How to impress the Rising Star judges – in their own words

Part of the Rising Star Awards application process is an interview with industry experts. Having reviewed submitted applications, these judges provide potential winners with invaluable expertise and advice from their industry area as part of the interview process, discussing career opportunities from their own expert position.

Two of our previous judges, Sarah Winterbottom from print equipment specialists Josero and Petra Green from the Publishing Training Centre, told us what they are looking out for during the process.

As a Rising Star judge, what are you looking to see in someone’s application?


“What stands out for me is a well thought-out argument that clearly explains why their Rising Star application should be successful.”


“As a judge, we’re sent short-listed applicants’ forms before interviewing them, so they’re our first contact, like a cover letter when applying for a job. Having done your research shows, and being able to express your enthusiasm helps.”

What pieces of information in an application give you the best picture of someone’s future plans?


“I want to learn what excites them about the industry, and where they see themselves in five years’ time, as that often shows the direction their career may take, especially if they’re thinking of moving function or developing a new focus.”


“I like to hear the story behind why they are applying , from where they’ve come from in their career so far to where they want to get to at this stage in their growth within the industry – and how winning the award will help them to achieve that.”

If you had one thing to say to a potential applicant thinking about what to write in their form, what would it be?


“Be enthusiastic, and show commitment to the reasons behind your decision to apply, and what it would mean to you to achieve a Rising Star Award. Be really clear about how the funding applied for would contribute to achieving your personal development and career goals.”


“Step back for a minute and think why you’re applying. Is there something that you really want to do and need the grant for? Is now the best moment for you? Is what you’re asking for really the best fit for you? It’s very clear when judging which applicants have identified training or equipment that will make a difference to them, and that will progress their career at this point in time.”

Applications close 2nd April. Find out more, and apply, and e-mail if you have any questions.

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