You’ve now made the decision that you’re going to business school and found you’re eligible for a scholarship. Next up–how do I actually write a compelling scholarship essay? Transmitting your achievement, inspirations, and not to mention that je nais se quoi–French for a uniquely distinctive and attractive quality–into paper can seem daunting. However, once you know the rules of the game, this can be easily tackled.
Originality will always be key and what sets you apart from other applicants, but the first thing you need to be awarded financial support is to understand the scholarship criteria and theme. Is there a specific topic to talk about? Are there particular traits you can draw from the school’s ethos? Is there an exact number of words to fulfill? And very key–when are the deadlines?
After you’ve taken some time to absorb the above, you’ll naturally start developing a plan of attack for your scholarship essay. When you’re ready to start writing, a good structure will help you strengthen your case of why you should be awarded the scholarship.
To write a compelling scholarship essay, the structure you should follow is:
1. Stick to a subject that fits your profile:
Depending on the school that you are applying to, you are usually able to work on either an open subject scholarship essay or nominated profile that fits with the school’s “DNA”. At Hult, postgraduate applicants have a choice of six profile options:
- Social Impact: For applicants who have had and will have a positive impact in making the world a better place
- Academic Excellence: For candidates that have excelled in their studies, earning an outstanding GPA
- Global Professional: For aspiring business leaders who have worked full time for a minimum of one year in a large global corporation
- Entrepreneurial Impact: For professionals that have had an internship or volunteering experience and have demonstrated involvement, leadership or had a role in the outcome of an entrepreneurial project
- Future Leader: For students who have demonstrated enthusiasm and a natural aptitude to lead
- Women in Business: For female applicants who have work or internship experience or have led a team in an international environment.
2. Organize your examples: Find linkages
Hult’s scholarship essay requires you to point out examples of how you link to the subject or embody the attributes of the profile you chose. It could be referring to work experiences and talking about a particular role, academic achievements, or extra-curricular activities and projects.
Once having the above details, you need to keep in mind that you have a word limit, otherwise the application will be rejected. So be sure to pick the best of!
3. Know your audience: Be human
Before you type a single word, remember that the Admissions Committee takes time to read each one of the applications received in order to make their decision. Be humble and personable, and adding authentic gratitude to the reader, is a good way of acknowledging your audience.
4. Plan an essay structure: Introduce your story, a body of examples, and reinforce
For any essay, a clear structure is vital. It will ensure your thoughts have an organized flow and allows readers to follow your story. Start by engaging the Committee with your story–who you are and your journey–then develop the body with any examples of challenges and obstacles you encountered. Don’t forget to include what you learned from the experience or how you persevered, and most importantly how this shows your eligibility.
5. Are you a Hult Fit?
The Admissions Committee is looking for a specific candidate, again be sure you know what that is and constantly reinforce throughout your essay how that candidate is you. At Hult, we look for students who are bold, have a global mindset and entrepreneurial spirit, seeking to challenge the status quo. So, what are you bringing to the classroom? What about your challenges and experiences makes you different? What are your ambitions and how will a Hult degree help you get there?
6. Close Strongly
The closing is the reinforcement of why this all matters. Bring your story together and emphasize key points in the essay. It’s your final words so talk from the heart and be honest with your needs.
7. Review it and ask someone to proof
Don’t let spelling mistakes get in the way of a strong scholarship essay and ensure it reads well. Review your essay and read it out loud so you can feel the flow of your words. Finally, do a test run and ask a teacher, colleague or family member to proofread and give feedback.
Ready to get started?
Arany Garcia is a contributing staff blogger and Hult Director of Enrolment–Latin America.