive, after filling in my personal details I was asked three questions on why I was applying for this award, along with questions created by Rolls-Royce. One question which I was not expecting was to give an example of a time I had been bold and agile, which had me scratching my head for a while to think of the best response. After the set of questions, I was invited to three online tests which covered my problem-solving skills and personality. Upon completing these tests, I was able to see my test results and what percentile I was in from my results, which was interesting as these psychometric tests are usually not shared in the application process.
A month later, I received a call from Rolls-Royce to let me know that I had been shortlisted to the top 20 who will attend the online assessment centre. This next stage involved two interviews, one planned presentation, and a surprise presentation which involved being given 24 hours to research and give a second presentation in front of the interviewer. For my planned presentation I was asked to present something I am interested in, and so I did a 10-minute talk on the feasibility of using glass as a long-term approach to digital storage. One week after the assessment centre, Rolls-Royce called again to congratulate me on being one of the 10 finalists for the award. They let me know that there had been 532 applicants, and offered me a 10 week internship in defensive aerospace engineering at their Bristol facility, where I will be working in engineering, manufacturing engineering, and digital – working on real problems and innovations Rolls-Royce deal with.
The computer science course at Leeds Beckett University has prepared me for my career post-graduation in a variety of ways. The course content offers a wide scope of information, and tutors provide excellent teaching quality and give a great insight into computer science and the possible routes available to specialise in. Modules offer critical soft skill improvements such as public speaking and working collaboratively as a team which has helped shape me as an individual alongside my studies, which ultimately helped me secure my internship over the summer. During my studies I have also volunteered to be a course representative for Computer Science. This involves frequent meetings with the Course Director to raise student concerns if any arise. Kiran Voderhobli, the Course Director is eager to fix any issues (especially now due to the rapid shift to online teaching due to the Covid-19 pandemic). I know that the course I am studying offers the very best for the students enrolled.
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