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Careers, Employability and Enterprise Centre

Competitions and Awards

Taking part in competitions and awards provides students and graduates with the opportunity to develop skills, gain experience and knowledge, network with employers and sponsors and win prestigious prizes and accolades. Participation in such activities can support you to highlight your capabilities to prospective employers, and enable you to include relevant achievements on future applications to employment and work experience opportunities. High profile awards and initiatives often feature in national press and on social media channels and provide participants and winners with great publicity!

The theme of undergraduate and graduate competitions can vary greatly, but typically might include a skills, enterprise, employment or innovation focus. In some instances, the topic is related to current industry or sector issues and challenges. Other competitions may have a more academic focus. Some are regional or national, others are global! You may be required to submit a proposal, find a solution to a problem, work as part of a team or to develop an idea, product or campaign.

Competitions may take place on campus or could be hosted by an employer, as part of industry and university engagement activities. Others may be coordinated by the Careers, Employability and Enterprise Centre, such as:

Blueprint – Blueprint is a high profile, annual student enterprise competition, supported by Santander Universities.

Summer of Experience– A student initiative designed to inspire students to do something meaningful and beneficial to their employability, with their summer vacation. Reflect on your summer activities for the chance to win!

The Durham Award – Offering undergraduate and postgraduate awards and developed in partnership between graduate employers and students, “The Durham Award provides students with a fantastic opportunity to recognise their capabilities and articulate their skills so that they can differentiate themselves in a competitive graduate recruitment market place”, Graduate Recruiter.

Student Employee of the Year Award - the Durham competition leads into regional and national stages organised by the National Association of Student Employment Services (NASES). The awards aim to recognise and promote the outstanding contributions and achievements of students who combine part-time work with their study commitments. The Student Employer of the Year category offers the opportunity for excellent employers to gain recognition for their contribution.

Examples of major external undergraduate and graduate competitions and awards include:

Browse listings below to identify competitions of interest and search for other opportunities on company and sector websites and their associated social media pages.

Search for a Star & Rising Star

Register for Search for a Star and Sumo Digital Rising Star competitions for a chance to break into the games industry. The Skills Assessment Stage is now open!

We're looking for student game programmers, animators and character, environment and VFX artists who want to showcase their skills and win job & internship interviews with leading UK studios, including our industry partners Sumo Digital, nDreams, Playground Games and BossAlien.

Closing date 11th December 2017.

Holt Valuation Challenge

Enter the Holt Valuation Challenge to compete for a chance at interviews with Credit Suisse HOLT and affiliates.

Investment pitch deadline 7th January 2018.