InFocus: Students named Undergraduates of the Year


The Saint’s Hannah Rowand sits down with Lorcan Morgan and Adam Copp, both third year students who have been named the Maths and IT and Computer Science Undergraduates of the Year, respectively. The awards were presented by TARGETjobs. Copp has has been offered a summer internship with BT, while Morgan has won an internship with RBS.

Hannah Rowand: First of all, how do you feel to have won this award?

Adam Copp: I’m delighted and surprised to have won the award. Given the number of Computer Science students in the UK, I didn’t think I had much of a chance when I first applied.

Lorcan Morgan: I am so happy to have won and I now have a summer internship with RBS, which I am really excited about. I think that the award will give me a lot more opportunities in the future when it comes to looking into a particular career path.

HR: How did you hear about the awards?

AC: An email was sent around the department of Computer Science months ago with details about how to apply.

HR: What did you have to do to apply for the award?

LM: It began with a pretty standard application including degree information and school exam results. Then there were three essay questions relating to mathematics. If you were successful at that stage, you were invited to complete three online tests (verbal, mathematical and logical reasoning). The top 25 attended an assessment centre at the RBS offices in London and had to complete a math exam and had a competency-based interview.

Since the winner of the award would have a summer internship with RBS, the maths involved was directed much more towards the style of analysis that you would need in business, as opposed to the kind of maths you experience as an undergraduate. The final ten were invited to the awards ceremony in London and the winner was announced then.

HR: Were you surprised to hear you had won?

AC: Very much so, especially given there were still 9 possible winners on the day of the awards ceremony.

LM: Once I was in the final ten, I knew that I had a decent chance of winning but I was still surprised. By that stage I had gotten to know all of the other finalists and they were all really strong candidates. At the time, I was just happy that I had put in my best effort and was looking forward to going to the awards ceremony.

HR: What was the ceremony like?

LM: The ceremony was amazing. It was at the East Wintergarden in Canary Wharf and there were over 200 people. There was a champagne reception and a string quartet at arrival, followed by a three-course meal.

Then the awards were announced by Michael Portillo, who was the MC for the event. The other finalists were all there, as well as varying members of RBS, so I was able to meet a lot of really interesting people. Overall it was a fantastic experience.

HR: Of course, having won this award will help you with your future career plans – do you have any set aims or ideas in mind for your career in the future so far?

AC: I’d like to develop computer software in my career, but I’m not too bothered about the particular field. I’m looking forward to the summer internship [offered as part of the award] with BT very much. I can’t wait to apply some of what I’ve learned so far, and hopefully learn plenty more. I’ll be with next-gen broadband team, developing software.

LM: A career in finance is definitely an option that I am considering. I’m so glad to have this internship because it will give me the opportunity to experience some form of work in the financial sector, and that way I can decide if it might be something I would want to do in the future. Otherwise I just want to get as much experience as possible across a range of industries to see what I might like.


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