A former head boy of Hurstpierpoint College was named UK’s Future Business Leader of the Year at the National TARGETjobs Undergraduate of the Year Awards at Canary Wharf on April 25.
Baran Ceylan, 22, a final year business student at the University of Bath, was presented with the award by Sir Trevor McDonald OBE and Julie Digby from the awards’ sponsors, Mars, who have offered him an internship and a trip to their HQ in Chicago.
Mr Ceylan said: “When my name was called out by Sir Trevor McDonald I was absolutely thrilled, it was amazing.
“It was one of those situations where you have a hunch you’ve done well, but everyone was so good so I had absolutely no idea if I would win.”
After a series of tests and interviews competitors were judged on their ability to pitch, deal with business situations, analyse market challenges and debate.
The 22-year-old was named PwC and Bright-Futures UK National Business Champion in 2011, having cofounded the award winning RECollar, a voice recorded pet ID tag.
“I’ve just finished my last exam at uni and I’ve had quite a few job offers, I’m really fortunate,” he added.
“But I’m going to have a break now after interning and university so that I can go travelling.”
“I’ve had opportunities to do a lot of different things, which has been really fun, but in the long run I’m most interested in marketing and sales.”
Mr Ceylan recently founded Wordme, a unique greetings card company which has obtained financial backing from investors, currently employ four staff, and has secured local retailers across the UK.
He has had work experience in the UK, Dubai and Turkey, completing two six-month placements at Unilever and L’Oreal, as well as summer internships at PwC and Akbank.
“I am thrilled to have had the opportunity to demonstrate my entrepreneurialism. The competition was a fantastic occasion to meet many other talented individuals, and I am honoured to have won this award,” he said.
“I am also looking forward to my trip to Chicago!”