Alumni, Cardiff Award

Why employability matters, and how the Award helps: post by Eloise Brian (EY Associate)

This week, The Cardiff Award team will be holding Introductory Talks at the Internship, Work Experience and Vounteering Week located in the Students’ Union. These talks are a great opportunity for students to find out more about the Award, meet the team and ask any questions.

To give some further insight about the Award, we asked Cardiff Award Alumni Eloise Brian to reflect on her Award experience and how this helped her secure a graduate role with EY, a proffesional services firm and our principal sponsor:

EY prides itself on employing and training only the best, brightest and most talented graduates. We provide the opportunity to work in a fast pace, advanced environment which is constantly changing and adapting. Aiming to provide the best financial services across the globe, we are looking for graduates that have the spark, ambition and drive to become one of the best in the industry. Being part of the Cardiff Award gives you the quality experience and ability EY, and other large corporations thrive on in order to remain the best.

A Cardiff Award Alumni myself, I graduated the University and completed the Award in June’15. After I graduated my job title went from full-time student to an associate at EY within Financial Services, based in Canary Wharf. Without the Cardiff Award, it is safe to say I would not be where I am today. The Award provided me with the vital, cutting-edge skills needed to be a professional employable graduate. We all know the graduate job market is becoming increasingly competitive, which is why it’s more important than ever to be considered as an outstanding candidate rather than a good candidate for a position. The Award inspired me to take up extracurricular activities as well as receiving recognition for the activities I already did. During the Award I worked part-time in Sainsbury’s, was a mentor within my academic school and competed for a sports team as well as being a committee member for the team. The Award taught me and developed valuable skills to bring me to an advanced level of competence with a pro-active mind set sought after by employers in every market.

There are many aspects of the Award, each one as important as the next, so make sure you inject effort and enthusiasm in every part. At my interview for my graduate role a partner at EY, asked the simple question, what makes me unique compared to anyone else going for this position? A standard question, asked in every standard interview. I was able to simply explain I completed the Cardiff Award, what it is and what I gained from it. I got a call an hour later offering me the position.

Leaving university and entering the working environment was the most challenging but exciting experience of my life so far. Nothing can quite fully prepare you for that transition. I remember all too well the feeling of more than ten to fifteen hours a week in university was classed as a lot. So the forty hour plus working weeks are a total shock to the system, I’m still not used to them, and to be honest I don’t think I ever will. However, I had a much more comprehensive knowledge of what to expect of this strange new working world I was entering as well as a sound ability to actually work in it due to the preparation the Award had provided for me.

If I could give you one piece of advice as you embark on your journey through university and onto work, do not be afraid to fail! I have received plenty of knock backs in the path I took to get where I am, and I’m sure I still have plenty to come. Accept the knock back, then get back on your feet, brush it off and use that experience to make yourself a better person, as person who will utilise a knock back to be the best from it.

– Eloise Brian


If you’re interested in The Cardiff Award, please visit our How the Award works for further information on and our How to Apply page for further details on app

lying for this year’s programme.


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