Friday, January 08, 2010

Chevening Scholarship

was again reminded by a reader that i have yet to post an entry on this. but i think its a bit late for this year's submission right? i think the dateline was few months back. but ok, since it has been requested a few times already, i just write it here ok. (sorry Lena for the delay :p)

first of all, you dont need to have an excellent result in your degree. not necessarilly you have to have 3.0 CGPA and above baru boleh apply. im a living proof of that as my degree result memang tak reach 3.0 pun. seriously. if you apply straight after you completed your degree, then yes, you need an outstanding CGPA, BUT if not, all you need is at least 2 -3 years working experience.


next step, application process. this is what i do, but it may varies from person to person, and i bet you, my fellow Chevening friends may have a totally different experiences all together, so its really boils down to your effort ok? :) right, the process.


1. i attended the postgrad fair in klcc, which happens a few times a year, as you know. i went to various booths/universities that i was interested in, and at the time, i managed to have several impromptu interviews with the universities rep, who usually either the regional manager or a dean - someone who's main aim is to attract students to their university, of course. my interest was in plymouth, of course, and i met this lady, who happens to be the regional manager, and she interviewed me right at the booth itself.


2. next i prepared the application form and requirements.


3. there are 2 references that they require, one is from the company yr working at - especially important if you entering basis on work experiences, second is from the university you did your degree. i didnt know the importance of the references until i had a chat with a british council rep after i came back from uk, who told me that while almost all the applicants for the chevening scholarship are really good and qualified, one of the main thing that can separate them is how they are perceived by others, a good and unique references are one of the things that they look for. so dont write generic reference letter, try to be as specific as you can, like mentioning the projects you are working on, how you have contributed to the company and all that.


4. ok, here's the thing to remember, chevening scholarship is design to "create future leaders of Malaysia" - so their aim is to send you for an international education so that you can return and berkhidmat kepada negara - so during my process of application, i had to stressed out the fact that i wanted to be involved in several projects that wil benefit the country etc etc - i found that this helps.

5. the essay - the critical bit, on why you wanted to study in the uk and why you want to study what you want to study. mine was simple, its just wasnt available in malaysia, so in order for me to 'serve the country' they need to send me for international education :p i also discovered, the harder to find the course here in malaysia, the likelier are your chances. granted that you met all the other requirements of course. my essay wasnt brilliant, it was just honest. i even wrote out my frustation of MARA and JPA not giving loans for my type of industry (shipping/marine/logistics) and focuses more on engineering, medics and accountancies!! dont we have enough accountants already??!! (hehe, no offence to my accountant readers :p) i mean, be fair la right, give other industries a chance too, and for a country that wishes to be a major port hub and having dreams of beating spore to it, the government is not being very encouraging for the education of this subjects! i also wrote about meeting the university regional manager - and i even quoted her name and designation - see how handy it was!

6. selling yourself - sell, sell! this one is pretty standard in all your application process for even a job interview. no need to eloborate lah ok.

7. put some effort into it. i drove all the way to my uni in tronoh perak just to get my dean's signature. alone. i went to my company's president and ceo and vp hr and asked them to write a specific reccomendation and reference letter. it took almost a month before i got them. you can say it may have to do with luck that i got the scholarship but hell i put a lot of effort on it, if luck is how i got it, then i bloody well deserve it. ok?

8. submit! - by hand. yes, i was that much of a control freak. didnt even trust the post hehe.

9. the interview. there was 2 person who interview me. one brit lady and a scottish guy,who has the thickest accent i have ever heard AND he is apparently some trade and economics expert - oh bloody hell, already i knew this is gonna be a tough one. i dont really remember much about the rest of the interview, there were some jokes, some laughs and nervous sweaty palms, but they did ask me this - how do you think, by getting this education, will benefit your work, and how it will affect the uk-msia shipping and trade industry? how the hell you answer that man? scary right? there are few of this types of questions that were fired and believe me, u need to know stuff to answer this, or u really need to be able charm your way through. i think, i had a bit of both. see, they only ask me what i wrote in the application essay and form. if you are honest that this is really what you have been doing, you should not have problems answering them - of course i can say that now, but masa tu, i was a nervous wreck! hehe.

i still remember how i felt the day i got the email that i have won the scholarship. i had just came down from a particularly difficult offshore trip, i was tired and exhausted and my brain was ready to explode. i had came down from the ship at 3pm, after being awake for more than 24 hrs, drove 4 hrs from jb to kl, got stuck in kl jam as usual, still i had to be in the office for an 8pm meeting. i wanted to quickly check my personal email as i knew the result of the interview was due out, so i sat in my corner of the office and i opened my email and there it was. the best news i have ever had in my life. my heart felt like it is literaly going to burst from happiness, i wanted to laugh and cry and smile all at the same time! i have never felt happier in my life. ever. it was the most amazing feeling in the world! i think i was grinning and smiling away for the entire week, before i calm down and get down to business of preps of going to uk :)

so there, that's my story and two bits worth :)

hope it helps! (^_^)

8 comments:

afizly said...

i like no.6 part..sell ur self...

my favourite quote

"60 bangggg....."

hahhahahha.......

niQue_naQ said...

cets perlu ke? hahaha murah nya :p

artisticklytouch said...

afizly:
takleh kurang ke? getah abang bawak sendiri haha

nique:
arggghhhh....u tunggu i dah confirm nanti, i will follow u!!

niQue_naQ said...

ape korang ni private joke eh? hahaha i leave it to u guys to "bargain" la ho hahaha :p

art - i nak wat phd plak ni, cepat2jom gi UK sama2 :p

afizly said...

apa brg main getah2... tak ori lah camni..hahahha..

dah2... nanti kene ban plak dari blog nie...

serbian guy said...

great post, just what I needed.

greetings from serbia

Noorahayu Yahya said...

hye i found your story of winning cheapening very impressive..i am being invited for an interview on this 4th april 2013, and i am very nervous about this..

Do u still remember any questions that they asked you?

The interviewers, normally consists of expertise from your chosen field?

How many days do we have to wait for the result of interview?

Do you have any advices for me? considering your experiences in the UK as chevening scholars..

Noorahayu Yahya said...

very impressive, i like ur story about cheapening scholarships..

my interview is on 4th april 2013.

any other tips/advices that u wanna share with me, after ur experience in the UK as cheapening scholar?

How was it like to be the scholar? Do u often attend the networking session?

How u prepare for the interview?