We know, we go on and on about how you need to research a scholarship before you apply for one. And then, before your interview, you should do even more research!
But a lot of you must be wondering, what does researching a scholarship entail? And how do I go about it?
Wonder no more, we have prepared a step-by-step guide to researching scholarships that will get you fully prepared for application, interview, and (hopefully) acceptance. Read on.
Step 1: Look up Scholarship Details on BrightSparks
Your first step in researching scholarships should be the BrightSparks magazine and portal. Not because we run it, but because it provides a comprehensive listing of scholarships on offer, and a handy comparison table so you can narrow down which organisation(s) you want to shoot for.
Also, information on BrightSparks is tailored to an organisation’s scholarship offerings. This means the write-ups and quotes on our portal are specifically for applicants like you. Often, they show what the organisation is like as an employer, rather than what it does (which is the emphasis of most official websites).
Step 2: Browse through the organisation’s official channels
Now that you’ve got an idea of what organisations offer in terms of scholarships, it’s time to look into the organisations themselves.
For this, there’s no better place to start than their official website, and any social accounts they may have like Telegram, LinkedIN or Facebook. Read extensively through these to get a full picture of what the organisation stands for and what work it is involved in.
Step 3: Dig deep into past projects and future projections
Building on the last point, it is vital to learn about an organisation’s work in detail. Don’t just skim the website and memorise their mission statement, that won’t help during your interview.
Instead, hit the news sites for past projects and how they are panning out. Industry blogs and websites will also have information of trends in the sector that the organisation might want to get involved in. Check all of these – and see if they apply to you!
Step 4: Attend networking events, sign up for an internship and speak to relevant individuals
At this point, you should be fairly certain if this is an organisation you want to apply for or not. If it is, then it’s time to dig even deeper.
Start networking aggressively, be it through looking up former scholars and asking about their experience, or attending seminars and events (and make sure you stay after to speak to the presenter if possible!).
If time permits, many scholarship providers highly recommend taking up an internship. And so do we! It’s the best way to experience work “on the ground”, and really decide if this is the place for you. We need to add that it looks great on your application as well, as nothing signals commitment like giving up your holidays for relevant work experience.
Step 5: Organise the information and work on how it applies to YOU
Information is useless without application. Now that you have thoroughly researched the scholarship, you need to gather your thoughts and organise all the facts you have on hand.
At this point, you can start making your final decision as to whether you want to apply or not. And if you do apply, what do you want to mention on your application? Use these questions to guide your thinking and put what you’ve learnt about the organisation to good use!
Now that you know how to research, it’s time to get to it – open the BrightSparks portal and get started!