Third-year students, Anastasiia Shandra and Sean Mok, are the winners of the 2017/18 Trinity Employability Award — an initiative in partnership with Intel, which aims to prepare students for future employment by enhancing their career readiness.
In addition, a further 52 third-year undergraduate, and postgraduate students from Trinity College Dublin celebrated their successful completion of the Trinity Employability Award in Partnership with Intel at a special showcase and ceremony.
Announcing the winners, Trinity Provost, Dr Patrick Prendergast, congratulated all of the students who participated in the programme. He said: “We are dedicated to preparing students for the ever-changing challenges of the 21st century workforce and the Trinity Employability Award has set out to do this. Through a combination of training and experience the Award helps students to build on their skills and knowledge to make them ready for the workplace after graduation, as well as helping them to better articulate their skills and personal attributes to employers. We are especially delighted to be doing this in conjunction with Intel Ireland, the first industry partner to support this initiative.”
Anastasiia Shandra, who is studying Nanoscience, Physics & Chemistry of Advanced Materials at Trinity, said: “I am very thankful to Trinity and Intel giving such opportunity to students as it really shows the perspective that not only grades matter, but the other attributes as well, and that academic skills are only one part of the big story. I am really happy I found out about this program; overall it made me much more confident and aware about my potential and skills. And I’m feeling over the moon about winning — I really wanted it and tried to do my best and pushed myself, and the result showed that it really was worth all the effort!”
Sean Mok, who is also studying Nanoscience, Physics & Chemistry of Advanced Materials at Trinity, said: “It’s refreshing to give us a chance to be acknowledged for extracurricular activities in a formal manner, and for our work outside lectures — college is about working to grow as young people and there’s more to development than passing exams. I cannot believe I won — I was in absolute shock. Even if I didn’t win it, I felt I had won anyway, because of how much I enjoyed the programme. I would do it again even if I hadn’t won; it’s so important to see a big industry player showing us how we can prepare ourselves to be future employees and apply our skills in the ‘real world’.”
Trinity joined forces with Intel in late 2016 to pioneer the Trinity Employability Award. The 54 undergraduate students that took part in the 2017/18 programme came from Trinity College Dublin’s Schools of Engineering, Physics, Chemistry, and Computer Science and Statistics.
As part of the programme the students participated in a specialist curriculum that further developed their skills and graduate attributes to support their studies and future careers. They attended Intel-led workshops, used problem-solving methodologies and applied their learning to work-related situations. They also enhanced personal and professional development through 30 hours of extra-curricular activity, and learned how to critically reflect on their skills and articulate these to employers through a workshop led by the Careers Advisory Service with Student Learning Development.
On Monday night, the 10 shortlisted finalists each gave a brief presentation about their experience, and after much deliberation the judging panel selected their overall winners. All participants who successfully completed the Employability Award programme received a certificate of recognition, and the finalists also received Intel-powered tablets. Additionally, the two overall winners received cash prizes of €2,000 from Intel.
Intel Ireland General Manager, Eamonn Sinnott, said: “I am delighted to be here this evening at the Science Gallery in Trinity, for the second year of the TCD Employability Awards. These innovative awards are unique in that they bring industry and academia together, in enhancing students’ readiness for work, and we at Intel are proud to support.”
In addition, the achievements of seven postgraduate students, who completed the Intel Postgraduate Student Sponsorship Programme, were also celebrated.
These students received a monetary grant, as well as ongoing support and mentoring provided by Intel, to support their academic studies and allow them to experience practical learning aligned to the needs of industry. Employee mentors selected by Intel provided these students with a unique, direct relationship to the world of work.