I came across Sqore’s website in my final semester of Law School. At that time, like all students in their last semesters of university, I was going through a maniacal obsession with the grand quoi of life. This mini existential crisis led me to Durham University’s website where I came across the International Summer School program and learnt about its Sqore Scholarship Competition. I quickly applied and two months later, I received an email that I had won the scholarship! I could never adequately express how elated I was at that moment! A month afterwards, I was off to Durham for what became a truly unforgettable summer.
So, for the next few weeks, I am going to be guest blogging for Sqore and sharing my experience spending the summer studying Middle Eastern and North African political science at Durham University in England.
To begin with, I will share a couple of tips on making a successful application at Sqore. To immediately caveat that statement, these will be more of personal tenets really than scientific strategies. So here we go!
- Apply! Apply! Apply!
I cannot stress enough how important relentlessness is when searching and applying for opportunities. There really are a tonne of opportunities out there that only require a basic amount of vigilance to be aware of. In that same breath, I know that you might not always be chosen for everything you apply for, but that should be no reason to be dissuaded from searching for and making the next application after that. It is a trite saying, but you really miss 100% of the chances you do not take.
Sqore has a myriad of opportunities! If you have not already, stop reading and bookmark the site. Set a reminder to check often on your phone, write it on your hand, or put it down on paper, whatever works for you!
- Take your time with your application and give it your best
So, you have spotted an opportunity that fits you perfectly. Great! But, so have a tonne of other people. What do you do now? Take your time to think about what really sets you apart. Most Sqore competitions would have a timed Q&A about the university, company or program and an un-timed essay section. Take your time on the essay. Then, share your essay and get feedback from a peer, a family member, or a superior as a standard practice before you submit. This is extremely important especially if you apply to so many opportunities and have fallen into the habit of reusing the same responses to essay questions. Your best practice is to think of yourself anew with every opportunity, not neglecting what makes your go-to responses stand out of course, and moulding your responses to fit the profile of the completion – and then some!
- Apply well in advance
Applying well in advance will save you a rush-against-the-clock last-minute application ensuring a well thought out and tested application. But another, and maybe overlooked advantage of an in-advance application is that it may serve as a character endorsement as well. In the case of a rolling review of applications, for example, submitting your application well in advance of a deadline (rather than a minute before midnight) will speak volumes of your organisation and time management skills. This may be far from the actual skill tested, but given that each competition would already be quite saturated with accomplished applicants, every bit really counts!
So, go forth and be relentless! And most importantly, know to do it all over again should you fail at the first hurdle.
“The ultimate victory in competition is derived from the inner satisfaction of knowing that you have done your best and that you have gotten the most out of what you had to give.”