Review of The Best of the Best Student Awards Dinner at Claridge's

Tuesday 18 September 2018


Now in their 12th year, the National Student Awards celebrated the Best of the Best at the annual Awards Dinner, held in the glittering surroundings of Claridge’s on 18th September. Over 200 guests came to applaud the 14 national Awards finalists and find out who had won the 2018 trophy.

The evening started with a lively champagne reception, when old and new friends and colleagues enjoyed catching up, before moving through to the Ballroom for dinner. Women in Property National Chairman Jo Williams introduced the student finalists asking them all to stand up to be recognised and thanked the Universities for their participation, Thanks too to the three national sponsors, Bouygues (UK) Ltd, Linden Homes and Savills and the regional sponsors Christopher Smith Associates, Curtins, Stride Treglown and Willmott Dixon

Dinner was, as ever, delicious. Claridge’s presented us with Bulls blood tomato, whipped goat’s cheese, olive, almond, pomegranate and red currant, followed by Dover sole rosettes, citrus brown butter jus, red quinoa, broccoli, toasted almonds, romanesco and asparagus and finshed with Caraibe chocolate truffle cake, malt cremeux, butterscotch sauce and chocolate sorbet.

The speeches were both considered and entertaining. Jo Williams spoke of the industry’s quest to attract the best talent, saying “We need to do more to make young people, parents and teachers aware of the range of career opportunities in construction and property, to attract them in the first place. Moving into the future, diversity of our workforce is essential. And we need to take an equalist view to encourage and support that diversity – it’s not just about gender.”

Sadly the original keynote speaker, Claer Barrett of FT Money had to cancel because of a loss of voice but Sandi Rhys Jones, who stepped in at the 11th hour, did not disappoint! She spoke of the important work and many interesting initiatives with which Women in Property is involved, bringing her own wit and intellect to the talk and finishing with some words of advice. She urged employers to “…spot talent early (and then keep it), find champions and story tellers, take a hard look at the profile of the boardroom”. And Sandi’s advice to individual women included: “..offer solutions, not problems, gather hard facts, keep a sense of humour and never underestimate the value of what you know.”

It was then time to reveal the 2018 national winner. Jo Williams invited national sponsors Carole Ditty from Bouygues, Hannah Pattinson from Linden Homes and Yvonne Lee from Savills, to join her on the stage where she announced that Katie McManus, studying Real Estate at Sheffield Hallam University was the 2018 National Student Awards winner.

Katie was described by the judges as “…engaging, personable, with a great sense of humour, very down to earth, definitely someone we’d like on our team.”

Well done to Katie and to the 13 other finalists all of whom did so well to reach the Final.

National Sponsors

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