A word on The SOMERSET selection event Cameron McEleney, 2016 CVQO Duke of Westminster Award winner

Hello all!

Congratulations for making it this far into the CVQO Duke of Westminster Award. The purpose of this abstract about selection is to hopefully alleviate some stress from your preparations.

To be clear, the purpose of the selection event in Somerset is to identify the people who will be going to South Africa - and from that pool choose THE overall winner.

The four key components of the event are the physical leadership tasks, a group table top planning session, an interview and a group presentation.

The leadership tasks are traditional military style command tasks, of varying difficulties and time lengths (all are physical but nothing more than light lifting and jogging). The CVQO team will primarily be looking at your ability to contribute in a leadership capacity, but also how you involve other members of the group.

Don't worry - no-one is scoring you on how quickly you complete the task. It's all about teamwork.

The group table top planning session will involve problem solving situations designed to test teamwork, planning and analytical skills. Last year, there was a disaster scenario that needed to be solved and then the solution the group generated was to be presented to the CVQO staff.

The interview and group presentation exercise will run concurrently, with one person being interviewed while the others work together – you’ll all be swapped out for an interview during the exercise.

You can expect an in-depth but friendly interview on your personality, aspirations for the future and thoughts about CVQO and the Duke of Westminster award.

The interview is your chance to back up what you put on the paper applications in person, so it’s worth having a look over what your nominating officer said about you when they wrote the initial application.

The group exercise last year was to critically analyse CVQO’s merchandise, public relations and image; delivering the group’s thoughts in a presentation at the end. Again, this is all about teamwork.

During mealtimes and in the evenings, there will be opportunities to socialise and mix with the others there. The competition isn’t looking for the funniest or most articulate individual, but how you conduct yourself could influence the outcome.

The best thing to do is the cliché of making sure to relax and be yourself; the more genuine you are, the more comfortable CVQO will be about sending you abroad (if you’re the kind of person they’re looking for!)

Regardless of how tasks and tests go, just relax and enjoy the selection event. You’ll be mixing with other like-minded people so you’re bound to get on with them as well as having a great time.

Best of luck and see you there!

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