Name: Marie Notermans
Year: Third (abroad)
Subject: English and Spanish
Where did you hear about the competition for Undergraduate of the Year? In first year I signed up to a load of graduate employment sites and so was receiving email newsletters – this year I decided to read a few!
What convinced you to apply? I was feeling the penultimate year pressure of having to find some form of experience for my last summer, and although at first it was not the kind of thing I thought I was looking for, my grandma always taught me to enter competitions because eventually you’ll win something!
What was the application process like? The application process was the same as applying for an internship. I had to fill out a form, complete some psychometric tests and answer some questions first. A few weeks later I received a call to say I had passed to the next stage and Barclays wanted to interview me over the phone – I was convinced it went terribly but a week later I was invited to their assessment centre. I had to plan quickly as the invitation arrived Monday evening for Thursday morning, and it takes around 12 hours to get back home from rural Spain!
How did it feel to win Arts and Humanities Undergraduate of the Year? It was such a surprise! The others I met at the assessment centre were all really strong candidates, so I had convinced myself it wasn’t me. When my name was read out I’m pretty sure my jaw hit the floor!
What was it like to meet Trevor McDonald? The awards ceremony was great as he gave a speech about his background, and what he’s doing now – he’s a truly inspirational person, and very easy to talk to too.
Tell us a bit more about your online marketing business? What is it and how did you set it up? It happened more or less by accident actually. When I started university, I quickly found out that I wasn’t going to be able to make it through four years without working. I thought about catering work, as I had worked in the industry for the past few years, but I wanted something more flexible. I found a contact who wanted someone to write some blogs and manage a social media presence, and it was something I could fit around my studies, when I wanted to do it. The more I looked the more businesses wanted a similar service. My dad runs his own business so he gave me some advice on the practicalities, and the rest is history!
You sound like a superwoman! How do you find time for all your different activities? Haha! I’ve never been the kind of person who has wanted one particular job all my life, I enjoy doing lots of different things so I try to make sure I organise my time well.
What words of wisdom would you give to anyone wanting to stretch themselves a bit further? I would say take all the opportunities you can, and try to get as much as you can out of what you do – be critical about what skills you need but be confident about what you have.
You sound like a seriously busy person, so how do you like to wind down? I love getting out and about for a run or on my bike, and chilling out with good food, friends and family.