Cheer up graduates. Life’s not all about job and expenditure cuts. The competition to be named NCE’s next Graduate of the year is now open and could offer you an amazing recession-busting package of prizes and praise.
Encouragement and reward are also on offer in NCE’s annual Graduate Awards. And the cash prizes are much larger than ever.
Entries are now sought from the profession’s best new graduates and for the first time in over a decade we have increased − by 50% − the pot of prize money to over £4,000, with a new top prize of £1,500.
Winners can this year take an even more active part in ICE affairs and may possibly be invited to become President’s Apprentices − as last year’s top three have already. Plus we are looking to invite all award entrants to take part in an influential public debate, at NCE’s October Infrastructure Show this autumn.
The subject will be the importance of graduate engineers in our expenditure-cut construction sector.
Take part now
The awards are launched this week and all you have to do to take part is fill in a simple entry form. You are eligible to enter if you graduated last year with an ICE accredited civil engineering, or related, degree. It could be a first or postgraduate MSc degree but it must have been completed in 2009.
The entry form − available here − will ask you to highlight your university and work successes so far. You will also be expected to write a short essay on a topical issue. This year the subject could not be more relevant: “How can the construction industry deliver more for less in the
current climate of public spending cuts?”
Recognising the importance of their graduate engineers, 14 top construction companies are enthusiastically supporting the awards again.
Bosses from these leading firms will shortlist the top six graduates who will then be interviewed to convince them of their all-round skills.
Judges will be looking for academic ability as well as flair and enthusiasm for civil engineering.
A month later, the best of the bunch will be crowned Graduate of the Year at the awards lunch. The winner will receive a £1,500 cheque, the two runners up will each win £700 and the three remaining highly commended finalists will pocket £400.
But it’s not all about cash. The awards have now grown so much in prestige and reputation that the winners are in increasingly popular demand.
Later this year the top three graduates from last year’s competition will become apprentices to incoming ICE President Peter Hansford. The overall 2009 winner James O’Donnell (Arup), plus runners’ up Chris Lloyd (Halcrow) and Owen Jones (Laing O’Rourke) have bypassed the highly competitive process to be chosen as apprentices and will form three of the six-strong team. For a year they will shadow − and be mentored by − the President as they attend important industry and government functions.
So, if you graduated in 2009 and reckon you’re becoming a pretty good engineer, can you afford not to enter this competition right now?