You’ve scored an interview. Don’t screw it up. Here are some tips to help you land a scholarship.
Many providers hold talks, tea sessions and other networking events to promote their organisation and scholarship programmes. More often than not, the admissions officers will be there, along with existing scholars and key decision-makers. Use the chance to talk to these people to gain insights into the company, as well as scholarship and application processes.
Talking to peers and friends who have applied at the same scholarship provider will also help immensely.
In short, don’t be shy. Network, and talk to people.
Go deep diving
If you don’t do this, you’re better off not attending the interview. That is, conduct comprehensive research on the scholarship provider. Failure to do this exhibits a lack of interest and you’ll probably be shown the exit door sooner rather than later.
Most, if not all scholarship providers have a website and social media as well as online presence. A simple Google search will reveal a wealth of information about the scholarship provider.
You may even want to go a notch higher and pore over annual reports, press releases as well as brochures and marketing collateral to understand its ethos and business direction. With this, you can get to know the organisation structure, departments and the names of the key decision-makers.
And of course, understand and know what the scholarship entails such as the length of the bond, eligible courses, and requirements. Showing that you know what you’re signing up for exhibits maturity and a deep interest in the scholarship.
Prepare and rehearse
Make a list of questions that the interviewers may ask and draft the corresponding answers. Run it through a friend or mentor and rehearse answering them.
Also, don’t just list your skills and accomplishments. Instead, show them how you can help to improve the organisation. Never, ever exaggerate or fake your accomplishments. Fact-checking is very easy to do these days with the advent of the internet.
Be calm, composed and well-informed. As they say, chance favours the prepared mind.