ABDN Grad Challenge

ABDN Grad Challenge

Aberdeen Employability Boost Award logo

What is it?

Graduating students can gain project based, virtual work experience as part of a cross-discipline team tackling real life challenges set by our employer partners.

When is it?

The 2022 ABDN Grad Challenge will run from Monday 20th - Thursday 23rd June 2022.

Who can take part?

This ABDN Grad Challenge 2022 is for students who are graduating in Summer 2022 and for anyone graduating later in 2022 or January 2023. It will run online but there will be an option to work from a space in the Careers and Employability Service if necessary.

How to participate

Registration is now open on CareerConnect. Sign up via the Pathway. Deadline for applications is Wednesday 15th June.

What last year's participants thought

"It is a fruitful experience to learn about different partners and real-life issues. Participants gain priceless skills"

"It’s a great way for students to use their creativity and ideas and gain a good experience for the future."

"The ABDN Grad Challenge was really an amazing experience."

Last year's ABDN Grad Challenge

The 2021 ABDNGrad Challenge took place in the week of the 14th June 2021. Inspired by the success of virtual internships and the struggle many students had faced in finding work experience, we created this bespoke, week-long, work experience opportunity to give graduating students the chance to gain hands-on world-of-work experience. We liaised with local businesses to come up with three challenges under the banners of inclusive, international and sustainable.  

We had nearly 50 students take part, both on our Aberdeen and Qatar campuses. Overall, we had nine teams, made up of students from 18 degree subjects and 25 nationalities. There were three teams per challenge. In creating their solutions to the challenges, students had to submit a 5-minute video presentation outlining their proposal with any supporting materials.

We had a winner for each individual challenge, an overall winner and a highly commended prize. Students were scored on the innovation, creativity, and the feasibility of their proposal, the alignment to challenge brief and the quality of their pitch/presentation. The top prize awarded to each winning team member was £100, with an additional £100 for the overall winning team. There was also a prize for the top team member from each team (as voted for by teammates) of £50.  


The Challenges

Aberdeen City Council provided the inclusive challenge, tasking students with developing a hate crime strategy and a procedure to report communications in the Aberdeen region. The challenge focused around identifying innovative, effective, accessible and sustainable steps towards creating activities or practice to increase confidence and awareness in reporting incidents of hate crime. Students were also asked to come up with a communications plan to address incidents of online hate and micro aggressions.  

Aberdeen Football Club’s international challenge was about building the AFC brand reputation internationally. Students were tasked with identifying towns and cities that have similar industries to Aberdeen and that would be of benefit to Aberdeen FC to have a presence there. They asked students to identify ways in which AFC can partner with other football clubs to bring commercial benefits and consider programmes that could drive commercial income internationally. Part of the challenge also required students to think about the club’s USPs and consider initiatives that helps to engage new fans and service expat supporters who wish to support AFC but cannot attend games. 

The sustainable challenge came from TechX, who asked students to think about ways that TechX/OGTC can promote Aberdeen as an attractive place to build a sustainable (clean energy) business. They wanted students to consider all aspects that make a city attractive to small businesses, such as proximity to customer, the cost of offices, cost of living, quality of life, ease of commuting, how environmentally friendly the city is, and if the city has the facilities and services they need (e.g. research and development space, manufacturing facilities, lab space, an established supply chain).  

Watch the final showcase video