16 April 2021

Winners of the Best University Society 2021

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The National Undergraduate Employability Awards (powered by RateMyPlacement.co.uk), now in their twelfth year, are a celebration of the incredible achievements made by employers, students and universities in the undergraduate world.

Falling under the student category, the coveted Best University Society Award, recognises those societies that work hard in improving the employability prospects for their members. In addition to receiving the title, the winners also bag themselves £1,000 in prize money for their society. Wowzers!

Albeit virtual, this year’s NUE Awards were still a huge celebration of the fantastic work that happens in the undergraduate space. To get you excited for the NUE’s in 2022, we chat to Gordon Lin, President of LSE Business and Investment Group, winners of this year’s Best Society Award…

Tell us about your society!

LSE Business and Investment Group (BIG) are the premier careers society on campus by both size and member engagement. Through mentorship, exposure to responsibility and countless learning opportunities, we aim to nurture future leaders within our membership and committees. As a society, we are committed to finding and cultivating a diverse range of student body members at LSE to equip them with the technical and professional skills to succeed in their chosen profession.

Here’s some of our key stats..

  • BIG has over 730 members with incoming graduates securing jobs at leading global firms, including J.P.Morgan, Goldman Sachs, SoftBank, Rothschild, Bank of America, McKinsey, Bain, Clifford Chance and Linklaters.
  • On average the Society hosts three events per week with over 50 attendees, ranging from Spring Week panels to company presentations, coding workshops and competitions with the mission of helping our members improve their employability.
  • Our most recent sponsor event, LUNO, was attended by over 125 students on Zoom.

What are your society’s biggest achievements?

This academic year, BIG has undertaken multiple initiatives to promote work experience/internship opportunities for our members, including;

  • Partnering with employers in a variety of fields, such as Lazard, Luno, Google for Startups and DC Advisory
  • In partnership with Google for Startups, we created a jobs board specifically for BIG members
  • Holding regular panel and speaker events with prominent guests. This year we hosted / will be hosting the CEOs of Standard Life, Iberia Airlines, and Evercore; as well as partners from Global Founders Capital, Speedinvest, and Goldman Sachs
  • Implementing the BIG Student Mentorship Scheme, which matched over 80 first-year students with senior students who have secured internships and graduate roles across a variety of industries

How did you hear about the NUE Awards?

We were fortunate enough that one of our members told us about the NUE’s and recommended that we enter in this Award.

He nominated in the Awards last year and thought the whole process was professional and friendly!

What made you nominate yourself for the Best Society Award?

As a career-oriented society, we spend a lot of time and passion on providing our members the best experience possible.

Nominating ourselves for the Award is a testament to see whether we are working in the right direction, and also lets the hard work of our committees be recognised!The prize money of the Award would also be very useful in helping our society transform into a friendly, safe place, as well as increasing our impact on campus.

How did you find the application process and webinar?

The application process is very easy and clear, we just had to fill in a form describing our society in detail, alongside a few additional questions, which was very straight-forward and we enjoyed doing so!

To get us excited for the main event, all societies were invited to an exclusive webinar, hosted by Award sponsors Enterprise Rent-a-Car, with talks from different members of the business on how to boost our employability whilst working in a pandemic.

We found all of the speakers to be super friendly, and provided us with a lot of career advice and information on employability skills.  

What did you think of the NUE Award ceremony?

The NUE Awards this year was hosted virtually, but this didn’t matter as it was one of the best virtual events I have ever been to!

There was a virtual booth for us to meet our sponsors and supporters, which was great as this gave us an opportunity to chat to one another. We particularly enjoyed the interview with co-host June Sarpong, she was fascinating and provided us with tons of useful career advice!

Finally, the magic show at the after-party was very interesting and I thoroughly enjoyed it!

What did it feel like to win?

It was truly incredible!

All of our committee members were tense when our category being announced, but then when the host read out our society description, there was a burst of joy among us!

We were so glad that all our hard work paid off.

How has your society spent the £1,000 prize money?

The majority of the prize money has been dedicated to our new flagship program with Google developers, developing coding programmes as well as a startup accelerator, which will benefit our members who are interested in the entrepreneur and tech sector, providing a platform for them to interact with world-class developers.

We also allocated some of the prize money to our marketing team for redeveloping our society website and rebranding our Instagram page, which helps to increase marketing efficiency and promote the society further on social media.

Finally, the remaining prize money went to the mentorship division, to support them in reaching out to mentors in the industry through LinkedIn, helping our society members to find support in their interested industries.

Why should societies nominate themselves for the Best Society Award 2022?

If you would like your society to be recognised nationally, and to reward the committees who worked days and night outside of their academic responsibilities, for the benefit of the society and its members, then you should go for it!

It is also a great opportunity to meet sponsors and other societies, building networks for the future of the society, exchanging ideas and just for the amazing experience with your peers.

What tips would you give to new societies when nominating themselves for the award?

If you are reading this blog then you must have a lot of passion for your society, so don’t be afraid to show that on the application and demonstrate the opportunities and initiatives you create for your members.

In our society, we also massively celebrate diversity and inclusion, which is a super important topic right now, so think about how your society provides these aspects. And good luck!