In August 2020, TransforMe an education consultant and management company was officially reborn. Puspa established TransforMe in 2019 and in 2020 she took Devfa and me on the board.
We started our business with my book (Rahasia Pemburu Beasiswa) launch and we have conducted so many virtual events with more than 500 hundreds of participants, and we have booked 70 clients for a one-on-one scholarship coaching program from September to December.
Coaching 70 potential scholarship receivers wasn’t an easy job. Fortunately, all the three of us are passionate about helping others through education so that we helped each other in every process.
There are many lessons to learn from our first 70 clients for our scholarship coaching program.
1. We Can’t Really Write
To get a scholarship, we need to have good writing skills that can sell our competencies to the scholarship providers. Unfortunately, we don’t really have these skills. There are a few reasons why: maybe because most of our work doesn’t need to write, maybe we didn’t pay attention to writing or language subject at school, maybe we just don’t have the talent, or we just don’t use it that often.
2. You Don’t Create an Outline
Since writing is my favorite subject and my job in the past, I have been very disciplined to create an outline whenever I want to write something. So, automatically, when I write scholarship essays, I always started it with an outline.
An outline will help you to build a structure so that your story will flow better. With an outline, it will be so much easier for you if you want to reorder a paragraph.
Without an outline, your structure will be a mess and when an expert reads it, it looks like you wrote it in a rush.
Please, change the habit. Making an outline may be complicated at the beginning but it will save so much time later on.
3. We Have So Much Ego
Those who want to get a scholarship are usually an achiever. An achiever tends to have quite an ego. So, when our scholarship application is rejected, we will be questioning, “Why have I been rejected?! I feel like my application is good. My essays are great. I have a lot of achievements.”
But then, when alumni or a writing expert read our application, you will hear them saying, “Your essays are far than good.” Of course, we won’t believe it until we get help to revise our essays and our essays suddenly sound so much better. Then we will realize, “Ah, I thought I’ve been good. I need to learn more.” In the end, this scholarship hunting process will make us learning how to be a more humble person.
3. Selling Achievements is Not Enough
After helping around 70 people, some of them from other countries, I have realized that most of you have the same problem. You don’t really understand that is not your achievements that’s matter. What matter is how do you make an impact, how can you use those achievements for better means, and how do you plan your aspirations in the future.
If you write all about your achievements in your essays, my question is, “If you have many achievements, so what? What will you do with it? Make yourself to get more achievements?” If the answer of my last question is yes, then you don’t deserve a scholarship just yet.
The scholarship providers expect you to answer these questions, “How did you get your achievements? What problem have you solved and how was the result? What is your story? How do you plan to use your achievements to help others or your community or your country or the global society?” It is not only about you and you and you. It is about what contribution you want and can make in this world.
4. We Don’t Know How to Choose the Best from The Best
When we are applying for a scholarship, I assume that we have good stories to tell and good achievements to share. Unfortunately, sometimes, we don’t know which story and achievement that will sell so we ended up choosing the weakest ones. And I’ve seen this a lot.
Some of you told me that it is confusing to choose which is the best. So, I will give you tips: make a mind mapping about yourself and read essayforum.com You will find so many good essays. Read how they tell their stories and achievements without sound bragging. How do we know which one a good essay is? Pay attention to the comment given by the experts. If they give a compliment to that essay, usually that’s a good one.
5. It Takes 6 to 8 Revision
After you write your first complete essays, the statistic tells that it takes 6 to 8 revisions to make your essays ready to be submitted. It means that you need to allocate at least one month to make your essays “perfect.” And this statistic comes from my experience in mentoring scholarship applicants, so if you do it alone, the timing might be different. So, please, don’t write your essays overnight.
I hope this lesson will help you crate a better scholarship application.