Interview with Warwick Consulting – Winners of Best University Society 2017
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The National Undergraduate Employability Awards (NUE Awards) hosted by RateMyPlacement recognises excellence in undergraduate employability for students, universities and employers alike. Check out what the Best University Society in the UK had to say about their experience...
Hi Andrew, can you introduce yourself and your society?
Hi, I'm Andrew Jamieson and I was the Chairman of the Warwick Consulting Society. We have over 1300 members at the University of Warwick and I led the committee of roughly 30 executives over the 2016-17 academic year.
We have worked with 35+ firms during the year, through our three divisions:
‘CAREERS IN CONSULTING’ facilitates firms on campus, providing case study workshops, CV clinics, competitions as well as company presentations.
‘CONSULTING SERVICES’ covers our pro-bono projects in the local area. 60 students work with clients including Jaguar Land Rover and National Grid.
‘WOMEN IN CONSULTING’ is all about highlighting the challenges faced by women in male-dominated industries and offers mentoring and panels discussions.
So how did you find out about the Best University Society Award and what exactly made you apply for the award?
Our society received an email from the team at RateMyPlacement in early-Spring. It sounded like a great opportunity so we decided to submit our entry. You have to be in it to win it!
We applied for the award primarily because we wanted recognition for our efforts on campus at Warwick. We were really proud of our achievements and wanted to tell others.
The first step is an initial electronic application via the RateMyPlacement website. They’ll ask you to describe your society and what makes it special. This is your chance to impress, so be sure to add supporting evidence, like videos and photos, to help build your legitimacy.
What was the Enterprise-Rent-A-Car judging day like from your perspective?
If successful, you’ll be invited to the second stage of the competition, which is the ‘Judging Day’ held by sponsors, Enterprise-Rent-A-Car. This sees the top 10 societies give a short presentation to a panel of judges from the firm.
You’ll also take part in some fun challenges on the day and engage in some skills-based workshops. Several members from each society are invited, so it’s very lively and you’ll get to meet loads of talented students from other universities!
Has the £1000 prize money helped you with making your members more employable?
Our members have received skills workshops and mock assessment centres which enabled them to boost their confidence ahead of application deadlines for jobs/internships. No mock interview can be quite as good as a real one!
How has your opinions of Enterprise Rent-A-Car changed after meeting them and visiting their offices?
Enterprise Rent-A-Car put on an engaging and rewarding Judging Day which left us with a really positive image of the company. Everyone from the firm was friendly and welcoming and their offices were very swanky (and the food was awesome!). Whilst we had never worked with them before, after the competition we have already met up with the firm again to plan out events for the next academic year. Our members will love the events that we’re planning with them.
How have you benefited from entering the competition and going through the judging process?
Winning the competition has made it so much easier to work with companies and gain sponsorship for the next academic year. It has also made it easier to seek new members on campus and we have a stronger brand. At the same time, myself and the other exec members have had a great time developing our own skills and building our networks. It has been very rewarding!
Do you have some top tips for any societies entering the competition next year?
Show your passion! At all stages of the competition, go the extra mile. Make the photo collage for the initial application. Make the short video clip to go into your Judging Day presentation. There's lots you have to be proud of and you should try to be innovative when presenting.
Why should societies nominate themselves next year?
The NUE Awards offer a platform to build up awareness of your society and showcase all the work you do. Winning the top title, or reaching the finals of such a prestigious competition makes it much easier to search for sponsorship for your society. On top of this, the selection process itself offers loads of chances to meet other societies, companies and recruiters. The NUE Awards are also a fantastic way to celebrate all the hard work put in by executive members over the year. We had a great time putting together our application and going through all the stages together.
We definitely encourage all societies to enter. Don’t worry about being ‘too small’ or ‘too niche’. If you cater to careers in food and nutrition – enter! If you cater to finance careers – enter! The judges will look at the amount of effort that you’ve put into your society and the results that you have achieved for your members.