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 & Enterprise Centre, such as:
Blueprint StartUp Challenge – A high profile, annual student enterprise competition, supported by Santander Universities.
Summer of Experience – An initiative designed to inspire students to do something meaningful and beneficial to their employability, with their summer vacation. Reflect on your summer activities, and tell your fellow students about it for the chance to win! Winning students may be offered the opportunity to speak at the Work Experience Forum. Case studies of entries are published following the competition – feel free to have a browse.
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:
- Target Jobs Undergraduate of the Year
- STEM Undergraduate Awards
- Adzuna Graduate of the Year
- National Undergraduate Employability (NUE) Awards
- Shell Ideas 360
- Future Legal Mind
- PwC Opportunity Challenge
- Innovation Forum
- Aspiring Solicitors Commercial Awareness Competition
- ShowCode (various coding challenges)
Browse listings below to identify competitions of interest and search for other opportunities on company and sector websites and their associated social media pages.
COINS Grand Challenge
The COINS Grand Challenge is a global competition to uncover innovators, entrepreneurs and leaders with ideas that can improve the built environment.
With a simple essay or short video, you have an opportunity to win cash, internships, or business investment, plus the chance to get in front of some of the construction industry’s biggest players.
Deadline for entries 22nd June 2020
2020 WACC - World Asian Business Case Competition, “How Asian Brands Soar”
The Academy of Asian Business (AAB) is pleased to announce the 2020 World Asian Business Case Competition, “How Asian Brands Soar.” This is the annual case competition organized by AAB that invites college students to write up and present an exciting Asian business case on how it turned its small start into such a tremendous success. Applicants are invited from universities and colleges all around the world.
The competition will provide a great opportunity for the participants to not only learn from the case of the company they choose, but also have a wonderful experience of winning the competition. All winners will receive a global scholarship package of enriching and exciting Asian experience.
Proposal submission deadline 1st April 2020
Win a travel writing adventure to the Caribbean
World Nomads are sending three aspiring travel writers to explore beyond the sandy shores and crystal waters of the Caribbean. On the 14-day trip you'll attend a workshop with NY Times contributor Tim Neville then put what you've learned into practice and tackle real-life travel writing assignments.
To apply, all you need to do is submit your best 700-word travel story. For more details see World Nomads.
Applications close on 11th March 2020.