Essay on Chevening Scholarships – Part 1: Future Leaders of Home Countries

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Indonesia Mengglobal Essay Clinic is our effort to provide tangible help for Indonesian applicants who want to study abroad. This essay clinic is not meant to showcase ‘the perfect essay’, but by analyzing other people’s essays (what works, what does not work, what’s good, what’s bad), we hope you can learn how to write an effective application essay and how to continuously improve your own essay. We also accept essay submissions. Click here to learn on how to participate!!

Note on the Essay

This essay will be submitted to Chevening Scholarship program.

Essay Prompt

Chevening is looking for individuals that will be future leaders or influencers in their home countries. Explain how you meet this requirement, using clear examples of your own leadership and influencing skills to support your answer. (minimum word count: 50 words, maximum word count: 500 words)

The Essay

To achieve success at a young age is what most people would aspire to. However, making an impact within the organization is an equally important aspiration to me. As per today, the most substantial and satisfying leadership achievement of my life is one that isn’t a workplace accomplishment. It involved volunteering for a cause that I believe in and being able to accomplish a goal that has helped achieve organization’s goals.

My remarkable leadership development process unexpectedly started in 2011 when I had lunch with my college friends. A friend of mine shared her unforgettable exchange experience that has inspired me to join [NAME OF ORG]. After enrolling in [NAME OF ORG], [NAME OF PROJECT] Project was my first exchange experience where I was an English Language and Culture Assistant. Instead of lecturer, government staff or partner representative, my key target had transformed into international students who barely knew English. This was a defining moment for me, as I felt unprepared as a leader. “How can I develop a child whose opening greeting to me is an ignorance?” I thought. Since I always embark on a new venture with great enthusiasm, my high energy level enables me to motivate people, get along with everyone and create a fun and supportive environment. This can be projected in my method to approach students by creating a friendly get-together with ice cream served as an icebreaker. I carried out further sessions in the congenial setting of the school park and the students slowly opened up after I shared my life experiences. I was able to earn their trust by being honest yet fun.

I had to constantly remind myself reasons of this journey, which are to test my boundaries to develop as a person and make a positive impact in other people’s lives, no matter how small. Although the project was anything but easy, it was worth it when the individuals who took part in my classes came and told me that they had enjoyed and learned something new that they may use in their lives.

Personally, I progressed as a leader by tackling dynamic challenges. I was forced to step out of my comfort zone to grow and later I discovered that I had changed from a talker to a doer. Instead of complaining about how awful and unfair the world is, I learned how to act. Despite my miniscule efforts, I always remind myself that my actions have a ripple effect that can grow larger beyond my expectations.
Upon my return home, I gained confidence to run for higher position in [NAME OF ORG], which was to become [NAME OF POSITION]. In my tenure, I had not only increased the number of exchange participants but also matured as a leader by learning that leading is as much about accomplishing your objective as it is about holding your team together and developing others. These profound experiences have helped me to progress in my professional career.

Review from Anggun Armia, recipient of Chevening Scholarship 2014, M.Sc. Royal Holloway University of London,

  1. Saya butuh waktu untuk memahami kandidat sesungguhnya melakukan volunteering untuk siapa? Saya tidak memahami tulisan berikut:
    Instead of lecturer, government staff or partner representative, my key target had transformed into international students who barely knew English. This was a defining moment for me, as I felt unprepared as a leader. “How can I develop a child whose opening greeting to me is an ignorance?” 
  2. Saya juga kurang paham dengan kalimat berikut, mungkin dapat diperjelas lagi maksudnya.
    Opening greeting to me is an ignorance.
  3. Volunteering yang anda lakukan sudah sangat baik sekali, namun mungkin harus diperdalam dengan contoh kegiatan yang dilakukan selama volunteering dan tentunya impact terhadap anak didik anda setelah selesai mengikuti kegiatan yang anda berikan.
  4. Kurangi menggunakan kata-kata yang self-flattered atau menggunakan kiasan-kiasan yang berlebihan. Gunakan kata-kata sederhana yang jujur dan jelas langsung ke maksud yang ingin disampaikan.
Menurut saya, berikut ini adalah susunan penulisan yang saya sarankan:
  1. Intro mengenai program/kegiatan yang saya lakukan: nama kegiatan, tujuan kegiatan, kenapa saya tertarik untuk mengikuti kegiatan tersebut.
  2. Technical details tentang apa yang saya lakukan
  3. Impact kegiatan tersebut terhadap orang lain
  4. Apa yang saya pelajari/peroleh melalui kegiatan tersebut
Mungkin itu saja yang bisa saya bagi. Intinya jujur dengan apa yang kita tulis dan jangan lupa melakukan proof reading ya :)