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"the act of leading a group of people" - Leadership. Essay for Chevening application


My journey as a leader



The oxford English dictionary defines leadership as "the act of leading a group of people". Therefore, to better answer this question, I have to and assimilate my life to this definition.

Coming from a small backwater village, I grew up with a strong sense of community. I have always had a confounding obligation to serve my community, intellectually and professionally. It is this sense of duty and responsibility that has instilled in me the need to always play a leading role and be an agent for change.

I have an innate ability of getting people with different aspirations and views to come together and work for a common good. This ability came to the fore in 2014 when my wife and I were concerned by the Primary School Leaving results of the local school. Buoyed by a sense of responsibility and duty for the children, we launched an online campaign. It targeted the parents, business people, and other stakeholders to try turn and turn the situation around.

We started off by raising funds to purchase revision text books for all subject taken at the standard seven final examinations. We then mobilized resources to enable tutorial classes for students during school holidays.

The campaign was a resounding success; we managed to acquire revision books for each of the seven subjects taken during the final examination. We also succeeded in hosting a week long tutorial session conducted by teachers from the community who had come home for the holidays.

This groundbreaking initiative lead to the formation of an online organization called Mmatshumo Development Pressure Group (MDPG). The Organization, which I am both founder and chairman, is now on its 2nd year. Through it, I have managed to organize activities such as buying school shoes for under privileged children in the community.

My country just like other developing countries is saddled with a high rate of unemployment. It is common sight to see graduates, others older than me hassling for small time jobs. The situation is even dire in a small community like mine because it perpetuates the circle of poverty. In recognizing this need I organized a workshop whose aim was to assist out of school and unemployed young people in the community.

The workshop included motivational talks from some successful people in the village. This are people that the participants new and could relate with. I invited professionals from different Government departments and Private Institutions who shared their services and how to access them.

My journey as a leader is only just beginning. Chevening will not only enhance my academic credentials but it will also accord me the opportunity to refine my ideas and come up with new ones that will be helpful in taking my community forward.

It is only through such a community centered approach that development milestones can be achieved. My hope is that the little success that we are beginning to have as a community will inspire others to replicate so that it becomes a national roadmap.

Aug 12, 2017   #2
Benjamin, both these leadership initiatives are impressive when read individually. Collectively, it only serves to confuse the reader. When you write these types of essays, it is important to only write about your most impressive and most recent leadership and influencing experience. I strongly recommend that you remove the reference to the work that you and your wife did in 2014 and instead, focus more on your leadership and influencing skills as it relates to the organization that you founded. You may even keep the reference to your community background if you can make it fit or blend well with the story of your organization. That is the most recent and hence, most applicable leadership and influencing experience that you have had. It also makes it the more impressive of the two experiences that you shared. The scholarship essay is not about the number of times that you were able to lead and influence people. It is all about a remarkable leadership and influencing experience that allows the reviewer to determine if you have the character, will, and ability to embody the Chevening objectives in terms of leadership and influence among your peers.
@Benji31

Truth be told, that was a good essay; well structured and presented but I would go with @Holt to also say you might have to dwell more on maybe just one and treat it to the call; your motivation, challenges, approach, personalities involved and the effect of the project on a large scale.

Moreover, these corrections might be useful:

This are people that the participants ...------ These are people... participants knew and...

'...be an agent for change'------- agent of change.

'...purchase revision text books for all subject taken at the standard'--------- textbooks for all subjects taken...

' We also succeeded in hosting a week long tutorial session'--------- ...a week-long tutorial session ('week-long' here is a compound noun; hence, an hyphen.)

'This groundbreaking initiative lead to the ...'-------- 'led' is the past tense of 'lead'

'... buying school shoes for under privileged children in the community.'----- under-privileged...

'...aim was to assist out of school and unemployed ...'------ out-of-school and...

'It is only through such a community centered approach...'------ a community-centered approach...


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