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Rising Star Wins Place in National Final of “UK’s Most Enterprising Student” Award

Success spreading at pre-employment screening agency Powerchex

London, United Kingdom, September 20, 2007 --( Toby Smith, a student placed with the company as part of the Shell STEP scheme has been named ‘Most Enterprising Student’ in London and the South East. This comes on the heels of Powerchex being named national finalist at the much coveted NatWest Business Service of the Year Award.

Beating off over 1,000 applicants Toby Smith, a 20 -year-old history student from York University, has won a place in the UK final of Shell Step’s acclaimed annual search for the “UK’s Most Enterprising Student”.

Toby took part in the Shell Step graduate placement programme and spent the summer working for Wapping-based company Powerchex, an award winning company specialising in pre-employment screening for financial institutions. His project was to help design and implement a PR programme for them. He conducted market research and used the findings to convince editors to write nearly 40 articles about the research and the company, reaching a combined readership of over 15 million people. This included The Guardian and London’s City AM. As a result of his work, web links to the Powerchex site trebled to 3,110 and Powerchex reached the top of the Google search listings for companies specialising in pre-employment screening.

Alexandra Kelly, MD at Powerchex, says “This is just one more example of how working with the community not only helps your image but can also make a significant impact on your bottom line too.”

Toby’s efforts impressed a panel of judges at the semi-final held in Shell Centre, London this week and earned him a trophy, cheque for £400 and a coveted place in the UK final in London on 10th October 2007. There, he will represent London and compete against other undergraduates from all over the UK for the chance to be crowned the “UK’s Most Enterprising Student 2007.”

Toby said: “Shell Step gives you great experience because you turn up, are given an objective, and then its down to you to achieve it. I learnt some invaluable skills during my placement, such as self-motivation and I have been incredibly lucky to be given the opportunity to identify where my strengths lie, as it means that coming into my final year I can pursue a career which I both enjoy and am good at.”

Alexandra Kelly, Managing Director, Powerchex, said: “Toby is the fourth Shell Step student we have placed with our company over the years and we are over the moon with what he’s achieved. His work has been incredibly helpful to Powerchex.”

Gareth Lewis, Enterprise Services Manager at Knowledge Dock, said: ‘I absolutely thrilled for Toby. He did fantastically well on his placement and I am delighted so see that his efforts have been rewarded with place at the national finals. This is the first time that one of Knowledge Dock’s placement students on the Shell Step programme has reached the national finals and I am hopeful that Toby may even win the coveted prize of the ‘UK’s Most Enterprising Student’.

Shell Step is a 21st Century placement scheme. Students who take part in the programme are more attractive to future employers and the participating companies report a significant impact on their bottom line.


For further information contact Louise Vaughan at Blue Rubicon on 0206 260 2700 or email

Powerchex is a pre-employment screening company specialising in the financial services sector

Notes to editors:

About Powerchex: Powerchex is the UK’s fastest-growing pre-employment vetting company. For more information see .

For more information please contact:
Alexandra Kelly
0207 709 2058
Contact Information
Alexandra Kelly

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