Careers and Employability Service
Services for current students

2019 prize winners


The Advantage Award recognises your efforts in developing and reflecting upon your employability skills, helping to prepare you for your future career.

We also award a series of prizes, sponsored by employers, to students who have gone above and beyond during their Award modules.


2019 Advantage Award prize winners

Outstanding Contribution to the Community Prize

This prize recognises an individual student's passion for their contribution to the local community. 

Supported by Teach First

F Anis

This prize embodies what I have been working towards for the last five years - helping aspiring students from all backgrounds and countries apply to Medical School. My work in Nottingham ensured that I gave back what I have learned to the community. My focus was always to develop my skills so that, one day, I could positively impact the world of medical education. I believe each of my modules has significantly contributed to the individual that I have become. 


Fady Anis, BMBS Medicine, fifth year


My Nottingham Advantage Award modules encouraged me to be self-reflective to get the most out of my experiences. Volunteering with Nottingham Lakeside Arts allowed me to use my art history knowledge in a practical way. The Teach First Leadership and Public Speaking Programme module gave me the confidence to be a successful President of Art History Society. The society helped to create a fantastic student community within and outside of the department.

Highly commended:

Chloe Austin, BA Hons History of Art, third year

C Austin



Leadership Prize

This prize recognises an individual student who has demonstrated leadership skills.

Supported by Mars 

K Severn

I got involved in the Award as I wanted to improve key employability skills that would complement skills I’ve gained through my studies. As a statistician I’m particularly interested in a career in data and so chose modules I felt would help prepare me for this career. Communication is a fundamental skill that leaders should have; one I have vastly improved throughout the Award.


Katie Severn, PhD Mathematics, third year


Leadership is not just one skill, but should encompass organisation, accountability and honesty. I began by completing the module Inspiring Young People as I hoped to give back to the University and share my positive experiences with prospective students. Arts in the Community permitted me to lead school group sessions and assist with a dementia gallery group session. My confidence has flourished through this work, as it has allowed me to practice speaking to large crowds.

Highly commended:

Molly Evans, BA Hons History of Art, third year

M Evans

Personal Development Prize

This prize recognises an individual student for their commitment to personal development.

Supported by Experian

O Aghanenu

I wanted an opportunity to stand out to employers and knew that taking part in the Nottingham Advantage Award would equip me with vital skills. I wanted to be a positive role model and make a lasting contribution to the younger generation through the widening participation schemes. I gained entry to Medical School through a similar route hence I chose the Inspiring Young People module. Knowing myself means I can express myself while recognising the skills, feelings and characteristics of others and thus share knowledge that can mutually aid both parties. I have the drive to constantly improve and thereby help others do the same.


Opusdei Aghanenu, BMBS Medicine, second year

Personal development to me is about how a person can reflect on their experiences, continue to grow through practical experience and learn from others. The Nottingham Advantage Award provided me with the opportunity to capitalise on these aspects and continue to challenge myself, which helped pave the path towards my future career.

Highly commended:

Sanjana Devin Balapatabendi, BSc Hons Finance, Accounting and Management, second year

SD Balapatabendi
J Mackie

I joined the Nottingham Advantage Award to better prepare myself for any future career - enhancing my employability and surrounding myself with like-minded, high achieving students. My modules challenged me to improve upon my weaker skills, which has aided my personal development. Completing the Award has enabled me to improve my CV, gain recognition from associated employers, and will give me an advantage over graduates who have not completed it.

Highly commended:

Jessica Mackie, BSc Hons Biology, third year


Enterprise in the Community Prize

This prize recognises an individual student for their enterprising activity.

Supported by EY

D McDonald-Smith

I chose to participate in the Nottingham Advantage Award because I wanted to challenge myself beyond medicine. The Inspiring Young People module tapped into my skill of teaching and combined it with my passion for influencing young people locally. My modules set me apart as a highly motivated, goal-driven and adaptable individual. I am a co-founder of the Afro-Caribbean Medical Network, a society aimed at bridging the gap for black and ethnic minorities in medicine through equal opportunities and representation. I believe entrepreneurship is centred in positively impacting the community around us - especially one that has offered us so much.


Daniel McDonald-Smith, BMBS Medicine, second year


I got involved with the Nottingham Advantage Award as I have a passion for improving the community by working for charitable organisations. The Nottingham Consultancy Challenge provided a unique opportunity to gain an insight into the world of consulting while also being able to offer direct help to another charity. I was eager to spend a substantial amount of time helping an organisation with a real problem that needed resolving. The Teach First Leadership and Public Speaking Programme and the Experian Leadership Programme enabled me to learn from industry experts how to develop my leadership style, gain more confidence and acquire a better awareness of what really makes a great leader.

Highly commended:

Jessica Tomlinson, BA Hons English, third year

J Tomlinson

Inclusion Prize

This prize recognises the outstanding achievement of a student who has supported inclusion in their activities undertaken throughout the Award. 

Supported by Enterprise Rent-A-Car

S Kyle

I have always set myself incredibly challenging targets with the aim to be the best I can be at everything I put my mind to. Not only did I want to attain another first-class degree, I also wanted to make use of the extra modules provided on the Award to help me develop as a person and increase my job prospects after graduation. I chose modules that would enhance my skills and make me stand out in my chosen career path. Winning this prize is an incredible opportunity as inclusion is a topic that is very close to my heart and it is at the centre of everything I do. Inclusion is the reason I wanted to be an architect - to better design buildings for everyone, taking into account diversity, disability and cultural needs.


Stephanie Kyle March (ARB/RIBA Part 2) Architecture and Built Environment, second year


Through the Nottingham Advantage Award, I developed my communication and leadership skills such as listening to others and ensuring they feel their contributions are valued. This was evident in the Part-time Jobs, Vacation Jobs and Volunteering module where not only did I have to work in a team on my marketing placement, but also provide other members of the module with feedback on their CV and LinkedIn profile. Inclusion is also a key mission of Teach First, so this module developed my awareness of being an inclusive leader and participant.

Highly commended:

Megan Collins, BA Hons Politics and International Relations, second year

M Collins

Community Fundraising Prize

This prize recognises a student's commitment to raising funds for good causes within the local community. 

Supported by Save the Children 

Bethany Shelton

I believe the modules I have taken show my determination and desire to make a difference locally by raising money and awareness of different organisations. I chose them based on how much I thought they would be able to help others and have an effect in local communities. Significantly, I think the Save the Children Enterprise Scheme module really shows my passion for making a difference to children not only overseas but also in the UK.


Bethany Shelton, BA Hons History, third year


The modules I have chosen and the volunteering experiences I have gained through the years align with the larger goal of Save the Children as an organisation. My passion towards working with children started with the Setu Foundation in India where I conducted a workshop exposing underprivileged children to a range of extracurricular activities. The Save the Children Enterprise Scheme allowed me to explore and gather knowledge about fundraising and campaigning which I can apply to a wide range of NGOs that I plan to work with in the future. It has already motivated me to accelerate fundraising events at SoupRunners – a student-led society fundraising to provide food to homeless people in Nottingham.

Highly commended:

Udita Shome, BA Jt Hons Politics and Economics, second year

U Shome

Professional Development Prize

This prize recognises students' passion, innovation and dedication to their professional development.

Supported by Boots 

P Champaneri

The Nottingham Advantage Award was an excellent opportunity to gain many valuable skills which will be vital for my professional and personal development. I chose modules which would allow me to gain skills relevant for an aspiring career in the healthcare industry. The Boots Commercial Enterprise module taught me the fundamentals of progressing a theoretical product into reality. Boots places great emphasis on trust, care, partnership and dedication. Charity work, long-term mentoring and interpersonal relationship building throughout the STEMM Outreach Scheme module instilled these values in me. Each Award module challenged and developed a skill set which I believe will be vital for my continued professional development.


Piush Champaneri, MPharm Hons Pharmacy, fourth year


Participating in the Nottingham Advantage Award was an amazing opportunity for me to develop myself as a professional. I learned skills that I otherwise would not have, and I will use these skills to make me a better professional.

Highly commended:

Nihaar Shah, MPharm Hons Pharmacy, second year

N Shah

Vice-Chancellor's Global Graduate Prize

This prize recognises an individual student for their global graduate attributes.

Supported by the Vice-Chancellor

Y Mouratidi

The Nottingham Advantage Award has enabled me to make the best of my University experiences, such as my Erasmus exchange and my volunteering activities abroad. Throughout my modules I have consciously assessed and reflected on how activities beyond my degree have contributed to my development as an individual but also from an employment perspective. I am very grateful to have received this recognition as a ‘global graduate’, a further confirmation that thanks to the Award I am leaving the University equipped with the skills and attributes necessary for today’s globalised world.


Yiokasti Elpida Mouratidi, LLB Hons Law with EuroLaw, fourth year


I believe that each Award module has their own significance and value. Currently, being a global citizen does not only require having a solid background in your professional field but also a global vision. All my modules have improved my core competitiveness through the development of my analytical and future planning skills. They have provided me with the necessary skills to be successful when applying for internships at Tesla and Bosch. Furthermore, I believe the ability to make short-term and long-term plans can be beneficial in my further study and career development.

Highly commended:

Bozhong Liu, BEng (Hons) Electrical and Electronic Engineering, fourth year

Bozhong Liu
Su-Jayne Tan

Step out of your comfort zone. University is our chance to explore, to expand our mindset and network. It is a place for you to connect with people, discover your passion, and grow to be an individual with global attributes. The University of Nottingham has provided me with just that. A variety of amazing opportunities to connect with individuals from around the world. Opportunities that have formulated and expanded my mindset and allowed me to grow as an individual. I am beyond thankful for the opportunity to be considered for this prize. It has been an incredible journey navigating through undergraduate life and I eagerly look forward to what the future holds for me.

Highly commended:

Su-Jayne Tan, MEng Hons Chemical Engineering, first year


Careers and Employability Service

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