We occasionally publish announcements of events for youth. All of them bring great development opportunities, but a lot are high-demand. For example this year Youth Time Summer School has 5 times more applicants than spaces available. So we decided to come up with few practical tips in order to present the best of yourself in the struggle to get the chance and earn the opportunity of the internship, scholarship or some training program.
Determination to work very hard
There isn’t something called ‘easy way’. You have to worked hard at your part if you want to get that scholarship, research and application are the core, of course as in many other aspect be it start up founding, competition etc. Get determined that you are ready to spend many hours browsing the Internet and as much time writing essays, improving your CV format and completing applications.
Don’t you even dare to think that with some simple emails you are going to find some sponsorship or a scholarship/internship/training. These aren’t words, this really needs hard work that will take long time and commitment before starting the process. In my experiences just on random talks with people who were asking me about ‘how to be good in applications’ and other cases when I’ve been in the role of a selector, majority of these weren’t prepared for that application, it was obvious that so many of them were successful by chance, I personally do not prefer to be on that kind of position.
Bookmark (aka a To Apply List) many scholarships open calls
While making your research, try to find as much scholarships as you can and for sure submit as many applications as possible. Applying to many scholarships gives you more chances to be successful and be accepted at least in one or maybe more. And don’t be discouraged by the overwhelming amount of scholarship materials that is available out there, it’s good that out there is a massive amount of choices.
Identify goals of the institution that is offering the opportunity
Try the best to understand the institutions or sponsor’s motivation that is offering the award. Do they want to promote the interest on their field? Are they looking to identify promising future leaders? If you identify their goals, you can direct your application to meet and satisfy these goals, in which case you increase your chances on winning the opportunity. After you have tried to respond the above mentioned questions, then start to evaluate yourself in relation to these requirements: What career do you plan to pursue? Does your goals and ambitions meet the goals of the scholarship/internship/training? Compare your qualifications to the requirements of the scholarship/internship/training. What about your abilities and potential? And the most ‘boring’ question maybe! But quite important: Where you want to see yourself in 5 or 10 years?
Apply ONLY if you are eligible
Read and re-read very carefully all the scholarship (internship, training) requirements and criterias and make be sure that you are eligible. For sure, your application isn’t going to be considered if you do not meet the eligible criterias.
But, if you’ve carefully read the requirements and meet them all, your application will shine through, it will go straight to the top of the pile and get a faster response.
This may sound as something you have been hearing so often, but I have seen many people doing that; If you do not meet the eligible criteria’s, do not apply. Submitting such application is an absolute waste of your time, and unfortunately ‘classifies’ you as someone who haven’t done their homework (didn’t consider their eligible criteria’s). Apply for all these that you qualify for, even if you think that the chances are very low, luck may be on your side, you never know.
Plan-Write-Edit and Rewrite Essays
Most of the scholarships ask for an essay (I know it’s the toughest part). You need to be able to write about a wide range of topics. These topic may or may not be interesting for you. Train yourself to write in a thoughtful way, be sure to prove that you are a scholar or you have the ability to become one, give concrete examples, when you answer to an essay question is abstract give your best to support it with a concrete example that illustrates the point you are making. The scholarship sponsor/institution wants to see evidences that you satisfy their criteria and requirements, and they hate unsupported statements.
In essay-writing, create a compelling portrait of you, your abilities and position your skills and strengths, these will ‘speak’ as you are the person who deserves the support of the scholarship committee. These scholarship committees award candidates who prove that they have understood that they are distinguished from the crowd, by their abilities to express clearly their ideas, and show to others their qualities. Show your strengths and show that you are different from the other applicants with similar grades.
*Do not send that same RESUME & ESSAY to different scholarships, try to adjust them accordingly.
Check-Check-Check (YES at least 3 checks)
That ability of yours to submit a neat, timely & complete application reflects you. It’s the very first image that you present to the sponsoring institution. Be proud in yourself by submitting the best possible application.
a) Read & follow instructions COMPLETELY (don’t skip any lines)
Proofread your application: review everything. Typing mistakes are a sure way to not be considered for a scholarship (internship, training), take in consideration asking someone you know that have some clue on such things to read your application, check grammar, spelling and punctuation.
Some scholarships require transcripts, some other a letter of recommendation, or require you to write an essay to submit. Send just what is required, missing some small part of the requirements may cost you the whole scholarship.
Write an ‘Accomplishments Resume’
Remember, you are selling yourself, so better present yourself in the best possible way, but don’t forget to be honest (give them the opportunity to felt the honesty between, above and below the lines).
Make a list with all your accomplishments, this is going you to help you to identify your main strengths and prepare you for a better application. Make a copy of your CV and give it to the people whom you asked to write letters of recommendation for you. In this case they will be able to work on some of the tidbits in their letters, making it to look like they really know you better. When awarding scholarships, these organizations and universities look on many factors such as: application, academic transcripts, presentation, essays, community involvement, leadership skills, any special talents and so on. Don’t exaggerate your grades, memberships, skills, or qualifications, BE HONEST. It’s way much better to focus on the scholarships for which you might be eligible. And remember this, in a scholarship application, these are the main things that committees want to know: Why this scholarship is important to you, Why this is the right one for your, and you are the right one for it, by knowing this your application should be built on the spirit of this message.
Be a deadline-beater
After a long time dealing with almost every kind of applications (scholarships, training’s, internships, jobs, projects and so on), once deadline was indeed a killer for me, but I just didn’t knew ‘it’ very well but after this time passed we became quite closed friends, now it’s my main inspiration and motivation. OK that was enough ‘artsy-kind-of-writing’ let’s get serious, now that you have started to deal with the applications for your dreamed scholarship (internship, training) better start to learn how to get organized and at the same time how to keep track of multitasking, because dealing at the same time with multiple deadlines and multiple applications, ain’t easy. So, you better have your CV, academic transcripts, research proposal and other possible requirements ready and prepared at all time. This is going to help you a lot to become a deadline-beater and you will avoid these rushed entries especially for scholarships that are announced close to the deadline.
Make supportive steps to be sure that your application reaches its destination
It happened to me many times: laptop/pc crash, power supply, bad Internet connection, their e-mail didn’t work, their platform wasn’t functional, mail got stuck and many many other casualties, but before sending your application, you should definitely make a copy of the whole packet and keep it on a file. So, if your application goes astray, you can reproduce it very quickly. Make sure your name appears on all pages of the application because any piece of your application may get lost if they aren’t clearly identified,do not send transcripts, application and letters of recommendation separately; do all what is possible to send all in a complete packet and I suggest you to keep copies of everything you send: If it happens that your application is wrong places, in this case having extra copies will make it easier to resend your information quickly.
LAST BUT NOT LEAST: Be aware of the Scholarship Scams
From the moment when you start searching this kind of opportunities, ‘Google’ and scams may drive you crazy with their suggestions. So, in this case a very simple and short advice: Delete button will save your live, and your ability to find the resource hubs that collect and publish information is a life-saver.
I know this article was long (If it looked boring for you, nothing to worry for none of us, this just may not be a field of your interest. But, if there would be someone who would have wrap some similar tips in one piece, some years ago when I was a very beginner in such things, dammit I can’t imagine how massive help would be, but I can’t complain with the number of opportunities I’ve been included.
THE BEST OF LUCK ON YOUR NEXT APPLICATION!
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