Press Office


Hard-working students recognised with national awards


Newcastle University students have won three national awards in the latest Student Employee of the Year Competition thanks to their hard work outside the classroom. 

The competition, organised by the National Association of Student Employment Services (NASES), saw Sebastian Weil, Gagandeep Jagpal and the Phonathon Annual Fund Team receive top honours in the following categories: Off-campus Commercial Impact, Student Temp and On-campus Commercial Impact. 

Sebastian Weil, 26, is an Export Coordinator at The Bazaar Group. He is this year’s winner of the Off-campus Commercial Impact award in recognition of his progress from a student trainee to a full-time role at the Northumberland-based soft furnishings designer and manufacturer.

Sebastian, who just finished his degree in Music, said: “It is a great experience working for The Bazaar Group. The work is totally different from my degree and it gave me an insight into a job that requires a lot of thinking but also understanding of consumer buying trends and exploration of new markets through in-depth research.” 

The Bazaar Group managing director Mark Dolder said: “Sebastian demonstrated his acute level of commercial awareness right from the first interview. This perceptiveness has continued to impress the senior management team throughout his time here and has since seen Sebastian offered a full-time position as Export Coordinator.”

Sebastian started the placement through Newcastle Work Experience - the Careers Service programme finding placement opportunities within North East businesses and the University for current students. In addition to his role at The Bazaar Group, Sebastian is founder of music management company Consonus Music.

Gagandeep Jagpal, 22, was awarded the Student Temp category after his placement at Newcastle University’s Occupational Health & Safety Service, through the Jobs on Campus (JobsOC) scheme.

He said: “As part of the job I got to work with all sorts of information from all across the University as well as get a taste for the ‘real life’ that would await me after I've graduated. My team treated me like any other member of staff and I was working on documents and reports that made an actual difference within the University.”

Sarah Jowett, 25, is a part of the 30-student strong Phonathon Annual Team, which won the On-campus Commercial Impact award for their efforts in raising money to support undergraduate bursaries.

She said: “Being a part of the Annual Fund's Phonathon team over the past four years has been a fantastic opportunity to gain valuable experience in a wonderfully supportive working environment. 

“It's been a real privilege to talk with so many of Newcastle's graduates. I love hearing people's memories of their time at university, and it's really interesting to find out how an alumnus's career has developed from obtaining a degree here at Newcastle. I've also been on the receiving end of some great career advice from our graduates!” 

The annual Student Employee of the Year awards aim to recognise and promote the outstanding contributions and achievements of students who combine work with their study commitments. Winning three of the nine national categories marks another successful year for the University. 

Alison Clark, NASES Director, said: "An amazing result for Newcastle University, the judges were highly impressed by your nominations and students, and particularly on the quality of the nominations this year."

Marc Lintern, Director of Careers Service at Newcastle University, comments: “Our continued success in the Student Employee of the Year awards is a great representation of the work our students are doing and the fact that we had more shortlisted students than any other University is something we should be very proud of.

“As a service we work hard to ensure that students are offered a range of work experience opportunities in order to develop the skills that employers are looking for.”

Latest Government figures show that last year 93.7% of Newcastle University graduates were in employment or further education six months after graduating, the highest rate amongst North East universities.

published on: 4 August 2014