Matt Stearn and Rens Van Steenes win KBS Employability Award

The KBS Employability Prize, sponsored by Enterprise is awarded to the graduating student on the Canterbury campus and Medway campuses who has accumulated the highest number of Employability Points.

The Employability Points Scheme rewards students for their active engagement with co-curricular activities. For each co-curricular activity completed, students can claim ‘Employability Points’, which can be cashed-in for the chance to apply for exclusive internships, work placements, training and more.

This year the Award was given to Matt Stearn who studied BSc Finance and Investment and Rens Van Steenes who studied BSc International Business.

Matts says: ‘My degree  in Finance and Investment has equipped me with a solid understanding of financial markets, investment analysis, portfolio management, and upcoming and emerging financial technologies. It has provided me with a strong foundation of theoretical knowledge, analytical and problem-solving skills, and practical techniques that are essential in the finance industry.

My placement year at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) as a capital markets development analyst offered valuable practical experience in a prestigious international organisation. It allowed me to apply my theoretical knowledge to real-world scenarios, gain exposure to capital markets, and meet people from all over the world from different backgrounds and cultures.

Also, I worked on meaningful projects that had a real, direct impact on individuals, businesses, and governments. Lastly, I completed internships at BNY Mellon and HSBC, which provided me with hands-on investment management experience. These experiences helped me develop my practical skills, industry-specific knowledge, and a network of contacts within the financial sector.’

Rens says: ‘I am very honoured to win the Enterprise Employability Prize. The University of Kent has help me to excel in this aspect, offering a diverse range of extracurricular options that have been instrumental in my personal and professional growth

For me, these included: support for summer schools, the Business Start-up Journey, skills workshops, events from companies like PwC, and interview practices. Undertaking these extracurricular activities has been incredibly resourceful.

As a business student, I have come to understand the paramount importance of networking, acquiring skills beyond the classroom, and actively applying them. Getting out of your comfort zone and embracing these challenges, such as participating has been a fantastic and transformative experience for me. I am truly grateful for all the resources and opportunities the university has provided me throughout my three years of study.’

KBS are grateful to Enterprise for sponsoring the KBS Finalist Employability Prize for a second year. In addition to sponsoring the prize their Enterprise’s Talent Acquisition Recruiters provide input into the employability lectures with topics including the importance to students of gaining and demonstrating commercial awareness during the recruitment process and what recruiters look for at interview.

Nicola Urquhart, Lecturer in Careers and Employability says: ‘At KBS, we know how valued work experience is to employers so we ensure there are many opportunities for our students to gain relevant work experience including through the University’s award winning  Employability Points Scheme.

‘This year our students were able to apply for paid internships with many local organisations including: Reflect Digital, HR GO, Medway Council, Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce, Cook and Kent Community Energy’.

At Kent, building your career is not about waiting for graduation, it’s about what you can do right now. Amazing things lie ahead of you. We’re here to help you achieve them. Find out more.

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