Year 12 Nottingham Girls’ High School student, Yifei Painter, beat off tough competition from over 2,000 students across the UK to be crowned national champion in the TARGETjobs National Schools’ Challenge 2015. Organised in partnership with leading employers including PwC, Deloitte, Atkins and many others, the event is designed to identify the talented leaders of the future and highlight how important it is for UK businesses to engage with schools.
More than 2,000 school and college students registered for the Challenge and took an online intelligence and skills test, designed by testing experts Cut-e, and were ranked on their region’s leader board based on how well they performed. The top 10 students from each of the UK’s 10 regions made it through to the final, where they took part in practical activities including individual and group exercises to test their decision making, creativity and business awareness.
Yifei said: “I’m really thrilled to have been named as the national winner. It was a challenging process and fellow students who took part were tough competition but everyone at my school was really supportive and I think everyone involved gained really valuable experience from it. It was a brilliant opportunity to meet and talk with some of the top recruiters and understand what prospects could be out there for me when I finish my studies.”
First place prize saw Yifei win £1,000 for Nottingham Girls’ High School and £500 for herself. The National Schools’ Challenge was organised in partnership with AECOM, Atkins, BDO, Capgemini, Deloitte, Grant Thornton, McDonald’s, PwC, Skanska and Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co Representatives from each organisation attended the final to answer students’ questions about their company’s school leaver opportunities and take part in valuable networking.
Sue Gorham, Head of Nottingham Girls’ High School, said: “We’re all so proud of Yifei and her fantastic achievement. There’s a really high calibre of students who take part in the challenge so it is no small accomplishment. Yifei is a really dedicated student and there’s nothing she can’t do when she puts her mind to it. The National Schools’ Challenge has given her invaluable practice and first-hand experience of the recruitment process and business world which will stand her in strong stead for the future.”
Kirsty Drummond of TARGETjobs Events, said: “It was fantastic to see over 100 bright and enthusiastic students from across the UK come together to compete for the title of the National Schools Challenge winner 2015. With the support of the 10 partnering firms and our testing partner, Cut-e, the students were able to experience the types of activities they may be asked to participate in at an employer’s assessment centre and network with recruiters and business execs, who were on hand to offer careers advice to the students throughout the day. I’m sure this was a unique and worthwhile experience for all the students who took part and hopefully it will play a part in them successfully securing their future careers.”