How to Win the Chevening Scholarship in 2020
Chevening scholarship is one of the most prestigious scholarships for international students to study in the UK. The scholarship enables outstanding emerging leaders from all over the world to pursue one-year master’s degrees in the UK. Chevening scholars participate in exclusive events and training; meet, and build a global network with likeminded people from around the world. And very importantly, you don’t worry about your fees and expenses. You simply get paid to go to school.
Application for the Chevening scholarship typically opens in August and closes in November each year. And up to 1,500 scholarships are awarded every year.
In one of our interviews with scholarship winners, we spoke with Charles Adedugba, a Chevening Scholarship winner studying masters in Electrical Engineering for Sustainable and Renewable Energy at University of Nottingham in the UK. Charles shared his experience on what it takes to win a Chevening scholarship. So in today’s video, we bring you insider secrets to winning a Chevening Scholarship. We will cover:
- The four pillar qualities of Chevening Scholars
- How to write the Chevening Scholarship Essay
- Should you apply for scholarship before or after admission
- Interview tips and more.
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Want to watch instead? See How to Win the Chevening Scholarship in 2020 video below
Who is a typical Chevening Scholar?
The first step in getting any scholarship, including Chevening, is to make sure you are eligible to apply. If you do not yet meet some requirements, you can then make the effort to add it to your portfolio. For the Chevening, there are four pillars qualities you must possess to be awarded a Scholarship. In the order of importance, number one is;
Demonstrate Leadership Potential
For Chevening Scholarship the flagship quality is leadership potential. Academic performance is the background, but the most important quality is your demonstrated ability to lead. This does not mean that you should have held a political position or headed an organization. You just have to possess the innate qualities of a leader. How do you stand out? Are you proactive? Are you a problem solver and innovative? Have you initiated something to bring about change or solution to a problem individually or as a team? These are all qualities of a leader.
The second pillar quality is…
Demonstrate Ability to Communicate Effectively
Beyond leadership, you must be able to communicate with people effectively. You cannot be a leader in isolation. You should be able to meet and interact with people. Your ability to communicate effectively will the accessed from your application and during interviews.
The third pillar quality is…
Have a Future Plan
Are you ambitious and have a plan for your life? Why did you choose your course of study? Why do you want to study in the UK? Why do you need the Chevening scholarship? And how will all of these help achieve your future goals? You must be able to answer these questions. You should have a vision and have a plan to implement it.
The four pillar quality is…
Graduate with at least Second class upper
The basic requirement for a Chevening scholarship is to graduate with at least a second class upper. Most Chevening scholars hold a 2:1. So you don’t have to be a first class student to get this scholarship.
Typical Chevening Scholars tend to have ambition, leadership potential, and a strong academic background. Your ability to submit a strong application that demonstrates you are capable of excelling on an intense master’s course in the UK, and that you have a clear vision for your future – and maybe even that of your sector or your country, will set you on the part to success.
Chevening Scholarships require that applicants have at least two years of work experience. This can be a full-time or part-time employment, voluntary work or internship; paid or unpaid. Work experience can be completed before, during, or after graduating from your undergraduate studies, but excludes industrial attachments or internships that are part of your school work. You do not need to meet the work experience requirement in one period of employment. But your total working experience must be up to two years.
Writing a Winning Chevening Scholarship Essay
The essay is where you demonstrate your personality to become a Chevening scholar. If you successfully checked out the above requirements, you wouldn’t find it difficult telling your story.
The scholarship application requires four essays about 500 words each. Each of these essays reflects one of the four pillar qualities. The trick is to not see it as four different essays but as one long segmented essay. Let all the parts connect. The essay on Leadership should link to networking; networking should link to your future plan, your future plan should link to your academics, and academic back to leadership.
If you have been involved in volunteering activities, this will help emphasize your leadership, communication or even visionary ability. Volunteering is a great way to demonstrate your interest and passion for a cause. While there is no specific essay on volunteering, your volunteering efforts can help write a compelling essay.
When you have written your essay, get someone else to proofread it and give their honest feedback. If possible get someone that has probably gone through the same process before to help proofread your application.
If you are shortlisted to interview for a Chevening Scholarship, then you will be invited to attend an interview at the British embassy or high commission.
While you might naturally feel nervous in advance of the interview, do remember that to have made it to the interview stage is a huge achievement, and it means that you are already one of the strongest candidates. An interview is a great opportunity to really demonstrate why you should be selected for a scholarship and why you should join the Chevening community.
You will be asked a series of questions discussing some of the information you provided in the application form. The panel will ask questions that will enable you to explain your personal and professional aspirations, and how Chevening can facilitate your achievement of these goals. Your course choices will also be discussed and you will be asked to provide an update on your applications.
Scholarship or Admission Application; which should come first?
Selecting the right courses at the right universities is one of the most important aspects of your application. But you don’t have to be awarded admission to apply for the scholarship. According to Charles, “I did not apply to the university until I got the Chevening Scholarship. I applied for the university admission the day I got my Chevening scholarship”. So you don’t have to apply for admission before applying for Chevening scholarship.
In summary, if you’re still an undergraduate student, work on getting good grades. For everyone else, identify something you really are interested in, a problem you really want to be a part of the solution, something that pushes you beyond your academics and emphasize this throughout your application. The world makes way for one that knows where he is going. If you are clear on where you are going and why, you may just be one of the next Chevening Scholarship winners.
If you are a Chevening Scholar, feel free to share your experience in the comment section. If you have questions about the Chevening Scholarship, the comment section is open. If you found this video helpful, thumb up and share. If you are yet to subscribe to After School Africa, this is likely a good time to subscribe. Until next time. YOUR SUCCESS MATTERS!
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