University of Technology Sydney students have been recognised as among Australia's future leaders in the 2016 GradConnection Top 100 Awards.
The annual Future Leaders of Australia awards are the culmination of a nationwide search to find the top 100 students – those who excel not only academically but also in ways such as leadership and service.
Eight UTS students have been named as future leaders, with three of them picking up individual awards as well.
They are: UTS Business School students Cindy Tan, Brian Ye and Marissa Toto; Bachelor of Business/Bachelor of Laws student Helen Zhang; Bachelor of Information Technology students Florence He and Minnie Zhu; Bachelor of Engineering student Benjamin Lawrence; and Bachelor of Communication student Stephanie Newman.
"It is gratifying to see these young leaders coming from such diverse backgrounds," UTS Vice-Chancellor Attila Brungs said, congratulating the students. "We believe our students should graduate not only with the latest discipline-specific skills but also with personal attributes that mean they will make a contribution to society more broadly."
For the GradConnection awards, candidates undergo what is, in effect, a rigorous graduate recruitment process of the sort they'd encounter when applying for a position with a major employer. This includes a written application, psychometric testing and, for those on the short list, interviews and a day of activities in an assessment centre.
Graduate employers are also recognised in the annual awards, with UTS Business School sponsoring the prize for Most Popular Graduate Employer.
This year the award went to Deloitte, with one quarter of the 32,600 people seeking a graduate position through GradConnection expressing a preference to work with the firm.
The other finalists were IBM, KPMG, the Queensland Government, PwC, Accenture, EY, Nestle, Woolworths and Coles.
"Employers like Deloitte, PwC, KPMG, EY, Woolworths and others play an important role not just as destinations for our students but as partners in their education," said Associate Professor Christine Burton, UTS Business School's Associate Dean, Education.
Deloitte is a supporter of education for the professions in areas such as UTS's Bachelor of Accounting program, she said, while also investing in innovative futures through its new MBA in Entrepreneurship.
The School's Associate Dean, Business Practice and External Engagement, Associate Professor James Hutchin, said UTS was proud to count Deloitte as a partner. "We extend our congratulations to them on this award."
As well as being named a future leader, UTS Business School student Cindy Tan picked up two individual awards.
Tan, who is completing a Bachelor of Business majoring in Marketing Communications and Finance, was the winner of the KPMG Diversity Award and the Woolworths Ltd Consumer Goods, Marketing and Retail Award. She was also a finalist in the Fusion Graduate Consultancy First in Family Award and in the PageUp Social Change Advocate award.
Tan, who works with international media agency MediaCom, said her university education and work experience, along with extracurricular activities, had given her not just the technical skills she needs but also other important attributes.
"I have the technical skills relevant to my industry … but I've also developed the ability to build rapport and communicate effectively," Tan said. "And I'm not afraid to step outside my comfort zone."
Tan sees marketing as a vocation that will help her inspire change. "Marketing is about creating influence, and this is a key ingredient for making a difference."
Two Bachelor of Information Technology students, Florence He and Minnie Zhu also secured individual awards: He won the Suncorp Information Technology Award and Zhu the Accenture Design and User experience Award.
Zhu was also a finalist in the Fusion Graduate Consultancy First in Family Award and in the KPMG Diversity Award.
Benjamin Lawrence, a Bachelor of Engineering student, was a finalist in the Jacobs Engineering Consulting Award.
Bachelor of Accounting students Brian Ye and Marissa Toto were finalists in the Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand Accounting and Financial Management Award and the AMP Investment Banking and Fund Management Award, respectively.
Bachelor of Business/Bachelor of Laws student Helen Zhang was a finalist in the Ashurst Law Award, while Bachelor of Communication student Stephanie Newman was a finalist in the Public Sector Award and the PageUp Social Change Advocate award.