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'Teaching English Language' - MY CHEVENING LEADERSHIP/INFLUENCER ESSAY------- Bankole Akinfolarin


the area of my passion



I see a close blend of core tenets linking the basic values of Chevening with that of my chosen Courses and Universities which all in all pinpoint an affinity with my deepest passion, vision, potential and abilities. In the order of the chosen Schools and Courses, from my summation, Chevening favours (TESOL), Teaching English Language to the Speakers of Other Languages which identifies with the area of my passion (teaching the English Language for massive impact).

Leadership is not by title but by taking up responsibilities. My four-year Bachelors (Hons) course in the Adekunle Ajasin University was one full of leadership responsibilities for me. Each of the seven and nine courses I took for eight semesters always came with group assignments and presentations. People often jostle to fall in my group because they know they would not have to do much as I always take up the responsibility of researching, compiling and presenting the papers before a team of Lecturers. I was always leading my groups. There was a group assignment that tore everyone apart but by my personal solution to the assignment, the Lecturer acknowledged he never thought the question could be answered like I did until after my presentation. He confirmed he learnt a lot from my presentation.

Leadership is followership; not being bossy. Every leader at every capacity still has a leader, external or internal to submit to. From experience, I have come to a close that leadership success tells more on how well one is able to lead and mobilize others to achieve set goals. As the Project Manager and Senior Editor at Abundant Life House Publishers for three years, I was able to coordinate, manage and inspire the editors to do quality and meticulous jobs and meet targets; even with the online members of my team. Most of them are far older than me but they followed completely because of my leadership philosophies. A leader will accomplish more tasks and influence more people if he does not lord over his subjects though still firm and uncompromising.

Leadership is service. A leader is a servant with the necessary information per time as communication is a necessary tool of effective and unquestionable leadership. I am not surprised I often emerge a leader everywhere I go. This is not disconnected from my powerful and sound communication skills both oral and written. I have served as General Secretary to different Associations and Welfare Societies including the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) AAUA Ondo State Chapter where I was also a member writing Poems. I have my poems published in the Chapter's Anthology and the School's English Studies' departmental Press Board. I was the Coordinator of all the Corps Members serving in three different communities back in 2013 to 2014 during my National Youth Service year in Osun State, Obokun Local Government, Nigeria.

A leader educates. Everyone that comes around me gets educated and inspired. I have a Facebook page where I teach people Correct English also.

Aug 12, 2017   #2
Bankole, unfortunately, you misunderstood the requirements of the Chevening essay. This is not an essay that asks you for a personal definition of leadership. This essay cannot be written as sound bytes of your previous leadership experiences in college and in your professional life. Instead, the essay asks you to present a single, profound, character building leadership experience that details how you handle difficult situations, situations beyond your control, and maintain contact, in a positive manner with other people in your group. The leadership requirement here dictates that you clearly show how your leadership influenced those you supervised to do the right thing, to work together, and to move accordingly in order to fulfill the objective of your group.

With that clarification of the objective of the essay done, I need to ask you to revise your content. Focus on depicting a professional crisis that you had describe how your leadership skills were called into play. From that point, explain why you had to influence the group you were working with. Or maybe, describe how you had to use your influence in order to get other people to help your group resolve its issues and concerns. Whatever the backstory is, just make sure that it highlights your leadership skills and calls attention to how you are effective when it comes to influencing people in order to get what needs to be done accomplished. That is what the Chevening Scholarship reviewer will be specifically looking for in your essay.
@Bankhole i like how you start each paragraph, it is engaging and makes one want to read further, however just like @Holt alluded, do not dwell much into describing what a leader ought to be like, speak more on what you did or do to demonstrate those leadership qualities. The 500 word limit is short so concentrate on those things that people do not already know about.
PLEASE, CHECK THIS NEW VERSION!!!

Between 2013 and 2014, I was on a National Youth Service mission to Obokun Local Government, Osun State, Nigeria to teach English and Literature in a public Secondary school under the NYSC (National Youth Service Corps) scheme. I discovered that seventy percent of the students were nonchalant in their disposition towards education while thirty percent was receptive but no help. My passion for education never allowed me to sit back without stepping into the shoes of a sent help to the Community.

Their orientation and sensitization towards education was obviously not on track. Some of them would opt out of school for the market when it was market day in the Community. I then knew their sense of priority was misplaced and I had to come in.

Personally I met with the King of the Community to discuss the problems I discovered about the students and youth in general and to share my plans for a change and seek his permission and hand in help (materially and financially), in conjunction with all the Chiefs. Though he was so happy and pledged his support but he could not get the Chiefs to do much. So, I looked to another direction for help.

Through the Principal of the school and two Chiefs I could meet, I got the contact of some of the successful members of the Community in diaspora. I was going to renovate the dilapidated classes, get them more chairs and tables in the classes and fix the spoilt ones, build three toilets for them (male, female and staff), sponsor Educational Awareness and Sensitization Campaigns (EASC) involving other neighboring communities, organize inter-school/inter-community argumentative public speech contests and work on their spoken and written English since almost all of them were poor in the use of English.

I committed myself, time and resources to the development of the students and the community as a rural setting. I embarked on Community Development Services (CDS), sponsoring free extra-mural lessons and training. I built them up speech and writing-wise through a Press Club I created to that effect. I laced the club with the Osun Broadcasting Corporation (OSBC), a TV corporation that the students might be trained further by the media professional personnel so as to give room for the students to come on air.

In no time, the Press Club was the talk of the town as many of them came up academically, in their use of English and character. I was training them to write, read and speak in the public via morning talks on the assembly, speech presentations, news presentations and Spelling Bee after series of training and rehearsals with them.

To that effect, NYSC gave me an award addressed as: Meritorious Services to the State of Osun, Nigeria, back in 2014. They still call me and stay in touch till now. The impact could not be swept off.

I plan to duplicate this in as many Communities as possible as I plan to have my own school.
Sorry i took long to revert, you have such a brilliant example of leadership and i think you are not doing justice to it here. allow the story to come through first and then worry about grammar later, i think because you are an English teacher you paid too much attention to the English correctness than telling your story. having said that though this has potential to be a brilliant essay, please see my few corrections below.

while thirty percent was receptive but no help- the rest were receptive but not helpful. My passion for education never ... My passion of being an educator motivated me to solder on and assist this community despite the lack of interest from stakeholders.

Some of them would opt out of school for the market ... rather go to the market day than attend school. I then knew then that their sense (...) and I had to come insomeone had to intervene.

Personally I met with the King ... I took it upon myself to meet the King of the region to....


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