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Scholarship question about networking. Is it right to put a professional and social network?

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Oct 3, 2017   #1
Chevening is looking for individuals with strong networking skills, who will engage with the Chevening community and influence and lead others in their chosen profession. Explain how you meet this requirement, using clear examples of your networking skills, and outline how you hope to use these skills in the future. (minimum word count: 100 words, maximum word count: 500 words)

Is it Ok to create this professional/social network divide or it would be better to make it different?

Thanks for any thoughts.

First, I would like to explain my professional networking skills. I have one within the local government, and another in the federal branch. In the local, I keep close ties with members of Government Management and Public Policy Specialists, which is the career I belong to, especially from my class and those who have worked with me, but also as an active member of our association. One clear example occurred when I was special adviser and became Chief Procurement Officer (CPO). The Secretary of State asked me to point him someone that could replace me, I had three very good names, all from my career, and he chose the one of those. As a CPO, I invited a few colleagues to join me, and when I moved on, I also had the honor to appoint my substitute, a friend and career colleague who I sponsored to be CPO and did very well. In the local government, wherever I go, I tend to bring part of my network with me, and having worked in logistics, procurement, public management modernization, the Chief of Staff's Office, I have strong bonds in those areas. In the future, this network tends to occupy more senior positions and to become policy makers, not only policy managers, which will be positive.

Additionally, in 2014, I had the third highest grade competing with more than 13,000 local public servants to participate in a one-month professional training in Austria, about smart cities public policies. The result is that I studied for a whole month amongst the top 90-career public servants from many departments from the Government, such as police, education, finance, health, environment, territory and international relations. Those connections not only remain alive, to solve government problems more quickly, but we constitute a strong top-tier network inside the government. It is my expectation to engage in a similar way with my future Cheveners colleagues, not only from Brazil, but from all over the world. This possibility is an enormous asset, as I can address any public issue (in my case), and ask for advice, help, or give back my experience.

In the Federal sphere, both in the Executive and Legislative branch, is the other part of my professional networking. Three factors concurred to that: I live and work in Brasilia, my wife also lives and works here in a prominent position (attracting foreign direct investment) and my current job is about influencing public policies in the National Congress, both at the Senate and at the Chamber of Deputies, all of what led me to meet a lot of professionals. Besides that, I have many friends working in the Ministries, especially in Planning and Management and Foreign Affairs.

Second, I would like to present my social networking skills. Besides the usual dinner meetings, I also have a expanded network from my school, college and MBA classes, the tennis team circle and the parents from my children's class. I met my direct boss, a Senate career public servant, more than ten years ago in a tennis class. At the time, he was working as a Chief of Staff for a Senator and I was beginning my career in the Government. When he became Chief of Staff of a Senator from the Federal District, we began to talk more frequently, and whenever he needed something local he phoned me. One day we discovered our kids were from the same class and we intensified our contacts. By that time, we were talking about a new government and how we could give a good contribution, as we was working for the next governor. Now, we work together, in a very special position, due to a network built in from a tennis class.

Last, I hope I can expand my network, not only to advance in my public service career, but also to be more efficient, and to be capable of create better public policies.
Holt  Educational Consultant - / 11,981 3867  
Oct 3, 2017   #2
Arthur, your presentation is a bit overwhelming. You seem to be rushing your presentation without giving any thought to the fact that there is also such a thing as reader fatigue when too much information is offered in the essay statement. The presentation is still strong but hard to keep track of. You may want to rethink your presentation to be less of telling and more of showing how these networks have worked for you so far. You have insinuated that you have international contacts, even before you attend your masters classes as a Chevening scholar, but you are not offering any evidence as to how you have used these networks to your professional benefit. That is what the reviewer needs to know about. If you claim these networks will be of benefit to Chevening in the future, then you need to back up those claims with evidence. In fact, if you can lay claim to a series of networks that you created that are UK based, the essay will be even better and more solid. It sounds to me like you might have one or two of those sorts of contacts up your sleeve. You can mention the name of the organization if you know the name so that the reviewer can be even more impressed or look it up to confirm your connection with them.

The way that you divided your network is acceptable. It just tends to run overly long and becomes uninteresting because of the lack of actual examples of your networking skills in action. So you have to present something like this whenever you can in the edited version:

Problem + Network = Problem Resolution

Do that for each of the paragraphs. Right now, the essay sounds more like you are just bragging about your network, but not really offering solid information as to its proper use in your career. For example, when you say "The Secretary of State asked me point out a replacement", you need to give the name of the secretary of state because that claim will be verified as part of the vetting of your application information. Each time you mention a position of political power and a politically connected person that you worked with, you have to name names. Otherwise, you will be deemed to be making hyperbolic claims only. Yes, you will have to mention your wife's name and the company or government agency she works for along with her current position.

Don't forget to proofread your essay after you revise it. You have a number of capitalization and punctuation problems that I will not point out at this point because you will be revising the essay so correcting those mistakes may not be needed as the overall essay is expected to change in content and punctuation.

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