Recently, I attended the Chevening Orientation in London and met people with diverse thoughts, beliefs, and aspirations but everybody shared the common interest to contribute to the world to make it a better place. There can’t be a more ambient atmosphere for me than to be surrounded by like-minded people who believe in what I believe. It was one of the happiest days of my life!
What is the first step before applying to chevening?
The first step to prepare your Chevening application is not to think about Chevening at all. Ask yourself, why are you applying for a certain course in a particular university in UK? What is your motivation for the chosen course? What interests you for that university? The thing that inspires or excites you? Be clear of your priorities and expectations from a course. Future research opportunities or employer reputation, technical or management modules or a mix of both? Contact the course department and alumni to clarify whether the course offers what you expect. Explore and discover yourself! Find your best fit. This bit of research and introspection will definitely help you to prepare your university and Chevening applications, and/or interview.
What elements did you pay most attention to in the application- and why?
Fundamentally, Chevening evaluates candidates on three factors: Leadership potential, networking skills, and contribution plans to your home country in the long-term. You need to demonstrate these qualities through your acquired skills and experience, intellectual abilities, grades, achievements, extra-curricular activities, and most importantly your future ambition. All of these matters! Try to relate these entities with your chosen course. If your chosen course is one of the Chevening priority areas, then mention this fact as one of the reasons for considering Chevening. Luckily, Cybersecurity was one of the priority areas for Chevening India Scholarships 2015/16 and I highlighted about my leadership potential with regards to the cybersecurity club that I had founded and managed, and the responsibilities as a Microsoft Student Partner that helped me build my networking skills.
Some of the candidates, may pursue a course not related to their past study. In that case, mention why your experience motivated you to apply for a different field of study and how well it aligns with your future ambition. I had my bachelors in Electronics but considering the security contests that I participated, cybersecurity research papers that I published and other related activities, I was successfully able to convince my interest and decision to pursue cybersecurity. Nevertheless, the interview will focus primarily on all that you had mentioned in your application. So hint at things that you are really enthusiastic to talk about!
Last but not the least, Chevening also requires a considerable amount of work experience, and other conditions. Stay informed and updated through the FAQsand range of social media platforms.Stick to the deadline and plan in advance!
Any advice to prospective scholarship applicant?
Many deserving people just don’t apply for a scholarship because they aren’t confident about the significance of their application when evaluated with another one. All that the evaluation committee seeks in an application is not only how well an individual is when compared to another, but how well an individual has discovered himself, his passion and ambition that best fits his own interests with that of the university and the scholarship. That is what makes a scholarship application unique. Individuality wins!
I wish all the best for aspiring candidates of 2016/17.
Chevening Scholar at University of Warwick
MSc Cyber Security and Management
Excerpt from University of Warwick Postgraduate blog see here
Visit Chevening Nigeria website here