Getting ahead in today's tough economic climate is about standing out, and that is exactly what Ulster University's Rebekah Deacon has done.
The Law and Criminology graduate, from Banbridge, has become the first UU EDGE Excel Student of the Year.
The award, sponsored by Citi, recognises exceptional commitment to personal and professional development.
Rebekah was singled out for her passion, enthusiasm, strong work ethic and determination to succeed after resitting her exams in order to attend UU.
Competition was fierce but Rebekah stood out for going the extra mile, such as training to be a peer mentor to facilitate group teaching, acting as class representative, and even taking a Street Law Programme, which provides law students with an opportunity to disseminate complex legal issues to young offenders in order to facilitate and encourage positive engagement with the law among young offenders.
Rebekah believes it will enhance her future employment prospects.
"I believe completing this award will help me in my future career because I can prove to employers I have skills that they want, for example I took part in the student retention programme and class rep, which involved working independently and as part of a team and using problem solving skills," she explained.
"The 'Graduation: What Next?' module has definitely helped me as I was able to submit my CV and get constructive feedback.
"Modules such as Street Law - where we planned a lesson based on law and taught offenders at Woodlands - are also a good conversation starter with employers!
"I hope that achieving this award will make me stand out to employers.
"I think I won because it shows I am a well-rounded person who likes to participate, determined, and I go above the minimum expected."
Having finished her degree in Law and Criminology, graduating with a 2:1, Rebecca has applied for a LLM Legal Clinical Skills course but is also on the look-out for a job.