Ben accepting his prize at the NUE awards. Image courtesy of Terry Weekes.

University of Exeter student named ‘Best Placement Student’ at National Undergraduate Employability Awards

Final year student, Ben Kosky, has been named ‘Best Placement Student’ at the National Undergraduate Employability (NUE) Awards 2016. 

After winning Microsoft UK’s ‘Best Intern of the Year’ in 2015, Ben was nominated for ‘Best Placement Student’ in recognition of the impact he made during his industrial placement at Microsoft UK, where he spent 13 months selling cloud computing and mobile device security. This placement made up the third year of Ben’s four year degree programme, BA Management with Marketing with Industrial Experience (WIE).

Ben’s achievements are exemplary of the success students can achieve for employers on a work experience scheme; during his time at Microsoft he was able to triple his sales quota and supported and drove a staggering $2,541,000 of 2016 sales pipeline. Ben’s confidence and knowledge of the products he was selling meant he also presented to a range of customers and by the end of his 12 months he had led 42 customer workshops.

Ben’s manager said of this achievement: “To put this into perspective, within major accounts, a full time employee would usually lead around 20-25 workshops, so for an intern achieving this was simply extraordinary. This culminated in results that far surpassed expectations.”

Despite fierce competition from five other finalists, Ben was announced as the winner of the ‘Best Placement Student’ category at the NUE Awards ceremony on Friday 12th February. Ben said: "I am still genuinely shocked to have been named the national undergraduate placement student of the year. The level of entries was very impressive so I just didn't expect anything on the night. I was just pleased to be there and amazed to be down to the final 5. I hope this award highlights the fantastic resources we have at the University of Exeter that are available to all students and how valuable industrial experience can be for any degree. Finally I would like to thank Microsoft who have provided me with all the support, backing and opportunities I could have hoped for and more. They truly are a fantastic company for someone starting their career and I look forward to starting on their graduate scheme in September."

The Awards, now in their 7th year, saw over 400 nominations from employers, universities and students across 17 different Award categories. Winners of each Award were selected by an independent judging panel, made up of key thought leaders in the industry.

You can see the full list of winners and finalists at

Date: 16 February 2016

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