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What to do During Downtime – Keeping your Scholarship Game Sharp in the Off-season

Scholarship applications may be far off, but that doesn’t mean that you should delete your bookmarks, put off your searching, and call it a day. Just like university prep, scholarship prep is an ongoing practice and you’ll get more out of it the more you put in.

Why do we say this? Because one of the best ways to learn about scholarships and the sponsoring organisations behind them is by investing time and care – time you don’t have when you’re rushing to apply during the small application window.

If you want to perfect your scholarship game, use the current downtime to:


1.     Learn about what’s on offer 

Extensive, in-depth research will only benefit your scholarship application. You can start by browsing the BrightSparks portal and magazines to see which companies or ministries catch your eye.

Take time to delve into these organisations – what do they stand for, what is working there like, what kind of opportunities do they offer? You may also want to look at how they responded to Covid-19, or what new projects are in their pipeline.

At the very least, you can look through the following for each company you’re interested in:

·        Corporate website

·        News reports and coverage

·        Industry papers and blogs

·        Interviews with former scholars

·        Upcoming events and internships


2.     Attend events and talks

While most organisations host seminars, career fairs and talks during the months leading to A-Levels and graduation, these are not the only events around. If you’re interested in an organisation, try to attend other events besides “scholar-specific” ones such as industry discussions or networking activities.

Even if the information is not directly applicable to you as a student, you’ll be able to get a “feel” of the organisation and make some good contacts.

Keep an eye on our Facebook page for upcoming events as well!


3.     Do an internship 

If you have the time, we definitely recommend doing an internship with your organisation of choice. You’ll get the chance to experience work “on the ground”, and opportunities for networking and in-depth learning abound.

This is especially true for those pursing a mid-term scholarship, which means you have already gotten used to your course of study. An internship will expose you to what that degree is like as a career, with practical application and hands-on work as the priority. The gains are more than worth the sacrifice of your holiday semester, and you might even find yourself enjoying it!


4.     Do some self-reflection 

Downtime is a good time for self-reflection. After learning about all the amazing organisations out there and what they offer, it’s time to sit down and really think about what you want.

You can do a personality test, ask advice from friends and family, or book time with a career counsellor – or all of the three! Remember to define your decision-making criteria and be open to feedback. You may end up discovering something else you wanted to pursue, or an organisation worth a second look. In such a case, you’ll be extra grateful that you’re doing this now when there’s plenty of time for more research and thought.


Book photo created by jcomp -

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