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Leadership as an Environmentalist - Chevening Scholarship


imhana 5 / 9 5  
Sep 15, 2020   #1
Hi @Holt and other reviewers. Kindly give me your advice for my leadership and influence essay as one of the requirement to apply for Chevening Scholarships. Thank you.

Leadership and influence


Chevening is looking for individuals who 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.

(minimum word count: 100 words, maximum word count: 500 words)


My passion for sustainable-environment issues eventually brought me to initiate an environment-based program in my current workplace which is petrochemicals factory located in [City], [Country]. The plant has XXX employees. Every employee is required to use Personal Protective Equipment in the plant.

Every week, there are about 4-5 employees and 8-10 employees who exchange their damaged helmets and shoes. The total for a year is more than 200 helmets and 350 shoes. That is absolutely a huge amount of waste, consequently, the cost of managing this waste is extremely expensive. Therefore, I initiated the eco-friendly garden program from used helmets and shoes namely "XXX XXX" then use the waste as planting media.

The challenging part to run the program is when I have to persuade other employees to contribute and participate in the planting event. Most of the employees argued that it was not their job to preserving the environment around the factory. Another challenging part is because more than XX% of the employees are older than me.

Hence, in order to gain their trust, I decided to visit every section in my company and give further explanation about the program specifically the positive impact about this program for the company expenses, corporate image and for the environment. As the result, the program runs smoothly even some of my colleagues from the Mechanical section offer help to make plant shelf and General Affair section offers help to paint the helmets.

Additionally, to make this program sustainable, I initiated further programs by using left-over shoes from the previous project as a bird nest. I come up with this idea because [Place] is well known for its biodiversity flora and fauna. Hence, I initiate to collaborating with the photography community in my company because the community had difficulty capturing good pictures of birds. However, this program required a lot of effort and equipment because I also planning to put the nest in my company arboretum. This project is more challenging because all members refused to participate. I felt so frustrated and sad by the harsh rejection. Afterwards, I decided to make some nests with my colleague and hanging it on trees then adding some food like seeds and fruit on it to attract birds to stop by and visit the nest. Thereafter, I take pictures of some birds and squirrel that visiting the nest and show the pictures to the photography community. Thankfully, all the sweat and dedication turn out into beautiful collaboration to create a birds nest from used safety shoes in my company arboretum.

The output obtained by implementing this program can save company expenses for waste management, application of 3R, support the conservation of flora and fauna and most importantly it can help to reduce climate change. Henceforth, based on my experiences, I believe that I am a suitable candidate for this scholarship, as I've had experiences in managing a team, influencing people, and eventually giving impact on the sustainable environment in my home nation.
Holt  Educational Consultant - / 10,923 3562  
Sep 16, 2020   #2
This is a leadership essay that lacks conflict. The leadership example would have been better if you had discussed how you had to win the support of the company for the project. There needs to be an explanation about why you were chosen to lead this undertaking. Right now, it seems like there was no problem, that the company just allowed you to do what you wanted with the PPE without asking for justification, planning, an execution methods. As if the company did not care that you wanted to lead this project. You just did it because you wanted to. That is not the sign of a good leader. A good leader can convince a company to participate in an undertaking by gaining their support for the project and convincing them that you are fit to lead. However, in this essay, it appears that you did not really lead people, you merely influenced them. The leadership could have come from the authority given to you by the company to initiate the project.

The influencing side, about the birds nest, does not relate well with the PPE recycling project. It is almost as if you are talking about 2 separate, rather than 2 related projects that highlight your leadership and influencing skills. There is no proven output to this project. You need to be specific about the accomplishments of your project to prove your leadership and influencing skills. Based on the final presentation, it appears that your project has to prove its worth, which does not strengthen any of your leadership and influencing abilities.
Enghirri 3 / 7  
Sep 18, 2020   #3
I think that it contains a lot of details, the essay should reflect how you manged the program, but it sounds more like an advertise to the company.

of-course, this is a personal opinion.
wish you all the best
OP imhana 5 / 9 5  
Oct 5, 2020   #4
Dear @Holt I highly appreciated your constructive feedback. I thought at first it is not necessary to mention the process to get the permission from the management in my company so I did not mention it in my essay. Here is my revision of the essay. I would greatly appreciate your feedback. Thank you.

Solid waste management issue specifically Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) wastes is one of biggest challenges when managing factory. This is mainly due to increasing generation of such solid waste and burden posed on company budget.

Currently, I working in petrochemicals factory located in [city], [country]. The plant has 246 employees. Therefore, total PPE wastes for a year is more than 200 helmets and 350 pair of shoes. That is absolutely a huge amount of waste, consequently, the cost of managing this waste is extremely expensive. Hence, my passion for sustainable-environment issues eventually brought me to initiate an environment-based program namely "XXX XXX" by reuse and recycle used helmets and shoes as planting media. Through this programme, company would be able to implement several key initiatives to improve waste management and move towards sustainability.

The challenging part of this project is when I have to get permission from the Management to run the program. Therefore, I compiled a study related to 3R-based PPE waste management and presented the results to them. Some people in management do not agree with this program because they were afraid the garden will make company look shabby.

Therefore, I convinced the management that this project would not make company look shabby. Instead, with this project, company's image will improve especially among environmental agencies because the company implemented the concept of 3-R to overcome waste-management issue. Additionally, in an attempt to improve the looks, the garden will be laid out as a vertical garden with the shelf of helmets, decorating shoes with ribbons, painting helmets in different colours, planting a various type of plant which can absorb emissions, for instance, snake-plant, devil's-ivy, chrysanthemum-flowers and Chinese-evergreen and also providing chairs around the garden, so that people can relax while breathing fresh air.

After holding a BOD meeting considering various aspects and also assessing my ability and experience up-until-now in managing a project, management finally decided to allow me to run this programme.

Furthermore, this project help me to develop my influencing-skills through a challenging situation when I have to persuade other employees to contribute and participate in planting event. Most of the employees argued that it was not their job to preserving environment around factory. Hence, to gain their trust, I visit every section in my company and give further explanation about positive impacts of this program for corporate image and as alternative place to relax at break-time. Thankfully, all the sweat and dedication turn out into beautiful collaboration even some of my colleagues from Mechanical section offer help to make plant shelf and General-Affair section offers help to paint the helmets.

The output obtained by implementing this program can save company expenses for waste management up to IDR 1,080,000 in 2019 and most importantly it can contribute to reduce climate change. Henceforth, based on my experiences, I believe that I am a suitable candidate for this scholarship, as I've had experiences in managing people, influencing, and eventually giving impact on the sustainable environment in my home nation.


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