BU students rock at awards dinner

The achievements of BU students were celebrated at the ROCK Star Award gala dinner. Twelve BU students were nominated by their employers across five categories, with three of them taking home a trophy.

The ROCK Star Awards were created by ROCK Recruitment Specialists to recognise the outstanding achievements of Dorset’s students, young employees and entrepreneurs. The local company hosted 373 guests including sponsors, nominees and members of Dorset’s business community in a night of celebration at the O2 Academy Bournemouth.

Each of the individual Star of the Future categories were sponsored by local businesses. The Star Company Award, sponsored by Frettens Solicitors, was given to the company who invested in young people in terms of training and apprenticeships.

BU also sponsored two awards at the event – The Bournemouth University Student Star of the Future Awards for Under 19 and Over 19 categories. Linda Ladle, Careers & Employability Manager at BU, presented the awards and explained just how important student placements were for students and graduates.

“This ROCK Award honours students with both academic and employment skills,” Linda said. “It recognises that our nominees are developing both life skills, by becoming involved in charitable and voluntary projects, and commercial awareness during their studies, as well as really making a difference.

“BU is really pleased to sponsor the Rock Star Awards for a second year running to celebrate and recognise young talent, and our future stars.”

The winner of the Over 19 Student Star of the Future Award was Lee Merchant.

Lee, 21, is studying BSc (Hons) Applied Geography at BU and was nominated by his placement employer for his enthusiasm and passion in implementing carbon reducing schemes for local businesses. While undertaking his full-time placement he also continued to captain his cricket club despite the distance and will be completing his dissertation early to link in with his placement work. After collecting his trophy Lee said,

“This award is extremely special for me and I was honoured to just be nominated against some extremely talented and skilled individuals.”  He went on to thank his family and girlfriend for their support and his placement line manager, Paul Cooling, for the opportunity.

Dr Philipa Gillingham, one of Lee’s lecturers said,

“It has been fantastic to see the transformation Lee has made during his placement year, into a confident and valued member of the team at Poole Borough Council. All the Geography staff are very proud of him!”

The Under 19 winner of the BU sponsored award was Bournemouth & Poole College student, Charlie James-Peers, who was nominated for being an inspirational student, with a passion for current affairs that encourages him to strive to make changes in access to education.

BA (Hons) Multimedia Journalism student, Jasper Taylor, won the Fire Radio Media Star of the Future Award, but was  unable to attend the ceremony because he is currently in Brazil working on the FIFA World Cup. Jasper, 20, is making a name for himself in sports journalism, gaining extensive experience in broadcasting and has already accepted a job with Sky Sports.

The WDS Inspirational Star of the Future was Nathaniel Hawley, studying BA (Hons) Television Production, who was nominated for inspiring and empowering those around him. Despite having to overcome multiple difficulties, his list of achievements so far is impressive. To date he has been a Young Ambassador for the Princes Trust, a mentor for Aim Higher and has volunteered in Ghana and Tanzania.

Speaking about what the award meant to him, Nathaniel commented,

“The award is proof that having a disability or growing up in difficult situations does not have to be a barrier to achieving your dreams. I feel more empowered and inspired than ever. You do not stop when you achieve your dream, you just expand on it and make it more and more ambitious each time you reach your goal.

“Winning this award will hopefully give me more credibility when applying for jobs in my chosen field. I hope to bring together my passion for telling stories​ through video and continue to  dedicate my time  helping vulnerable young people achieve their highest potential by one day starting up my own film school charity.”

As the night closed Angela Fletcher, Rock Recruitment’s Managing Director and creator of the Rock Star Awards, thanked the guests and sponsors for their support:

“I would like to congratulate each of our winners once again and also to acknowledge our runners up. With so many applications, getting to the final stage was exceptional and every judge told us how impressive each finalist was – I hope that current and future employers recognise what bright futures these individuals have ahead.”

Congratulations to all BU Winners and Nominees:

Daniel Abberley, BA (Hons) Business Studies with Operations and Project Management

Erin McDermott, BA (Hons) Event Managing

Lee Merchant, BSc (Hons) Applied Geography

Nomitha Gallagher, BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy

Daniel Hunter, BSc (Hons) Computing Framework

Scarlett Dixon, BA (Hons) Multimedia Journalism

Jasper Taylor, BA (Hons) Multimedia Journalism

Charley Packham, BA (Hons) Television Production

Tom Summerfield, BA (Hons) Events & Leisure Marketing

Isobel Kearsey, BA (Hons) International Hospitality Management

Nathaniel Hawley, BA (Hons) Television Production

Sa’id Haruna, BA (Hons) Communication & Media

Find out more about the ROCK Star Awards and the other winners and nominees at www.rockstars.uk.com