South Essex College celebrated student success at their annual awards ceremony.
The event, held at the College’s Thurrock Campus, saw more than 20 students receive Student of the Year awards from the College’s different departments including Construction and Engineering, Hair and Beauty and Sport and Public Services.
The overall winner, Andrew Gush, was crowned at the end of the evening, chosen from all the department winners. Andrew, a Level 3 Professional Cookery student, was praised for his ‘outstanding attitude’ and ‘inspiring approach towards his education and dedication to achieve.’
Alongside his studies, Andrew also has two part time jobs in a café and restaurant to further his skills and experience to begin his career in the competitive industry.
He said he was amazed to hear he had won. He said: “I love cooking and experimenting with recipes, so it was a bit surreal to find out I had won an award for doing something I love.
“My time at the College has been amazing, the tutors are really supportive and get us to try new things to get us out of our comfort zone and really put our skills to the test. Being part of the evening dining at Waves restaurant has been a massive part in my development because we have been cooking a variety of dishes for real paying customers so the standard has to be high!”
The awards were presented by Angela O’Donoghue, Principal and Chief Executive of the College, plus special guest speaker, Scott Rose.
Scott studied Games Development at the College from 2007-2009. He now owns two successful businesses in Southend, Hide and Shriek, an immersive horror attraction and Caddies, a crazy golf bar and restaurant.
Scott praised all of the winners for their hard work. He said: “It’s a pleasure to share in everyone’s success tonight. You truly find out a lot about yourself when you’re studying – what you’re good at and what you enjoy – and it’s these things you need to take away with you as you start the next chapter.
“Success is about being bold, brave, and willing to take risks.”
College Principal Angela O’Donoghue added her praise and congratulations.
She said: “Celebrating Success is one of the favourite parts of my job. All of our award winners should be extremely proud of what they have achieved, well done to you all.”
Winners, guests and staff were treated to a meal before the ceremony including dessert created by talented Level 3 Patisserie students. They were also entertained in the interval by Level 3 Music Performance students.