These are the career-making competitions you should enter

Some of the most sought-after industries – film, design and publishing – can be virtually impossible to break into without prior contacts. How on earth can a normal person get a foothold in these coveted careers?

Luckily, there are ways to kickstart your chosen career, solo. Enter one of these competitions and it could be your lucky break.

1. FILM: Well done U

Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo’s film reviews show on BBC Five Live has been one of the most popular for years. But did you know they also run a short film competition for their listeners?

Entries must be no more than two minutes in length, and the winning film will get a BBFC classification, as well as being screened to the country’s top critics in London’s Leicester Square.

2. DESIGN: Toyota logisitc design competition

Trying to break into the design industry? Then be sure to enter this prestigious competition for students as well as graduates.

Teams of up to 3 submit a design of a new vehicle selected by Toyota, for the chance to win major cash prizes as well as a six month internship with the car manufacturer.

3. FINANCE: The M&A Challenge

This national competition was set up by the finance societies at Imperial College and LSE, and last year was sponsored by banking powerhouse Morgan Stanley.

Teams of five students assemble competing pitchbooks relating to a fantasy acquisition, and then complete a trading challenge.

Winners receive £500 and the opportunity to complete an internship at a leading bank.

4. FASHION: Mango Fashion Awards

Spanish fashion house Mango have hosted this competition for budding fashion designers for the last five years. It offers those who have worked in the industry (in any capacity) the chance to make the jump and market their own collection to a whole host of fashion entrepreneurs.

Entrants for the competition must be under 35, which has the support of five of the most important design schools in Europe.

5. WRITING: The Bridport Prize

Offering one of the largest cash prizes in the world for a short story competition, the Bridport Prize was first awarded in 1973. It is open to any member of the public in the UK or overseas, and all winning stories and poems are widely published in a prestigious anthology.