The annual City of London Business Traineeship Awards Ceremony, this year hosted by Swiss Re at 30 St Mary Axe, the iconic Gherkin, marked the end of the 2012 programme delivered by the Brokerage with funding from the City of London Corporation as part of their programme to help young people in their neighbouring boroughs to access employment in the City.
Surrounded by fellow guests ranging from trainees and their managers, to parents and the Lord Mayor, in a room filled with excitement and pride, the 2012 trainees bade farewell to the City - but no doubt many will be back before long!
Top of the agenda was highlighting the achievements of all 106 trainees, along with the presentation of awards for particular contributions. Read on to find out who were the 2012 winners, including the prestigious “Employer of the Year” and “Trainee of the Year”.
As usual, the trainees took full advantage of a great networking opportunity. Hands were shook, business cards and LinkedIn details traded and many entertaining anecdotes from the summer shared.
Russell Higginbotham, CEO of Swiss Re in the UK, started proceedings and offered his congratulations to all the 2012 trainees, before handing over to The Right Honourable the Lord Mayor of the City of London David Wootton to present the awards.
Continuing the insurance theme, the employer awards were presented to two of the biggest names in the sector. QBE International picked up the Employer Newcomer of the Year award after hosting two placements in their legal department, with intern Belinda Lartey telling us “the experience has been extremely valuable and will definitely contribute to my success a long way down the line”.
The Employer of the Year award was won by Kiln Group, currently in their third year of providing placements for the scheme. Mandy Hossami accepted the award on behalf of Kiln and, as a great supporter of the City of London Business Traineeship Programme and the Brokerage, reminded those in the room of the value and benefits of participation.
With so many great supporters working behind the scenes to get the very best from the trainees, the Project Champion of the Year is always one of the most hotly contested awards. This year’s winner was Samantha Nedrick of ING, based on the wonderful feedback from those she managed and mentored during their internships there.
The Highly Commended Trainee of the Year was won by UBS intern Abigail Holsborough. Although she wasn’t able to accept the award in person, her very proud mother was there to accept on her behalf. Abigail is now at Cambridge University, reading Chinese Studies.
There were lots of standout candidates for the top award this year, and the judges had a very tough decision. But after much deliberation, Shermeen Begum was chosen as the Trainee of the Year 2012.
Shermeen Begum is presented with the Trainee of the Year award by The Right Hon the Lord Mayor David Wootten
Shermeen spent the summer at Michael Page International, and made such an impression that several months later she was back again, working over the Christmas period. Fittingly, she brought along an entourage of colleagues from Michael Page who were thrilled she won the top prize.
We asked Shermeen about how it felt to win the top award for 2012 and her thoughts on the experience she had during the summer:
“It genuinely did mean a lot to me [winning Trainee of the Year]. Having been selected to take part in the internship scheme to begin with had allowed me become more confident within myself, but winning the award was completely different. It really did boost me completely in every possible way and has allowed me to find myself in terms of what I want to do in the future. For certain, I look back and think that all that hard work was worth it!”
Shermeen studied her A levels at Grey Coat Hospital School and is now at Royal Holloway studying History.
The room was really buzzing afterwards, with candidates putting all the networking skills honed over the summer into practice. It was great to hear so many stories from the summer’s internships and find out what our candidates are looking to do next.
Our Trainee of the Year puts it perfectly:
“The event was the perfect opportunity to talk to all the other interns and get to know what they had been getting up to the whole summer. It was very professional and made me realise that everyone who took part was a winner. I know everyone always says that by taking part in something automatically makes you a winner, but one thing that the event made me realise is that everyone really is - it's the hard work that we all put in and the fact that we managed to get these internships at such prestigious companies to begin with!”
We’re already well underway with preparations for the 2013 City of London Business Traineeship Programme, with candidate registrations currently taking place and discussions beginning with employers regarding next year’s internships.
Next year’s event promises to be just as entertaining, so get in touch now to find out how you can be a part of the programme.