8 June 2021

Why Should You Nominate at the National Undergraduate Employability Awards?

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Powered by RateMyPlacement, the National Undergraduate Employability (NUE) Awards celebrate the outstanding achievements of employers, students and universities in undergraduate work experience across the UK.

The University Awards are a chance for you and your colleagues to be recognised and rewarded for all of your amazing work in inspiring students to take the first steps in their career.

Nominations for the NUE’s 2022 will be opening this Autumn, so keep your eyes peeled…

To help you with your nomination, here’s some inspiration from the winner of the Outstanding Contribution to Work Experience Award, Vianna Renaud, who is a Placement Development Advisor at Bournemouth University.

Vianna was nominated by her colleagues at BU to recognise all of her efforts towards helping students in their career, and was successful at the 2021 Awards!

Read to see some of the amazing things Vianna has got up to in her role, and to see why you should nominate for the NUE Awards 2022.

Vianna Renaud, winner (Outstanding Contribution to Work Experience)

Tell us about your role

I am a Placement Development Advisor for the Faculty of Media and Communication at Bournemouth University.

Supporting undergraduate and postgraduate students during their sandwich placement out in industry, located both in the UK and internationally, I am an independent coach for students and employers to ensure a quality placement experience.

What have been some of your biggest achievements in your role?

Hands down my biggest achievement has been with my students.

I absolutely love seeing them grow and develop through their placement experience, getting updates from them during final year, and even after graduation when they want to share how they secured their first graduate role or sharing how everything is coming together.

It is always wonderful getting these updates and knowing that our work together helped get them to where they wanted to be. That is the most anyone working in HE can ask for; seeing the complete student life cycle from entering university to entering the work force.

I am quite passionate about the field in general, and therefore am undertaking a PhD regarding peer to peer employability coaching and mentoring. So far there has been great interest in my research where I have been able to present at conferences and publish articles.

I am really looking forward to bringing these insights to my work and the greater sector. I have to say that I have also been blessed with incredible colleagues and mentors who share the same drive so I am very grateful for finding my ‘tribe’ of student experience and employability practitioners. 

How did you hear about the NUE Awards?

I consider RateMyPlacement to be a great leader and driving force within our sector, particularly given their partnerships with professional associations such as ASET.

Therefore I have always seen the National Undergraduate Employability Awards to be an extension of their dedication and passion.

I have been lucky enough to have attended previous ceremonies so was really excited to learn that they had decided to continue this year online. 

How did it feel to be nominated?

My colleague Kamila Chmielewska, our Regional Manager for East and South Asia at Bournemouth University, told me that this was her way to recognise me for going beyond the normal ‘call of duty’ for not only my students but also the larger BU student community.

Whilst I had always volunteered to do anything ‘employability and global experience’ for events on campus, her recommendation reminded me of just how much I have done.

The application was relatively straightforward and something that even a busy person can commit to.

Not to mention the amazing feeling one has when learning that they have been nominated, so most definitely the perfect opportunity to show those that you work with that you admire and applaud their dedication.

What did you think of the virtual NUE Awards ceremony?

I thought it was brilliant to keep the events going and by this time, we have all kind of gotten okay with Zoom and online meetings.

Virtual NUE Awards Ceremony

Why should other individuals nominate themselves / their colleagues for the Outstanding Contribution to Work Experience Award?

This is a wonderful opportunity for you to take a moment to reflect upon your work and practice; to compile a list of your key accomplishments of the year, facts and figures, feedback, etc.

It is so very important for us to remember what we have done to then pat ourselves on the back as we all try incredibly hard for our students.

What tips would you give to anyone nominating for the Award?

Definitely go ahead and do it! You never know how much of a difference you have made on your students, placement companies, and the overall wider institution until you actually put it all together. Who knows, it could be you next! 

We hope this has inspired you, keep a look out for nominations opening later this year!