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Chevening: "Helping Others" - Leadership and Influence Capabilities


KROBERT 3 / 7 1  
Oct 10, 2018   #1
Dear Comrades,
I would like to share with you my essay regarding Leadership and Influence Capabilities for Chevening Applicants.
Your comments are highly welcome.
Thank you.


I'm always keen on being supportive



From infancy, I grew up seeing my parents passionate and dedicated about helping others. This experience has molded me into someone who's always keen on being supportive to my entourage and the wider community. I always crave for the use of my time, skills and energy to help those who are in need.

It's against this background that I won trust from my classmates and was nominated to lead them in different positions. In 2008-2010 for example, I was consecutively elected class captain at university in a class of about 45 students. In 2011 I was voted an advisor to guild president of the University Students Union. Among the achievements while serving at the position is abolishing the scheduling of exams and tests on Saturdays which affected some students because of their faith.

In 2010 I led a team of four classmates in a business plan competition for mobile applications development, organized by Kigali Institute of Science and Technology in partnership with Massachusetts Institute of Technology through its Africa Information Technology Initiative (AITI). We emerged winners with the most outstanding innovation and a prize money worth USD 2,000.

Carrying on from the gained experience, in 2011 I participated in a global Young Innovators Competition organized by the International Telecommunication Union. During the competition, which took place in Geneva-Switzerland, participants underwent a weeklong intensive training on various skills including writing and pitching business plans, leadership and communication skills, and time management. After returning, I took a mentorship role by employing the acquired skills to empower younger fellow students, mostly ladies. Among the students I mentored, some have gone on to establish companies that are now contributing to the country's development. These include M_Ahwi and Wawili which are currently operating.

After undergraduate studies, I spearheaded an idea of setting up a platform where young people with IT ideas would meet and brainstorm on their project ideas. After a lot of efforts, an open space was provided under the name of KLab, which has become a popular space for techpreneurs in Kigali to meet and collaborate.

In 2012 I cofounded a local NGO called RIDI_Girubumenyi with a mission was empowering the community with IT and entrepreneurial skills that would help transform their lives. We worked on volunteer basis as the organization had no funds to pay salaries to members. During the year I served at RIDI as its vice-president, I provided training to 80 students in schools including Samuduha Integrated College, Kicukiro district. In Southern Province RIDI initiated E_Education project at two secondary schools to improve the quality of teaching English language and practical courses mainly Chemistry using materials recorded on CDs. Here, more than 100 students participated in the project.

Currently, I head a company of five members that specializes in development of innovative web and mobile applications. I also work as volunteer at KLAB by offering coding training to young people.

Given the opportunity, Chevening scholarship will enhance my knowledge and skills, which I will use in development of my country.

milomontang 1 / 5 2  
Oct 10, 2018   #2
Hi @KROBERT

I went here by tapping the link on your comment :)

To be honest, i am still looking for the best framework in composing my essays but i will try to give some comments here.
In my opinion, you mentioned a lot of achievements but most of them shown less explanation. Another thing is, your last paragraphs did not indicate a strong conclusion. it may be better if you develop them by putting back together the key points of your excellent leadership skill which written in the body paragraphs.

I hope this useful ;)
Holt [Contributor] - / 7,294 1838  
Oct 11, 2018   #3
Whoa! There is absolutely no way you can use this as a Chevening essay. There is a 500 word limit the presentation. You have over 1000 words. You definitely need to go back to the drawing board and write a new essay. Do not write your autobiography, which is what you are presenting here. Just focus on your most impressive leadership and influencing experience and discuss it. The Chevening committee will be looking for particular things in your essay such as your ability to become a potential leader and influencer in your country on a national scale. So if you can just present one professional or community service based incident that could inform the reviewer, your essay will be back on track.

This is about leadership, not membership or teamwork. So most of your references in this essay do not count towards a sound Chevening L&I essay. I am afraid that if these are all the qualifications that you have, you may not make it past the screening round. It is too weak as it does not really show any leadership and influencing merit on your part. None of the information you present does that. Try to find something that can highlight such skills in yourself and write a new essay. Focus on those 2 important aspects directly. Don't bore the reviewer with your academic life story.

As I try to find something in this essay that can maybe help your application, I am not sure if you are really a co-founder of this local NGO but if you are, then you can try to use that as the basis of your leadership and influencing skills. I am not sure how good that will be for this essay because you indicate more of a rank and file status than that of a founder or team / mission leader. Try to see if you can develop something using that information instead.
OP KROBERT 3 / 7 1  
Oct 13, 2018   #4
@Holt
@milomontang

Thank you so much for your feedback, I so much appreciate. I'm going to revise it accordingly.


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