Published: 04 May 2018

Celebrating the successes of our placement year students at the SOTY awards 2018

The Employability and Careers Centre recently hosted the Professional Training Student of the Year Awards to recognise and celebrate the outstanding contributions of our students during their placement year in industry.

Vice-chancellor, Max Lu presented the awards alongside Keith Herrmann, Director of Employability and Careers. Colleagues from across the University came to Wates House to congratulate this year’s nominees. It was fantastic to have a lively atmosphere throughout the evening with a range of displays showcasing the work of our nominated students and the chance to chat to all the nominees.

We were delighted to announce the winner of Student of the Year 2018, Gareth Coffin, from the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences, who took his placement year at Mondelez International working as a member of the Process Technology Team.

In his blog post on his experience at Mondelez, he commented “That’s one of the great things about placement, you are treated like just another employee […] I was right there in the thick of it and I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

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Our runner up this year was Nadia Toor from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences who worked at the legal firm SAP (UK) Limited as the EMEA North and UK Legal Associate. Reflecting on her time at SAP (UK) Nadia said “My placement year taught me that I am better than I ever give myself credit for.”

“Undertaking a placement year shows future employers that you are organised, can work well within a team, know how to handle tricky situations and that you are committed to working.”

The three faculty awards were given to Boran Shenhuy (FASS) Holly Boothroyd (FEPS) and Karolina Sichma(FHMS).

Congratulations to our other nominated students who were highly commended for their hard work, dedication and success on their placement years.

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The celebration was a fantastic opportunity to see how valuable the placement years are to our students and how they enable students to learn more about themselves, their subjects, and how they envisage their career developing in the future.

Mark Manulis, Senior Tutor for Professional Training in the Department of Computer Science highlighted the demand for these placements for students in his department, commenting “We are proud of extensive links that we developed with global high-tech players and innovative start-up companies in the UK and abroad.”

“We continue to provide our students with the best placement opportunities and help them to make early decisions on their career paths. Professional training equips our graduates with a unique set of skills and prepares them for a rewarding career in any Computer Science/IT related role. The demand for our students is tremendous.”

Professional Training is an integral part of life at Surrey and the experience, maturity and confidence our students gain whilst out on placement – either in the UK or abroad – sets them a cut above the rest when they graduate.

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