I am applying for Chevening this year and is preparing the essays. Here is the first one. Any comments or suggestions is appreciated. Thank you in advance.Chevening is looking for individuals that 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: 50 words, maximum word count: 500 words).
I have been working for PT. JFE Engineering Indonesia, an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) company, since I graduated from university in 2013. Working as the main contractor in a project, it is my daily jobs to manage and coordinate with various sub-contractors and workers either from office desk or directly at site. I have the opportunities to become the person in charge for various jobs throughout the project. For example, I was to lead the work of cathodic protection system for a gas pipeline project starting from the design, materials purchase, installation and finally testing. Throughout each of these stages, I was working with people older than me. It was hard because they all have much more experience than I do. Communication became the key here. During technical meetings and negotiations, I learned to convey my opinions and critics in a respectful manner. I also prepared data and facts to support my arguments whenever necessary. This way, I got their attention and also their respect.
A leader should have initiative. Although I was not part of the cost and budget team, I always tried to reduce our cost whenever possible. There was one occasion when we need to purchase additional few hundreds meters of electric cable. Previously, we had always bought these cable from our cathodic protection sub-contractor. Seeing how expensive the price they offered, I took the initiative to look up in the internet the contact of one cable manufacturer and asked our procurement team to request a quotation from them. It turned out that they quoted a price that was about 60% cheaper. However, the delivery time of this offer is longer than the first offer and construction should not be stopped because of material shortage. I proposed to our team that we should buy a hundred meter cable, which could last for about one month, from our sub-contractor and buy the remaining from cable manufacturer. It was agreed; we were able to save money and the construction work was not postponed.
I believe integrity is one the most importance trait that my country needs from its leaders right now. And integrity is what I have been keeping as my life value. I was once offered by our supplier if I want to mark up the price written in the invoice to my company so I can keep the excess money. As a normal human being, I did hesitate for a moment but then I came to my sense and rejected their offer. I have to keep myself accountable and trustworthy so that people will follow me.
To conclude, I believe I have the important traits required to be a future leader in my country. Communication skill to become the bridge between Chevening community and Indonesia, initiative to seek improvement in every aspects, and integrity to lead the people.