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I need some advice on ideas - "Why do I deserve the scholarship"


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Jun 17, 2009, 01:17am   #1
I've been trying to write a essay on "Why do you think that you deserve the scholarship". I have a few ideas in my mind and I don't know if they sound logical or not:

- First, I mention the reasons why I decided to choose this university: It's an international university, which is located in my country so I can enjoy high-quality curriculum system while still being able to stay in my hometown to take care of my parents and especially my grandmother. Another reason is the reputation and facilities of the university.

- Second, I'm gonna say that my interest in mathematics and the influence from my friends, particularly from my brother, were my first reasons to choose finance.

- The following ideas are about to answer the question given:
+ the desire to study in this university was the motivation for me to study so hard in English, which led to my IELTS bandscore. I can confidently say that I have no trouble communicating so I can follow the lectures, and I don't know if I should mention something like "I have the ability to acquire knowledge quite quickly". I've been studying really hard during my 12 years in school so I hope that I'm qualified for the sholarship.
+ Recently, I have paid more attention to learn about my favorite field, which helps me to be more certain about choosing it as my future career. I'm well aware of what I want and I believe that studying in this university will help me to actualize my passion.
+ finally I think I'm gonna mention what I would contribute to my country after finishing the course. I strongly believe that finance and commerce have many extreme contribution to the society so I want to be a part of it.

I'm not really satisfied with what I've written. I don't know if those ideas are enough to answer the given question. It's really hard to find something that makes me stand out of other contestants. Hence, I really need your help. Please comment and give me some advice. Thank you so much!

Jun 17, 2009, 12:12pm   #2
From what you've said so far, the two things that might make you stand out are taking care of your grandmother and using knowledge finance as a means of contributing to your country. Might you be interested in taking your education in finance into a job in public policy, government, or an NGO? If so, say so.
Jun 17, 2009, 04:05pm   #3
Simone is right -- you should focus heavily on what you plan to do with your degree, how you plan to contribute to society, etc. You might also talk about how you would contribute to the university environment as well. Also, is the scholarship based purely on merit, or is it based partially on need, too? If the latter, you will have to explain why you need the scholarship more than other applicants. If it's only merit-based, though, then stick with focusing on how good of a student you are, and how much you have already contributed to your community, and plan to contribute more both at university and after graduation.
Jun 17, 2009, 08:09pm   #4
Thank you. I'm gonna write the complete essay and would you mind checking it for me later? However I'm having some trouble finding the best way to express my ideas as I'm afraid that they may sound a little showing off
By the way I'd like to ask you a question: Should I mention something about my character? One of my friend said that I should focus on that rather than on my studying process
Jun 17, 2009, 11:43pm   #6
You are suppose to show off shamelessly in this sort of essay. You are selling yourself, remember. You can talk about your character, but if you do, use anecdotes to show your positive qualities, rather than just telling the reader about them generally.
Jun 18, 2009, 12:03am   #7
Completely unrelated, but have I been precluded from making new threads?
I tried in various sub-forums to no avail.

Edit: I feel I should make a few comments related to the first post, in order not to appear rude.
If I was in your position, my essay would necessarily center on the following considerations.

"Why do you deserve the scholarship?"

It's not off the wall to ask applicants why they are deserving of a scholarship. There is only so much money to around; resources are limited, and they'd like to know that they're investing their money in the right person.

Sean was right on in saying that you should identify the criteria which the distributor of the scholarship is interested in. I think more often than not, they take into consideration both your financial circumstances, and your worthiness in terms of competence and merit.

Naturally you'd like to explain why you chose their university -- presumably the one which will be awarding the scholarship. After you delve into that a bit -- why that university is just the right fit -- proceed to explain that you have a passion for finance. Demonstrate this with some abridged, but advanced commentary on different aspects of finance. You could creatively parlay the field of finance into your less than favorable personal finances (a fair presumption on my part?). Show that you have what it takes to excel, but unfortunately you face an obstacle that you cannot help, hence why you are asking their help to remove this impediment and in so doing, contribute to the educational spectrum, your future dreams and aspirations, and the betterment of the world.

Synopsis: Their money put to your use, will be a very good use.
Jun 18, 2009, 01:43am   #8
I don't think you can be precluded from posting new threads -- at least, I don't know of any option the moderators have that would keep you as a member while stopping you from starting new threads. The only thing I could think of would be if you had posted a lot of new threads without commenting on anyone else's work, but you are very active on the site, so that shouldn't be a problem. What error message do you get when you try to create a new thread?
Jun 19, 2009, 06:56am   #10
This is the complete essay. Please check it and comment.

As many other graduated high school students, I have to come to the most important decision of my life: choosing a suitable place to further my education. Through the years, especially my last three years in high school, I had the opportunity to discover my passions and then came up with the awareness of my professional goals. My special interest in mathematics and the influence from my friends, particularly from my brother were the reasons why I decided to pursue finance as my career. Attending RMIT University will help me to actualize the desire to succeed in my future life.

The idea of continuing my study in RMIT University dates back to 2004, when my father heard about the establishment of the first international university in Hanoi. This led to my thought of being trained in a totally different study environment, where I could enjoy high-level curriculum system while still being able to stay in my hometown to take care of my parents and especially my grandmother. With fervent support from my family and my friends, I decided that I would enroll in RMIT University. Having spent quite a lot of time learning about the university, it could be assumed that its reputation for teaching qualities and modern facilities are among numerous reasons for my determination. Obviously, it is an ideal place that satisfies my hope of enjoying the best studying conditions in my country.

The desire to train in RMIT University was the motivation for me to study so hard on English during high school time, which led to my 7.5 IELTS band score. This result gives me certainty that I have no trouble communicating and I could follow the lectures seamlessly. Furthermore, I have the ability to acquire knowledge quite quickly. Having been working tirelessly on mathematics since secondary school gives me a logical mind and an independent way of thinking. These would be advantages for my studying process in the future. I have been studying really hard during my 12 years in school so I believe that I'm qualified for the scholarship.

Recently, I have paid more attention to learn about my favorite field in order to gain more academic knowledge as well as to be more certain about choosing it as my future profession. I'm well aware of what I want and I have confidence that attending RMIT University will give me a chance to pursue my dream. I hope that after finishing my course, I would be able to apply for a good job then accumulate wealth. Knowing that finance and commerce have massively contributed to the society, I eagerly want to be a part of it. I had great time doing my volunteer work in Vinh Phuc province. Working there helped me partially understand how indigently that many Vietnamese people have to live. Hopefully, in the future I would have the opportunity to donate a part of my fortune to help improve the poor's lives.

It is a long way to realize my dream, and it certainly will be another long way to go to actualize it. I was always anxious that the family's budget would cause me some difficulties carrying out my determination. That makes the scholarship even more significant to me. If I am given the scholarship, I can further my education without having to worry about my family financial problem, and more important, I can stand a better chance to do what I want, which is to take a step closer to success.


Again, I'm not really satisfied with it. Even myself after reading the complete essay, I can hardly find something call "original" or "outstanding". Anyways, please read and give me your comments. I really need your help. Thank you very much.
Jun 19, 2009, 09:35am   #11
Fiyero:
Even myself after reading the complete essay, I can hardly find something call "original" or "outstanding".

Right: It's a solid essay by a strong candidate but not particularly engaging or unique.

Look at your first words: "As many other graduated high school students..."

Right away, you are telling the reader, "I am just like everybody else."

What can you start with instead? What does make you stand out from the crowd? You've not got enough of your personality in this essay for me to even offer a suggestion. In the introduction, and throughout, let us see your personality. Are you always so serious, so much so that other people joke about that, or do you have a playful sense of humor? You mention caring for your grandmother. Do you have an especially close relationship with her? Is caring for others important to you? How do your friends and family members describe you? I'm not saying you should put all of this in your essay directly, but answering such questions might help you to see what aspects of yourself to put into the essay.
Jun 19, 2009, 09:52am   #12
Thank you. I really appreciate your comments. My friends said that it would be extremely good if I mentioned something about my character, but I find it really difficult to think of a way to express those ideas seamlessly. I'll try to revise it and please check it again for me later (:
Jun 19, 2009, 01:04pm   #15
Ok. I've just got some new ideas. It's a true story about how I studied Math, because I used to hate it, even for a long time I was scared of it. But after a lot of things happened, I realized how interesting Math was and I became massively interested in it. Maybe it's just another mediocre idea but at least I think it's better than what I wrote above. I hope that I could find the best way to express it, so from my essay the readers can understand something about my personality. At least I can be optimistic that if I start with this idea, I won't have to list everything about me in a very boring way (: And this may take quite a long time, so hopefully you guys could wait for it. What do you think about this idea? Thanks for your comments. Another question: Can I tell a story instead of writing this essay in the normal format?

@sound10kp: Thank you for your comments (:. However, I think I need to do something different to catch the recruiters' eyes.
Jun 19, 2009, 01:51pm   #16
You could start with the anecdote you suggested -- whether it ends up being mediocre or not will depend on your writing skills. Here is an alternative approach:

1. Delete your first paragraph (often a good idea, and the first thing many people should do after finishing a draft)

2. Rewrite the first part of your second paragraph (which is now your introduction) to turn what you have written now into a narrative anecdote that shows you coming to your decision, rather than telling us about how your father apparently made the decision for you.

You might find that this works better for you, as you will be working with ideas already in your essay, instead of adding something a bit new to the beginning. This should in theory give you a stronger flow to your writing.
Jun 19, 2009, 09:52pm   #17
I like the idea of narrating the decision process. However, I still think that something additional is needed to make the essay stand out from the crowd. I like the anecdote about initially hating math as an introduction. Why don't you at least try writing that and then we can see if it works.
Jun 20, 2009, 01:48am   #18
Thank you. I've been working on it. It may take about 4 or 5 days, hope that you don't mind waiting :( I've been thinking about using some kind of proverbs or quotes like "nothing is impossible", etc., something like that, as the first sentence. Anyways, I don't like my first essay so I'll try to write it all over again (:
Jun 23, 2009, 04:32am   #20
This is my next draft:

SEE BELOW

Please read and comment. And it exceeded 600 words :( Could you help me to shorten it? Thanks a lot.
Jun 23, 2009, 08:51am   #21
Let's get rid of some of these weak verbs, especially since doing so will cut down the length.

Instead of "I am especially interested in mathematics" (6 words), say "Mathematics especially interests me" (4 words). Instead of "This is what I could never confidently declare until some yeas ago" (12 words), say "Now I can confidently declare that" (6 words).

You try it! Any time you start a sentence or phrase with "it is" or "it was," figure out how to say the same thing in fewer words with a stronger verb.
Jun 23, 2009, 08:51pm   #23
You've written that you're interested in studying finance. Does the school you're applying to have a great business/finance department? Maybe you should include that in your essay.
Jun 23, 2009, 10:41pm   #24
Here is my new draft, 600 words exactly. I tried to get rid of as many forms of "to be" as I could. Hope that you can help me more to better it.

"Nothing is impossible" Perhaps everyone knows this famous statement, but not everyone believes that it is true. Looking back, I never thought that I could do the so-called "impossible", but such things unfailingly happen in a lifetime and I cannot flee from them forever. Once I decided to confront impossibility in my studying and surmounted it, and most important, I would never have discovered my passion without that decision.

Mathematics especially interests me - now I could confidently declare that. I used to rule myself out of all math periods. In the past, math, to me, was unnecessarily difficult and impractical. I disliked it, even for a long time I was so frightened of it that at times I thought that in the future I would not do any mathematics-related job. Everything changed since we had our math teacher altered. Her strictness compelled me to pay more attention to her lectures and at the very same time math started to attract me. "You have the aptitude for this subject. Don't waste it" the new teacher said the words that nobody had ever done to me. Thanks to that encouragement, I finally determined on learning math. My last year in secondary school allowed me to understand how wrong I was to hate math for such a long time.

As I went to high school, studying got harder, especially mathematics - a real challenge that I needed to overcome. Math became my number one priority among all subjects, and the more industriously I worked on it, the more I fell in love with it. "Practice makes perfect" my endeavor paid off since I got good results for my math tests. But I did not get enough. A used-to-be math-unrelated student like me found it difficult to integrate whereas a competitive environment like my class was not a place for a pimping turtle. That was why once I decided to come out of my shell by presenting my own answer to a math exercise in front of the whole class. Although I solved it wrong and felt so embarrassed that everyone would laugh at me, I did not give up. I tried to do that again and again whenever I found a different solution to the exercise given, and I succeeded eventually. Step by step, I did not feel shy to give out my ideas anymore. Throughout 3 years studying tirelessly, I caught my teachers' eyes and earned respect from my fellows. "I made it" finally I could be proud to have done something that no-one, even myself, had expected.

At age 16, I discovered my professional goals. My special interest in math and the influence from my brother soon turned into the decision to pursue finance field. Recently, I have paid more attention to learn about finance to gain more academic knowledge as well as to be more certain about choosing it as my career. A long time researching led to the desire to enroll in RMIT University, which gave me the motivation to study English assiduously to get 7.5 IELTS band score. This, along with logical and independent way of thinking earned from studying math could give me some advantages for my future studying process. I have confidence that attending RMIT University will help me pursue my dream.

It was a long way to realize my dream, and it will certainly be a long way to make it happen. The scholarship will give me an opportunity to further my education without having to worry about my family financial problem, and above all, a chance to take a step closer to success.


Please give me your straight comments. Thank you
Jun 24, 2009, 02:22pm   #26
You're getting there. A few more suggestions:

"Looking back, I never thought that I could do the so-called "impossible", but such things unfailingly happen in a lifetime and I cannot flee from them forever. Once I decided to confront impossibility in my studying and surmounted it, and most important, I would never have discovered my passion without that decision." This is a tad vague. Can you replace the generalities will specific examples of obstacles you overcame?

"Everything changed since we had our math teacher altered." This is sort of scary. You had your math teacher altered? What, did you implant a chip in her brain? I know what you mean, but you have to rephrase.

"A used-to-be math-unrelated student like me found it difficult to integrate whereas a competitive environment like my class was not a place for a pimping turtle." Now rewrite this using half the words and a clearer grammatical structure.
Jun 26, 2009, 04:56am   #27
Sorry my internet got disconnected yesterday
Thanks for your suggestion. I'll think about it and post my latest draft tomorrow (: The thing is I find it a bit difficult to rephrase the sentence "Everything since we had our teacher altered". Could you give me some more suggestion? Thanks (:
Jun 26, 2009, 07:33am   #28
Fiyero:
find it a bit difficult to rephrase the sentence "Everything since we had our teacher altered". Could you give me some more suggestion?


It's difficult for me to rephrase too, because I don't quite know what you mean.

Everything changed when we got a new teacher?
Jun 27, 2009, 06:08am   #30
Yes that's defenitely what I meant. First I had trouble finding the best way to express my idea and then I came up with that, although I wasn't satisfied at all ): And btw, I'm "she", not "he" :D
Jun 29, 2009, 11:11pm   #32
Oh it's ok. Fiyero is not my real name anyway, so you don't have to apologize :D
Jun 30, 2009, 06:31am   #34
Actually, from a play called "Wicked". Fiyero is the name of my favorite character (:
Jun 30, 2009, 03:34pm   #36
I started reading the novel a while back. Couldn't get into it, though, which is unusual for me -- normally if a book is any good at all, I won't stop reading it until I get to the end, even if I really should be doing something else.
Jun 30, 2009, 11:02pm   #37
Honestly, I haven't read the book yet. Seems like it isn't published in my country. I just watched the play once and I think it's a good musical theatre (:
Jul 1, 2009, 12:50am   #38
It's a very quirky work of fiction. If you like it, you love it. But if it doesn't seize you, you set it down. If you liked the musical enough to choose a character's name for your forum name, I suspect you'd love the novel. It's available used via internet even if it wasn't published in your country.
Jul 1, 2009, 09:59am   #40
From what I know of you, I'm not surprised you didn't like it the first time and suspect you won't like it again. On the other hand, it can sometimes be fun to read outside of one's preferences, as (paradoxically) one's distance from the work sometimes allows one to see what about it is compelling to to others.



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