We at BrightSparks are all about scholarships. We feature testimonials from scholars in the BrightSparks magazine, provide a one-stop application portal with comparison and shortlisting options, and regularly update this Get Ahead! page with tips and tricks to score that coveted award.
So perhaps it’s time we address the elephant in the room: Why should you apply for a scholarship, anyway?
Here are the reasons:
A fully-paid education
In the interest of absolute honesty, we’ll put it up front that many A-levels and polytechnic graduates are drawn to the prospect of having their university fees fully paid for. On top of that, scholars often enjoy stipends, laptop and educational material allowances, and other bonuses.
But watch out! If this is the only thing drawing you to a scholarship, please reconsider. It will be difficult for you when you graduate if you are stuck in an organisation that doesn’t fit you. Imagine spending four to six years simply dragging yourself to work because you need to fulfill your bond. Now, avoid that future by considering carefully if the scholarships available fit your interests and career aspirations before you accept.
Alongside material gains are experiential ones. Sponsoring organisations are grooming scholars for managerial positions, so expect to be invited to sector-specific seminars, conferences, networking events and industry/trade fairs. Think of it as getting a VIP Pass without having to work your way up!
Not a fan of stuffy conferences? Many organisations are equally willing to sponsor study trips and volunteering projects all over the globe, recognising that a good leader has a wide breadth of experience alongside in-depth knowledge. With a scholarship, you’re assured of both!
Job security has risen to premium importance as the pandemic continues. But as a scholar, you can take this worry entirely off your plate.
Upon graduation, you are guaranteed a job with your organisation. Not only that, your organisation likely has a detailed roadmap for you and your fellow scholars which will maximise your potential and allow you to explore the organisation thoroughly. So not only will you have a job, it will be a dynamic, engaging and meaningful one!
Beyond that, a scholarship also bodes well for your long-term career whether or not you choose to stay with your sponsoring organisation. After all, your work history will show you have enjoyed career diversity in top organisations and achieved oustanding educational results, making you highly appealing as an employee.
Diverse and detailed career prospects
On the subject of staying on after the bond, we have some surprising news: most scholars do stay after their bond period, continuing to work in the same organisation.
There are many reasons for this: scholars are guaranteed faster progression up the career ladder, starting higher and moving quicker than the majority of their peers. In particular, scholars can expect to take on leadership roles upon joining the organisation or soon after.
Another compelling reason is that as a scholar, you will be rotated to different departments to gain a comprehensive view of the organisation – perfect for the leadership positions intended for you. This staves off boredom and will keep you constantly immersed in the organisation and at the forefront of its every change.
Mentoring and guidance
When we ask our interviewees what they are most grateful to their sponsoring organisations for, they often cite the presence of helpful colleagues and mentors who guided their steps. These people helped them settle in quickly and develop into capable, well-adjusted working professionals with the ability and presence of mind to take on any challenge.
In contrast, a fresh graduate starting out may never meet such a person without extensive networking or professional connections. As a scholar, you would gain this exact privilege alongside freedom to discuss your areas of interest and the direction you want your career to follow. The autonomy you will be given to chart your own growth will shape you into an independent thinker and learner.
Now that we’ve convinced you (or we hope we have), start looking through BrightSparks! There’s much more to scholarships than a single article can cover, and we wish you all the best in your search!