Once you’ve identified a program(s) that is a good fit for you, it’s time to put together a strong application!
First things, first: closely read the eligibility requirements. Pay special attention to any age, citizenship, or field-specific requirements. If all looks to be in order, take a few moments to plan out your application. While it is imperative to be honest in your materials, as well as adhere to your own moral and ethical boundaries throughout the application process, you are your best advocate, so don't be shy! Pay special attention to and highlight different personal elements and experiences for each opportunity.
A few things to keep in mind:
Make sure that the same person — same tone, interests, experiences — comes across in all materials!
- By reading your application, the selection committee should have a good idea of you as a person, your specific interests (relevant to the program), and should have no question that you are a strong candidate for the opportunity in question. You can help the selection committee in their process by ensuring that your materials are coherently and strongly knit together through the use of similar themes, tone, etc.
- Closely read the program description and selection criteria to ensure that your finished application meets all the qualities they are looking for. Try to extrapolate what values and experiences they might appreciate through the information you find on the program website. You might also be able to see who has won previously and read about their backgrounds and/or projects.
When crafting your application, know that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
- Be sure that each application component (resume, transcript, essay(s), letter(s) of recommendation, etc.) carries some of the weight in presenting your case to the committee.
- Map out which application components will address which specific selection criteria.
- Different components can do different jobs. Don't rely on one component to carry the entire application!
Through your application materials, you will show that you are the candidate that the selection committee seeks…and more!