How to be a BNOC according to last year’s winners
The Class of 2017 tell you how they became BNOCs and how you can become one too
The BNOC voting deadline is looming, those nominated are doing some frantic last minute campaigning and those who didn't make the cut are still ignoring their friends for not nominating them enough. Whichever group you inevitably fall into, I have just the information you need to either strengthen your position in the polls or to take on tips for next year.
The creme de la creme of BNOC 2017 have told The Tab just how they reached those dizzying heights of Cantab fame, how they made it through an application process more gruelling than a Linklaters Vac-scheme on steroids and what sacrifices they made in order to claim that coveted position.
Joe Binder – Fitz, 4th place
Joe Binder, YouTuber and vlogger, graduated last year with 4th place BNOC under his belt as well as Cambridge degree (think I know which one carries more intellectual gravitas and it's not that comes with a piece of paper). He was also known for founding Students of Cambridge which amassed over 10,000 Facebook likes.
Joe, who now runs a London-based branding and marketing firm, told the Tab: "I never wanted to be a BNOC, but I can't say it didn't teach me a thing or two about personal branding. Next goal: became a BNIC (big name in world) by creating London's next branding powerhouse."
Bobby Seagull – Emma, 8th place
Bobby Seagull shot to Cambridge fame by making it to the University Challenge final repping Emma. In November, he announced that he was writing a quiz book with UC co-star Eric Monkman as well as co-hosting a radio show. Seagull told The Tab:
"Fingers on buzzers, here's your real University Challenge starter for ten. What word of four letters can strike wonder, fear, trepidation or even ridicule in equal measure among university students in Cambridge? Exam? Book? Pass? Fail? Love? None of these, it is the four letters B N O and C. Innocent enough as four letters, but string them together in that particular order in Cambridge and the mythical status of the BNOC emerges."
He went onto say that his family rewarded him with 'a cheeky Nandos, a Seagull family tradition' after finishing 8th and that 'if the prospect of an extra hot half chicken with peri peri chips from your family doesn't spur you on to aim for the heights of BNOC, then nothing will.' Words to live by, Bobby, words to live by.
Xelia Mendes-Jones – Catz, 9th place
Third year thesp and CUCFS veteran shot to number 9 in the BNOC list last year. After her buttocks graced the Daily Mail, it was certain BNOCdom lay ahead of her.
Xelia told The Tab that her number 1 piece of advice is to "stop caring about your degree – there isn't enough time to do both your degree and climb the social ladder."
Secondly – "take up a sport so that you have the stamina to boogie from 10pm-2am Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday."
Lastly, "ask your parents to change the first letter of ur name to something no one would ever expect like “x” and switch to the most obscure subject u can think of like ASNaC (worked for me)"
There you have it folks – the formula to cracking the BNOC code, up there with Einstein's theory of relativity and anything Stephen Hawking has done I'm sure.
Jonah Surkes – Clare, 33rd
Union pres, former hack and cameraman of Tab TV's 'The Meaning of Life' (throwback), Jonah unsurprisingly landed in 33rd place last year on the BNOC list. When asked how he managed to gain his title, Jonah told the Tab to ‘blindly walk into the Cambridge Union and somehow walk out as President.’ Ok great – will do that next time, thanks xx.
Julie Wise – Homerton, 40th
Lacrosse blue and Homerton dweller Julie Wise made it to 40th in the BNOC list last year, as someone who was nominated for garnering '555 likes on her profile picture'.
Julie told The Tab to 'make sure you get all your friends to nominate you, and then act shocked and humbled after begging for their votes' in addition to 'keep recycling your profile picture back to get more likes, then act surprised when people ask you how you to 700.'
Wise words from Julie Wise.
Johnny Burrow – Catz, 39th
Johnny Burrow landed 39th place thanks to being the ultimate journalism hack, Tab TV presenter and hosting a show on Cam FM. He has now graduated and is doing a masters in broadcast journalism (shock, horror).
When asked how he achieved this great feat, Johnny told the Tab: 'For me (according to the Tab) it was a case of having a "questionable leather jacket" and "horrible radio show". That or being "evil in its purest form" – they really seemed to like me. Dress like an extra from a Grease deleted scene and you're basically there.'
Josh Jackson – Queens, 18th
Josh Jackson made it to 18th place last year after arguing "for the overthrow of his JCR to be replaced by a student Soviet and then running in many long shot elections". His college JCR and CULC fame have also resulted in a nomination in this years competition.
On how to become a BNOC, Josh told us "it's all about being 'that guy' (or girl), that guy who always runs in elections, that guy who's always going on about socialism, that guy who wears those wavey garms, that guy who's always at CUCA, that guy with the funny hair…if you really want to be a BNOC then you have to be 'that guy' everywhere you go. Also it helps to be well over 6ft tall and have an Afro. So yeah that'd be my advice. Feel free to edit if you need to cut it down or whatever."
So there you have it – if you're that desperate to land in the top 50 next year, follow this advice and you're guaranteed* a fool-proof** method of achieving BNOC status.
**certainly not fool-proof