The time of year is upon us once again when the winter graduation ceremonies are in full swing. This year however, a number of students are taking home more than just their Honours degree, after scooping a series of special awards.

One such student is Phelim Garrett-Hanna who was presented with the University of Dundee’s Wimberley Award for his contribution to academic life.

The 21-year-old student, originally from Kirriemuir, took the title of class representative in his first and second year of University, moving on to become class president in his third year. One of his initiatives was to volunteer for the University’s Nightline service, where he was able to provide on-tap, confidential support to his fellow undergraduates.

Phelim, who has now graduated and is pursuing a career as a staff nurse at the Acute Medical Unit in Ninewells Hospital, said it is important that students “make the most of their time at university”.

He added: “I didn’t feel I would be able to fulfil my full potential unless I got involved in things beyond just my field of study.” He suggested that a desire to help others played a key part in his decision to become a class representative.

Becoming class president gave Phelim the chance to improve things for his fellow students and he is able to apply many of the skills learnt at University to his new line of work.

Phelim also said that there were times when he needed help and that was one of the reasons he got involved with Nightline. Studies, although extremely rewarding, can also be stressful, which is why it’s always good to have someone to talk to.

He said he didn’t expect to get an award but revealed he was delighted nonetheless, suggesting to makes graduation “even more of a special occasion”.

If you’re looking for a graduate role where you can put into practice both your academic and non-academic experiences, take a look at the Discovery Graduates job board and see what opportunities suit your talents…