EECS student nominated for a TARGETjobs Undergraduate of the Year Award
We're proud to announce one of our students was nominated as a finalist in this year's TARGETjobs Undergraduate of the Year Award.
Congratulations to first year Computer Science student Israel Mason-Williams, who has been shortlisted a prestigious TARGETjobs Undergraduate of the Year Award for Excellence Through Adversity. The category, sponsored by Rolls Royce, aims to find someone who has clearly demonstrated resilience, faced challenges head on, and isn’t afraid to think differently.
The TARGETjobs Undergraduate of the Year Awards is an annual competition aimed at finding the best undergraduates in the UK. Each category is partnered by a prominent graduate recruiter, with a range of prizes for each winner including paid internships, and other exclusive opportunities.
For the entry process, applicants undergo a series of tests and questions, with those who perform best invited for a second stage, where they meet the other finalists at an assessment centre, as well as undergoing an interview. From there the best ten students in each category are shortlisted and invited to the Awards Ceremony.
We spoke with Israel to find out more about their nomination, and experience at Queen Mary University:
“When I first heard I’d been nominated for an award I was ecstatic. It’s a great feeling to be recognised by such a prestigious body. I found it to be a great source of motivation, and it’s allowed me to flourish at the end of my second semester, and help me submit work I am proud of.
Thanks to my nomination I’ve also been able to find an industry placement working with Rolls Royce. As a first-year student it can often be challenging to find industry experience, so this was an opportunity that I’m incredibly thankful for, and I’m very excited to begin in June.
I was initially attracted to study at Queen Mary due to its location – right in the heart of East London. The opportunities the university can provide due to its geographical location are unlimited. There’s a lot of support at the organisation – the careers service team are devoted to helping enable students to find placement, and send regular alerts about community programs to get involved with. This kind of support can be hard to find, and I think it helps allow students to feel reassured they will be supported by Queen Mary University during their studies, and beyond.
I chose to study Computer Science due to its interdisciplinary qualities – it’s applicable to almost every field in the working world. There is such a breadth of opportunities that come with studying a Computer Science degree, and an opportunity to understand the complexities of the online services we can all use. We live in a truly digital world, and Computer Science is a fundamental aspect of that. With the skills I’m learning from my degree at Queen Mary, it’s allowing me the opportunity to shape my future, and provide me with greater choice in my career.
After completing my undergraduate studies, I hope to pursue a Master’s degree in Artificial Intelligence, focusing on Cyber Security. I’m able to study a postgraduate course thanks to Tata Consultancy Services after receiving the Digital Explorer’s Award this year. I’m excited to see what courses and programmes will be available. One of my aspirations for the future is to be involved with innovative projects that aim to improve living standards globally.
For this award I nominated myself, the program was something that I believed I was a perfect fit for, and I just wanted to put myself out there and give it a go. My adversity is not something that I speak about often but during the majority of my life I have been a carer for my mother who has server Crohn’s disease and also for my elder brother who has high functioning asperges. I entered this competition because I wanted to recognise myself for all that I have achieved whilst having these extra responsibilities placed upon my life from a young age. To anyone who is experiencing adversity and still completing their academic studies, you should be proud of yourself and give yourself a well-deserved break when you need it. To succeed you have to be able to look after yourself as well, well done for getting this far already.
Regarding my nomination, I’d like to encourage others who are studying a STEM subject to get involved with any opportunity that they can. I understand it can be daunting putting yourself out there, but you will reap the rewards of your hard work. If you want to apply, then do it. Regardless of the outcome, there are always lessons to be learned that will be an asset in the future. I’d also recommend utilising the services here at Queen Mary, including speaking to the careers team, and engaging with all opportunities to find success.”
You can find out more about the TARGETjobs Undergraduate of the Year Awards by visiting the website: https://undergraduateoftheyear.com/.