EY Business Student of the Year Award

This award recognises a current Business School student who has displayed excellence in academic performance, communication skills, community service, extracurricular activities and knowledge of world issues.

Competition information

The EY Business Student of the Year award assesses students on the following criteria:

  • Academic performance
  • Communication, including written, informal and prepared speech
  • Service to the community
  • Extra-curricular activities
  • Business, national and world events


All full-time students currently enrolled in a Bachelor of Commerce or a Bachelor of Property at the University are eligible.

Students enrolled in conjoint degrees are also eligible, as long as one of their degrees is Commerce or Property. Students must have completed at least two semesters of study before they are eligible to enter.

Finalists from previous BSOTY competitions can re-apply but previous winners cannot.

Assessment process

Candidates for the EY Business Student of the Year must submit:

  • A transcript of your complete academic record at the University of Auckland including any conjoint degree
  • A one-page cover letter explaining how you meet the above criteria by answering the three questions detailed on the application form
  • A copy of your CV (maximum two A4 pages)
  • A completed application form

Judging process

Stage 1 of the judging process
For Stage 1, each finalist will participate in a five-minute interview with each judge. The topic of the interviews may include:

  • Your extra-curricular activities
  • Your involvement in community, voluntary and service
  • World events
  • National events
  • Business events
  • Role of ethics in business
  • Career plans

Stage 2 of the judging process
Each candidate makes a five minute speech on the topic. The topic will be announced to the finalists when they are shortlisted. This will take place in an open forum with invited guests including friends and family.

The prizes

The winner will receive:

  • $1,000 prize money
  • Photo and brief bio on the Business School's "Best in Business" display
  • Photo and brief bio on the EY Business Student of the Year webpage 
  • Name plaque on the EY Business Student of the Year shield
  • Three one-to-one meetings with prominent New Zealand business leaders
  • A certificate

All finalists are invited to a lunch with EY representatives. 

There will also be an EY People's Choice Award with a $200 voucher.


Applications for 2020 are now closed.

EY Business Student of the Year winners

EY Business Student of the Year 2020 - David Saul

David is a fourth-year student studying a Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Science conjoint degree in finance, economics and statistics. He has a strong interest in the crossover between the financial markets, the global economy and the political landscape and is working towards a career in the investment industry. David is the former National Director of a Jewish youth group and the current Co-President of the University of Auckland Investment Club.

Previous winners

  • EY Business Student of the Year 2019 - Madeleine Tilley
  • EY Business Student of the Year 2018 - Isabel Kelly
  • EY Business Student of the Year 2017 - Kanika Solanki
  • EY Business Student of the Year 2016 - Morgan Archer
  • EY Business Student of the Year 2015 - Elizabeth Vincent
  • EY Business Student of the Year 2014 - Ben Reynolds
  • EY Business Student of the Year 2013 - Devi Malhotra
  • EY Business Student of the Year 2012 - Meili Han
  • EY Business Student of the Year 2011 - Jessie Lin

Frequently asked questions

  • Do I have to be nominated by someone else?
    No, you nominate yourself and fill in the forms yourself.
  • Do I have to be strong in every category?
    Being strong in every category may be an advantage, however a candidate that is strong in any of the four categories could still be successful in the selection process.
  • Is there a minimum GPA requirement?
    Students with a 9.0 GPA are welcome to enter but there is no GPA minimum. The format of BSOTY will consider the range of attributes possessed by each candidate.
  • What is expected in the Service to the Community section?
    This section focuses on your contribution back to the community you live in. It may be a contribution to a student club or an organisation outside of the University. It will almost certainly be a volunteer activity.
  • What is expected in extracurricular activities?
    This section is any activity that is not part of your study at University or your service to the community. It has a wide scope, including but not limited to: sport, employment, music, arts, your own business, or any other similar activity.

Contact us

For more information, please contact:
Tyla Pearse

Student Development Adviser
The University of Auckland Business School
Phone: +64 9 923 5091
Email: tyla.pearse@auckland.ac.nz