South West students home in on national property awards

Second-year undergraduates Megan Peeks and Victoria Gosden have been chosen to represent the South West region at this year’s National Association of Women in Property (WiP) National Student Awards.

Megan, who is studying architecture and planning at the University of the West of England (UWE), and Victoria, a landscape architecture student at the University of Gloucestershire, were announced as regional winners of the WiP Student Awards at a ceremony in Bristol on 4 June.

Tutors and students from universities across the South West – including UWE, Plymouth, Bath, Gloucestershire and the Royal Agricultural University in Cirencester – joined WiP South West committee members, surveyors, interior designers, contractors, lawyers and other professionals from the built environment for the awards which took place at the offices of leading commercial law firm, Thrings.

Over the past eight months, universities across the region have nominated female second-year students who are reading property and construction-related subjects and who are hoping to pursue a career in the built environment. After submitting their CV and a piece of coursework, shortlisted hopefuls were interviewed by a panel of high-profile industry judges who decided on the winners.

The judging panel included Thrings’ Natalia Sokolov, chair of WiP South West, as well as directors, HR professionals and associates from DTZ, Bouygues, Stride Treglown Architects and Integral Build.

In addition to receiving a £300 cash prize, Megan and Victoria will travel to Claridge’s in London on 22 September to compete with other regional winners at the WiP National Student Awards. Winning the regional award will also increase their chances of obtaining a work placement in 2015-2016 – which opens up the possibility of securing full-time employment within the industry after they graduate.

Victoria said: “I was really pleased with the judges’ feedback about my presentation, but to go on and win the regional award is a huge and unexpected bonus. The whole awards experience has given me a fantastic opportunity to learn about the broad and exciting range of career options that the property industry offers as well as meet and talk to other students whose career paths are so entwined with mine.”

Now in their ninth year, the Student Awards provide a significant focus for WiP, the organisation that seeks to enhance the profile of women in the property and construction industry sectors. This year’s regional awards were sponsored by Thrings, Integral Build and Stride Treglown.

Thrings associate and WiP Regional Student Awards co-ordinator Naomi Butler said: “The awards have undergone a huge increase in popularity since their inception, and continue to celebrate the wealth of talent, enthusiasm and ambition coming into the property industry through universities. This year the standard and number of entries was higher than ever, which made the judging process particularly tough.

“Women in Property is thrilled to have received the support of so many universities in the South West, and would like to like to congratulate Victoria and Megan and wish them every success in the national final. Not only are they a credit to their universities, but their considerable ability and potential remind us that the future of the property industry in the region is in safe hands.”