Chevening is looking for individuals with strong professional relationship building skills...
cultivating my professional relationships
When I began working at the (current job) I quickly realized that would be working closely with not only the Ministry of Foreign Affairs but personnel in all other government ministries, political party leaders, media organizations, students, and members in the local diaspora in (my country) to name a few. Ministries of: Social Transformation and Human Resource Development, Health and the Environment, Education, Science and Technology; Economic Development, Agriculture, and all accredited embassies here.
As a novice to this field initially, the majority of my initial contact with these individuals began via telephone and email when scheduling interviews between these entities and the ambassador or the counsellor. The connections seamlessly evolved to in-person interaction when I went to the actual locations and vice versa to fulfill my job duties or when hosting embassy diplomatic functions. Thus my method for building and maintaining professional relationships is to find common ground, stay in touch appropriately, and offer my assistance to reap the mutually beneficial results of networking.
After Disaster X devastated (my country), the (name of donor country) wanted to support the recovery efforts by making a tangible donation. Having previously established connections with key players, I utilized the relationships within my network to work with the ambassador and communicate directly with the Chairman of the Port Authority, the Director of the National Office of Disaster Services and other entities to arrange the berthing of the cargo vessel bearing relief supplies. Normally one has to submit a written request for media coverage in advance, but the arrival time had changed twice, time was of the essence. A receptionist in my network put me in touch with the Director of News and Current Affairs at the nation's lone TV station and thankfully secured actual video footage coverage which served highlighting the story as a testament to the strong relationship between our countries.
Reciprocally, someone in my network connected the Dean of Student Affairs at the local College to me in an effort to secure a Q&A session with the ambassador (given his heavy schedule) and students in the Political Studies class about relations between the (country1) and (country2) . It was also an opportunity for students to network by asking questions about and requesting information regarding scholarship opportunities in (country1), of which
I hope to continue cultivating my professional relationships so as to grow my network to include students, professors, and other professionals in the UK. I anticipate promoting the Chevening program by leveraging my connection with Chevening alumni, media personnel and educational institutions on island, to, for example, deliver presentations at the college's annual Career fair in order to recruit future scholars and help widen the Chevening network. I expect to exchange information with the existing Chevening alumni in the field of international relations to learn of opportunities which lead to increased knowledge and career advancement. My established interconnected professional webs with an array of entities and virtually every government ministry in (my country) on a daily basis should prove beneficial to Chevening alumni in varying fields.