TOPIC: A letter or essay to the School of Business Scholarship Committee expressing your desire to receive a scholarship award. Please include your involvement in the School of Business, your career goals, and any supporting reasons for needing scholarship funding. (Please keep your essay under 2 pages.)
skills to actively join the workforce
Being that my parents fled their home country of Vietnam during a time of war, they sacrificed everything in order to come to an unknown land in hopes of a better future for me and them. With them giving me this opportunity for a better future, the greatest challenge I have to face is to be able to take any chance that will help my family, especially my parents, to a better life. I want to be able to provide for them because after 35 years of continuous work at wage pay, they are getting tired. With this scholarship program, I will be able to continue on with my education to work and provide care for my parents.
I am currently seeking a bachelor's degree in Information Systems (IS) within the School of Business. My interest in in technology stems out from when my parents bought their first computer almost 15 years ago. During that time, I was able to play with it and understand the inner and outer workings of how it works. With this knowledge in hand, I applied to my Cisco Networking courses in high school and to the courses now at VCU. I plan on pursuing a career in either IT Auditing or a IT management position. With the education and skills attained through classes and extracurricular activities, I expect myself to be an exceptional representative as a (school name) alumni.
In order to augment the value of my education, I have joined the Association of Information Technology Professionals (AITP) at (school name), Phi Beta Lambda, and Business Student Ambassadors (BSA). Through AITP, I have had many opportunities to work with other IS students, whether that be helping each other with our INFO courses or getting internships through these students. One of the events I have participated with this organization is the IT Networking Night we hold. It is comparable to the Career Fair the School of Business holds, except on a smaller scale for IS majors. Through this, I have been able to meet with several companies looking for interns for the summer and attain the current internship I have with the (current employer). Occasionally, I get to work with Dr. (professor name), chair of IS Department, with events involving the IS Advisory Board. As for Phi Beta Lambda, we restarted the inactive (school name) chapter and went on to compete in various competitions in the state. In the spring of 2015 and 2016, I placed first place in the state competitions for Computer Concepts and Cyber Security, later moving on to represent both the state of (US State) and (school name) at the national level. Lastly, and surely my most favorite organization, BSA has helped me tremendously, education-wise and as a person. My responsibilities include giving tours to prospective students around the School of Business, representing the school at various events (Investor's Circle, Open House, etc.), and taking photos and creating Snapchat filters for our organization as historian chair.
The School of Business has a history of presenting scholarships to talented students in order to bring knowledge, skills and leadership abilities to their community. I actively partake in the School of Business with my organizations and I want to continue doing so, and with your assistance, I can. The degree in Information Systems from (school name) gives me the necessary skills to actively join the workforce and most importantly, give back to my parents. I thank you for your time and consideration for this prestigious award.
ADDITIONAL INFO: I recently found out (yesterday) that I made it to the Dean's List last semester. How can I include this into the paper?
Holt Educational Consultant - / 11,594 3760
Jonathan, add the information about you being on the Dean's List in the second paragraph. Explain that you expect to be a good representative of the scholarship because you were on the Dean's List for the (semester and year). Do you know if this scholarship program will cover your expenses 100 % or not? It is important to reflect your plans for self sustaining your other fees in case this is not a total grant. That discussion can be inserted in place of the academic experience with the various professors and companies that you are presenting in the 3rd paragraph. That academic and internship experience can be summarized to only your most recent and relevant internships. The focus has to be on the reasons why you feel you deserve this scholarship more than the other applicants. Aside from your parents being too old to help sustain your college studies, what other reasons do you have? Show the reviewer the kind of hard working and fiscally responsible student you are. You have to show them that you are more than just brains. What kind of potential do you have as a future specialist in this field? There is no clear representation of your career goals in this essay even though it is specifically required in the prompt discussion topics. You have almost two pages to work with for this essay. Revise it to come in at a page and a half in order to meet all of the required information presentation.
@Holt Thank you for the feedback! I realized I did not add any internship experience into the paper. Could I add that into the 2nd paragraph? I briefly mentioned my career in that paragraph, so I will try to expand on that by adding in my internship experience. I also use the money I make from the internship to pay interest on my current loans.
As for replacing the 3rd paragraph, I don't know if I should do that. I am heavily involved within the business school, and this paragraph explains the roles that I partake in.
Holt Educational Consultant - / 11,594 3760
You can insert the paragraph about your internship in the second paragraph if you wish to. Although, the internships are usually discussed as an expanded, stand alone paragraph in most scholarship applications. Basically, you can insert it wherever you feel it best fits in the essay. As long as the previous paragraph to it transitions into the discussion smoothly, then that is the best place to put the information.
You don't have to apply changes to the third paragraph if you don't want to. I am only merely making suggestions to help improve your essay at this point. As long as your essay comes in under the 2 page requirement, then your essay will be well received by the reviewer. I just feel like you have too much information going on in the third paragraph. That is why I was suggesting an edit on it. Ideally, you should turn in something between a full page to a page and a half to the reviewer. There are private reasons that the university reviewers prefer to read specifically formatted essays. Keep it under 2 pages and you will be fine.
Just mentioning the most important participation that you have, which makes your activities notable, is always more effective than listing all of your activities. The reviewer doesn't have the time to read all of the information in that paragraph. He will just scan it for the most notable information and take note of those. If you put too much information into the paragraph, he will most likely scan and forget instead of scan and remember. That said, keep the 3rd paragraph in that manner for your own reasons. It's not my responsibility to convince you to do otherwise.
Here are my thoughts on your paper
1. The length.I think you should only keep the part that most relate to the scholarship. For example, one academic and one professional experience that can demonstrate your capacity and uniqueness. I mean, presumably, every candidate for Biz school has the similar course and working experience, why should the committee offer you the scholarship? Like the @holt say, extending the Dean' list part might help to prove your eligibility.
2. I know it's not in the requirement. But if there are room, I'd illustrate how my career goal will be accelerated by this funding and how, in the future, I can contribute to the school and society after helped by this funding.