Top students to shine at this year’s National Student Challenge

The 5th annual gradireland National Student Challenge is taking place next Wednesday 23rd March in UCD , welcoming Ireland’s best and brightest students, to meet challenges set by leading graduate employers.


Over 50 of Ireland’s brightest students, who performed best in gradireland’s online test, which gauged whether they had the skills qualities employers are looking for. These students will then be given the opportunity to meet Ireland’s leading graduate employers and display their key employability skills to the heads of recruitment in companies like Lidl, EY and PWC.

At the event, students will be split into groups and must complete a series of tasks, which are chosen by Ireland’s top graduate employers. These tasks are designed to challenge students on key employability competencies such as teamwork or communication skills.

Last year, Head of Recruitment at Lidl highlighted the importance of a positive attitude when speaking about the task they chose; “We are looking for three things; for students to enjoy themselves, contribute to the overall team effort and throw themselves into the task”.

There are some amazing prizes up for grabs for the winners, including €1,000 for the overall winner and past participants from the Nation Student Challenge have seen amazing possibilities from winning or coming in as a runner up in the challenge. “I’ve had job opportunities come into my LinkedIn from Google, Accenture, and a lot of companies and recruitment consultants just because I won the gradireland National Student Challenge”, says Ava Mahony, 2014’s winner.

When speaking about the National Student Challenge, 2013 winner Duncan McGregor from Belfast, who is now an established employee with EY said, “The gradireland National Student Challenge definitely played a part in me working today with EY and in terms of the benefits that the Challenge offers versus the short amount of time it takes to enter, I would say it’s something definitely worth doing”.


When speaking about the fifth anniversary of the National Student Challenge, Director of gradireland Mark Mitchell said; ‘Each year, we’re fortunate to have so many highly talented and motivated students taking the National Student Challenge, and we’re also fortunate to have so many dedicated and important graduate recruiters who are willing to support the event and devise challenges that really set the bar high for our competitors, but also give students a real insight into what it is they are looking for in their graduate recruits.”

Check out footage from the 2014 National Student Challenge here or view all of the photos from last year’s National Student Challenge here.

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