Cash-strapped graduates get the chance to grab a grand as NCE launches this year's Graduate Awards scheme.
Prize money totalling £2,000 is on offer to young civil engineers who graduated last year, as NCE this week launches its 2004 Graduate Awards scheme. So if you - or someone you know - left university in 2003, filling in a simple form now could produce a serious career boost and a decent sized cheque.
'I felt really proud that my achievements were being recognised, ' said a recent Graduate Awards winner. 'Within a week I was telling the chief executive about what I'd been doing.'
Rewarding early initiative and enthusiasm is what these awards are all about. NCE has teamed up with some of our profession's top companies and associations to seek out the best all-round young engineers destined to steer our industry over the coming decades.
'It is the cream of today's industry acknowledging tomorrow's leaders, ' said awards secretary David Hayward. 'Our loyal band of sponsors see it as essential to encourage the young civil engineers who will shape our profession's future role.'
Now in its seventh year, NCE's Graduate Awards aims to find the best engineers who graduated with a civils - or related - degree last year. These graduates will now have spent some 10 months in industry, allowing our judges to assess not just academic ability but, just as important, identify achievements in the candidate's first post-grad job.
'For the last two years most of our finalists have been female, ' Hayward concludes. 'That says a lot for the quality of women engineers, but for any lads out there who reckon they are just as good, don't let apathy rule this year - make sure you enter.'
The route to the top £1,000 prize, or one of two £500 runners' up cheques, is simple. Tell us of your successes at university and work, show off your written debating skills by discussing a topical question and leave the rest to us.
This year we ask entrants to outline the role of their ideal civil engineer in 2020 - a chance to describe your own future job description.
Our sponsors are so keen to become involved that each company has put forward a senior engineer or director to judge the entrants. The top half dozen candidates will then meet the judges at the Institution of Civil Engineers in October to convince judges that they are the best.
These finalists will be invited to the Awards presentation in November where they will all receive certificates, champagne and, for the top three, cheques.
However, equally important, they will also receive praise and recognition, not just from the assembled room of industry leaders but also from an employer proud to have a winner.
So if you are eligible, passionate about your chosen career and fancy a grand, grab an entry form now. Closing date for entries is 3 September.
Champagne for early entries Don't wait for the closing date.
Half a dozen bottles of decent bubbly are waiting to be given to early entrants. And the first recipient from a draw of all entries received by 13 August will even see their photo in NCE.