Sunderland graduates honoured at Intern of the Year Awards

(L-R) Michelle Oliver, Biochemica UK Ltd, Professor Julie Mennell, University of Sunderland Deputy Vice Chancellor, Michael Simpson, 4th Aspect Ltd and Nathan Lawson, Consult & Design International Ltd.
(L-R) Michelle Oliver, Biochemica UK Ltd, Professor Julie Mennell, University of Sunderland Deputy Vice Chancellor, Michael Simpson, 4th Aspect Ltd and Nathan Lawson, Consult & Design International Ltd.
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GRADUATES with a passion for learning have been honoured at Sunderland’s first prestigious Intern of the Year Awards.

The event, held at the National Glass Centre, was hosted by Metro Radio presenter Karen Wight and the University of Sunderland’s deputy vice-chancellor Professor Julie Mennell.

Michael Simpson was named as Intern of the Year after creating a highly successful software app for marketing company 4th Aspect Ltd, where he now works.

He developed the iOS app for Apple products to help companies check their website ratings.

The app has been downloaded more than 1,000 times in five months.

Dave Glynn, founder director of 4th Aspect Ltd, said: “We could not be happier with Michael’s performance and he is a credit to the university, 4th Aspect and the North East’s software industry as a whole.”

Michael said: “There aren’t enough superlatives to describe how I feel. It was such a surprise to be nominated. Thank you to the team for nominating me and to the University of Sunderland for this opportunity.”

Nathan Lawson, who undertook an internship at Consult & Design website company, and Michelle Oliver, who was at water and wastewater treatment company Biochemica UK, were named as runners-up at the awards.

This was the first ceremony since the launch of the University of Sunderland’s Graduate Internship Scheme, which offers salaried internships with small-to-medium-sized companies for a minimum of six months.

More than 90 per cent of the 147 interns placed to date have gained full-time employment with their host organisation.

Nickola Gray, internship development manager, said: “The night was dedicated to recognising the talented graduate interns who have worked so hard to develop their skills, as well as the region’s host organisations.”