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Chevening essay on leadership - Servant leadership essay

Jul 22, 2017   #1
Hi all,

I am from Vietnam and planning to submit an application for Chevening scholarship this year. This is the first time I have posted my essay on essayforum.com. With the spirit of "The first draft of everything is sh*t", I am welcomed and highly appreciate comments from you all. Thank you all in advance.

Chevening is looking for individuals that will be future leaders or influencers in their home countries. Explain how you meet this requirement, using clear examples of your own leadership and influencing skills to support your answer.(500 words max)

study among Chevening leaders and influencers

When being a team leader or a team player, I always try my best to contribute to the team's goals and inspire other team members to show their best. For me, leader is not a title, but a group of characteristics. And I believe that my personal traits and working experience will make me to be able to become a future leader.

First, I have developed a sense of high commitment and perseverance to reach the goals of any project I involved. When having worked for ABC organization, my very first task was to produce one video and 10 radio episodes on raising local people' awareness on climate change and community forestry. In the team with me was DEF (name of person), an Australian Project Officer. For some reasons, the working process is lingered to 12 months, instead of six months as planned. Therefore, we had to work so many times with stakeholders for any tiny changes in the play screens and digital versions. At some points, DEF seemed to be restless and lost her patience. I showed her my perseverance by encouraging her to keep her good work and by discussing, editing, following up and carefully translating all changes for her update. After one year working continuously, the final products were published on the organization's website and broadcasted in four project provinces.

Second, I am able to inspire other team members to fulfill their potentials and make sure that their voices are always heard. To me, it is foremost important to direct and empower team members at the same time. This ability is proved clearest in the time I am the communication team leader of the GHI (name of the project) which is funded by the U.S embassy under Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative program. On February 2016, there was a decrease of interactions on the projects' social networks. To flip the situation, our communication team has launched a mini-project called "Humans of GHI" and weekly picture posts with interesting captions on life skills. In the next two month, our likes on Facebook have increased double, even fourth time higher than previous posts. Interestingly, these ideas came from my other team mates, and what I did was to boost the brainstorming session and to polish these concepts into practical and valuable solutions.

Through working experience in development projects, I learned to focus primarily on the growth and well-being of people and the communities to which I belong. Chevening scholarship will be a golden chance for me to be more motivated and inspired by Chevening leaders and influencers in order to better serve my country for its sustainable development in the future. (447 words)
Holt [Contributor] 1542  
Jul 22, 2017   #2
Dung, this essay could do better if you just used your leadership experience in the Young Southeast Asian project. That sounds more like you had leadership responsibilities and required you to use your influencing skills as well. The professional experience that you presented, although most preferred for this sort of essay, falls short in the leadership and influencing aspect because you were a subordinate and not a leader. If you have another more professional experience that you can use, that would be best. However, if the only leadership experience that you have is under the aforementioned project, then make that the focal point of the discussion instead. Make sure to present only one problematic situation that required you step up to the plate as a leader and also, show off how you influenced others in order to succeed with your assigned task. Right now, this part of the essay is not really effective because you speak of the group collectively instead of your individual leadership and influencing experience, which is the whole point of the essay. The influencing that you present in this part of the discussion seems to be the other way around. You were inspired by your team mates instead of you inspiring them. That is not what you are supposed to be presenting here. You said you boosted the brain storming sessions, that's good. Focus on developing that. You are the subject of this essay so please take ownership of the actions and results as you indicate in the essay. Display proper leadership and influencing / motivational skills in order to prove that you can be a future leader in your country. That is very weakly represented in this current version.
OP thepinetree  
Jul 25, 2017   #3
Hi Holt, I have finished editing my essay on leadership taking your advice last time. Could you please take a look and let me know what you think?

Thank you a lot.

Please make this thread Urgent first, thank you.
Bankyfolarin 4  
Aug 12, 2017   #4
I just have a couple of bullet corrections to make in your essay, if they go well with you.

When having worked for ABC... ------ The time marker 'when' is not fit for this context again having used 'having.' It is much better to say: Having worked for ABC...

On February 2016...------ Please, note that the word 'on' is used in this context to show time when the date is day and month-specific ( as in: On the 12th August, 2016) but the moment the date does not specify the day and the month, then you can use 'in' or 'by' (as in: In February/By February 2016...).

'And I believe that my personal traits and working experience ...'------ I think there is something wrong in the semantic string of words together here. Chevening prides itself in fanning to flame the leadership department of people who have demonstrated certain leadership traits and discharge of leadership responsibilities at some points in their career and are willing to go a step further in developing their leadership space by influencing and networking (as one of the ways) with the renowned Chevening Alumni network in over 160 countries to make specific developmental impacts in your local community (own country) so as to further strengthen the cord of partnership between your country and the UK.

Remember this is Chevening, a globally prestigious body with various applicants and scholars, telling them that you believe your personal traits and working experience will make you to be able to become a future leader will be too weak an expression to qualify you for a selection. What it simply means is that you really have not functioned in some leadership capacities that could convince you that indeed, you are a leader, and a potential great leader. It means all what you have said is subject to a doubt concerning your leadership experience, just going by that expression. That might not convince them that you deserve their scholarship.

If there is one thing that must be given utmost attention in life-changing and largely contested applications like this, it is DICTION------ CAREFUL CHOICE OF WORDS, CAREFUL COMBINATION OF WORDS.

'In the next two month, our likes on Facebook have increased double, even fourth time higher than previous posts'------ Please, note these corrections: 'two months,' 'have increased OR doubled' (not increased double---- it is repetition) and 'four times.'

'Chevening scholarship will be a golden chance for me to be more motivated and inspired ...'------ You must not just tell them that what will motivate you are 'Chevening leaders and influencers' without also showing that you are self-motivated by your powerful and influencing qualities, traits, potential and passion to help your community (country) develop and grow more.
tunglinh0907 3  
Aug 12, 2017   #5
hi I think you should write an essay to show your talent in order to convince them why they should choose you but not the others because as I know, this scholarship is competitive, so you should express how suitable you are and persuade them that you really have potential and inner resources to be a future leader.
OP thepinetree  
Aug 17, 2017   #6
Hi Bankole,
Thank you for your comments and corrections. I will change my essay accordingly.
Have a nice day :)

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