Nail that Scholarship Like a Pro!
Tuition fees in Canada continue to rise and it’s said to be the most significant expense for college and university students. A recent HuffingtonPost.ca article says that over one-third of students will have $25,000 debt by the time they graduate. This will indeed be a very daunting situation, so if you are a college or university student, it is a smart move to look into other resources to help fund your education, and one way is through scholarships.
Remember, however, that no matter what type of scholarship you are applying for, you are competing with dozens, maybe even hundreds, of other students who are in the same boat as you. As such, scholarship committees or providers often conduct interviews to narrow down their list of deserving recipients. So how do you stand out from the rest of the crowd? Below are some tips to keep in mind.
Do your research.
These days when information is merely a click away from your smart phone or tablet, there is no excuse for you to be unprepared coming to job interview; the same thing goes for a scholarship interview. Prior to your interview, be sure to research about the scholarship committees or providers—what they do and how they are involved in the community. Also, as with a job interview, list down questions that you want to ask them. This will show how acquainted you are with their organization; this might score you big points.
Practice your answers.
Some common questions in scholarship interviews are also similar to job interviews. Examples are “Describe your strengths and weaknesses” and “What makes you the ideal candidate?” You can practice these questions beforehand, but make sure to add a bit of spontaneity to your responses to avoid sounding overly rehearsed. When describing your strengths, however, be proud but not overly zealous. When describing your weaknesses, be truthful but remember to illustrate a situation on how you conquered this weakness.
You don’t have to spend your entire monthly pay cheque and don designer wear for your interview, but you can still look like you spent a thousand bucks on your attire. It’s all about presentation, so choose clothes that make you look presentable. Choose clothing that you are comfortable with. Do a fashion show for a family member or friend if you have to, so you can get their opinions.
It’s okay to be nervous for a scholarship interview. After all, it is tuition money that is on the line—something that will really benefit you in your current situation, and after. However, don’t let your anxiety get the best of you. Try to relax and just be yourself. Yes, “be yourself” is a pretty vague piece of advice, but it’s one that really makes sense if you think about it. The scholarship committee and provider will entrust their money to you, so don’t you think they deserve to know the real you before they do that? Let your personality shine through and see what amazing opportunities come your way…