By Ahmed Naguib CONTRIBUTOR (Opinions expressed by YOH contributors are their own.)
This post for those who intend to apply for Chevening Scholarship 2020-21 (next cohort).
It is a long post for only serious applicants. Chevening could literally change your life, so if you cannot take it seriously, you will not get it!
First part is about Chevening “Application” stage,
Second is about Chevening “Interview” stage.
As there are many friends ask me almost the same questions about Chevening, hope that post could be comprehensive and helpful.
Please, this post is only PERSONAL, it is NOT OFFICIAL recommendations or anything. Feel free to share it with your friends or whoever, but just remember it is based on personal experience, no more.
((Sorry for the weird picture 😏, it is just to show it is related to Chevening, but NOT OFFICIAL, based on the terms®ulations of Chevening that we cannot use its logo without permission))
Regarding Chevening Applications:
The most important part ever is the four essays, 500 words per each;
1- First question about networking skills:
– Show that you have wide network at national and international levels.
– Express your networking skills to deal with people in different professional levels; public, academia, international representatives, government representative.
– Demonstrate your skills in networking efficiently with different age-groups and socioeconomic classes.
– Show your skills in networking with people from different cultures than yours.
– Express your skills in maintaining long-term professional relationships.
– Express your skills in communicating by different methods; verbally, writing, social media, etc.
– Demonstrate your respectful attitudes to the other culture, while preserving and practicing your own culture and traditions respectfully.
– Demonstrate your skills in networking and communicating in topics that are out of your speciality/field.
2- Second question about leadership:
– Give examples for situations/events that demonstrate your leadership skills.
– Mention your skills in leading a multinational team, if applicable.
– Express your leadership in a multidisciplinary holistic approach; demonstrate that your leadership skills go beyond your respective field, like if you are a medical doctor, but you led before a team in entrepreneurship activities, business stuff, etc.
– Give examples when you led a team that has members older in age than you.
– Express your skills in finding the balance between flexibility and determination in leading your team.
– Express your skills to simultaneously act as a leader of a team, while yourself is a member of another higher team in hierarchy.
– Demonstrate your skills in leading your team objectively, not subjectively.
– Express your skills in time management, problem solving and critical thinking.
– Reflect how your work as a leader contribute in developing your own country, region, and hopefully in a global level, whenever applicable.
3- Third is about future career plans:
– Most important to link all your career plans with developing your own country.
– Again, link all your career plans with developing your own country, region, or in global level.
– Be precise, determine, realistic and time-oriented while talking about your career plans.
– Classify it into professional, academic and social; you have to integrate all of that in a comprehensive approach.
– Sub-classify all of it into short-term, long-term and ultimate aims.
– Link your career plans with your own skills, work experience and volunteering activities.
4- Fourth is about why to study in UK particularly.
Every one could have his/her own reasons, however there are some basics:
– Classify it into: why UK, why your chosen university, and why your chosen course.
– UK has special merit of having a one year master.
– UK universities are among the top universities in the world.
– UK is one of the most international countries in the world, specially from educational institutes perspective.
– Show your interest in UK culture, not only education.
– Show your understanding about connections that you can make through your studies.
– Show that you sought advice from previous scholars, professors or professionals who recommended UK for your postgraduate studies.
– Link it with your career plans.
– There is no cap for the tuitions fees in Chevening, except for the MBA.
– Chevening is full funded from A-Z.
– You have to go back to your country at least for two years after the master.
– You can apply for Chevening before getting the IELTS or the universities’ acceptance.
– Chevening requires IELTS just 6.5, while the universities ask for more. So, you must achieve the highest score to make it.
– Last thing, Chevening will change your life, so, seriously, don’t hesitate and go for it!
This is a copy of the last year post about the “Interview” stage; some people thought it was useful and they got the scholarship this year. So, hope it could be helpful for you too..
((As i had received so many messages asking about the interview, here is some practical tips for those who make it to that stage, particularly for Chevening without general advices about calming down and that kind of stuff!.. (This is upon my experience in the last year Interview in Egypt)
– The interviewing panel was three people, a coordinator of Chevening in your country, Chevening secretary from UK, and expert in your particular field (in public health, they invited a person working with WHO)
– They started by asking you to introduce yourself: try to start always by the most achieving work you are proud of, to attract their attention, because mostly they will not let you complete your whole introduction.
– The interview questions are MAINLY the same four essays questions of the application. They printed it, highlighted some paragraphs i wrote and started to ask me in depth about that particular points. So, revise your answers well and be ready with all details and rationales.
– For leadership part:
Try to bring examples of your leadership potentiality, not only leadership situation from your work duties, but also leadership acts you did when it was not your responsibility even to do. Show that you have an intimal self-motivating leadership skills.
– For your future career plans:
Focus more about your proposed role in developing your country in your chosen field. Don’t mention academic plans like PhD or that kind of plans, it is not welcomed generally. Keep talking with passion and with “We” rather than “I” in all of your plans. Mention how you will connect between UK and your country in your field of interest upon your plans.
– For networking skills:
Bring examples that approve your broad network in three major levels: professional level nationally and internationally, your impact and network with youth in your country and how you could be considered as a youth leader, and the public network level to show how you are oriented by the actual situation and circumstances of your country.
– For studying in UK and your chosen university:
Don’t be just basic by saying only to learn the culture, masters in UK are just in one year, and others basic causes. Be creative, mention some names of professors in your chosen university that have a global impact so you hope to learn directly from them, talk a little bit about the content of your chosen program and how it matches your future plans, and some info regarding the system applied in UK of your field and how it could be linked to developing your own-country system.
– They will ask you specific question about how you are intending to spend your days in UK. Try to be so organized, to the point, mentioning flexible plans that not only for studying, but also for exploring UK culture and systems.
The interview was varying in time from one to one, mine was about 25 minutes i think! they were so nice, smiling and friendly.
Hope you all the best, please just if you have a question, ask in comments, without sending private messages please.
Hope the best for all.
Kindly, don’t send private messages with questions, just make a comment here and I would answer as far as I know.
Chevening Alumnus 2017-18,
Master of Public Health – Imperial College London.
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