How do you see the world?

Morgan Stanley recently invited students to show off their creativity in its first University Photo Competition. We find out why, and speak to the three winners

What does "global citizenship" mean to you? For international investment bank Morgan Stanley, it's about protecting the environment, supporting social finance and working with charities towards community development across the world.

To highlight the importance of these values to the bank's culture, Morgan Stanley recently launched its first University Photo Competition, which invited students to submit their own photographs that reflect our interconnected world - with a chance to win an iPad 3. The competition also aimed to introduce the investment bank to students across the UK and help them understand the bank's core values.

Open to all

Morgan Stanley's graduate opportunities are open to students from all universities, and the University Photo Competition was set up to reach out to students with creative interests.

Morgan Stanley encourages students and graduates who value diversity and relate to its values to apply to the bank. Having people with a variety of different skill sets, experiences and perspectives also adds value to its teams. "We rolled out the competition to all UK universities to introduce the bank to students who perhaps didn't know anything about Morgan Stanley."

The bank received a huge number of entries from 24 universities and whittled them down to ten shortlisted photos, based on how well they fit the theme, and their style, creativity and impact.

Students across the country then logged on to Morgan Stanley's website and voted for their favourite. The photo with the most student votes - A celebration of diversity, by Kalani Herath from the University of York - was the overall winner. Kalani took home an iPad3, while the first and second runners up were awarded Amazon gift vouchers.

A different take

The competition also showed students a different side of the bank. Sarah says: "When you're thinking about your career and in the early stages of your research, the top-tier banks may all appear fairly similar. "The work we do with charities and community groups isn't necessarily what springs to mind when you think of investment banking, but giving back has always been an important part of the bank's culture and history."

Morgan Stanley's global citizenship is a direct reflection of the bank's core values, and giving back to communities around the world is important to the bank. The theme also challenged students to think carefully about photos they'd taken. "We wanted people to go away and think about what global citizenship means to them, and to Morgan Stanley as well."

Here, we take a look at the winners...

First prize: A celebration of diversity

Kalani Herath

History, University of York

"My photo represents overcoming divisions based on colour and race, and the amazing results that can be achieved by working together across borders and cultures. The bright colours not only convey diversity, but also a sense of spectacle and fun.

I took the picture at a paint fight organised by students at my university. It was reminiscent of the Hindu festival of Holi, also known as the Festival of Colours, during which people celebrate the arrival of spring by throwing powder paint at each other.

I've been the vice-chair of the photography society at my university for the past academic year, so when I heard about the competition through the students' union I was keen to enter. I've realised how important corporate social responsibility is to Morgan Stanley, and I feel I've gained a better understanding of its values."

Second prize: The lake

Alejandra Cossio-Martinez

International Relations and Russian, University of Exeter

"My photo shows a calm, quiet lake with a very well-defined horizon. It looks as if the world ends there, but we all know that as you get closer to the horizon line it moves further away. It illustrates that there are no real physical boundaries that separate us - we're all citizens of the same planet.

I took the photo while travelling in Estonia last summer. My friends and I stopped near Tuhalaane to watch the sunset by the lake. I always have my camera with me and take lots of pictures, and I was happy to capture this scene - it was very beautiful.

I found out about the photo competition on Morgan Stanley's website while I was researching spring weeks and internships at the bank. Before this, I didn't realise that banks are interested in creativity as well as your academic skills and financial knowledge."

Third prize: Progress side-by-side

Tatiana Sergeeva

Economics and Business with East European studies, UCL

"My photo shows how the world is changing while constantly moving, and that as global citizens we need to take care of our environment. The car and bicycle, side-by-side, illustrate that progress is no longer about industrialisation, but getting back on our bikes for the sake of the planet.

I took the photo a year ago on Blackfriars Bridge in London. I enjoy photography and often walk around London taking pictures with my friends. I thought it was cool how the traffic was moving together, and I'm glad I was able to capture that moment.

I'm interested in a career in finance, so I wanted to enter the competition when I saw it was being run by Morgan Stanley. I'm now even more keen to apply to the bank because I'd like to work for a company that values my creativity and hobbies."

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