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AUTOCAR IN SEARCH TO FIND THE STUDENT WITH THE X-FACTOR - 10 April 2013

Autocar and Courland International are calling for university students to enter the 2013 Autocar-Courland Next Generation Award, the automotive industry talent search that is regarded as the premier competition of its type. The 2013 winner will be rewarded with a priceless work experience package comprising one month at each of the contest sponsors – Jaguar Land Rover, McLaren Automotive, Peugeot, Skoda and Toyota – as well as a £7500 cash prize.

Roberto Antonio Pace at Toyota

To enter the competition, students need to answer in 500 words a brief set by Autocar editor-in-chief Steve Cropley and submit their entry via the Autocar-Courland Next Generation Award website – autocar.co.uk/nextgenerationaward – by 2 September 2013.

Brief:   Describe, in no more than 500 words, an idea, innovation or change to corporate policy that would improve the UK automotive business.

The idea could work in any area of the automotive business – from concept through to the sales showroom and aftermarket.

If successful, for the next stage of the competition students will need to demonstrate how the idea could be made viable and the advantages it would offer.

Submissions will be welcomed from all disciplines, including – but not limited to – engineering, marketing and communications, design and media. Special credit will be given to the originality of entrants’ suggestions.

The six best entrants will attend a mentoring session with one of the assigned judges from the 2013 sponsor companies. This will be followed by the final judging day at the home of Autocar at Teddington Studios, where the entrants make presentations to a panel of leading industry executives from the 2013 sponsor companies. Three finalists will be invited to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders’ annual dinner on 26 November, where the winner will be announced.

Autocar editor-in-chief Steve Cropley said:

“The automotive sector is one of the most inspirational, innovative and dynamic sectors to work in, and as with any industry it needs young people. I urge all students to get their thinking caps on and send in their ideas – they have got to be in it to win it – and why would they not want to?”

The winner of the 2012 competition was Roberto Antonio Pace, aged 25, from Kingston University.  Roberto’s winning ‘Cylindrical Brake System’ idea represents the third-generation brake system, after drums and discs, and has seen him commence his work experience marathon. He has already completed one month at Toyota and another at McLaren and is now looking forward to acquiring more valuable experience at Jaguar Land Rover at Gaydon, Peugeot and finally with Skoda.

Speaking about his experience so far, Roberto Antonio Pace said: “The placements have definitely exceeded my expectations; the structure allows me to experience different work environments and, most importantly, meet people who are genuinely inspiring, very knowledgeable and truly passionate about their work. It’s definitely where I want to work in the future.”

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