A Lancaster University Management School student has been recognised at one of the top undergraduates in the country at a prestigious awards ceremony.
Tom Moran collected the first-ever TARGETjobs UK LGBTQ+ Undergraduate of the Year Award at Canary Wharf, in London.
Tom, who is in the fourth year of studying for a BSc in Management and Information Technology, was one of four Lancaster students to be shortlisted for the 14 awards presented in the capital from among a record 4,500 entrants.
He is the founder of Lancaster’s first Sign Language Society, the disability representative for LGBT and the lead for Students with Learning Differences. Outside university, he has undertaken an IT placement with BAE Systems, promoting its disability and LGBTQ+ employee networks; represented the Management School in Boston, ensuring its smart city remains inclusive; and constructed the first signed version of a UK Eurovision Song Contest entry.
“To be announced the first ever, LGBTQ+ Undergraduate of the Year is such an overwhelmingly amazing experience, and one I will never forget,” said Tom. “This is recognition for all the campaigns, events and societies I have been actively involved in during both college and university, by Clifford Chance, National Student Pride and Attitude Magazine.
“I would also like to thank and celebrate those shortlisted, and the finalists for this award, as I know together we will continue to promote and advocate for inclusion.”
TARGETjobs UK LGBTQ+ Undergraduate of the Year Award winner Tom Moran (centre) receives his award from Attitude Magazine Editor-in-Chief Cliff Joannou (left), and Rachel Riley
Matthew Howard, Undergraduate Careers Manager in the Lancaster University Management School, was delighted with Tom’s success. He said: “It has been great to see Tom's confidence, skills and ambition grow throughout the Undergraduate of the Year application process, and to work with him on preparing for the final stages.
“All of us at Lancaster University Management School are absolutely delighted with an excellent achievement.”
As well as Tom’s success, Shayna Mardenborough, who is in the second year of an LLB Hons Law course, was also among the final 10 for the LGBTQ+ Award, presented in partnership with Clifford Chance.
Shayna said: “I genuinely never expected to get this far. As open as I am about my sexuality, it isn’t something I speak about often, so applying for the award was quite out of the ordinary for me.
“However, I feel awards like this are so important. To be recognised by such a large, global firm shows true advancement in the recognition of LGBT+ people. We are leaving the shadows, no longer being as shunned by the elite. There is still a long way to go, but it is amazing that I am seeing my sexuality recognised on a big stage.”
Lancaster’s other shortlisted students were João Raimundo, a third-year BSC Business Studies (Industry) student, who is currently on placement at IBM and who was selected for Management Undergraduate of the Year Award, in partnership with Enterprise Rent-A-Car; and Theoretical Physics MPhys student Alex Copeland, who was in the top 10 for Computer Science, IT and Physics Undergraduate of the Year.
Alex said: “I am so incredibly lucky to get this far, and I’m very excited for the opportunity to discover a potential career path in programming that I hadn’t considered before, because I was so focused on purely physics. I’ve achieved everything I could have hoped for and more through this process, and I’m very grateful for the fantastic head start I now have for my future career.”
João said: “Being shortlisted for the Management Undergraduate of the Year Award was the cherry on top of the cake to what has been an amazing placement year so far. The award reflects the hard work and effort that put into the screening process.
“The one piece of advice I have for possible candidates is to apply even if you’re unsure about what you’re getting yourself into. The process gives you invaluable experience for graduate applications. I am very honoured to have been shortlisted.”
The TARGETJobsUK Undergraduate of the Year Awards are open to students across the UK, with prizes such as placements, internships and trips abroad with internationally recognised organisations on offer.
All four Lancaster students who were shortlisted made it through to the finals after completing and application that included essay-style questions and online tests, before taking part in telephone interviews or assessment centres.