We are hoping the Scholars Journey has dispelled your concerns about the Chevening application and has made the process more transparent and hopefully, less stressful. We hope we have been fairly successful in providing you glimpses into what it takes to becoming a successful candidate and how the review committees perceive your work. From University choices to the cost of scholarship, we have shared with you practical tips on how you could avoid making mistakes that can potentially cost you the selection or your joy when you arrive on the other side; as well as given advice on how to creatively spend your time during the long waiting period that lies ahead. Most importantly however, we have emphasized your need to having a plan B, C, D, E, or even Z; and guided you on how to think critically, to deeply introspect on all your potentials while marshaling them into a creative and persuasive symphony of letters and paragraphs that transfixes anyone who cares to read “em”. You will find that these skills would come in handy for every other thing in which application essays are a requirement; from scholarships to fellowships, to seeking grants.
While you await that ‘notorious’ mail that says “Congratulations!!! We are pleased blah, blah, blah………or otherwise, we understand that you may be engrossed with making other applications, consequently, our future posts envisages to be skewed somewhat into discussing other scholarships especially those associated with the UK, IELTS, general discussions etc. Nonetheless, the leadership of the blog notes that we’d embark on a break sometime in December as many of us might be immersed in exams and the like, and also preparatory to the festivities of that peculiar month. We thought it is good you get heads-up early enough. Individual team members may be contacted via mails if needs be. Hopefully, these dates (closing and resumption) would be communicated in another post. Meanwhile, reflect on these thoughts as you now must have hit the submit button:
- You’re a brand! The Chevening application must have taken many a person into depths of reflection and opened up new vistas of realities while giving kinetics to hitherto latent potentials. I am convinced, that many of you are now better writers than you were at the outset at the least. It was mesmeric to read the creativity in many of your essays. Many of you unleashed not just Chevening but Nobel and Pulitzer Award-winning writing skills. Therefore, Chevening or no Chevening, you’re all champions. Do not forget to live your lives with passion, guts, impact and insight. Keep the STARS and the SMARTS close to your apex beat.
- Build your networks while you wait. Attend conferences, meet people, join professional associations, and keep in touch with old and new friends. Build quality friendships. Association determine acceleration, and who you follow determines what follows you!
- Successful applications have well-executed essays underpinned by the six following qualities: Compelling, Captivating, Credible, Consistent, Concise and Clear. With these at the back of your mind, attempt other scholarships and vow like I did (if you want), not to spend any further personal dime footing the bills for postgraduate education because loads of opportunities abound out there.
- Understand the 5 selection criteria for many if not all scholarships: leadership, a track record of academic prowess, post-study plans/benefits, professional or research experience, and a unique brand differentiation. Know your strength and areas of weaknesses and build them.
- Whether you apply for a gazillion scholarships, expect success, but prepare for failure (and I mean so, on all fronts). This is the mindset necessary for shock-absorption. This is the best advice you will ever receive regarding scholarship applications. This is because there’s always a chance factor (some call it God, luck, fate, fortune, what have you); two essays may have the same merits and selection may just hang on the preference of the assessor. Sometimes, people are turned down not because they aren’t good enough but for the sheer paucity of resources. Don’t be too attached. There’s life after Chevening!
Many thanks to our readership, we exist because you are. Many thanks to M.C, T.A, O.O, L.B, J.A and a plethora of others too numerous to devote space. Merry Christmas in advance, or merry whatever you celebrate. Best wishes!
*Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not reflect that of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), its partner organizations or any scholarship awarding institution.